The Ulster Museum opened in 1929 and holds the national art collection of Northern Ireland. The Dutch and Flemish collection is small, consisting of 36 mainly seventeenth century paintings, nonetheless it includes some major works. Notable acquisitions have been made through the Acceptance in Lieu of Inheritance tax scheme including The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael, from the Alfred Beit collection, and six Rembrandt etchings. The Dutch collection includes work by Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan Pynas, Jan van Bijlert and a View of the Palace of the Dukes of Brabant, Brussels, 1660, by Jan van der Heyden. The Flemish collection includes a large St Christopher by Jacob Jordaens, a Holy Family by Jacob van Oost the Elder and Hendrik van Balen’s The Exodus from Egypt, Moses Striking the Rock, a gift from the Art Fund in 2021. In 2016 two panels by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (Winter and Spring) were the subject of a BBC 4 television program Britain’s Lost Masterpieces and are now confirmed as autograph. The collection also includes a small group of early Flemish panels, most importantly a Virgin and Child (The Carrickfergus Madonna) from Bruges. Information on individual works in the collection can be found on the museum website, which is constantly being expanded.
The Ulster Museum is part of the National Museums NI.
Anne Stewart, Senior Curator of Art, National Museums NI (July 2021)