Recent acquisitions by the Fondation Roi Baudouin

1. Attribué à Jan Mandijn (1500-1560)
The Walk up to Calvary
Oil on panel - 107 x 149 cm
Antwerp, Musée Mayer van den Bergh
Photo : Musée Mayer van den Bergh

22/11/10 – Acquisitions – Belgium, Fondation Roi Baudouin – Created in 1976 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of King Baudouin’s reign, the foundation bearing his name now represents an annual budget of about 30 million euros involved in activities ranging from social work to health questions, and also includes aid to developing nations. Historical heritage is another major concern, in conjunction with the Fonds du patrimoine whose goal is to “save significant elements of Belgian heritage to avoid their dispersion, their departure abroad or else to recover them for [Belgian] public collections”. This fund basically purchases or receives donations of works which it then places on permanent deposit in museums.

In 2009, the foundation received a painting from the Jacobs van Marlen family, attributed to Jan Madijn, The Walk up to Calvary (ill. 1). The painter, active in Antwerp, is one of Bosch’s best disciples and painted fantastic scenes teeming with strange creatures directly influenced by the master. The panel, deposited last month permanently at the Musée Mayer van den Bergh, bears a monogram which is thought to be Mandijn’s. The style in this painting is, however, a bit different compared to his acknowledged works thus leaving room for doubt concerning the attribution.

2. Attributed to the Master of the Sermon de Lille
(active at the beginning of the XVIth century)
Landscape withe the on the Road to Emmaus
Oil on panel - 24.1 x 33 cm
Namur, Musée provincial des Arts anciens du Namurois
Photo : Sotheby’s

In 2010, two paintings were placed on deposit respectively at the Musée provincial des Arts anciens at Le Namurois and at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp.
The first is a work attributed to Henri Met de Bles, an identification which was questioned at the Sotheby’s New York auction on 28 January, where it was ascribed rather to the Master of the Sermon in Lille, an artist named after the Saint John’s Sermon held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. This painting was sold by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ; it was deposited at the Musée provincial des Arts anciens at Le Namurois.

3. Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)
The Bagpipe player, 1640-1645
Oil on canvas - 81.5 x 61.2 cm
Antwerp, Rubenshuis
Photo : Sotheby’s

4. Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)
Three Musicians
Oil on canvas
Localisation unknown
Photo : Christie’s

5. Workshop Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)
The Serenade, 1640-1645
Oil on canvas - 113.7 x 165.8 cm
Localisation unknown
Photo : Christie’s

The second is a canvas by Jacob Jordaens (ill. 3), acquired at auction in London on 9 December 2009 (for 103.250£ including charges) but deposited just this month at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp. This Bagpipe Player is a self-portrait, found in several other works by the artist or his workshop, accompanied by two other musicians : Christie’s London, 8 December 1994 (ill. 4) or Christies, London, 25 April 2001 (ill. 5).

We would also like to point out in 2009, a donation by Michel Demoortel of two Enghien tapestries, Landscape with Animals Fighting, second quarter of the 17th century, Scene with Exotic Animals, 16th century, after having already donated two others in 2007 and 2008. No details have been given as to where they will go.

Didier Rykner, lundi 22 novembre 2010

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