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A unique van Gogh painting has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

'21.12.2023'

Alina Prikhodko

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Vincent van Gogh's first known painting of nature will join the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection thanks to the "Law & Order" executive producer, reports Hyperallergic.

On December 20, the New York museum announced that American television and film producer Dick Wolf made a “celebratory gift” to the institution - he donated more than 200 works from his personal collection, including those by Van Gogh.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Museum of Art clarified that the gift from the Wolf collection will replenish three departments of the museum - European painting, European sculpture and decorative arts. Van Gogh's painting "The Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather" (1882) became the lucky star of Wolf's collection. As Sotheby’s notes, this is the artist’s first work depicting nature.

Screenshot from the site

Other notable works include Orazio Gentileschi's Madonna and Child (c. 1620), which can already be seen in galleries of European painting from 1300-1800, as well as Sandro Botticelli's tempera depiction of the same scene.

History of the painting

The artist painted this landscape at the beginning of his acquaintance with oil painting. According to some reports, the works were stored in a box left by a mover when Van Gogh’s family moved to another city. The artist was never reunited with the paintings before his death, and then neither his mother nor sister came to collect them long after the painter's death.

But by then, the mover who had been storing the box was rumored to have sold it to a junk dealer in 1902 for the equivalent of 50 cents, who in turn shipped the works to an art dealer the following year.

On the subject: Hundreds of paintings in 45 galleries: a guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new European wing

“Beach in Scheveningen in Calm Weather” changed hands several more times, increasing in price as it moved from one collection to another, and was finally sold last year for $2,8 million.

The museum is working to integrate part of Wolf's collection into its existing display of sculptures and objects from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. In the future, the Met will curate an installation of selected drawings from Wolf's gift.

“I am confident that most collectors would agree that it is a great honor to see your art displayed in the greatest museum in the world,” said Wolf, emphasizing that the formation of his collection was greatly influenced by his childhood visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “This is my holiday gift to the museum, to the people of New York and to the city where I was first introduced to the power and beauty of great art.”

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