Exhibition Diary

Bredius Museum
The Bredius Museum is celebrating. And with two exhibitions. In collaboration with local newspaper Haagsche Courant today’s collectors are being given the opportunity to show their prize possessions at the museum from 1 September to 15 October. The organisers look forward to receiving some unique objects, ranging from silver to toys and from perfume bottles to miniatures. A certain exclusiveness is required, however. Stamps and cigar bands will not be shown. This presentation reflects the spirit of Bredius, whose interests were broad and whose enthusiasm for collecting was certainly not confined to paintings.

Ten days after this general show the museum showcases a more scholarly theme: underdrawings on Old Master paintings. The modern technique of infrared reflectography has enabled scholars to examine the preparatory drawings made by artists which are under the paint surface and invisible to the naked eye. A number of paintings in the Bredius collection have been examined by a team at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. This exhibition, which coincides with a conference on the subject, will feature the paintings that have been examined alongside computer montages of the infrared images. Visitors will be given an opportunity to operate the infrared apparatus to look under the surface of the paint for themselves.

Hague Collectors Today
Bredius Museum, The Hague, 1 September to 15 October 2001
Sketches on Paintings: Underdrawings on Old Masters
Bredius Museum, The Hague, 26 October to 2 December 2001

De Kunsthal
There can be little doubt that last year’s most remarkable exhibition was Jesus in the Golden Age at the Kunsthal. Rotterdam’s Kunsthal is not a museum in the true sense of the word. It is an exhibition space operated on commercial principles. They present an eclectic programme of shows with a perfect sense for what the public wants. From Old Masters and Italian cars to the Hague School and master forger Han van Meegeren, the Kunsthal presents a wide range of themes to a broad audience. And once again it was another first. Jesus in the Golden Age was the first show to tell the story of Jesus with seventeenth-century paintings. What made this unusual was that paintings from different periods and of different sizes were hung side by side, relating the history of Christ’s life and passion chronologically. A little like the illustrated Bibles of former centuries. The design of the catalogue is as untraditional as the Kunsthal itself. Each page has a different bright colour with the text in powerfully contrasting frames. And a nice additional bonus, this exhibition paid its own tribute to Bredius. His Bust of Christ by Rembrandt became the image of the show. Of all the Rembrandts Bredius ever had in his possession, this is the only painting he ever kept for his private collection. Today it is one of the central exhibits at the Bredius Museum.

Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder supplied a number of paintings for the exhibition, including the Supper at Emmaus by Artus Wolffort of Antwerp. Apart from in the exhibition catalogue, this painting was also highlighted in Tableau. The December issue of the periodical carried a quiz based on the painting. Jesus in the Golden Age was at the Rotterdam Kunsthal from 9 September 2000 to 7 January 2001.

Haarlem and Antwerp
That a popular exhibition can also be scholarly is demonstrated by the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp with Pride and Joy: Children’s Portraiture in the Netherlands 1500-1700. The theme is attractive for young and old alike and no one leaves without being touched and reminded of their own childhood. But there’s more: the paintings provide an insight into how children were raised, the virtues to which boys and girls were expected to adhere, the toys they played with and the clothes they wore. A less pleasant theme highlighted here is child mortality. That is the subject of an unusual painting by Nicolaes Maes provided for the show by Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder. It is a portrait of a child that has died and is being carried up to heaven by two angels. Two other loans for the show were also arranged through Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder. The accompanying catalogue is the first scholarly overview of this genre of portraiture. Those who missed the exhibition in Haarlem can still catch the show in Antwerp this spring.

Kinderen op hun mooist/Pride and Joy
Het kinderportret in de Nederlanden 1500-1700/Children’s Portraiture in the Netherlands 1500-1700

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 21 January to 22 April 2001 Monday to Saturday 11.00 to 17.00, Sundays and public holidays 12.00 to 17.00

Off to Den Bosch
The North Brabant Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch has of late focused increasingly on art from the Southern Netherlands. A recent exhibition, Masters of the South – Baroque Painters of Rubens’s Circle, featured history painting in the Southern Netherlands. Flemish landscapes are next in line. These differ noticeably from the realistic landscapes that were painted in the Northern Netherlands, like those of Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael and their followers. The Flemish artists did not draw their inspiration from the countryside around them; they created Italianate fantasy landscapes with fanciful mountain formations and winding river beds. Typical features are the high vantage points, giving the viewer the sense of looking down over the landscape from a great height, and the somewhat primitive colour perspective. Yet Northern Netherlandish landscape art could never have developed without its Flemish forerunner. And that is more than evident in this exhibition. Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder have provided several works for this presentation. Prominent among these is the impressive Landscape with Christ and the Centurion by Jacques d’Arthois and Frans Francken II. This exhibition promises to be well worth seeing.

Panorama of the World: Landscape Art from Bosch to Rubens. North Brabant Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch, 17 March to 10 June 2001

Dordrecht
Together with the Nationale Pinacotheek and the Netherlands Institute in Athens this spring the Dordrechts Museum is presenting a major exhibition on the world of the Greek gods and goddesses. Like the stories of the Bible, the history of the ancient world is back in the spotlight. Perhaps the time for dumming down has passed and we are now ready for a little more profundity. After all, the classics was the theme of last year’s book week and the reading of Homer’s Odysseus on Dutch radio a while ago was a major success. This exhibition shows that the exciting amorous adventures of the gods can still capture our attention. For many, sauntering through the exhibition rooms, the old stories come flooding back. Here too, visitors can see several paintings loaned by Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, including the Burning of Troy by Simon de Vlieger, the Judgement of Paris by Ignatius de Roore and Democritus and Hippocrates by Johannes van Noordt.

Greek Gods and Heroes in the Age of Rubens and Rembrandt Nationale Pinacotheek, Athens, 28 September 2000 to 8 January 2001
Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, 3 February to 6 May 2001

    Jacques d'Arthois and Frans Francken II

    Landscape with Christ and the Centurion

    Painted around 1640
    Canvas, 117 x 205 cm
    Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague

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    Nicolaes Maes

    Dordrecht 1634 - 1693 Amsterdam

    A Child carried to Heaven by Two Angels

    Painted around 1675
    Canvas, 64 x 52 cm
    Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague

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    Rembrandt

    Leiden 1606 - 1669 Amsterdam

    Bust of Christ

    Painted around 1650
    Panel 25.5 x 21 cm
    Bredius Museum, The Hague

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    Simon de Vlieger

    Rotterdam? 1600 or 1601 - 1653 Weesp

    The Siege of Troy

    Panel, 63.5 x 85.5 cm
    Signed: S.DE / VLIEGER / 16(3)1 (lower left on rock)
    Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague

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    Artus Wolffort

    Antwerp 1581 - 1641 Antwerp

    Supper at Emmaus

    c. 1630
    Canvas, 120 x 172 cm
    Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague

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