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date: 23 August 2019

Beisteguy y Benítez, Carlos delocked

(b Mexico, 1863; d Biarritz, Jan 13, 1953).

Extract

(b Mexico, 1863; d Biarritz, Jan 13, 1953).

Spanish collector. His family was of Basque origin, though he was born in Mexico. After making his fortune in Mexico, he spent the last 40 years of his life in Biarritz, and at his villa Zurbiak he built up a substantial art collection. He had been educated partly in Paris, thereafter retaining a love for France; in 1902 he made a donation to the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. His collection of paintings was built up slowly, and he often consulted with museum curators before purchasing works. His tastes were eclectic, covering many periods of art, and determined more than anything by the quality of a work. Often he bought paintings on behalf of the nation so as to prevent them being lost to foreign countries, as was the case with Antoine-Jean Gros’s Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcole (1796; Paris, Louvre). His collection was distributed throughout his villa, but for the most distinguished works, those destined for the Louvre, he had a special gallery built. He was a foreign associate of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and a member of the Conseil des Musées Nationaux. After his death 21 important paintings were donated to the ...

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