Parallel to the exhibition of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century drawings that will be occupying the first floor of Hôtel Lévis-Mirepoix, a second exhibition will be taking place over the same dates (22 March-22 June 2014), in the building’s basement.
This exhibition, entitled Dialogues: Drawings from the Fondation Custodia and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, will offer the public the chance to admire pairings comprising drawings belonging to the Fondation Custodia (Frits Lugt Collection) and notable sheets from Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This will be a unique occasion to confront drawings by a single artist, sheets with a stylistic relationship, or drawings whose subjects generate exciting comparisons.
Examples include two views of a courtyard drawn en plein air in strong sunlight by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, probably coming from the same album and radiating the same summery atmosphere. It seems that the well in the Rotterdam drawing is no other than a close-up of the structure visible through the gate of the Tiepolo drawing conserved by the Fondation Custodia. It could very well be that the two sheets were drawn during the same session and in the same place.
Some of the sheets from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen come from the collection gathered by the intrepid Franz Koenigs (1881–1941). A banker by profession, Koenigs was, between 1921 and 1930, the foremost collector of drawings on the international market. Frits Lugt (father of the Fondation Custodia) described him thus: “He was prepared to pay any price, provided it was an exceptional sheet, and his eye, his flair and the speed with which he took decisions amazed everyone who knew him.” The exhibition, Dialogues: Drawings from the Fondation Custodia and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, will include the ultimate depiction of the insatiable collector’s gaze that characterized both Frits Lugt and Franz Koenigs – The Collector by Daumier –, paired with a watercolour by Henri-Joseph Harpignies with a view in his studio. A total of 40 drawings will be confronted, namely by Cosmè Tura, Vittore Carpaccio, Pontormo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Boucher, Fragonard, Watteau, Goya, Delacroix, Monet, Cézanne, Signac, and Jongkind.