The Auction of King William’s Paintings (1713)

Elite international art trade at the end of the Dutch Golden Age

| University of Amsterdam
ISBN 9789027249623 | EUR 250.00 | USD 375.00
ISBN 9789027249630 | EUR 75.00 | USD 113.00
The collection of Stadholder-King William III went under the hammer in Amsterdam on 26 July 1713. Organised by the renowned art collector and agent Jan van Beuningen with the assistance of Jan Pietersz. Zomer, the foremost Amsterdam art broker, the auction was a virtual society event attended by a host of Dutch regents, agents and diplomats as well as European noblemen and princes, including the Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm, the Elector of Mainz Lothar Franz von Schönborn, Anton Ulrich Duke of Braunschweig and James Brydges Duke of Chandos. They were all interested in the pictures from the gallery at Het Loo Palace, William III’s summer residence. This book sheds new light on the actual auction and its organisation, placing it within the context of the international trade in art. It explores the links between culture agents, art brokers, bankers, diplomats, and collectors. The fascinating story of this public sale serves as a means of analysing the elite international art trade and its implementation at the end of the Dutch Golden Age. A wide range of previously unpublished archival material was consulted, making it possible to illustrate all aspects of the international art trade and the ‘court’ policies of English and German noblemen relating to new acquisitions. Particular emphasis is placed on the functioning of the diplomatic networks that supplied art to the high nobility and foreign courts. The majority of the individuals featuring in this study were previously unknown and thus unstudied. Yet they dealt in sublime masterpieces by Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin, Rembrandt and many other leading artists.
[OCULI: Studies in the Arts of the Low Countries, 11]  2008.  373 pp., 69 bl/wh ills. + 75 full-color ills.
Publishing status: Available
“We should be particularly grateful to Jonckheere and his Dutch publishers that this extraordinarily informative book has been published in English.”
“While we commonly acknowledge that disproportionately little attention is given to Netherlandish art of the last quarter of the seventeenth century and to the eighteenth century, rarely does a study of that era entail the depth and breadth of Koenraad Jonckheere's analysis of the 1713 auction of King William's art collection. This is far more than an investigation of a moment in collecting, though it does that exceptionally well, and it is certainly not a historiographic ghost-image of earlier splendors. Rather, the examination encourages us to consider the "long" Golden Age (to borrow a phrase from scholars of the nineteenth century) in the realms of shifting tastes, market structure, and the lives and livelihood of the principal characters in the collecting and dealing world. Jonckheere provides a wealth of specific new information op people and objects alike.

For full review:

“Koenraad Jonckheere presents a subtle hermeneutic, which is solidly grounded in relevant archival, historical, and socioeconomic evidence. He has successfully ventured into difficult and neglected areas that have not been fully incorporated in the history of European art. In pursuing this line of research, he has introduced new modes of interpretation and innovative research strategies that are inspiring and cutting-edge. This book will profoundly alter and enrich our understanding of the art trade of the Dutch Republic in the early modern period.”
“Amid the wealth of information, it is easy to lose track of Jonckheere's main thesis, but it is an important one and, to my mind, soundly proved: the art market in Holland, which was mainly domestic through the seventeenth century, was internationalized by the early eighteenth century, was internationalized by the early eighteenth century as a deliberate strategy to attract the interest of foreign princes, nobility and wealthy collectors. Jonckheere concludes that William's auction in many ways marked the end of the Golden Age.

For full review:

“Koenraad Jonckheere's lucid account of the posthumous sale of the extensive picture collection of William of Orange (King William III) in 1713 sets a new standard for the study of collecting in northern Europe in the early eighteenth century. Many of the pictures are identified; and the sale is set in the wider context of the development of the art market in Holland. The role of the agents in the sale is considered and the significance of other Dutch collectors, notably Jacques Meyers, is reassessed. Jonckheere's survey of the purchasers at the sale offers significant new information about such outstanding collectors from outside Holland as the Duke of Chandos, Lothar Franz von Schönborn and Count Johann Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg.”
“Exhaustive is the word that comes most immediately to mind when confronted with Koenraad Jonckheere's copious account of the disposal in Amsterdam in 1713 of paintings to William III, King of England an Stadholder of the Dutch Republic. Despite this forensic approach, however, the book is never an exhausting read and the author cleverly marshals together a myriad of unknown facts, figures and propositions that both illuminate and intrigue. Dr. Johnckheere's major achievement is to produce a monograph that is n ot just a comprehensive analysis of a single event, drawing on hitherto unexploited archival sources, but one that sheds new light on the operation of the international art market at the turn of the 18th century. [...] the publishers are to be applauded for having produced an attractive volume that is lavishly illustrated with an abundance of colour reproductions.”
BIC Subject: ACQ – History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800
BISAC Subject: ART015090 – ART / History / Baroque & Rococo
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2007049117