Although not an exhibition as such this is an important and happy tale.
A One-time Pair of Paintings by a Master of the Dutch Golden Age
Thanks to the Rothschild Foundation acquiring this year An Encampment with Soldiers Gambling by Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668) it has now been reunited with a painting by the same artist with which it was originally paired in the18th century – A Hawking Party Resting outside an Inn.
Both hung in the collection of Paul Randon de Boisset (1710-1776), Receveur Géneral des Finances, who was a keen promoter of the vogue for 17th century Dutch pictures in 18th century Paris. It was customary to hang them alongside works by contemporary artists such as Boucher, Greuze and Fragonard.
Although less highly regarded today than he was in the 18th and 19th centuries Wouwerman was appreciated for his depictions of horses and scenes of everyday life and highly valued, especially for the contrast between light and shade and the complex compositions.
The pictures remained together until 1812 when they were sold at auction but ended up in different Rothschild collections. The Encampment was in the collection of Alfred de Rothschild while the Hawking Party was acquired by Anselm de Rothschild and left to his son Ferdinand de Rothschild who built Waddesdon. Now happily they can be seen together again in the Blue Dining Room. Long may it be thus.