Saturday, 20 April 2013

Flemish dog in Rijksmuseum

In view of the grand opening of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam this week after 10 years of renovation, I am copying a blog entry which I originally wrote in April 2009.

"Thanks to a donation from the Dutch lottery BankGiro Lottery, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has acquired five sculptures, all of which make an exceptional contribution to the Rijksmuseum’s international collection of sculptures. From 21 April 2009, the sculptures can be admired in the Acquisitions Hall of the Rijksmuseum. The highlight of the exhibition is a lively sculpture of a Greyhound: the dog is looking up, alert, as though listening to his master. On his collar is the coat of arms of the Roose family from Antwerp, so it is likely the dog really existed. This exceptional animal ‘portrait’ was created by Artus Quellinus (1609-1668) from Antwerp. From 1648 onwards the sculptor spent considerable time in Amsterdam, where he was commissioned to design the sculptural decorations of the new Town Hall (today's Royal Palace on Dam Square). Many of the sculptures of the Town Hall decorations reveal the classicist influence that became increasingly popular in the mid-seventeenth century in the Northern Netherlands. Despite the numerous commissions that awaited him in the Netherlands, Quellinus decided to return to Antwerp in 1664 where he died four years later. "

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