CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Request for information about provenance of portrait in Stockholm of Johan Maurits

During the CODART ACHT study trip to Sweden in September 2005, the participants were received in the residence of the Royal Netherlands embassy by Ambassador A.F. van Dongen. Looking at the paintings on the walls, the visiting curators noticed a portrait of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604-79). The ambassador was unaware of the identity of the sitter. Spurred on by this new information, he undertook a campaign of research to reconstruct the provenance of the painting. Because it was donated to the embassy in 1939, the ambassador would particularly like to know whether it had any connection with government policy or events in Germany between 1935 and 1939.

Pieter Nason, Portrait of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, Stockholm, Royal Netherlands Embassy

The following information has been provided by the embassy:

Pieter Nason (1612-1688/90), Portrait of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604-79)
Unsigned, undated. Painted about 1665.
Oil on canvas, 92 x 116 cm.
Carved gilt wood frame, 20 cm.
Sticker remnants on back show three legible words: "Eisenbahn Wien – Express"
The painting was recently restored by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

The sitter is wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of the Elephant (Denmark) and the Cross of the Order of St. John. He was Herrenmeister of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg.

According to documents in the Ministry’s archives, the painting was donated to the Dutch legation in Stockholm on 17 January 1939 by Major Herbert Jacobsson of Gothenburg. Major Jacobsson died childless in 1949.

The only known reference to the painting in the literature is in the catalogue of a 1979 exhibition on Johan Maurits in Städisches Museum Haus Koekkoek (now B.C. Koekkoek Haus), Kleve, Germany, where it is illustrated as being in an unknown Swedish private collection. It is not recorded in the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague nor the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN).

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of this painting at any time prior to 1939 is kindly requested to contact:

A.F. van Dongen, Ambassador
Royal Netherlands Embassy
Götgatan 16A
P.O. Box 15048
SE-10465 Stockholm
T +46 8 5569 3300
F +46 8 5569 3311

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