The Last Judgement, a painting by Aert Claesz for the Stedelijk Museum in Leiden


10/11/09– Acquisition–Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal –The Dutch museum recently purchased a painting by Aert Claesz, also known as Aertgen Van Leyden (ill. 1), a rare artist as only about twenty of his works are known. This Last Judgement dates from 1530-1535, that is twenty years before the triptych of the same subject which he painted in 1555 and quoted by Karel Van Mander.The latter, today held at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes, reveals a more intense Mannerist style. This newly acquired Last Judgement is strongly influenced by the art of Lucas de Leyde and may be compared to another triptych of the same subject by this painter, also held at the Stedelijk Museum (ill. 2). Some figures by Aert Claesz, notably Christ and the chosen on the left, are very close to those of Lucas.

1. Aert Claesz, called Aertgen
Van Leyden (1498-1564)
Last Judgement, c. 1530-1535
Oil on panel
Leyde, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal
Photo : Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal

2. Lucas de Leyde (1494-1533)
Last Judgement
(central panel of the triptych)
Oil on panel
Leyde, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal
Photo : All rights reserved


The painting was part of the collection of the New York Historical Society and the Leiden museum had already attempted, to no avail, to purchase it in the 1990’s when the association had unfortunately been forced to part with its old masters. It was acquired from an American collector thanks to an anonymous donor.

Version française


Didier Rykner, mardi 10 novembre 2009



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