“J. van Beecq, Amsterdam marine painter, ‘the only one here [in France] who excels in this genre’”

From the proceedings of a symposium held at the university of Lille in 2008.

“J. van Beecq, Amsterdam marine painter, ‘the only one here [in France] who excels in this genre,’” in Les échanges artistiques entre les anciens Pay-Bas et la France, 1482-1814, ed. Gaëtane Maës and Jan Blanc, Turnhout (Brepols) 2010, pp. 15-32

Open pdf at 2010LilleSchwartzEchanges (59Mb)

A reconstruction of the career of a Dutch painter who is known only for work in England and France. An accomplished follower of Willem van de Velde the Younger, van Beecq started off on a highly promising career in France, but failed to establish there anything like the position of van de Velde in England and the Netherlands. The problem seems to have lain in deficient patronage, even though van Beecq had good connections and much to offer as an artistic adjunct to the French import of Dutch shipbuilders for its naval fleet.

322 Sheer excellence

Attempting to pay tribute to the supreme Frits Lugt and his Fondation Custodia and to protest the announced closing of the Institut Néerlandais with which it is joined, Schwartz sets out to describe one example of Lugt’s collecting genius and gets caught up in the subject. Read about two related drawings and a print by and after Constantijn van Renesse, the only Dutch artist of the 17th century from Schwartz’s adopted village of Maarssen. Continue reading “322 Sheer excellence”

Jan van der Heyden and the Huydecopers of Maarsseveen

Gary Schwartz, “Jan van der Heyden and the Huydecopers of Maarsseveen,” The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), pp. 197-220

Open pdf (21MB)

The painting that is the subject of the article was de-accessioned by the Getty Museum and sold at auction in New York (Sotheby’s) on 25 January 2007. It was bought by Baron Willem van Dedem, a distinguished collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings. (Baron van Dedem died in November 2015.)

292 The caress of civilizations

400 years ago last January a precious gift from Bishop Bernard Maciejowski of Kraków reached Shah Abbas I of Persia. It was a magnificent picture Bible, apparently intended to warm Abbas’ heart for the Christian faith.The manuscript, now in the Morgan LIbrary, unites contributions from Jewish, Christian and Muslim civilization. As a talisman, it has not yet done its work. Continue reading “292 The caress of civilizations”

216 The Olympics of 1777

Fleeing the offensive hypocrisy of the Olympics, Schwartz and Loekie travel to Wörlitz in Saxony-Anhalt, to the miraculous 18th-century Garden Kingdom of Prince Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817). There they discover that Wörlitz is touted as the place where the Olympic Games were first revived, in the 1770s. They keep their cool, and are rewarded, when they find the mysterious site, with an unforgettable experience.


Continue reading “216 The Olympics of 1777”

209 The taste of the unicorn

A good provenance is not supposed to add to the value of a work of art, but it does. The information that an object was once owned by someone with famous good taste is worth money on the auction block. A collection mainly of Dutch 18th-century drawings that partakes of this quality, coming up at Sotheby’s Amsterdam on 19 May, is the Unicorno Collection, accumulated over the past 50 years by Saam and Lily Nijstad.


Continue reading “209 The taste of the unicorn”