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up to and including 01 April 2013

Hans Makart's ‘Abundantia’

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen exhibited an extraordinary painting on loan from the Ger Eenens Collection: ‘Abundantia’ by the celebrity painter Hans Makart (1840-1884). This enormous canvas, measuring 1.5 x 4.5 metres, impresses through its swirling composition of warm colours against a gold background, in which Abundantia, the personification of prosperity, takes central place.

The painting portrays 'Abundantia' with the 'gifts of the Earth'. Abundantia was the Roman goddess of abundance and fertility. This exhibition presented examples from the 16th century to the present day in paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures. Key to this selection was the subject matter of Makart’s painting. The exhibition presents works by artists such as Paulus Moreelse and Michelangelo Cerquozzi, and also includes a photo series by the contemporary photographer Sharon Lockhart, as well as sculptures by Paul McCarthy and Boris van Berkum.

Hans Makart painted the composition in 1870 for the dining room of a palatial mansion on Vienna’s Ring. The Viennese were instantly struck by 'Abundantia' and Makart painted several repeats of it, parts of them executed by his workshop assistants. The canvas in the Ger Eenens Collection is regarded as an autograph. Musée d'Orsay and the Salzburg Museum have other versions.

Hans Makart

Hans Makart wordt beschouwd als de Andy Warhol van zijn tijd, maar zijn faam duurde slechts tot kort na zijn dood. Zijn atelier werd tegen betaling bezocht en diende als locatie voor exclusieve feesten. Makarts bekendheid reikte tot ver buiten Oostenrijk en zijn schilderijen 
maakten uitgebreide tours langs Europese en Amerikaanse steden. Zo was de ‘Abundantia’ tussen 1871 en 1880 onder meer te zien in Berlijn, Leipzig, New York, Philadelphia, Amsterdam en Londen.