Chasing Apelles: Sir Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901) and his collection of drawings

Claire Baisier, 21 December 2014

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh was a remarkable collector in 19th-century Antwerp. With enormous enthusiasm and wide-ranging expertise, he was able to build up a large collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, coins and decorative arts within a short space of time. His collection, a true Kunstkammer, aroused the astonishment of all those who came to see it, when his Museum Mayer van den Bergh opened in 1904. Besides two original paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, his estate included a large number of drawings dating from the 16th to 19th centuries. This lecture examined in depth Mayer van den Bergh’s taste, his motives, and the origins of his extraordinary collection. What were his preferences, where did he buy his drawings, and who advised him? Baisier also focussed on the 16th-century drawings from his collection, which were displayed in the exhibition of 'Renaissance drawings from private collections in Antwerp'.