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An Outstanding Collection of Dutch and Flemish Masters

PETER PAUL RUBENS, CHRIST ON THE CROSS. ESTIMATE £600,000–800,000.

Sotheby’s upcoming summer sales of Old Master Paintings (London, 4-5 July) will include a selection of works from the collection of esteemed connoisseur and benefactor, the late Baron Willem van Dedem. The works are a testament to Baron van Dedem’s exceptional taste and eye for quality and include outstanding examples by leading Dutch and Flemish masters, including Balthasar van der Ast, Jacobus Vrel, Peter Paul Rubens and the brothers Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

JAN BRUEGHEL THE ELDER AND HENDRICK VAN BALEN, DIANA AND HER NYMPHS AFTER THE HUNT. ESTIMATE £600,000–800,000.

A successful businessman and a philanthropist, Baron van Dedem was a passionate collector and connoisseur of Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings. Visiting the Delft art fair for the first time in 1957, he made his first artistic purchase six years later, eventually assembling what would become one of the finest private collections of Dutch and Flemish 17th Century paintings in Europe. Refined and improved over many years, the collection encompassed history and genre painting, portraiture, still life, landscape and seascapes, offering a comprehensive overview of paintings from the Golden Age.

BALTHASAR VAN DER AST, FLOWER STILL LIFE IN A GLASS BEAKER ON A STONE LEDGE. ESTIMATE £600,000–800,000.

As President of the Board of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at Maastricht from 1997 until his death in 2015, Baron van Dedem played an active role in the art world and was well known as a generous benefactor. Committed to strengthening the holdings of Dutch public collections, he donated and bequeathed numerous masterpieces to major national institutions, namely the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and The National Gallery in London, in order to share his passion for 16th and 17th century painting as widely as possible.

LUCAS VAN VALCKENBORCH, AN EXPANSIVE LANDSCAPE WITH A RIVER VALLEY AND A RUSHING MOUNTAIN STREAM. ESTIMATE £200,000–300,000.

Baron Frits van Dedem, the son of Willem van Dedem said, “Since none of the family-members have the same intense passion and knowledge of collecting Old Masters, we trust the sale of these works will provide a chance for other discerning collectors to acquire beautiful works of art they will love and enjoy as much as our father did. At the same time we look forward to a vigorously competitive auction such as the ones in which he participated with great success and excitement!”

George Gordon, Sotheby’s Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings Worldwide, said “This exceptional selection of works stands as a fitting testament to Willem van Dedem’s discernment as a collector. Though he was constantly surrounded by people from whom he could easily have relied on for advice, he was a man who determinedly followed his own path, always trusting his own eye and instincts when it came to making purchases — his choices based on a deep understanding of how artists in the Dutch and Flemish 17th Century thought and saw.”

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