Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Frick Collection – Art Treasures from New York

Fig.1 Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
(1780-1867), Portrait of Countess D'Haussonville;
d’Haussonville, 1845, Oil on canvas, 131,8 x 92,1 cm,
The Frick Collection, New York;
photo Michael Bodycomb
The Frick Collection exhibition, the first major show at the new Royal Dutch Shell Wing of the Mauritshuis that opened after two years of renovation, is on display from February 5 to May 8. The Frick Collection dates back to 1935, when the mansion of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1848-1919) was expanded and opened as an art museum to the public following his death, to display the works he had collected for more than forty years. The collection spans the extensive period of the 13th to 19th century and covers broad genres, including paintings, sketches, sculptures and furnishings.

Among the works on loan is an icon of the Frick Collection, Countess D’Haussonville (Fig. 1) by the French neoclassical master Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres. The portrait was painted in 1841 when Ingres had returned from his second stay in Italy and taken up a position at the French Academy. A woman in a pale blue dress stands amid luxurious furnishings. A red hair ornament creates a charming and youthful ambience. The superb depiction of her porcelain-smooth complexion and the lustrous satin of her dress make this a painting not to be missed.

Fig.2 John Constable (1776-1837), The White Horse,
1819, Oil on canvas, 131,4 x 188,3 cm, The Frick Collection,
New York; photo Michael Bodycomb
It is an extravagant pleasure to be able to view and contrast works from the Frick and Mauritshuis collections. For example, there is John Constable’s masterpiece The White Horse (Fig. 2) from the Frick, and Jacob van Ruisdael’s View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds from the Mauritshuis. Constable is a representative landscape painter of 19th century Britain while Ruisdael was a leader of the same genre in 17th century Holland. Both artists loved their homelands and expressed those feelings in their work as seen in these two paintings. One can sense the love with which they observed their lands by the way they capture the tranquil and sensitive light and peaceful mood of the countryside. Enjoying the works from both of these enthralling collections is highly recommended for visitors.

This is the first time that works of the Frick Collection are loaned overseas, making the exhibit a rare opportunity to see the paintings of artists not often housed in Dutch museums such as pieces by Cimbae, Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Joshua Reynolds. They may be viewed alongside the works of Rembrandt and Vermeer from the Mauritshuis.

The Frick Collection until May 8.

Mauritshuis Museum
Plein 29
2511CS, Den Haag
The Netherlands
Opening times:
Mon      13:00—18:00
Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun 10:00—18:00
Thur      10:00—20:00