The Rijksmuseum Bulletin is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal presenting scholarly articles that contribute to historical and art-historical research into the Rijksmuseum collections to an international audience of curators, scholars, students, art professional and enthusiasts. For information on subscriptions or proposals, see https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/research/the-rijksmuseum-bulletin.
The Rijksmuseum Bulletin, volume 66 (2018), issue 3
CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS
The Sword and the Album: Material Memories and an Eighteenth-Century Poetic Account of the Execution of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1619)
LIEKE VAN DEINSEN AND JAN DE HOND
In 1878 the Rijksmuseum acquired two objects related to the violent death of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt: the executioner’s sword allegedly used to behead the Land’s Advocate and an eighteenth-century album of poems about the weapon of execution. The article describes how these objects have functioned in the Oldenbarnevelt memory culture and shows how they have taken on new functions and meanings over the centuries – from a possible executioner’s weapon, to a republican and then national relic, to an objet de mémoire.
‘’S heeren architect ende steenhouwer’: Melchior van Herbach and the Breda Wall in the Rijksmuseum
The early seventeenth century Breda Wall in the Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum takes its name from the origin of the bottom part of the wall: one of the façades of the stable complex of the former Nassau Palace in Breda. In the article the wall is attributed to the architect Melchior van Herbach on stylistic grounds, with indirect proof. Van Herbach began his career in Amsterdam in Hendrick de Keyser’s sphere of influence. He worked in Alkmaar and Bruges before settling in Breda, where he became Prince Maurice’s architect and master builder.
‘A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever’: A Piccolomini Tabernacholetto from the Collection of Otto Lanz
A somewhat neglected late fifteenth-century panel from the collection of the Amsterdam-Swiss surgeon and art collector Otto Lanz, which he cherished, is investigated here. This article argues persuasively that the panel is a devotional tabernacle, intended for private devotion, of a kind that often hung on the wall of a bedchamber in the late Middle Ages. The missing central image may have been a Virgin and Child or a Pietà. Lanz attributed the carving to the woodcarver Antonio di Neri Barili or Barile (1453-1516). Barile was the most important woodcarver in Siena, who worked for distinguished clients, among them the Piccolomini family, which was responsible for introducing the Roman all’antica style to Siena shortly after 1500. The tabernacle contains the family’s coat of arms and various motifs that correspond to documented work by Barili, and was carved in his characteristic crisp, open style. If this panel is indeed by Barili, it would be the smallest surviving object in its own right to come out of his workshop.
Acquisitions: The Marjan and Gerard Unger Collection
SUZANNE VAN LEEUWEN
JAN DE HOND, BIANCA M. DU MORTIER, ALIED OTTEVANGER, JENNY REYNAERTS, FRITS SCHOLTEN, LUCINDA TIMMERMANS AND JEROEN VAN DER VLIET