CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Museum De Vries

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Drottningholm Palace in Sweden houses a unique collection of sculptures by Adriaen de Vries (1556-1626), one of the most celebrated sculptors of the early Baroque. Originally from The Hague,  De Vries spent several years in Giambologna’s large Florence workshop. The sculptor was later  employed at the court of Rudolph II in Prague due to his knowledge of making large bronze sculptures in an elegant, mannerist style.

In the seventeenth century, more than thirty of De Vries’s sculptures ended up in Sweden when Swedish forces laid siege to Prague towards the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648. At the end of war against Denmark, in 1659, the Neptune fountain from the gardens of the Fredriksborg palace in Hillerød was dismantled and brought to Sweden as well. The sculptures were listed in the 1652 inventory of Queen Christina’s collection, and with few exceptions, ended up in the garden of  Drottingholm palace at the end of the century.

Around the year 2000 some of the original sculptures were replaced with modern castings, due to extensive damage caused by the outdoor climate. Several of the originals were moved into the De Vries museum in the old Dragoon Stables near the palace. Other sculptures by De Vries are on permanent display at the Nationalmuseum.

The Museum De Vries is open to the public on the annual “Museum De Vries Day”. It is open year-round for guided group tours, provided these are booked in advance. More information can be found on the website of the Royal Court.

Linda Hinners, Curator of Sculpture (February 2024)


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