NEW YORK—The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has acquired an important full-length portrait by Swedish painter Alexander Roslin (1718-1793), who was a major artist at the court of King Louis VX of France.
The museum paid just above $3 million for the portrait of the Comtesse d’Egmont Pignatelli, in Spanish costume, noting the subject was “among the most celebrated women of 18th-century Paris.” The work, which retains its original hand-carved frame, was acquired from Wildenstein & Co., New York. Shown just a handful of times in the last 250 years, the portrait was on view at the Paris Salon in 1763, the year of its completion; at the Musée Carnavalet, Paris in 1927; and most recently at Wildenstein & Co.
The museum said the purchase is its priciest in eight years, second only to the $5 million it paid in 1998 for Claude Lorrain’s Pastoral Landscape, 1638. “It’s not often that we can add to our collection a work of such significance,” museum director William Griswold told ARTnewsletter. “We have a strong holding of Old Master pictures, and relatively few works that come on the market have the capacity to elevate the stature of our collection. The Roslin is such a picture.” The acquisition was funded by the museum’s John R. Van Derlip trust fund.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has just completed a $50 million expansion and renovation that includes a new 113,000-square-foot wing, designed by Michael Graves, and 49,000 square feet of building renovation that, altogether, add 34 new galleries to the museum space. It will reopen on June 10.