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Christoffel van der Berghe
(active in Middleburg ca. 1617-1642)
(formerly attributed to Hendrick Avercamp)
Townscape with Skaters
ca. 1610
oil on panel

All images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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The Met’s New Dutch Masters
by Paul Jeromack

At a time when 17th-century Dutch paintings and drawings have become among the most expensive Old Masters, and when even attractive works by minor masters are out of the price range of most American museums, the bequest of Frits and Rita Markus to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is most welcome. An astute financial advisor who was consulted by his fellow collectors Werner Kamarsky and Sidney J. Van Der Bergh, Frits Markus had been courted by several American museums and art dealers over the years hoping to snare his small but fine collection. He was eventually won over to the Metropolitan, whose world-famous collection of Dutch art was not without some surprising gaps -- gaps that the Markus bequest of eight pictures and 22 drawings goes a long way towards eradicating.