Masterpieces of 17th Century Netherlandish Painting on View at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum

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Masterpieces of 17th Century Netherlandish Painting on View at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum
Abraham Blomaert, 1564-1651. A cottage with peasants milking goats
1620. Canvas: 68.9 x 91.4 cm. Frame: 94 x 116 x 9 cm

COLOGNE.- It is not rare for people to dream of calling a real Rembrandt their own, because the Dutch painter has attained mythical status the world over. But his fellow countryman George Kremer is one of the very few who has actually realised this “boy`s dream”. Rembrandt’s “Bust of an Old Man with Turban” is one of the highlights of his outstanding collection from the “Golden Age” of Netherlandish painting, which also features such masters as Gerrit Dou, Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch, Abraham Bloemaerts, Gerrit van Honthorst and Michiel Sweerts.

With Rembrandt, A Boyhood Dream, the Kremer Collection will be shown for the first time in its entirety in a dedicated exhibition. For this the Wallraf has dispensed with the typical ap-proach of grouping paintings by genre or school, and come up with a surprise that bridges the centuries: the celebrated design office concrete in Amsterdam has custom made an ultra-modern, exhibition space specially for the show. So now the old Netherlandish masters will be brought face to face with the hippest side of Holland.

The Kremer Collection is conceived of more along museum lines, and has less to do with personal taste. Such that the last self-portrait by Adriaen Hanneman is no less at home in the collection than Gerrit van Honthorst’s “St Peter Doing Penance” or Rembrandt’s “Bust of an Old Man with Turban”. The latter was acquired by husband and wife George and Ilone Kremer in 1995. At that time the painting was still attributed to Jacques des Rousseaux. But two years of intensive research by the Rembrandt Research Project demonstrated that the work is in fact a genuine Rembrandt. So

George Kremer already fulfilled his boy`s dream as he set out on his career as a collector. In just thirteen breathtakingly short years, the Kremers have brought together no fewer than 49 such masterpieces. Their goal was and is to create and preserve a collection of paintings that will awaken and foster enthusiasm for the Dutch and Flemish schools of the 17th cen-tury.

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July 15, 2008

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