Foreign Minister Urmas Paet presented the Art Museum of Estonia with an oil painting by Dutch artist Govert Dircksz Camphuysen entitled “Chicken in its nest” in honour of the museum’s 90th anniversary. Previously the painting, which was restored by the Art Museum of Estonia, belonged to the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonian ambassadors throughout time have valued and collected art, making valuable acquisitions on both the state and personal levels. “Some of our embassies have impressive art collections. Passing rare works of art to the Art Museum allows for the works to be displayed for a wider audience of art enthusiasts,” said Foreign Minister Paet. Paet also emphasised that Estonia’s foreign representations should be adorned first and foremost with the works of Estonian artists, and therefore it is appropriate to exhibit the paintings of foreign artists in Estonian museums.
The histories of the Art Museum of Estonia and Estonian diplomacy are closely tied. The passionate art collector Peeter Tauk, who was the consul of the Republic of Estonia in St. Petersburg, was so dedicated to art that he became the director of the Art Museum of Estonia in 1930. Another individual who possessed an impressive collection of old European paintings was Julius Seljamaa, who was the Estonian ambassador to Moscow from 1928-1933.
The oil painting “Chicken in its nest” by Dutch artist Govert Dircksz Camphuysen (1624-1672) was painted between 1645 and 1650. The authenticity and authorship of the painting has been confirmed by international specialists. Govert Camphuysen, who was born in Gorkum, studied portrait art in Amsterdam, later specialising in the painting of farm interiors, from which grew the sub-genre of fowl “portraits”. In 1652 Camphuysen went to work for the Gottorf court in Schleswig-Holstein, and in 1652 he moved on to the Stockholm court in the employ of Queen Hedvig Eleanora. The artist died in Amsterdam in 1672.
Communications officer, Art Museum of Estonia
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Foreign Ministry Gave Valuable 17th Century Dutch Painting to Art Museum of Estonia