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Camille Pissarro, Les Coteaux d'Auvers (The hills of Auvers), 1882, Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Donation: Rotterdam art friends 1917.

Rotterdam - 'Masterly!’ will be presenting a grand retrospective of  four centuries of paintings and drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection. In over 150 works, the exhibition showcases the mastery of 27 artists who all excel in both art forms. It features work by famous masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, Delacroix, Pissarro, Saenredam, Goltzius and Basquiat, but also by lesser-known artists, including the Dutchmen Cornelis Saftleven and Josephus Augustus Knip. ‘Masterly!’ highlights the special relationship between drawing and painting and reveals the great masters’ love of drawing.

Friso Lammertse, curator of old master paintings and sculptures at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: “The drawings give us an insight into the mind of the artist. They are often rapidly sketched and show everyday subjects – a landscape, a playing child. Drawings have a directness that transcends all times, much more so than well thought-out paintings. You will only get a really good impression of the artist when you combine their drawings and paintings.”

SEARCHING FOR THE LIGHT

Guest curator Friso Lammertse has connected artists right throughout the centuries and arranged them into groups. Sometimes this connection originates from an arthistorical perspective, but more often the starting point is the artists’ approach to their work. This leads to some extraordinary combinations. Cuyp and Knip, for instance, who were both searching for the Italian light, or the unadorned portrayal of people by Rembrandt and Breitner. The eventful, short lives of Van Gogh and Basquiat, and their huge importance to art history. The ‘unbearable weight of being’ in the works of Westerik and Beckmann. And Claude Lorrain, Barend C. Koekkoek, Jacoba van Heemskerck, and Camille Pissarro, who are all connected by their landscapes.

HIGHLIGHTS

The exhibition contains many highlights and is a paradise for lovers of drawing and painting. The drawings seems to bring you closer to the artist, and are often much freer and more intimate than the paintings we know of these masters. The exhibition takes you on a journey full of surprises, from ’ ballet dancer and Max Beckmann’s portrait of the Lütjens family, to a drawing of a young woman that Peter Paul Rubens made towards the end of his life.

BOIJMANS NEXT DOOR

‘Masterly!’ is part of Boijmans Next Door, a city-wide project to keep the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen visible during its renovation. Their collection of drawings is one of the most important in the world, and is rarely shown because of its sensitivity to light. For the exhibition ‘Masterly!’, a selection of the most beautiful works on paper is taken out of the depot for a short period of time, and will subsequently be hidden away again for years.

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Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of a young woman, circa 1620-1622. Black, red and white chalk, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs)..

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Peter Paul Rubens, Thetis immerses Achilles in the Styx, 1630-1635. Oil paint on panel, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Donation: DG van Beuningen 1933.

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Rembrandt van Rijn, Four studies by Rembrandt's wife Saskia, 1635-1636. Pen and brown ink, locally washed in gray and corrected with white, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Rembrandt van Rijn, The unity of the country, 1637-1645. Oil paint on panel, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase: 1865.

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Rembrandt van Rijn, Standing man with a long jacket, circa 1639. Pen and brown ink on tinted paper, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs). 

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Rembrandt van Rijn, Titus to the reader, 1655. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940.

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Claude Lorrain, Landscape with figures wading through a stream, 1636-1637. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase: 1969.

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Head of a young man with eyes closed, circa 1750. Red chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Holy family with an angel, circa 1750-1760. Pen and brown ink, brown and gray wash, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Josephus Augustus Knip, Italian landscape with goats, 1817. Oil paint on panel, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase: 1869.

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Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a young woman (Madame de Conflans), circa 1825-1830. Watercolor, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Eugène Delacroix, Dancing Maroccan, 1832. Pen and brush and brown ink, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, Winter landscape, 1839. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Donation: MC Vogel-Muller 1935.

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Edgar Degas, Dancer with a fan, circa 1876-1878. Black chalk, heightened with white on gray paper, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1940 (former collection Koenigs).

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Edgar Degas, Grande Arabesque, troisième temps (Grande Arabesque, third position), circa 1885-1890. Bronze à cire perdue, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase: 1928.

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  George Hendrik Breitner,  Two ladies with children at a flower market, 1889. Black chalk, watercolor, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Donation: MJ Veder-van Hoboken 1929.

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Rik Wouters, Lady in the red, 1912. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van BeuningenLoan: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation 1949.

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Jacoba van Heemskerck, Composition No. 6, 1913. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van BeuningenFrom the estate of M. Tak van Poortvliet 1936.

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Max Beckmann, Portrait of the Lütjens family, 1944. Oil on canvas, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase with the support of: Lütjens Family, BankGiro Loterij, Nolst Trenité Family Foundation, G.Ph. Verhagen Foundation, Municipality of Rotterdam, Cultural Heritage Agency, Marlene Dumas, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Mondriaan Fund, Fonds 21, Stichting Volksboeddering Promotion of Volkskracht, National Art Collection Fund, Rembrandt Association, Mr FJ de Visser, VSB Fonds 2009.

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Jan Schoonhoven, Squared relief, 3rd view, 1967. White painted cardboard, collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Purchase: 1968.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Sword and Sickle), 1982. Wax crayon on papercollection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.  Purchase: 1982.