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"Natural Beauty: From Fra Angelico to Monet" opens at the Groninger Museum
Claude Monet, Pyramids at Port-Coton, W 1087, 1886, oil paint on canvas, 65.5 x 65.5 cm© Rau Collection for UNICEF, Cologne. Photo: P. Schälchli, Zürich.
GRONINGEN.- The Natural Beauty exhibition shows landscapes and still lifes from the collection of Gustav Rau (1922-2002), a German tropical doctor and art collector. Gustav Rau is regarded as one of the most exceptional collectors of our times. Masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Van Goyen, Van der Neer, Bonnard, Fantin-Latour, Monet, Liebermann, Sérusier, Vuillard, Sisley, Morandi and others make this presentation a feast for the eye.

Gustav Rau was the sole heir to his father’s empire of automobile companies. He worked as a tropical doctor in Zaire, as the current Democratic Republic of the Congo was then called. Every year, Rau paid a few visits to Europe to participate in art auctions, and thus accumulated a unique collection of approximately eight hundred paintings and sculptures. The collection provides an overview of five centuries of European art history.

Gustav Rau’s collection remained hidden to the outside world for many years. It was only in 1999 that the artworks first came into the public domain. In 2001, a year before his death, the collection was handed over to UNICEF.

The Natural Beauty exhibition in the Groninger Museum presents landscapes and still lifes from the Rau collection: nature viewed from a distance and from close-by. The centre of gravity is formed by still lifes from the 17th century and landscapes from the 20th century.

The exhibition is supplemented with similar work from the collection of the Groninger Museum.





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December 9, 2013

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