‘Beyonce’s painting’ to go on show in Dordrecht after being found in chapel

Gezicht op Dordrecht by Wim Jansen (c. 1950), as featured in Beyonce's Lemonade video
Gezicht op Dordrecht by Wim Jansen (c. 1950)

A Dutch landscape painting that sparked a Da Vinci-style search after it appeared fleetingly in a Beyonce video has been tracked down to a chapel in Dordrecht.

Sander Paalberg, curator of the Dordrechts Museum, made a public appeal to trace the painting after watching the video of Intro Denial in May. Paalberg recognised the scene as his home town but had never seen the painting before.

After weeks of diligent detective work he identified the artwork as ‘View of Dordrecht’, painted in around 1950 by a little-known artist called Wim Jansen, which currently hangs in the town’s Trinity Chapel. ‘I must have watch the clip 100 times,’ Paalberg told NOS. ‘I received a lot of tips, but none of them helped.’

Thanks to the interest generated by Beyonce’s Lemonade album, the painting is being featured in an exhibition at the Dordrechts Museum in October, where it is likely to be the star of the show.

Paalberg admitted that the picture itself was unexceptional. ‘It’s not really a very good painting,’ he said. ‘It’s been painted in a conservative style and the scene it depicts is clichéd.’

Paalberg’s research turned up a photo of the painting on a Chinese stock photo website, which he believes may explain its appearance in the video. ‘The photo was tagged with the search terms “western architecture” and “painting”,’ he said. ‘The makers of the video probably just searched for those terms and thought the picture would make a nice decoration for their video.’

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