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Intervention # 15
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen regularly invites contemporary artists to offer an intervention, a presentation in which they reflect on the collection or relate to the museum building. For example, Perforated Perspective, a photo installation by Hans Wilschut in the stairway by Robbrecht & Daem is also known as Intervention # 14. Requiem of Heroism by Anne Wenzel is Intervention #13.
Intervention # 15 is ‘The studio in the Heavens’ by the Swiss art duo Andres Lutz and Anders Guggisberg and consists of pieces of scenery for a theatre piece that was performed in May 2010 by three different companies in the Stadstheater in Bern.
Notion Motion is an exhibition by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson (1967), which was purchased in its entirety by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and which is displayed every five years for the public. Four installations illustrate how movement in water can arise and light projections show how movement can subsequently procreate through the water. The viewer influences what he sees and also gets an insight into how seeing works; ‘seeing yourself sensing’ is what Eliasson calls this.
Abraham van den Tempel
Abraham Lambertsz. van den Tempel (1622-1672) was the son of a Baptist minister and painter, Lambert Jacobsz, who gave lessons to pupils such as Govert Flinck and Jacob Backer, both of whom came from a Baptist family. Abraham probably was taught to paint by his father, but he died in 1636. Abraham was then just 14 years old.
Abraham van den Tempel began his career as textile merchant. From 1645, he had a textile business in Leiden. He studied mathematics at Leiden University but earned a reputation not only as a learned entrepreneur but also as a portrait painter. From 1657, he was chairman of the St. Lucas Guild. In 1660 Van den Tempel moved to Amsterdam. The well-known Dutch interior artist Frans van Mieris was influenced by Van den Tempel. Van Mieris was also a Baptist and probably worked in the Van de Tempel studio.
Van de Tempel produced this painting at the request of Anna Boxhoorn in 1671, two years after her husband Jan van Amstel had died following an attack by pirates.
Jan van Amstel
Jan van Amstel (1618-1669) was no rich slave trader, but a Dutch marine officer. He was born and died in Brabant (Gemert / Schijndel), and he joined the service of the Admiralty in Amsterdam thanks to connections with the family of the mayor Bicker. Van Amstel took part in the First English War and in 1654 was promoted to commander. In June 1658 he was as lieutenant-captain in command of the Hilversum, one of the 24 ships that sailed to Portugal under Michiel de Ruijter. In 1659, Van Amstel he left as captain of the ship De Provinciën for Sweden, where he again fought under Michiel de Ruijter’s command against the Swedes. In 1661 he married Cornelia Schaegen; they moved to Amsterdam where they had a house on the Herengracht.During the Second English War (1665-1667), Jan van Amstel was captain of De Vrijheid and, after she was seriously damaged during the Four-Day Sea Battle, of the ship Tijdverblijf. In 1667, Jan van Amstel, who in the meantime had married his second wife Anna Boxhoorn from Eindhoven, bought a house in Schijndel. But he could not go to live there because in 1668 the Admiralty in Amsterdam again called on his services. He sailed with the Tijdverdrijf to the Mediterranean to protect the merchant ships of the Republic against the Barbarian pirates. During this trip, van Amstel was seriously wounded. In 1669 he was awarded an honourable discharge and returned to the region of his birth, where he died the same year. His tombstone is now located in the St. Servatius Church in Schijndel.
Abraham van den Tempel’s paintings demonstrate his exceptional knowledge of and love for luxurious, shining fabrics. In 1651, Van den Tempel combined his old profession (textile merchant) with his new profession as painter in a series of allegorical paintings with the theme: the consequences of war for trade and prosperity. The series can be seen in the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden
The presence of the Moorish servant on the portrait of Jan van Amstel and Anna Boxhoorn does not mean that the couple actually had a black servant in their home. As early as the 17th century, the figure of the Moorish servant had become a style figure. ‘Extra’ is what it is called in the 17th and 18th century aesthetic literature. He was added as decoration, for the contrast in colour, as variation in the image - thus for the same reason that the scene was extended with, for example, a bowl of fruit or a pet.
In 1678, Samuel van Hoogstraten wrote about extra in his Introduction to the High School of the Art of Painting:
Extra gives the things
A lustre: so perhaps a tame Animal
Is appropriate, or feathered poultry, it decorates
The work: thus the eye is delighted
If sometimes a Moor is added to maidens
In episode 9 of Boijmans TV, you’ll meet Jordi - a skaterboy, slightly deranged and incredibly enthusiastic - who takes his father Marco to the museum. Marco has to get used to things; couldn’t those two Swiss guys, Lutz & Guggisberg, have done a better job of finishing off their installation? But for artist Copy, who this times arrives at Mandy’s desk with his companion, the work of Lutz & Guggisberg is a genuine source of inspiration. Perhaps they can find a plinth somewhere for their constructed sculpture.
And while this is taking place, Bregje is showing four young helpers of St Nicholas around the museum. And just when they arrive at the 17th century portrait of Jan van Amstel and his wife Anna Boxhoorn by Abraham van den Tempel, three business-men from Ghana join their group. They love the costumes of the Piets and think they perfectly match the painting. After an explanation by Bregje about wealth and colour contrast, everybody suddenly understands why St Nicolas is white and wears a long beard.
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