Next Sunday, 20 March the CODART VEERTIEN congress will kick off with a reception at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. The palace museum has just refurbished its Paintings gallery, intentionally coinciding with the visiting participants of the congress. CODART member and curator of paintings, prints and drawings at Het Loo Marieke Spliethoff has been so kind as to provide us with the below text, which gives the background of this refurbishment.
Paintings gallery in Het Loo Palace refurbished
The Paintings gallery in Het Loo Palace was refurbished this spring, partly with the visiting participants of CODART VEERTIEN in mind. In the times of William III (1650-1702), prince of Orange and king of England, who built the palace and was its first inhabitant, the gallery and the art cabinet held the masterpieces from the collection of William and Mary. The choice reflected the taste of the time. Works by Italian masters such as Titian, Carracci, Giulio Romano, Bassano and Parmigianino (or works that were considered by those artists at the time) were hung next to pieces by Flemish artists including Breughel, Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Teniers and Dutch artists such as Van Poelenburgh, Van Honthorst, Dou and Wouwerman. In the course of the 18th century, a great part of the collection disappeared at auction in 1713 and several sales after that, and finally during French occupation in 1795.
In 1984 the Palace became a museum and during the refurbishments the gallery once again became the place where the most important paintings were hung. Now it’s not the history-, genre pieces, landscapes and still lifes of internationally renowned masters that are highlighted, but portraits. However, in the years following 1984, the collection was enriched with so many important paintings that a refurbishment of the gallery was necessary to offer more room for that quality boost.
The new presentation is divided in four parts: the first stadholders from the house of Orange, the court of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia, the Frisian Nassaus and the First stadholderless period (1650-1672) and finally King-stadholder William III. Joining the family portraits by Gerard van Honthorst, Jan Mijtens and Sir Godfrey Kneller are pieces as the Mercury and Herse by Cornelis van Poelenburgh, the allegorical portrait of the Frederik Hendrik’s eldest children by Van Honthorst, the still life Vivat Oraenge by Jan Davidsz de Heem as well as works by Paulus Moreelse, Jan van der Heyden, Philips Wouwerman, Ludolf Backhuyzen and Isaac de Moucheron.