Connoisseurship: Bredius, Jan Steen and the Mauritshuis

june 27th to january 8th 2015 – connoisseurship: bredius, jan steen and the mauritshuis

Schermafbeelding 2014-06-30 om 20.56.23

On the occasion of the festive reopening of the Mauritshuis Museum Bredius organises the exhibition: Connoisseurship: Bredius, Jan Steen and the Mauritshuis.

• Download the Dutch catalogue here.
• Download the English catalogue here.

From June 27th to January 8th 2015 Museum Bredius exhibits paintings by Jan Steen. The heart of the exhibition is formed by the nine works collected by Abraham Bredius (1855-1946), director of the Mauritshuis between 1889 and 1909, which are complemented by 11 paintings from public and private collections.

Those paintings were mainly chosen from Jan Steen’s early period, an aspect of his art that was paid little attention to in the great Steen-exhibition in 1996 (Jan Steen, painter and narrator, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam). It is meant to illustrate the origin of his artistry and explain how in just a few years he developed from a landscape painter to a figure painter. Six landscapes and one townscape were selected for that.

To show Steen’s development to figure and genre painter a key work is on exhibition for the first time since 1926: the Fable of the The Satyr and the Peasant from the collection of the founder of Koninklijke Philips NV, Dr. Anton Philips. It was his favourite work of art and he parted with it for an exhibition only once. Museum Bredius will show this canvas in all its lustre after it underwent full restoration earlier this year, especially for this exhibition.

A number of the selected paintings have never been exhibited. Museum Bredius is the first to show one of the most important discoveries of recent years, Steen’s Stellio deriding Ceres, based on Elsheimer. It is one of the few nocturnal scenes painted by Steen and the story was derived from Ovid’s metamorphoses, the painter’s bible, as Carel van Mander used to say.

The exhibition is organised in cooperation with the Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen het Mauritshuis, Haags Historisch Museum, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden and the Fondation Custodia (Collectie Frits Lugt) in Parijs, Koninklijke Philips Nederland en several private persons.

The catalogue contains an extensive discussion of Abraham Bredius’ relation with Jan Steen. Apart from Rembrandt, Bredius found Steen the nest Dutch painter ever. He wrote a monography about the artist, which was published in 1927 and is still regarded as an invaluable book of reference. Especially for Bredius the first copy of this heavy – and precious – tome was bound in parchment at a design of C.A. Lion Cachet (1864-1945) and will also be exhibited.

The catalogue was written by Guido M.C. Jansen, former curator 17th century painting of the Rijksmuseum and project manager of the exhibition and editor of the catalogue Jan Steen: painter and narrator. The catalogue is preceded by a biography of Abraham Bredius by Josefine Leistra and an art historical description of Lange Vijverberg 14, the premises housing the Bredius collection since 1914.

Admission free with:
• ticket to the Mauritshuis
• Museumcard
• Rembrandtpas
• Youth under the age of 18
• ICOM-card

• Adults: € 6,-
• Groups ( > 10 persons): € 4,50