HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RADEMAKERS COLLECTION (LOTS 207-221)
Christie's is honoured to be given the opportunity to present a third selection of highlights from the Jef and Ursula Rademakers collection this spring, following the great succes of the sale of a selection of twenty-four highlights we offered 18th November 2015 and fifteen we offered 25th May 2016 in these rooms. Jef Rademakers formed an unique collection of more than 130 pieces of Dutch and Belgian romantic art. His goal was the re-valuation of romantic art on a higher level and he succeeded with his enourmous success through exposing his collection worldwide. With his contributions to numerous exhibitions and publications, as high point the successful travelling exhibition A Romantic View along eight European museums in 2010-2013 (a.o. the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the Kumu Kunstimuseum in Tallinn and the National Gallery Salmovsky Palace in Prague) and the final exhibition A Romantic Journey in Musee National d'Histoire et d'Art, Luxembourg and Het Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch in 2014-2015. Christie's expresses their gratitude to Jef Rademakers for entrusting us with his beautiful collection and we look forward to welcoming you in our salerooms.
Jef Rademakers - collector
The essence of private collections is the personal view of the collector. For his passion the collector invests a lot of his time, lifeblood, also personal privations to gather works of art. His view is based on his encounters with works of art, that mean something to him, that gives him answers to questions that move him personally.
Jef Rademakers gave up some twenty-five years ago his successful career as a television-producer, only forty years old. He exchanged his busy life for a contemplative one, leaving our hasty world behind him, searching for a deeper sense of life. Jef found new inspiration in the Romantic Movement of the 19th century. He read not only the important authors of that time and studied the work of international painter-stars like William Turner (1789–1862) and Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840), but he was also interested in the Romantic of the Low Countries. So he started collecting works of painters of Holland and Belgium. Developing his knowledge of the 19th century art, Rademakers became an apologetic collector, who loved to share his enthusiasm with the audience in Holland and later in many other countries, where his collection was shown.
Rademakers estimated not only the romantic quality in the work of well-known painters, like Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862) and Andreas Schelfhout (1787–1870), but he focused also on lesser-known painters, recognizing their qualities and specific symptoms of romantic spirit, and brought their work in the spotlight of the art-historical world. In the most important show until now on Dutch Romantic, Meesters van de Romantiek in 2005 in the Rotterdam Kunsthal, curated by the former director of the Rijksmuseum Ronald de Leeuw, for the first time the influence of Rademakers collecting, personal view and taste were noticeable. In 2009 his collection and personal view were substantial for Groots en Meeslepend: Hollandse landschappen uit de romantiek in de Hallen in Haarlem. A special part of the show was reserved for the moonlight-landscapes of Jacob Theodoor Abels (1803-1866), on whom Rademakers wrote a monograph in 2009. Substantial attention was, for the first time, given to the Haarlem-born Cornelis Lieste (1817-1861), a painter with a very personal perception of landscape, who painted open and deserted landscapes, often against the sunlight or in twilight.
The invitation to show his collection in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg was not only an accolade for his collection, but also the start of a tour of four years in museums in nine countries. In his enthusiasm Jef enlarged his collection from 75 paintings to 130 in some years, looking all over the world for missing works. In the two latest presentations, in Luxembourg and Den Bosch in 2014, the collection gave a splendid, very personal overview of romantic painting in the Low Countries. Almost 600.000 people saw in these years on the different venues his collection.
Jef Rademakers has given the reception of Dutch and Belgian romantic painting an incomparable impulse, national and international. At the end of 2014 Rademakers decided to reduce his enormous collection of 130 paintings. Since then eight paintings have been purchased by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (Kruseman and Lieste), the National Museum in Luxembourg (Barend Cornelis Koekkoek), the B.C. Koekkoek-Haus in Kleve (Hendrik Lot, Abels, Pieter Gerardus van Os, Willem Bodeman and Cornelis Lieste) and the Castle Duivenvoorde in Voorschoten (Andreas Schelfhout). Now Christie’s is offering sixteen highlights following the twenty-four we sold on 18th November 2015, of the most interesting paintings for sale, a unique chance to share the “romantic view” of this unusual connoisseur.
Guido de Werd
former Director of the B.C. Koekkoek-Haus, Cleves