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Friends in Riga

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From 25 to 27 January 2020, seven SCI Friends made a short trip to the Hanseatic city of Riga (Reval). The center of gravity of the Hanze, sometimes also called guild, was the cooperation between traders in the North and Baltic Sea, also called German Hanze, and dates from 1343. The trade consisted of metals, grain, hides, wool, wine and also Baltic wood. Wood that was used for ships, houses and for panels for paintings the Baltic oak.

In 2006, SCI documented the collection with 274 Dutch and Flemish masters in Riga. At the time it was called Museum of Foreign Art, and was located in the castle. After the very successful renovation of the building, the museum is now housed in the former fair: Art Museum Riga Bourse.

Sunday January 26 we were welcomed by director Daiga Upeniece in the presence of the Dutch Ambassador Govert Jan Bijl de Vroe. After a brief introduction about the history of the collection, the collectors; rich merchants, doctors, mayors. This can be seen in the auditorium. With just under a hundred paintings, the landscapes, seascapes and interiors, intimacy wins over the big gesture.

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Success: Jacob de Wit’s ceiling painting found in Russian collections!

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Pictured above: Jacob de Wit, Putti around an Altar, 1723. Oil on canvas, 84 x 181 cm. St Petersburg, The Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, inv. no. ж-174.

At the request of Josephina de Fouw, curator of Dutch 18th-century painting in the Rijksmuseum, SCI made a call to all museums known to us in Russia and the former Soviet States to find out if they have paintings by Jacob de Wit and then to contact the curator of the Rijksmuseum. We are delighted that our call has worked and the Rijksmuseum has been able to help. Read more about it in their bulletin (for subscribers): ‘Aeneas and Callisto: Two Ceiling Paintings by Jacob de Wit Mixed Up’: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/…/resea…/the-rijksmuseum-bulletin

Jacob de Wit, Juno Asks Aeolus to Release the Winds, 1723. Oil on Canvas, 116,5 x 80 cm. Alupka (Crimea), Alupka Palace and ParkMuseum-Reserve, inv. no. ж-453.

Jacob de Wit, Venus Asks Jupiter to Protect HerSon Aeneas, 1723. Oil on canvas, 116 x 96 cm, signed and dated lower left: Wit 1723. Alupka (Crimea), Alupka Palace and Park Museum-Reserve, inv. no. ж-520.

 

 

Report 13 September: Tour for Friends in Museum De Lakenhal Leiden

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On Friday 13 September, Christiaan Vogelaar, curator of old art, gave a tour for Friends SCI in Museum De Lakenhal. With the ‘Rembrandt and the Golden Age’ exhibition, the museum celebrates the reopening of the building and shows the history of Leiden in a well-arranged and intimate way: the cloth industry, the relief of Leiden in 1574 and the collection of old masters with emphasis on Leiden fine painters from Leiden Rembrandt time.

The entrance with courtyard offers a view of parts of the original building. In the first room with the triptychs by Cornelisz Engelbrechts and Lucas van Leyden are already worth a visit.

The rooms with modern art also have a special cradle, stylistically a cross between De Stijl and Art-Deco.

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The Friends of SCI were able to talk afterwards in the studio of artist Casper Faassen Marktsteeg 10 with a drink and a snack.

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