Sale of the Moreelse
On 8th March 2017, The Elisabeth Weeshuis Museum at Culemborg, in The Netherlands, announced their acquisition of our Adoration of the Shepherds by Paulus Moreelse, a painting whose early provenance lent it a special significance for the museum. Thanks to the survival of a 17th-century document, we know that Moreelse’s client for the painting was somebody with close links to the history of Culemborg and the Elisabeth Weeshuis Museum. Signed and dated by Moreelse in March 1631, the document reveals that the painter received the sum of 360 guilders from Floris II van Pallandt, Count of Culemborg (1577-1639) for a painting of the “Corsnacht” (Christmas night), intended for the cabinet of his wife, Catharina van den Bergh, in their house ‘Hof van Culemborg’, on the Lange Vijverberg, in The Hague.
Visitors to the museum today can see the painting hanging, appropriately enough, between portraits of Floris II van Pallandt and his wife, Catharina van den Bergh, the original owners of the painting. The museum is housed a 16th-century building, which owes its origins to Elisabeth, Countess of Culemborg, a wealthy widow, who on her death in 1555, left a sizeable legacy for the benefit of the poor of Culemborg, including funds for the construction of an orphanage. The first purpose-built orphanage in The Netherlands, it continued to care for the town’s orphans until 1952. More recently, it was renovated for use as a museum dedicated to history of the orphanage and the local area.
The purchase of this painting was made possible by support from De Vereniging Rembrandt, De BankGiro Loterij, Mondriaan Fonds, VSBfonds, Hendrik Muller Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.See here on the museum website