Art dealer and collector Bob Haboldt donated the painting Imago Pietatis by Bartholomeus Spranger to the Rijksmusuem, as a sign of hope and support during the coronavirus crisis, the museum announced. The around 1587 masterpiece will be displayed alongside other masterpieces by artists from his environment from June 1.
Spranger, one of the most prominent artists in Europe around 1600, painted the Imago Pietatis on a small copper plate in around 1587. It shows the body of Christ supported by angels. In the foreground is a small angel holding a basket of passion tools, such as the crown of thorns and the nails with which Christ was crucified. In the background the three Marys are on their way to discover the empty grave. It is considered a masterpiece in Spragner's oeuvre.
Haboldt was deeply touched by the coronavirus pandemic and wondered long and hard about how he could contribute and remember this period, he said. "The beauty of a painting is that it lasts forever and can serve as a monument to the difficult period we are going through. I decided to donate this exceptional work by Bartholomeus Spranger to the Rijksmusuem. In the first place for everyone in memory of the victims of Covid-19, but also as an example for everyone to do good for museums. I hope others will follow.
The Rijksmuseum is very grateful, chief director Taco Dibbits said. "We see that in these difficult times art provides guidance for many and is a source of hope and reflection. Art in the museums in the Netherlands has been largely donated by citizens over the past centuries, convinced of its importance to the public. We are therefore very grateful to Bob Haboldt for this generous gesture."
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