Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Painting of the Day: Adoration of the Kings, Pieter Coek van Aelst, 1530

Adoration of the Kings
Pieter Coek van Aelst, 1530
Acquired by Prince Albert
The Royal Collection
One of Prince Albert’s primary duties was overseeing the daily workings of the royal residences. Upon their arrival at the newly-finished Buckingham Palace, they found the structure insufficient in many ways. Prince Albert saw to it that a private chapel was added to the palace and then set about filling it with religious artwork in the two styles which most appealed to himself and Queen Victoria—the works of Italian and Dutch painters.

This painting of the Adoration of the Kings comes from Dutch artist Pieter Coek can Aelst who studied in Rome, thereby bringing both Dutch and Italian sensibilities to his work. This jewel from 1530 was hung in a place of prominence in the private chapel. Prince Albert was particularly fond of the painting because he liked the symbolic setting. The background of a ruined palace artistically represented the shift from the Old Testament to the New, but also seemed a fitting metaphor for one of the Prince’s chief occupations.

1 comment:

SherR said...

The royal family's interest in Dutch art continued a tradition begun by George IV.

George IV was protector and confident for an exiled prince called Benedict who (amongst his other accomplishments)loved Dutch landscape art. Benedict taught George IV to appreciate the genre. George IV made several important purchases of Dutch landscape art during his reign. This - along with the brilliance of local landscape artist J.M Turner - helped 'cement' landscape art in the British consciousness. Particularly Dutch landscape style, which was also a favourite of Turner's and an inspiration for him.

So - Prince Albert continued the proud tradition.