Boijmans Diary 2018Boijmans Diary 2018Boijmans Diary 2018

Boijmans Diary 2018

Highlights in a different light

  • Author(s):
    Alex de Vries
  • Year:
  • Language:
    dutch, english
  • Design:
    Tessa van der Waals
  • Size:
    19 x 22,5 cm
  • ISBN:
  • Edition:
€ 17,50

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection contains numerous highlights of great historical significance. Some are burned onto every art lover’s retina. In the seventieth edition of the diary, we bring together twenty-seven of these highlights in order to view them in a different light. The famous works enter into a dialogue with lesser-known gems from the collection. For example, the way in which Oskar Kokoschka has depicted a mandrill differs enormously from Fra Bartolommeo’s rendering of a horse’s head. In Kokoschka’s work, the animal is painted in an explosion of colours, while Fra Bartolommeo has represented a wildly snorting horse with academic restraint. In some cases, the artworks are separated by centuries but we can still detect constants in the approach of the artists. A self-portrait by Charley Toorop exhibits similarities with the facial expression of the portrait of Pietro Cenni, attributed to Francesco Francia, which was made 440 years earlier.
The favourites from the collection also evoke less obvious associations. For example, the formal similarity between an abstract painting by Mark Rothko and a Dutch postbox makes us rethink how fine art influences design for public spaces. This correlation between art and design is more conspicuous in a virtuoso print by Hendrik Vredeman de Vries, which served as the model for the marquetry in a seventeenth-century wooden buffet.
This year’s diary is full of differences, similarities, contrasts, borrowings and polarities: the largest sculpture alongside the smallest print, an artist’s most- and least-requested works for loans, and a clever visualisation paired with a banal representation. This diary is a tribute not only to the fame and genius of celebrated artists but also to anonymous artists, such as the Master of the Embroidered Foliage, whose works enrich the museum’s collection nonetheless.