The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) announced that it had wound up the purchase of Dutch artist Abraham van Beijeren’s painting entitled “Still life with fruit, seafood and precious dishes” in January for 380,000 euros (about 120 million forints).
Dutch baroque painter Abraham van Beijeren (1620-1690) was rather little regarded in his day but now considered one of the greatest of still-life painters. He initially specialized in fish subjects, but around the middle of the 17th century he began to devote himself to sumptuous banquet tables laden with silver and gold vessels, Venetian glassware, fine fruit, and expensive table coverings of damask, satin, and velvet.
The Hungarian Central Bank made the purchase as part of its “Depositary Programme” under which it seeks to recover major artworks exported from Hungary and buy treasures locally to keep them in the country. Abraham van Beijeren’s painting, made in 1654, was sold by Hungarian art collector Marcell Nemes in 1910. With MNB’s purchase the painting has been returned to Hungary and is now on display in the Hungarian National Gallery.
MNB announced its 100 million euro programme to buy Hungarian art treasures under foreign ownership in January 2014. The programme will run until the end of 2018. The central bank has so far purchased works by the likes of Titian, Mihály Munkácsy and Lajos Gulácsy. Other items purchased by the MNB include a collection of weapons and a collection of silver coins.
via hungarymatters.hu, mnb.hu and wga.hu