Rembrandt's paintings
2 February 2016

Europe of Culture: France and the Netherlands have acquired two of Rembrandt’s masterpieces

France and the Netherlands have recently signed a historic agreement for the joint acquisition of two masterpieces by Rembrandt, Portrait of Maerten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit. The aim is to bring these two paintings together so they can be hung side by side alternately at the Musée du Louvre and at the Rijksmuseum, as a mark of the ambition shared by France and the Netherlands for a Europe of Culture.
Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February
 
Fleur Pellerin, alongside her counterpart Jet Bussemaker, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, signed an intergovernmental agreement sealing the joint acquisition of two of Rembrandt’s masterpieces, Portrait of Maerten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit, Maerten Soolmans’ wife. 
 
 
These paintings will be revealed to the public for the first time in the coming weeks at the Musée du Louvre, before being transferred to the Netherlands to begin their alternating display in Paris and Amsterdam following their restoration. Under the terms of this unprecedented partnership, the French and Dutch governments recognise the inseparable and inalienable nature of the set painted by Rembrandt in 1634.
 
The portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit, respectively the property of the Netherlands and France, will be hung side by side alternately at the Musée du Louvre and at the Rijksmuseum, as part of two of the world’s largest public collections. Exceptional masterpieces by the greatest artist of the Dutch Golden Age, these two paintings have spent the last one hundred and forty years in France, and today embody the depth and strength of the ties that unite the cultures of the two countries. The fruit of innovative cooperation by which the two States have each acquired one of the two paintings in order to bring them together once and for all, this joint initiative, concluded by the intergovernmental agreement, is a mark of the ambition shared by France and the Netherlands for a Europe of Culture, rich in its shared and universal heritage.
 
The acquisition of the Portrait of Oopjen Coppit, the most significant ever undertaken by a French museum, was made possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Banque de France.

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