New Rijksmuseum acquisition

July 26 2013

Image of New Rijksmuseum acquisition

Picture: Rijksmuseum via New York Times

The Rijksmuseum has acquired an imagined depcition of the discovery of America, painted 1525-40 by Jan Mostaert. The NY Times reports:

The work, also known as “Episode From the Conquest of America,” was among 202 paintings that were returned to Marei von Saher, the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish Dutch art dealer between the wars whose collection was looted by the Nazis. After the war, the painting was hung in the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, until legal action by Goudstikker’s heirs forced them to return it to the family in 2006.

Ms. von Saher was approached by the Rijksmuseum about buying the painting earlier this year, said Hugo Nathan of the Simon Dickinson Gallery in New York and London, which handled the sale. It brought the work to the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March, with an asking price of $14 million.

“It’s a picture that a lot of people were interested in both in North and South America because of it being such an important historical picture,” said Mr. Nathan, “but Mostaert is arguably the most important early Dutch painter, as opposed to being a Flemish master, and the Rijksmuseum was always hoping to secure it for the Dutch nation.”

The Rijksmuseum’s director, Wim Pijbes, said it was one of the museum’s most important acquisitions, because it is one of the oldest Dutch paintings mentioned in the first Dutch art-history book, “Het Schilder-boeck” (1604) by Karel van Mander. He said the museum obtained it after a “long negotiation process with the Goudstikker heirs.” He didn’t disclose the final sales price, but he said that the Rijksmuseum did not pay the asking price.

More details at the Rijksmuseum site here

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