Saturday, December 08, 2007

Philips' Communist Recommendation

Christie's in London has the small, but fine art collection of the late Dr. Anton Philips (1874-1951) on auction.

Christie's "About" section on the relevant website yields an eulogy about the entrepreneur, containing a typical example of the double standards that are common in the false dichotomy in dealing with the two Counter-Enlightenment twin ideologies, National Socialism and Communism.

Whereas Soviet propaganda took care that Nazi collaboration eternally constitutes a stain on corporate history, soliciting and associating with Communists comes as a recommendation. Consider the following excerpt:

"(...) Anton Philips ranked amongst the foremost entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Trained as a banker in Amsterdam and London, at the age of twenty he joined the small company his brother Gerard and his father Frederik had founded in Eindhoven in 1891. Anton was responsible for the commercial side of the enterprise and built a network of industrial customers in western Europe.

Anton travelled to Russia at the turn of the century. (...) a Russian anecdote serves as a perfect example for both his perseverance and creativity. In 1922, two decades after his first visit to Moscow, Anton tried to win over Lenin himself by presenting him with a framed picture of his elderly home in the Dutch town of Zaltbommel. In the accompanying note Anton pointed out that Karl Marx, his great-uncle from paternal side, had completed several chapters of Das Kapital enjoying the hospitality of the Philips family. Vladimir Iljitsj declined, saying that the nephew had apparently either not read or understood his uncle's writings."

Image: Kees van Dongen (1877-1968), Portrait of a woman with long hair
The collection is great though ... the "Two studies of a young man" by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is a true gem! The accompanying video comes highly recommended ... by us!


Art Daily: "New Record for Sir Peter Paul Rubens Oil Sketch at Auction at $7.7 Million at Christie's"

Christie’s evening auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures including Works from the Collection of Anton Philips realised a total of £18,802,200 / $38,021,808 / €26,041,047. The top lot was Two studies of a young man, a little-known work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), which realised £3,828,500 / $7,741,993 / €5,302,473, the highest ever price for a Rubens oil sketch at auction.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ (1577-1640) Two studies of a young man was painted between 1615 and 1617. The panel (46.5 x 65.5 cm.) is a study for Balthasar in The Adoration of the Magi at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and shows a Levantine head, pictured en face and en profil respectively. The sitter is unkown but judging by his tanned skin, plain shirt and leather hat, it is thought that he could have been a contract labourer building the extension of the artist’s house in the Wappen, Antwerp.

The picture was rediscovered in 1934 when Mr Douglas Lewis of Merton Park, near Wimbledon, brought it to Christie’s having acquired the work in a box of paintings at a local West Country auction. The picture was recognised as a Rubens and was offered at Christie’s on 23 November 1934 where it sold for £1,560. It was acquired soon afterwards by Anton Philips who displayed it as a central work of his private collection at his house Villa de Laak. The picture left this sanctuary on very few occasions, and was exhibited at The Museés Royaux des Beaux Arts in 1937 and the landmark Rubens oil sketch exhibition at The Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1953. >>>

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