Acquisitions Museums Netherlands

Rijksmuseum buys first abstract painting

The Bart van der Leck work is due to go on show when the museum reopens in April

Composition 1919, by the De Stijl artist and designer Bart van der Leck

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has bought its first abstract painting, Composition 1919, by the De Stijl artist and designer Bart van der Leck. The Van der Leck is a stark, geometric picture painted in oils that was probably a study for an unrealised design that the artist intended to create on a wall in his studio.

Despite its title, Composition 1919 most likely dates from 1917. It passed to the artist’s daughter Bep, who died in 2012, and was bought by the museum last November at Christie’s, Amsterdam, for €217,000.

The painting will be displayed in the Rijksmuseum, which is due to reopen on 13 April, after a ten-year restoration and expansion. The Van der Leck will be shown alongside the museum’s white De Stijl chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1918, which the museum bought for an undisclosed price in 2010.

More from The Art Newspaper


Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this