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Diversiteit en samenhang
Catalogus van een studiekabinet J.W. Salomonson


Catalogus van een privé-verzameling. De verzameling is opgezet als studiekabinet en bevat 58 objecten, voor het merendeel schilderijen van Hollandse 17e-eeuwse meesters en moderne Nederlandse kunstenaars, maar ook enkele reliëfs en sculpturen.

Catalogus van een privé-verzameling. De verzameling is opgezet als studiekabinet en bevat 58 objecten, voor het merendeel schilderijen van Hollandse 17e-eeuwse meesters en moderne Nederlandse kunstenaars, naast enkele reliëfs en sculpturen. De collectie kenmerkt zich door diversiteit maar ook door een sterke samenhang. Deze catalogue raisonné geeft een uitgebreide herkomst- en tentoonstellingsgeschiedenis per object, en een vergelijkende analyse van nog niet eerder beschreven kunstwerken.

Kunstenaars die met één of meerdere werken in deze verzameling zijn vertegenwoordigd zijn o.a. Pieter Jansz. van Asch, Hendrick van Balen, David Bles, Abraham Bloemaert, Leonaert Bramer, Salomon de Bray, Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Michiel Coxcie, Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof, Kees van Dongen, Jacob Eselens, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, Jan van Haensbergen, Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, Harry van Kruiningen, Jean Louis van Kuyk, Reynier van der Laeck, Hendrik van Limborch, Johannes Lingelbach, Jan Mankes, Willem Maris, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt, Willem van Mieris, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, Georg Pfründt, Cornelis van Poelenburch, Monogrammist I.S., Cornelis Saftleven, Herman Saftleven, Willem Bastiaan Tholen, Nicolaas van der Veken, Esaias van de Velde, Floris Verster, Cornelis de Vos, Isaac Vromans, Willem Witsen, Moyses van Wtenbrouck, Thomas Wyck, Lambertus Zijl.


Catalogus van een studiekabinet


J.W. Salomonson











1 review voor Diversiteit en samenhang

Gary Schwartz

This is a remarkable and admirable publication. It is a highly personal book on a small private art collection assembled by the Dutch historian and archaeologist Jan Willem Salomonson and his wife Karin Rupé Salomonson. The book was written by Jan Willem Salomonson, with contributions by his son-in-law Peter Black, curator of the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow, and a Postscript by Jantien Black, the daughter of the collectors. It was she who urged her father, after her mother began to lose her memory, to write a catalogue of the collection her parents had built up over a period of forty years. The basis for the descriptions was compiled by a friend of the family, Marina Aarts, a distinguished Dutch art advisor.

What makes the book so exceptional is its conscientiousness and sincerity. That applies not only to the attributions, which are models of probity. More impressive is the surrender to the kind of circumstances that beset all collectors. The Salomonsons felt obliged to account for their motives in acquiring their paintings, drawings and sculptures, and to tell as much as they could discover about the objects. The urge to add to the world’s knowledge concerning the art one collects is not in itself unusual. There is a constant stream of publications of private collections, usually in the form of exhibition catalogues when the works are shown in a museum or gallery. Typically, out of idealism, the collectors finance most of the costs of research and production.

Diversiteit en samenhang: catalogus van een studiekabinet (Diversity and coherence: catalogue of a study cabinet) belongs to this group of publications. It stands above many of them in the quality of the research and the fact that it was written by the collector himself. Jan Willem Salomonson is a gifted researcher whose earlier articles on Dutch art are distinguished by a higher degree of exhaustiveness and strictness concerning evidence than is usually displayed by art historians. The entries in the present catalogue are more concise, but they show the same respect for facts and readiness to admit doubt.

A more singular aspect of Diversiteit en samenhang is that it acquiesces to rather than disguising the demands of time that make the completion of such projects so problematic. With advancing years (Salomonson is 91 years old), the collector faced up squarely to the likelihood that he would be unable to do justice to each and every of the beloved items in his collection. The book reflects this honest awareness, leaving empty the pages for which the entries were not yet written, providing them only with illustrations and basic information. The same is done in the case of the paintings that have been published extensively elsewhere, including some top museum-quality paintings like Michiel van Mierevelt’s self-portrait.

The “diversity” in the collection is apparent. It combines old master with twentieth-century Dutch paintings, German sculpture and in an exceptional group, paintings by the Austrian painter Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, who had painted a now lost portrait of Karin Rupé playing the flute. Every collection of any size has elements of that kind, formed around incidental relationships and interests.

The “coherence” is defined in the introduction by Salomonson as “certain qualities of an art-historically interesting nature that, aside from the artistic merits [of the works], stimulate further study.” Salomonson makes good on responding to this challenge in numerous entries. Anyone studying Jörg Pfründt, Hendrik van Limborch, Michiel Coxcie, Monogrammist I.S. or Esaias van de Velde, to name some striking examples, will want to make use of the rich new insights on them provided by Diversiteit en samenhang.

This book should stimulate not only new research by private collectors but also encourage them to bring out their findings whenever they reach the stage when they can be useful to others, however partial this may be. There is an admirable tribute in this to the unavoidable partialness in life itself, showing up the insincerity of the pretence of perfection. The “catalogue of a study cabinet” is also disarmingly human in its combination of modesty and deserved pride by the collectors for what they have accomplished.

The book is excellently edited and beautifully designed and printed, for which the publisher, Academische Uitgeverij Eburon in Delft, along with Jan Willem Salomonson and Jantien and Peter Black, deserve credit. The handy format (too many private collection catalogues are overblown in this regard) is another of the sympathetic features that add to the attractiveness and integrity of Diversiteit en samenhang.

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