Al Mauricho wanted to maintain the tension. That’s why, as of this week, only one of ten credits from the New York Frick Collection has been revealed: Rembrandt’s magnificent “self-portrait” from 1658. Tuesday morning was the day. The other nine have been announced and this is not disappointing. Much of Schilderswijk passes by: Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Aelbert Cuyp, Jacob van Ruisdael, Meindert Hobbema, Philips Wouwerman and Isack van Ostade. Then there is also a Rembrandt follower and a portrait of Karel van der Bloem, which is especially special because the collector Frick once bought it in the name of Rembrandts.
Phrases of preference rained down at the museum, at the press presentation Tuesday. “Category Horse,” Martin Goslink, director of Mauritius, said of Rembrandt. She announced that she would visit all 109 days of the fair “to see how he is doing”. Chief Curator Quentin Beauvelut praised another masterpiece, “The Soldier and the Laughing Woman”: “We don’t have such a Vermeer kind ourselves.” According to him, the exhibition is the “most beautiful gift” that Mauricho received in exchange for 200 exhibitionsste birthday. Frick director Ian Wardruper was full of praise for The Hague Museum. In 2013-2014 his museum displayed the best traveling collection of Mauritshuis led by “The Girl with the Pearl Earring”. “It was the most attended exhibition ever; 250,000 visitors in three months.” The Wardropper hopes for new exchanges with the Mauritshuis.
American steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was an eclectic collector. He only bought the highest quality and was advised by Dutch masters by Abraham Bredius, the Mauritshuis manager at the time. “At first he collected modern art,” says Beauvelut. In 1896 he visited the Netherlands. He was in The Hague and must have spoken to Bredius and visited Mauritshuis, although there is no evidence of this. Not long after, Frick began collecting Dutch masters at a rapid pace, including the ten we now feature. They came home for the first time in a century, you could say.” Frick collected portraits, landscapes, and genre pieces (scenes). All of these categories are well represented in the Manhattan Masters.
[Klik op de afbeeldingen om ze groter te maken.]
The wonderful “self-portrait” of Rembrandt. | Photo: Michael Boddy Comb
Quentin Beauvelut: “In 1658 he painted this portrait, which is one of the most famous painted portraits of his last period and the largest that he has produced. Its monumental features and inimitable drawings make it undoubtedly one of the artist’s most impressive self-portraits.”
A masterpiece from the last phase of Hals’ life. According to Beauvelut, it is a “remarkably loose, spontaneously drawn and lively portrait”. This laxity is especially visible in the man’s white shirt, which Hals painted with a few sharp brush strokes.
“Landscape of the River with Shepherd and Cows”, 1650-1660, by Elbert Koepp (see above).
You don’t get more Dutch. Quip was a master of the river view and knew better than anyone how to capture the special atmosphere on and near the water, especially in calm weather and soft sunshine (see above).
Ruisdael contains everything from eccentric trees to majestic cloud formations. Quentin Buvelot: “Note the sunlight beautifully accentuating the nodal tree in the front left.” The riders are likely Philips Wouwerman.
After his mentor Ruisdael, Hobbema was the most famous landscape painter of the Golden Age. His musical range was “limited,” according to Beauvelut, but he always managed to create something original, like the expansive view of a water mill. Dirt road provides depth. The numbers make it a vivid spectacle.
Travelers in an inn, circa 1644/1645, by Isaac van Ostad. | Photo: Michael Boddy Comb
A piece of landscape and genre in one. Van Ostad specialized in peasant scenes. This effervescent palette makes profuse company almost audible. Carter watering his horse.
“The Soldier and the Laughing Woman,” circa 1657, by Johannes Vermeer. | Photo: Joseph Coscia, Jr.
The Mauritshuis has three vermiers, of which two are very famous. But this master’s classic piece (room, character(s), light from left) doesn’t have it. “We now have provisionally a fourth Vermeer,” says Quentin Beauvelut. “The lighting effect is wonderfully executed.”
Camp with Soldiers, circa 1660-1665, by Phillips and Wehrman. | Photo: Joseph Coscia, Jr.
Wouwerman was a horse painter of his day. In this case, it’s about more than just animals: military life is central. Passengers stop at a temporary lodge. The roar of the horses is almost audible.
- “Manhattan Masters”, September 29 to January 15, 2023, Mauritius; www.mauritshuis.nl
Would you like to read more about politics, culture, sports and gastronomy in The Hague? Buy the newspaper at one of our points of sale or get a subscription (trial).