Design in Boijmans Autumn 2010
November 2010

Spanish Guests: A Preview of the Collection Enriched

From Bosch to Magritte: in the spring of 2011 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be showing its impressive collection of paintings in an entirely new light. For two years the collection will be enhanced by masterpieces from the Netherlands and abroad, presenting the finest paintings from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. A Preview of the Collection Enriched, which opens on 27 November, focuses on Spanish art, an area that is almost wholly absent from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s permanent collection.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna and child (1618). Oil on canvas. Loan: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2004.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna and child (1618). Oil on canvas. Loan: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2004.

This winter, Spanish Guests: A Preview of the Collection Enriched will present three Spanish masterpieces and show how the collection can be enhanced by interesting loans.

Murillo and Goya
The highlight of the presentation is Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s Virgin and Child (1628), given to the Mauritshuis in The Hague by King William I some two hundred years ago. The Mauritshuis subsequently transferred the work to the Rijksmuseum, which lent it to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 2004. The other star of the show is the anonymous Spanish kitchen still life, which patrons purchased for the Rijksmuseum in 1922. Goya’s masterful Portrait of Don Ramon Satue (1823), a superb masterpiece, was acquired in the same way.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has an exceptional collection of Western European art. Especially the Southern and Northern Netherlandish painting collection is unique, but it holds almost no Spanish art. These Spanish guests show how loans can enhance the museum’s collection. Each painting is accompanied by an explanation of when it was brought to the Netherlands and why.

The Collection Enriched
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is the only museum in the Netherlands whose own collection can provide an impression of the wealth of European painting. The masterpieces by Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, by Rubens and Rembrandt, by Dürer and Titian and by Kandinsky and Magritte, will be joined by paintings by Memling, Tintoretto and Spencer. The presentation will include several works that have been in storage in recent years. The Collection Enriched opens on 16 April 2011.

The guest curator of The Collection Enriched is Peter Hecht, professor of art history at Utrecht University and a fellow of Rembrandt Society. The Society supports Dutch museums by purchasing art and aims to increase knowledge of the Netherlands’ public collections; it has established the Rembrandt Society Fellowship specifically to promote this. The exhibition will be designed by stylist Maarten Spruijt together with artist Peter Struycken, who will choose the colours for the walls and offer lighting advice.