Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Release Date: February 6, 2009

National Gallery of Art Acquires Hendrick Ter Brugghen's Remarkable Bagpipe Player

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art's acquisition of Bagpipe Player (1624) by Dutch painter Hendrick ter Brugghen, made possible with substantial support of Gallery donors Greg and Candy Fazakerley, is a historic addition to the Gallery's celebrated collection of Dutch painting. This remarkable work will be installed in the Gallery's Dutch paintings galleries by late spring.

"The Ter Brugghen fills a longstanding gap in our world-renowned collection of Dutch painting. Now we have an outstanding work from the Utrecht Caravaggisti, among the most important and distinctive stylistic artistic groups in The Netherlands in the 17th century," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "This is one of Ter Brugghen's most appealing paintings and we are very grateful to longtime Gallery supporters Greg and Candy Fazakerley, who helped us acquire this masterpiece."

The Artist
Hendrick ter Brugghen (1588-1629) is the most important of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, artists who traveled to Rome in the early decades of the 17th century, and who returned to Utrecht having embraced the radical stylistic and thematic ideas of Caravaggio. Ter Brugghen, who painted biblical and mythological scenes as well as genre paintings, often with figures playing musical instruments, is renowned for the boldness of his images and for the subtle tonalities with which he modeled his forms. His broad style, markedly different from the detailed realism of most Dutch painting of his day, allowed him to create a great sense of dignity and grandeur in his figures. Peter Paul Rubens admired these qualities when he visited Ter Brugghen in Utrecht in 1627 and decreed that Ter Brugghen was the only "real painter" he had met in the Netherlands.

The Painting
Ter Brugghen's religious and genre scenes resonated with Dutch artists, and his influence was widely felt in Utrecht and beyond. In the Gallery's recent exhibition, Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered, which is now on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum through April 26, 2009, visitors can see that this Leiden artist learned much from Ter Brugghen, and even adapted a profile image of a musician similar to the Bagpipe Player in one of his paintings from the 1620s.

The way Ter Brugghen imparts a sense of dignity to his figures is particularly evident in this famous painting, even though the bag-pipes played by the man were associated with the lower class. The silhouetted profile of the figure, his larger-than-life scale, and the broad patterns created by his instrument and clothing are all important components that make this such a powerful and memorable image.

Bagpipe Player―recently restituted to the heirs of Dr. Herbert von Klemperer by the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Germany―was recently sold through auction by Sotheby's in New York and was later purchased by the National Gallery of Art.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: pressinfo@nga.gov
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804
a-guthrie@nga.gov

Subscribe to Our E-mail Newsletters
Stay up to date with the National Gallery of Art by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters: Web, educators, family programs, fellowships/internships, films, lectures, music programs, and teen programs. Select as many updates as you wish to receive. To edit your subscriber information, please go to our subscription management page.

Press Kit

Press Release

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or pressinfo@nga.gov

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit www.nga.gov for more information about the National Gallery of Art.

RSS (NEWS FEED)
http://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/press/rss/press_feed.xml

NGA NEWSLETTERS:
Stay up to date with the National Gallery of Art by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters: Web, educators, family programs, fellowships/internships, films, lectures, music programs, and teen programs. Select as many updates as you wish to receive. To edit your subscriber information, please go to our subscription management page.