Published: January 16, 2007
Robert C. Noortman, founder of Noortman Master Paintings in Maastricht, The Netherlands, died of a heart attack at his home in Belgium on Sunday, January 14. He was 60 and had been suffering from cancer, the news agency ANP reported.
A leading specialist in Seventeenth Century Dutch and Flemish paintings and Impressionist paintings, he founded Noortman Master Paintings in 1968. Sotheby’s acquired the firm in June 2006, but Noortman remained its director.
Noortman opened his first gallery in Hulsberg, The Netherlands. He later had galleries in Old Bond Street in London and on Madison Avenue in New York City. He moved his Dutch office to Maastricht in 1980.
Over the decades, Noortman Master Paintings supplied works to the J.P. Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The National Gallery of Art in London houses the Noortman Room of Dutch Cabinet Paintings.
An expert on Rembrandt, Rubens, Degas and Wouters, the scholarly dealer collaborated closely with museums.
In 1975, Noortman helped found Pictura, the precursor to The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht. He was TEFAF’s chairman for ten years and its president for two years.
Noortman Master Paintings also exhibits at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, Palm Beach, pAn in Amsterdam and Grands Antiquaires in Brussels.
Among his many honors, Robert Noortman was a Honorary Liveryman of the City of London and a Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres, an award bestowed by the French government.
According to AFP, Noortman said in a 2005 interview, “There are people who have an eye for good art and people who can sell it. I was lucky enough to have the two.”
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