Charité, a work in white marble (106.7 x 78.5 x 47 cms), was created in 1673-78 by Jan Van Delen, a sculptor close to Duquesnoy and son-in-law of Faydherbe, as a commission from the Counts of Tour et Tassis for their funerary chapel in the Sablon Church. Taken by French revolutionaries in 1794, the statue disappeared shortly after and was not returned in 1815.
It was recently discovered in the entrance hall of a building in Paris and put on sale by Christie’s in London on 5 July 2012. The King Baudouin Foundation decided to intervene and was able to purchase the statue. A Belgian masterpiece was thus able to be saved.
The Foundation’s intention is obviously to have the statue returned to its rightful place in the Sablon chapel, a focal point of Brussels architecture and sculpture, at European level, as long as the maximum conditions of security and accessibility can be assured.
The King Baudouin Foundation’s Heritage Fund has as its mission to prevent the dispersion of our artistic heritage and to return important works to Belgium. The acquisition of Charité by Jan Van Delen corresponds perfectly to this mission.