Donation of a Sculpture by Hendrick de Keyser to the Rijksmuseum

6/8/12 - Acquisition - Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum - Born in Utrecht in 1565 but having lived essentially in Amsterdam, the Dutch artist Hendrick de Keyser, the son of the painter Thomas de Keyser, is known as both a sculptor and an architect. One of his masterpieces is the mausoleum for Guillaume le Taciturne, in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, a magisterial association of both these arts.

1. Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621)
Child Crying, c. 1615
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum
Photo : Rijksmuseum

2. Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621)
Bust of a Crying Child, c. 1615
Bronze - 32 x 17.1 x 11.7 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : LACMA

The work just donated to the Rijksmuseum (which already holds several sculptures by the artist) by an anonymous donor is a high-relief in sculpted wood representing a caricature of a young boy crying after being bitten by a bee seen on his right temple (ill. 1). This scene is a reference to a mythological episode when Cupid, having stolen honey from a hive, runs away after being stung by a bee. Cupid, who delights in piercing humans with his arrows, here is made to feel, in turn, the pain they can cause.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art holds a very similar bronze bust (ill. 2). Thanks to this donation, for its reopening in 2013 the Rijksmuseum will be able to display a rather complete sampling of this artist and all the techniques he worked in, as it already owns a stone relief of Fortune, a terracotta male bust, another in marble as well as a bronze statuette of Mercury.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 13 août 2012

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