Dutch and Flemish art has a long tradition in the princely collections of Gotha. Several paintings were documented in the first inventory of the Kunstkammer, which were kept in the western tower of Friedenstein Castle together with other objects. The large expansion of the collection took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From 1879, the most important Dutch and Flemish paintings were presented in the Ducal Museum, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the palace. It is in that exact location where the best Dutch and Flemish works of the collection – with paintings by for example Frans Hals, Jan van Goyen and Peter Paul Rubens – are housed today. Despite the losses associated with World War II, the Gotha collection is now one of the most important collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings in Central Germany. These include several important restitutions since the 1990s that have closed various gaps in the historical collection.
Dr. Timo Trümper, Curator of Paintings and Sculptures (July 2020)