- Art Education
What does the living room look like of an art lover who collects "Old Masters"? Does it have a Ruisdael hanging over the sofa? And perhaps a Brouwer right next to the TV armchair? Does a passionate collector of the arts even watch TV?
The new exhibition series "Chambre Privée" will offer a loose succession of glimpses into such private spheres – as pop-up living rooms featuring original paintings and using photo canvases to capture the ambience and atmosphere of the art collector's home.
The series of exhibitions started in 2018 with the living room of a private collector with exclusively Flemish and Dutch paintings. His initial inspiration to collect came from a still life exhibition in Münster in 1979, which left such a lasting impression on him that he gave up his former passion for hunting. From then on – much to the delight of his wife – the hunting trophies on the walls at home gave way to paintings. The result is the living room as it looks today: a walk-in still life and, at the same time, a realisation of the 91-year-old collector's vision, who sadly passed away in 2019. His successful hunts for high-quality masterpieces have brought home works by the likes of Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter Claesz., Jan van der Heyden, Adriaen van de Venne, Nicolaes Berchem or Jan van Huysum.
His very first acquisition was a still life by the Dutch painter Jan van Os (1744-1808). "Quality was always our top priority. But first we had to work out what exactly quality means," says the collector. "My wife and I visited museums all over the world. Only through the act of looking can you sharpen your eye for quality." Numerous acquisitions followed – especially during the 1980s and '90s – all of them of the highest quality and with close connections to each other. For example Jan van Os and his role model Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), whom he imitated with great success. The two inventors of the Dutch "monochrome banquetjes", Willem Claesz. Heda and Pieter Claesz represent the new genre of still lifes in equal unity. Nicolaes Berchem builds the genealogical bridge to his father Pieter Claesz, but decided to take an apprenticeship with the landscape painter Jan van Goyen. Van Goyen in turn was the great innovator of Dutch landscape painting of the 17th century, who painted as one of the first views of the native Dutch landscape. He was joined by famous representatives such as Salomon van Ruysdael and his nephew Jacob van Ruisdael.
And so, over the years, an eminently harmonious art collection evolved, reuniting role model and imitator, father and son, uncle and nephew, which now – for the very first time – the general public will also be able to see and appreciate.
128 pages, 60 images, Imhof Verlag
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Sale price in the Museum shop during the exhibition: 19,90 €