Caravaggio-inspired Dutch masterpiece acquired for Fitzwilliam

  • 26 October 2010

We've helped the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge enrich its world-class collection with a Caravaggio-inspired Dutch oil on canvas.

Young woman tuning a lute (1626-7) by Hendrik ter Brugghen, is now on public display within the Fitzwilliam’s fine collection of Dutch paintings. We gave £225,000 to make the acquisition possible, alongside the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund which gave £50,000.

This is the Museum’s first acquisition of a work by ter Brugghen, one of the leading painters amongst the Utrecht followers of Caravaggio. It is one of only a handful of works by this artist in the UK. Ter Brugghen, who died at a young age, was an important innovator for later Dutch 17th century genre paintings. More recently he has been recognised as an unorthodox but significant influence on the work of artists such as Vermeer.

The work was previously on loan to the Fitzwilliam but the purchase means that generations to come will be able to admire the skill and subtlety of ter Brugghen’s art.

Our director Stephen Deuchar said: “Ter Brugghen’s painting really does capture a moment in time. It’s an intriguing work, displaying the influence of Caravaggio on Dutch painting of the time. We’re really pleased to have helped the Fitzwilliam secure this masterpiece for its permanent collection and we’re grateful to our members and supporters for helping to make this acquisition happen.”

Young woman tuning a lute can now be seen in Gallery15 at the Fitzwilliam Museum.