The French Rothschild family had long been collectors of art beginning with James Mayer de Rothschild made the first significant acquisitions. Notable in his collection, Guy de Rothschild inherited Jan Vermeer's The Astronomer. In 1940 the Nazis confiscated it from his father and sent it to Germany. In 1945 the painting was returned to the Rothschild family and acquired by the Louvre in 1983.
Read more about this topic: Guy De Rothschild
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“Though collecting quotations could be considered as merely an ironic mimetismvictimless collecting, as it were ... in a world that is well on its way to becoming one vast quarry, the collector becomes someone engaged in a pious work of salvage. The course of modern history having already sapped the traditions and shattered the living wholes in which precious objects once found their place, the collector may now in good conscience go about excavating the choicer, more emblematic fragments.”
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“In one sense it is evident that the art of kingship does include the art of lawmaking. But the political ideal is not full authority for laws but rather full authority for a man who understands the art of kingship and has kingly ability.”
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