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Een briefwisseling uit 1741 tussen prins Willem IV en zijn adviseur Philip van Dijk

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image of Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History

Despite the lack of any evidence it has always been thought that the Hague painter and art dealer Philip van Dijk (1683-1753) acted as an adviser to the Frisian stadholder Willem Karel Hendrik Friso (1711-1751), the later Stadholder Willem IV. That assumption was based primarily on the fact that five paintings bought by Van Dijk at the Bout sale in 1733, which included Simeon's Song of Praise by Rembrandt, later entered the stadholders' collection in Paleis Het Loo. Hitherto unpublished correspondence between the two men in 1741 now provides the indisputable proof of that advisory role. In the letters Van Dijk offers the prince a total of eight paintings, all of which may have ended up in the same collection. In addition to new information on the provenance of the pictures, the correspondence provides a better understanding of Willem IV's collecting policy and of Van Dijk's part in it. These four surviving letters are undoubtedly only a small portion of the total correspondence between the two men, so it can be assumed that Van Dijk advised Willem IV for far longer than the period covered by the letters.


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