Carol Vogel reports on the Met’s acquisition at auction of Swiss Symbolist Ferdinand Hodler’s The Dream of the Shepherd which fulfills curator Keith Christiansen’s ambition of filling a hole in the encyclopedic museum’s European paintings collection:
When Mr. Christiansen heard that one was being offered last month by Christie’s in Zurich, he dispatched Sabine Rewald, a modern-art curator at the Met, to Switzerland to see the painting. As soon as she had, Ms. Rewald sent Mr. Christiansen an email: “Just spent 20 minutes with the dreaming shepherd. The picture hangs alone in the large marble foyer of Credit Suisse on Bahnhofstrasse 32. It is magnificent!”
That’s all it took to convince Mr. Christiansen that the museum had to buy “Der Traum des Hirten” (“The Dream of the Shepherd”), an 1896 painting of a young man seated in a rocky landscape dreaming of eight nude women dancing in the sky. It was estimated to sell for $1.7 million to $2.25 million, but the Met ended up paying $3.25 million.
Dutch Bonanza for the Frick (NYTimes)