Museum Prinsenhof Delft opens a new presentation on September 4, Delft Masters. In art and science. The presentation provides an overview of the leading Delft Masters on the basis of nine different genres: from portraits to history pieces and from silverware to cityscapes. The visitor discovers the inspiring artistic climate in the city and experiences how the innovative view of perspective, space and light of the Delft masters gives a strong impulse to local painting. Within these genres, three new acquisitions and four new loans from the museum will be shown together for the first time.
Within the portrait genre, the museum acquired two new acquisitions by the Delft painter Michiel van Mierevelt, including the portrait of Ambrogio Spinola. In the 17th century, Van Mierevelt was the most important portrait painter in the Netherlands. He had his studio close to the museum on the Oude Delft where he painted friends and foes. For the first time in 400 years, Van Mierevelt’s portrait of Ambrogio Spinola and that of Stadtholder Prince Maurice hang side by side. They were rivals in battle during the Eighty Years’ War. Ambrogio Spinola was commander in chief of the Spanish army in the Netherlands. The acquisition of his portrait means that within the story of the Revolt the Spanish side can be better illuminated. The portrait was purchased by the museum in 2019.
The second acquisition is the Self-portrait of Michiel van Mierevelt while his grandson Jacob Willemsz. Delff II paints. With this portrait, Van Mierevelt symbolically transfers his studio to his grandson. Van Mierevelt is at an advanced age, presumably this was one of his last works. The museum recently received the painting on long-term loan from the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.
Thanks to a joint action by the Rembrandt Association and the Turing Foundation, Museum Prinsenhof Delft can show these three paintings by Van Mierevelt together. The organizations jointly made an amount available to support museums in this time of corona measures and to offer them the opportunity to surprise the public with the richness of their own collections. Museum Prinsenhof Delft is pleased with the support granted.
A dream gift
The third acquisition is a gift to the museum by a private donor. It is a large kitchen piece of a loving couple in a kitchen with dead game made by the Delft painter Cornelis Jacobsz. Delff. Until now, a kitchen piece, a genre with which Delff became famous, was missing from the collection. The museum is therefore pleasantly surprised by the donation. The work shows the quality of Delft painting from the beginning of the 17th century.
Janelle Moerman, director of the collection: “A museum collection never stands still and is always on the move. With the help of funds, the business community and private individuals, we can expand our museum collection through purchases, gifts and loans. It is wonderful that – thanks to their support – we can now show as many as seven new works in our presentation. In this way we try to improve the quality of our collection so that we can tell our stories even more appealing to our audience. ”
After 1650, the most beautiful interior pieces are painted in Delft, with intimate domestic scenes and courtyards. By using warm colors, vistas and natural light, the Delft painters create an atmosphere that is characteristic of the heyday of Delft painting. Pieter de Hooch in particular was the founder of this innovation. Museum Prinsenhof Delft is proud that the works of Pieter de Hooch, including the painting Man reading a letter to a woman from The Kremer Collection, can be seen in the presentation as long-term loans. The painting was on display during the previous Pieter de Hooch exhibition in Delft. From the shadow of Vermeer.
Although Delft has a direct connection to the sea via Delfshaven, the genre of seascape was not often practiced here. Seascapes made in Delft are therefore very rare. The fact that the museum can present two special pen paintings by a master from Delft – Heerman Witmont – in the new presentation is unique. Both works show flute ships and other three-masters on a turbulent sea and are long-term loans from The Kremer Collection.
September 4, 2020 – December 17, 2020 all-day