CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Adriaen de Vries bronze acquired by Rijksmuseum

From the museum’s press release, 11 December 2014

The Rijksmuseum has acquired at a New York auction an exceptional 17th-century sculpture: a recently rediscovered bronze by the most important Dutch sculptor, Adriaen de Vries (1556-1626). The bronze is considered to be one of his best works. No other statue by De Vries has been in Dutch art collections until now.

Generous support of the Rembrandt Association (and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfund), BankGiro Lottery, the Rijksmuseum Fund, the VSBfund, the Mondriaan Fund, a private donation and the Rijksmuseum International Circle, enabled the Rijksmuseum to acquire this important work of art. With this very generous support this private and institutional funds endorse the particular importance of this purchase for the Netherlands Collection.

Adriaen de Vries (1556-1626), Atlas, 1626, Rijksmuseum.

“Adriaen de Vries is the Dutch Michelangelo and his works are equally rare. Therefore it is absolutely great that we have been able to buy this fabulous sculpture for the Netherlands with the very generous support of many private donors and institutional funds.” Wim Pijbes, General Director of the Rijksmuseum

Dated 1626 and probably the last autograph work by De Vries the bronze represents the mythological figure of Atlas, a nude man supporting the globe. It displays the virtuoso and highly individual modelling style for which the sculptor was celebrated during his lifetime. This exceptionally sketchy, free and tactile style reached its apogee in the final years of his life and shows him as a true artistic innovator, centuries ahead of his time.

For the entire press release, click here