1823: Dutch generosity
Unlike the French occupation, the era of Dutch rule (1815-1830) was characterised by generosity. Rather than to confiscate art, William I of the Netherlands chose to add to the collection. It is thanks to him that the KMSKA possesses work by Titian and David Teniers II. Moreover, William was the first to donate work by a living artist to the museum. The painting in question was by Mattheüs van Bree, the then director of the Academy and the museum.
1840: The bequest of a knight
In 1840, the museum collection was greatly enhanced by the bequest of Florent van Ertborn. During his life, the knight and former mayor of Antwerp had acquired a number of artistic gems from the 15th and 16th centuries. Thanks to his legacy, the museum is now the proud owner of pieces by Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Jean Fouquet, Simone Martini and Antonello da Messina. They constitute the core of the collection of Old Masters.
1852: The Museum of the Academicians
Around the mid-19th century, the Academy's scope of interest began to expand to contemporary art. This led to the foundation of the so-called 'Academic Corps' a select group of prominent Belgian and foreign artists. Among them were Jacques Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Any artist aspiring to join the distinguished corps was required to donate an artwork and a portrait to the 'Museum of the Academicians'. This way, the museum was able to build up a notable collection of 19th-century art.
1859: The bequest of a baroness
Baroness Adelaïde Van den Hecke&-Baut de Rasmon, a relative of Florent van Ertborn, was also a keen art enthusiast. She followed the latter's example and, upon her death in 1859, bequeathed dozens of pieces to the museum, mostly paintings by 17th-century Dutch masters such as Erasmus Quellinus II, Jan Fijt and Salomon van Ruysdael.
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