Dutch banker Anthony van der Heijden sold part of his Romanian art collection at an Artmark auction organized on January 31.
About 80% of the auctioned items were sold, for a total of EUR 330,000, according to Artmark. The stars were Care cu provizii (sold for EUR 23,000) and Tarancuta (EUR 22,000) by Nicolae Grigorescu and Coloana (EUR 22,000) and Poiana Marului (EUR 12,000) by Horia Bernea. A series of five works by Stefan Caltia were sold for a total of EUR 60,500.
The Dutch banker purchased the artworks during his time in Romania, where he worked as CEO of ING Romania and then CEO of Tiriac Bank in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“I had a real interest in the art scene here and I visited many artists, buying the best works directly from them,” Anthony van der Heijden said.
“Although the auction was a success, I firmly believe that most Romanian art is still much undervalued,” he added.
Explaining why he decided to sell part of his art collection, the Dutch banker said that it was either this or starting his own museum.
“The Netherlands, the country where I live now, is not the most suitable place for a Romanian art museum of, so I felt it was time for this collection and its masterpieces to come home. People congratulate me on the success of this auction, but the sales and earnings are simple numbers. You can’t hang them on a wall. Both my wife and I will certainly miss some of these paintings. They were part of our lives. However, I liked to see that Romania has shown a clear interest in its own art.”
Anthony van der Heijde is now considering selling the second part of his Romanian art collection later this year, which “contains some unique masterpieces.”
(Photo source: Artmark)