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Ger Luijten’s Open-Air Paintings at the Fondation Custodia in Paris

Published on , by Carole Blumenfeld

The Fondation Custodia presents a selection of the many works that the late Ger Luijten (1956-2022) added to its collections.

John Constable (1776-1837), View of Gardens at Hampstead, with an Elder Tree, c.... Ger Luijten’s Open-Air Paintings at the Fondation Custodia in Paris

John Constable (1776-1837), View of Gardens at Hampstead, with an Elder Tree, c. 1821-1822, oil on cardboard, 17.6 x 14 cm/6.92 x 5.51 in, Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection, Paris.

“I try to imagine how Frits Lugt would have responded to a work and how it could fit into the collection,” said Ger Luijten , who added 10,000 pieces to the Fondation Custodia in Paris, mostly through acquisitions, but also donations. This detail, rare for a well-endowed institution, speaks volumes about how highly he regarded he was among the art-lovers and dealers who gladly gave. Luijten was a very persuasive man. The former head of the Rijksmuseum’s Graphic Arts Department had a keen eye, a wide breadth of knowledge and loved nothing more than to invite visitors to relish details, from old Parisian paving stones gathered up almost one by one for the Hôtel Turgot’s courtyard, slightly spaced apart to let vegetation peep up through the gaps between them, to a touch of color added by an artist a few centimeters from his signature. Luijten possessed the gift of sharing and drawing people’s attention. During the “True to Nature. Open-air Painting 1780-1870” exhibition, he asked visitors to consider the parasol, “an indispensable accessory…
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