Museum Wiesbaden Restitutes Painting by Dutch Baroque Painter Pieter de Grebber

Artdaily 13 August 2010

Director of the Museum Wiesbaden, Dr. Volker Rattemeyer poses for photographs with the artwork 'Doppelbildnis eines jungen Paares' by Dutch painter artist Pieter de Grebber at the Wiesbaden museum, Germany, 10 August 2010. The museum gives back the painting, previously stolen by Nazis, to the heirs of the former jewish owners. The painting belonged to the Berliner art dealer Oppenheimer. EPA/FREDRIKVONERICHSEN.

WIESBADEN.- On Tuesday, the 10th August 2010, the Museum Wiesbaden restituted the painting attributed to Dutch Baroque painter Pieter de Grebber (1600-1653) titled "Double Portrait of a young couple" to the heirs of Jacob and Rosa Oppenheimer.

The Museum Wiesbaden follows this restitution to the principles of the Washington Declaration of 3 December 1998 and to the declaration of the Federal Government, state and community associations to locate and return of Nazi confiscated art, especially from Jewish property, in December 1999.

The art and antiques dealer James Oppenheimer, was the owner of an art trading company. Jacob Oppenheimer (1879-1941) and his wife Rosa Oppenheimer (1877-1943), due to their Jewish origins, had to escape an impending arrest, leaving Berlin in late March 1933 and emigrated to France. Jacob Oppenheimer was interned after the invasion of the German army in France. He died in 1941. Rosa Oppenheimer was interned by the Nazis in the Drancy internment camp near Paris and in 1943 deported her Auschwitz, where she was murdered a short time later.

Grebber was the son of Frans Pietersz de Grebber (1573–1643), a painter and embroiderer in Haarlem, and would have been taught painting by his father and by Hendrick Goltzius. He was descended from a Catholic and artistic family (2 of his brothers, and his sister Maria, the mother-in-law of Gabriel Metsu, were known as painters). He was friendly with the priest and musicologist Jan Albertszoon Ban, and had a poem set to music by the Haarlem composer Cornelis Padbrué.

In 1618, father and son went to Antwerp and negotiated with Peter Paul Rubens over the sale of his painting "Daniel in the lions pit". It was then handed - via the English ambassador in the Republic, Sir Dudley Carleton - to king Charles I. Pieter got important commissions not only in Haarlem, but also from the stadholder Frederik Hendrik. As such, he worked with on the decoration of the Huis Honselaarsdijk in Naaldwijk and at the Paleis Noordeinde in Huis ten Bosch in the Hague. He painted altar pieces for churches in Flanders and hidden Catholic churches in the Republic. He may also have worked for Danish clients.

Pieter remained single and lived from 1634 until his death at the Haarlem Béguinage.

Besides history paintings, Pieter de Grebber also painted a number of portraits; furthermore many drawings and a few etchings by him have survived. From different influences, such as the Utrecht Caravaggistism, Rubens and also Rembrandt, he came up with a very personal style. He was, together with Salomon de Bray, the forerunner and first peak of the "Haarlem classicism" school, producing paintings characterized by a well-organized clarity and light tints.

In 1649, De Grebber wrote the treatise "Regulen welcke by een goet Schilder en Teyckenaar geobserveert en achtervolght moeten werden" (Rules which a good Painter and Master of Drawing should observe). In this document he explains the most important eleven rules which he believes classicist painters should be careful to observe. Although the Classicists did not swear by such rules, these were nevertheless always tightly observed. Almost all of these rules are taken from Karel van Mander's own Mannerist Schilder-boeck, in which history painting was presented as the highest of the hierarchy of genres.

Source - Bijlage Vrij Nederland, September 1999 (Available free of charge in museum Boijmans Van Beuningen during the exhibition "Dutch Classicism - the other face of the Golden Century").
© website copyright Central Registry 2024