Over the last decade, the National Gallery of Art has acquired an exquisite selection of mid-15th-to early 20th-century Dutch and Flemish drawings. Some 20 works—many on view for the first time—cover a range of genres and incorporate a variety of media. Recent Acquisitions of Dutch and Flemish Drawings will be on view in the West Building from July 3, 2016 through January 2, 2017. Highlights include a page from a 15th-century manuscript (c. 1442) with illustrations by Barthélemy van Eyck (active c. 1435–1470); a vibrant, full-color miniature of The Adoration of the Magi (mid-1520s) by Simon Bening (1483/1484– 1561); a unique large portrait drawing by Michael Sweerts (1618–1664); and two rare compositional studies by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590–1656).
Acquiring Dutch and Flemish drawings made prior to 1600 as well as 18th- and 19th-century drawings has been of particular focus over the past decade,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “We are thankful for the kind generosity of several donors and unique opportunities that has allowed this area of the Gallery’s collection to grow in both richness and depth.
Recent Acquisitions of Dutch and Flemish Drawings encompasses landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still lifes, and history subjects that demonstrate the originality of Dutch and Flemish draftsmanship and its stylistic evolution. Key works by artists such as Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651), and Jan van Huysum (1682–1749) will be exhibited. In addition to eight works made prior to 1600, six 18th- and 19th- century drawings will be on view, including major works by Gaspar van Wittel (1652/1653–1736) and Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891). The latest work in the exhibition is a powerful self-portrait from 1907 by Lodewijk Schelfhout (1881–1943).