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In: Spaces of Connoisseurship
In: À l’orientale: Collecting, Displaying and Appropriating Islamic Art and Architecture in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
In: À l’orientale: Collecting, Displaying and Appropriating Islamic Art and Architecture in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
In: À l’orientale: Collecting, Displaying and Appropriating Islamic Art and Architecture in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
In: A Serious Matter and True Joy
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Abstract

In 1790, on the recommendation of Willem Anne Lestevenon, Teyler’s Foundation purchased a collection of some 1,700 drawings in Rome, the majority of which were by great Italian masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Parmigianino and Guercino. Also included in the purchase were Dutch and French drawings, by Goltzius and Claude Lorrain among others. The acquisition of the Italian works has often surprised later researchers. For a long time the prevailing assumption was that Dutch collectors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were primarily interested in their own cultural and artistic heritage. It was assumed that the Italian drawings lay dormant after their acquisition until they were discovered by art historians around 1900. In this contribution the author will examine the validity of that interpretation with the help of hitherto neglected source material, and take an important step in research into the motivation, function, and context of art theory regarding that acquisition. The role of Lestevenon, the hitherto neglected key figure in this transaction, will be emphasized.

In: Teyler’s Foundation in Haarlem and Its ‘Book and Art Room’ of 1779