The late German businessman and collector Hans Rudolf Gerstenmaier, who lived much of his life in Spain and died in January, was known for his storied holdings of Flemish paintings. Following a last-minute modification to the collector’s will, a selection of works from his collection will find a new life at a Spanish museum.
According to a report by the Spanish newspaper El País, 41 paintings and engravings from Gerstenmaier’s have been gifted to the Museu de Belles Arts de València. The donation includes figurative works and still lifes by Peter Paul Rubens, Hendrick Goltzius, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen, Martin de Vos, and other artists, and the bequest follows Gerstenmaier’s gift of 11 works to the Prado Museum in Madrid in 2019.
Pablo González Tornel, director of the Museu de Belles Arts de València, told El País that the donation was a “surprise,” and that the addition of Rubens’s Virgin of Cumberland painting is of particular significance to the institution. “The Museum of Fine Arts could never have thought of buying that Rubens because it doesn’t have enough budget.”
El País also reports that the Museu de Belles Arts de València plans to open a gallery dedicated to the works in the donation. “We will reorganize the first floor of the permanent collection to have a room that will be very interesting,” González Tornel told the newspaper.
The Gerstenmaier gift to the Museu de Belles Arts de València is not the only major news related to Flemish Baroque painting in recent months. In December, a Jacob Jordaens was authenticated in Brussels.