Catholic University Loans National Gallery
Rare Dutch Painting for Exhibit
April 20, 1998
unique painting of a South American landscape will hang in the National Gallery of Art beginning May 17. The work is on a long-term loan from the Oliveira Lima Library at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
The painting, by 17th-century Dutch artist Frans Post, is unusual in that it is a Brazilian scene. "There are no other paintings of the New World done this early by world class artists," said Maria Angela Leal, librarian at the Lima Library. She noted that Frans Post lived in Brazil for several years in the court of Dutch Gov. Prince Johan Maurits. The Netherlands controlled the northeastern section of Brazil for 30 years in the 1600s.
"This probably was one of the centers of high culture in the western world at the time," Leal said of the Brazilian-based Dutch court. "It was a very special place, with a retinue of artists. Frans Post's work is being newly recognized for its significance in documenting the New World and because it's fine art."
Leal said the landscape will be the only Post work in the National Gallery's collection. After being shown as part of the exhibition, "A Collector's Cabinet," May 17-August 19, the painting will remain on long-term loan to the National Gallery under an agreement to be renewed annually.
The Oliveira Lima Library features the personal library of Manoel de Oliveira Lima, a Brazilian diplomat who taught at Catholic University during the latter part of his life. In 1916, he donated his collection, including personal artifacts, property , artworks and 16,000 titles to the university. Since then, the collection has been expanded to more than 56,000 titles, focusing on Brazilian history before 1930.
Catholic University is a one-of-a-kind academic center: the national university of the Catholic Church, the only one established by the U.S. bishops, and located in the nation's capital. Established in 1887, the university is private and coeducational with 10 schools.
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Revised: 14 January 1998
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