The Nizhny Novgorod State Museum of Art is considered to be one of the best in the Russian Federation.
The Foundation for Cultural Inventory (SCI) has a longstanding relation with the Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum. Since 1993 we worked together to realise an exhibition about the development of the Russian profane art from the beginning of the seventeenth century on. In 1993 Bernard Vermet and Lia Gorter travelled to Tver and Nizhny Novgorod to add several Masterpieces from these museums to the exhibition ‘Het Kabinet van de Tsaar, Russische profane Schilderkunst: from Baroque to Realism’ shown in the Hessenhuis in Antwerp in 1996. However, the nucleus of the exhibition were paintings from the Moscow Tretyakov Gallery. By visiting Russian regional art museums, we came across unknown treasures of European art.
A large part of these collections contained paintings by Dutch and Flemish seventeenth century artists. In 2001 SCI started a pilot project visiting 4 Russian regional museums to investigate whether the saying of the German art historian Wilhelm von Bode (1845-1929) was correct:
“If you look for a painting by an unknown painter of the Low Countries, you can find it in Russia.”
Thus, Bernard Vermet, art historian and Lia Gorter SCI, visited the museums of Fine Art in Smolensk, the Estate Museum Ostankino in Moscow and again the Museums in Tver and Nizny Novgorod to make inventories of their Dutch and Flemish collection as a pilot project to investigate the truth of Wilhelm von Bodes words. Our findings are presented here.
This overview of the Dutch and Flemish collection of the Nizhny Novgorod State Museum of Art has been updated with the cooperation of: Lia Gorter, Bernard Vermet, (art historian SCI) and the specialists from the Netherlands Institute for Art History, RKD: prof. em. Rudi E.O. Ekkart, drs. Ellis Dullart, drs. Jan Kosten, drs. Suzanne Laemers, dr. Fred G. Meijer, drs. Laurens Schoemaker.