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- Hundreds and thousands of art objects accessible via RKD explore
- New Edition of Oud Holland vol. 126 (2013) nr. 2/3
- Launch of Gerson Digital: Poland
The Hague School painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915) and his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten (1834-1909) not only put together a museum collection, known today as The Mesdag Collection, but they also assembled their own private collection. Most of these works, which were housed at their home at 9 Laan van Meerdervoort, were by nineteenth-century French and Dutch artists. However among them were also four seventeenth-century paintings, including this still life by Jan van de Velde (III) (1620-1662).
Quite how the painting came to be in the possession of the couple remains to be discovered, but we know that it hung on the wall of Hendrik Willem’s studio. In 1916, a year after Mesdag died, the bulk of the collection, including this panel, was sold to the American art dealer Julian Edy Henson, who in turn put the objects into an auction in New York in March 1920. On the third and final day of the sale the still life was bought by the American Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) for $260. The picture is still in the Hearst Collection today. The still life by Van de Velde has recently been added to RKDimages together with other works from the former private collection of H.W. Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten.
The RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) is the world’s leading information centre and central source for the study of Dutch art.