AMSTERDAM.- The Rijksmuseum
has succeeded in acquiring the painting Girl with a large hat (1645-50) by the 17th-century painter Cesar van Everdingen. The use of bright and light colours is exceptional for the Dutch Golden Age and gives a summery ambience to the work, while the striking broad-rimmed hat worn by the girl and the small Brazilian balance she is holding in her hands lend an exotic nature to the painting. This previously unknown masterpiece suddenly surfaced at an auction in London and, in auction-house terms, it was entirely fresh to the market. The Rijksmuseum is therefore delighted that it was able to acquire the painting at the auction using lottery funds from the BankGiro Loterij.
The magical, yet realistic quality of Girl with a large hat adds a new dimension to our view of the Dutch Golden Age. The painting depicts a young woman wearing an exotic broad-rimmed hat in bright sunlight. She is wearing a satin white off-the-shoulder dress and is holding up a woven balance of plums in her left hand. The Rijksmuseums collection already includes the hushed, mysterious painting Young Woman as Winter by Van Everdingen - one of the collections most popular works. Van Everdingen kept both Young Woman as Winter and Girl with a large hat in his private collection and both paintings are listed in his estate.
Although Cesar van Everdingen was held in high esteem during the Golden Age (ca. 1617 - 1678), his known oeuvre is quite small. His most important commission was for the central gallery the Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch, the official residence of the current Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix.
Girl with a large hat which is still under an old coat of varnish at the moment is currently being restored by the Rijksmuseum and in the course of 2010 it will be available for public viewing for the first time in the museums Philips Wing. From 2013 onwards, the work will be on permanent display in the newly renovated Rijksmuseum.