CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Excursion 1: National Museum

In-depth visit to the storage facility of the National Museum in Warsaw with Antoni Ziemba, Hanna Benesz, and Aleksandra Janiszewska, and the Print Room with Joanna Tomicka

The National Museum in Warsaw holds the biggest collection of Early Netherlandish, Dutch and Flemish paintings in Poland, which includes works by masters such as Albrecht Bouts, Maarten van Heemskerk, Jacob Jordaens, Carel Fabritius, Jan Brueghel, and Laurens Alma-Tadema. The museum’s holdings cover interesting examples of paintings by the Antwerp Mannerists (which will be on display at the Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn at the end of 2017, in an exhibition curated by Greta Koppel), early modern Flemish landscape paintings, as well as paintings by the Utrecht Caravaggisti and other seventeenth-century paintings from Flanders and Holland. The collection contains fine examples of works from the School of Rembrandt, whose provenance can be traced back to Stanisław August, the last king of Poland and an avid collector of Dutch art. One of the masterpieces in the king’s collection was The Polish Rider by Rembrandt, now in The Frick Collection, New York.

Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), The Holy Family (detail), 1616-1617 National Museum, Warsaw

Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), The Holy Family (detail), 1616-1617
National Museum, Warsaw

Only a small proportion of Netherlandish works is on permanent display in the Medieval and Old Master’s Galleries. This extensive visit sets out to reveal some of the treasures that are hidden away in storage as well as confronting the participants with a number of attribution challenges. The selected works will include some of unknown and uncertain authorship.

The excursion also pays  a visit to the Print Room with Joanna Tomicka. The National Museum in Warsaw possesses one of Poland’s best print collections – and the largest. Its nucleus consists of prints from the Low Countries that are extremely important and valuable both in terms of their great authors (Lucas van Leyden, Breughel, Seghers, Rembrandt and his school, Rubens school, Teyler, Vaillant) and the quality of the impressions. The visit will give participants an opportunity to see some of them at close range. Groups of prints that are seldom displayed at exhibitions are mainly known to the public through digital images on the museum’s website. The enduring partnership with authors of both the Hollstein’s and New Hollstein’s volumes has also brought a number of impressions to light, including the only states of certain compositions that are unknown in other collections.

N.B. The newly renovated Gallery of Old Masters will not be included in this visit, but will be open for all participants of CODART TWINTIG on Monday.

For background information about the National Museum please visit our Locations page.