MUSEA NOSTRA

THE R O Y A L M U S E U M OF FINE A R T S
ANTWERP

ELS M A R E C H A L

LEEN DE J O N G

Contents

T h e History of the R o y a l M u s e u m in A n t w e r p T h e 15th Century M e d i e v a l painting o f the O l d N e t h e r l a n d s F o r e i g n m e d i e v a l art T h e 16th C e n t u r y T h e 17th Century T h e g r a n d m a s t e r s o f the F l e m i s h B a r o q u e : R u b e n s , J o r d a e n s a n d V a n Dyck F l e m i s h f i g u r e painters L a n d s c a p e , still-life a n d a n i m a l s Sculptures 1 7 t h C e n t u r y in H o l l a n d F l e m i s h P a i n t i n g in the 18th C e n t u r y T h e 19th C e n t u r y 20th C e n t u r y Symbolism and Expressionism Rik Wouters Modern International Masters Before 1 9 4 5 After 1 9 4 5

7 11 11 22 27 43 43 53 57 62 65 73 77 99 99 110 113 116 120

The History of the Royal Museum in Antwerp

T h e e a r l i e s t n u c l e u s o f the c o l l e c t i o n h a s its o r i g i n s w i t h the A n t w e r p G u i l d o f S a i n t L u k e t o w h i c h the c i t y ' s a r t i s t s b e l o n g e d b e t w e e n 1 3 8 2 and 1 7 7 3 . T h e guild's gallery or 'konstkamer' w a s u s e d for b o t h m e e t i n g s a n d festive o c c a s i o n s , a n d for d i s p l a y i n g the g u i l d ' s t r e a s u r e s . I n 1 6 6 3 , a t the b e h e s t o f D a v i d T e n i e r s , a n a c a d e m y w a s f o u n d e d u n d e r the g u i l d ' s a u s p i c e s . W h e n the g u i l d s w e r e f i n a l l y d i s b a n d e d i n 1 7 7 3 , the A c a d e m y o f F i n e A r t s took p o s s e s sion o f the a f o r e m e n t i o n e d g a l l e r y , w h i c h i n c l u d e d w o r k s like Portrait of Abraham Grapheus, by C o r n e l l s de V o s , Virgin with a Parrot, by P . P . R u b e n s , three p a i n t i n g s b y J a c o b J o r d a e n s , a n d a n u m b e r o f o t h e r w o r k s . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the n e x t s t a g e i n the m u s e u m ' s d e v e l o p m e n t w a s b r o u g h t a b o u t b y the c o n f i s c a t i o n o f p a i n t i n g s from A n t w e r p ' s c h u r c h e s , m o n a s t e r i e s a n d o n e o r t w o p u b l i c b u i l d i n g s d u r i n g the F r e n c h occupations of 1 7 9 4 and 1796. According to an official r e p o r t , 7 0 p a i n t i n g s , i n c l u d i n g 3 0 w e l l k n o w n w o r k s b y R u b e n s , w e r e stolen from A n t w e r p a l o n e . F o r t y o f the s t o l e n w o r k s w e r e eventually returned in 1 8 1 5 , 26 of which found t h e i r w a y into the A c a d e m y ' s m u s e u m . T h e s e i n c l u d e d Christ on the Straw, The Lance ( C h r i s t C r u c i f i e d b e t w e e n the t w o T h i e v e s ) , The Adoration of the Magi, The Incredulity of Thomas a n d The Education of Mary, all by R u b e n s . T h e s e w o r k s f o r m o n e o f the c e n t r e s o f g r a v i t y o f the A n t w e r p m u s e u m ' s collection, which had been m o v e d in the m e a n t i m e , t o g e t h e r w i t h the A c a d e m y , t o the b u i l d i n g s o f the f o r m e r F r a n c i s c a n m o n a s t e ry in 1 8 1 0 . T h e catalogue of 1 8 1 7 already included 1 2 7 i t e m s , o n e o f w h i c h w a s Q u i n t e n M a s s y s ' Triptych of the Lamentation of Christ, p a i n t e d in 1 5 1 0 for the c a t h e d r a l , w h i c h m a n a g e d t o e s c a p e the I c o n o c l a s m o f 1 5 6 6 . I t i s e v i d e n t , therefore, t h a t i n the e a r l y y e a r s o f its e x i s t e n c e , the m u s e u m ' s c o l l e c t i o n w a s l i m i t e d , b u t o f the h i g h e s t q u a l i ty. I t d a t e d p r i m a r i l y f r o m the s e c o n d h a l f o f the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y a n d from the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y , w i t h R u b e n s a s its c r o w n i n g g l o r y . D u r i n g the p e r i o d o f D u t c h r u l e , W i l l e m I , K i n g o f the U n i t e d N e t h e r l a n d s , d o n a t e d three n o t e w o r t h y p a i n t i n g s t o the m u s e u m . I n 1 8 2 3 h e g a v e T i t i a n ' s f a m o u s y o u t h f u l w o r k , Pope Alexander IV presents Jacopo Pesaro to Saint Peter. T h i s p a i n t i n g w a s the first w o r k b y a f o r e i g n a r t i s t to j o i n the c o l l e c t i o n . Panorama of Valenciennes, a r e m e m b r a n c e of the b a t t l e b e t w e e n the S p a n i s h a n d the F r e n c h i n 1 6 5 6 b y D a v i d T e n i e r s the Y o u n g e r , w a s a l s o d o n a t e d i n 1 8 2 3 . I n 1 8 2 9 , W i l l e m I p r e s e n t e d the m u s e u m w i t h its f i r s t w o r k b y a l i v i n g a r t i s t , M a t t h i j s v a n

B r e e , D i r e c t o r o f the A n t w e r p A c a d e m y a n d M u s e u m . T h e p a i n t i n g i n q u e s t i o n w a s The Death of Rubens. By R o y a l D e c r e e of 2 5 t h M a r c h 1 8 2 7 , W i l l e m I also g r a n t e d a subsidy of 20 000 g u i l d e r s for the p u r c h a s e o f c o n t e m p o r a r y artw o r k s f r o m the s a l o n s o f A m s t e r d a m , A n t w e r p , Ghent and Brussels. T h e revolution of 1 8 3 0 , and B e l g i u m ' s subsequent independence, howe v e r , m e a n t that A n t w e r p w a s not a b l e t o benefit f r o m this. I t w a s not until 1 8 7 3 t h a t the m u s e u m b e g a n to b u y w o r k s by living artists. T h e r a t h e r l i m i t e d c o m p o s i t i o n o f the m u s e u m ' s collection continued until 1 8 4 0 w h e n 1 4 1 w o r k s were bequeathed to it by Florent v a n Ertborn, f o r m e r m a y o r o f A n t w e r p . A s a p a t r o n o f the arts, he h a d built up a collection of 1 5 t h century p a i n t i n g s w i t h f l a w l e s s taste a t a t i m e w h e n a p p r e c i a t i o n o f the F l e m i s h P r i m i t i v e s w a s extremely low. T h e Flemish Primitive works w h i c h h e d o n a t e d h a v e h e l p e d a s s u r e the m u s e u m ' s reputation. T h e y include J a n van E y c k ' s Saint Barbara a n d Madonna at the Fountain, R o g i e r v a n d e r W e y d e n ' s Portrait of Philips de Croy a n d The Seven Sacraments t r i p t y c h , D i r k B o u t s ' Madonna with Child, a n d H a n s M e m l i n g ' s Portrait of Jan de Candida. W o r k s by l a t e r F l e m i s h a r t i s t s i n c l u d e d Flight into Egypt by J o a c h i m P a t i n i r , a n d Q u i n t e n M a s s y s ' Saint Mary Magdalene. V a n E r t b o r n a l s o b e q u e a t h e d a n u m b e r of w o r k s by important foreign masters, such as J e a n F o u q u e t ' s Madonna, Simone Martini's b e a u t i f u l s e r i e s of p a n e l s d e p i c t i n g The Annunciation a n d The Crucifixion, A n t o n e l l o da M e s s i n a ' s Christ on the Cross a n d L u c a s C r a n a c h ' s Caritas, a l l o f w h i c h h a v e h e l p e d e n s u r e the i n t e r n a t i o n a l f a m e o f the A n t w e r p c o l l e c t i o n s . A large n u m b e r of works, including contemporary items, primarily of national importance, w e r e a d d e d t o the m u s e u m ' s c o l l e c t i o n d u r i n g the c o u r s e o f the 1 9 t h c e n t u r y . A R o y a l D e c r e e i n 1 8 5 2 l e d t o the f o u n d a t i o n o n 5 t h S e p t e m b e r 1 8 5 3 o f the ' A c a d e m i c C o r p s ' , m e m b e r s h i p o f w h i c h w a s g r a n t e d t o a r t i s t s a s a n h o n o r a r y title in recognition of their contribution to B e l g i a n a r t . U p o n j o i n i n g the A c a d e m i c C o r p s , artists w e r e e x p e c t e d to d o n a t e a s e l f - p o r t r a i t to the ' A c a d e m i c i a n s ' G a l l e r y ' . A l t h o u g h the q u a l i t y o f these a c q u i s i t i o n s w a s not u n i f o r m l y h i g h , the A c a d e m i c C o r p s a n d its c o l l e c t i o n n e v e r t h e l e s s r e p r e s e n t e d a first s t e p t o w a r d s the f o u n d a t i o n of a separate ' m o d e r n ' m u s e u m . It w a s only in 1 8 7 3 that a genuine p u r c h a s i n g committee w a s set u p , w i t h , a s its f i r s t a c t i o n , the a c q u i s i t i o n o f a n ' o l d - f a s h i o n e d ' p a i n t i n g b y the e s t a b l i s h e d a r t i s t K a r e l V e r l a t , The Mother of the Messiah and

the Four Evangelists. D u r i n g the first few d e c a d e s of its e x i s t e n c e , the c o m m i t t e e c o n t i n u e d t o f a v o u r the w o r k o f t r a d i t i o n a l a n d l o c a l a r t i s t s . I n the m e a n t i m e , the e x a m p l e set b y V a n E r t b o r n h a d b e e n f o l l o w e d . I n 1 8 5 9 , the Douairiere Adelaide V a n den H e c k e - B a u t de R a s m o n left 4 1 w o r k s o f a r t t o the m u s e u m . H e r b e q u e s t c o n s i s t e d p r i m a r i l y o f the w o r k o f 1 7 t h century Flemish and Dutch masters, including Portrait of a Boy, by E r a s m u s Q u e l l i n , a n d w o r k s by J a n Fyt, Salomon and J a c o b van Ruisdael, J a c o b J o r d a e n s , D a v i d T e n i e r s the Y o u n g e r , A d r i a a n v a n Ostade and others. T h e foundation o f the s o c i e t y A r t i b u s P a t r i a e o n 2 7 t h J u l y 1 8 6 4 w a s j u s t a s i m p o r t a n t a s the d o n a t i o n s a n d b e q u e s t s o f p r i v a t e c o l l e c t o r s . T h e a i m o f the s o c i e t y w a s to e n r i c h the c o l l e c t i o n of the A n t w e r p m u s e u m by means of acquisitions -

m a d e u s i n g the a n n u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s o f its members - and by encouraging donations. T h e s o c i e t y f u n c t i o n e d for a b o u t a h u n d r e d y e a r s , d u r i n g w h i c h t i m e i t w a s r e s p o n s i b l e for the a d d i t i o n o f 6 2 w o r k s t o the c o l l e c t i o n , i n c l u d i n g contemporary, 19th century and older items. E x a m p l e s are J o a c h i m Beuckelaer, Cornelis de V o s , Marinus van Reymerswael, J a n Wildens, the M a s t e r o f the S a i n t M a g d a l e n e L e g e n d , Roelant Savery, Henri L e y s , Henri De Braekeleer, R i k W o u t e r s , G e o r g e M i n n e , Pericles P a n tazis a n d C h a r l e s M e r t e n s . A s a c o n s e q u e n c e o f these a c q u i s i t i o n s there s i m p l y w a s not e n o u g h s p a c e t o a c c o m m o d a t e the c o l l e c t i o n a s a w h o l e , d e s p i t e the e x t e n s i o n a n d a l t e r a t i o n o f the A c a d e m y ' s buildings on a n u m b e r of occasions, including Pierre B o u r l a ' s addition of a m o n u mental staircase, a classical facade and a gateh o u s e w h i c h f u n c t i o n e d a s the e n t r a n c e t o the museum. I n A u g u s t 1 8 7 3 the A c a d e m y ' s m u s e u m w a s p u t at s e r i o u s risk as a r e s u l t of a m a j o r fire at the n e a r b y S t a d s w a a g , a n d the a u t h o r i t i e s b e g a n to c o n s i d e r s e r i o u s l y the n e e d to find a n e w h o m e for the f a m o u s c o l l e c t i o n s . O n 2 n d D e c e m b e r 1 8 7 5 , after two y e a r s o f n e g o t i a t i o n s a n d d i s c u s s i o n s , the C i t y C o u n c i l d e c i d e d u p o n the site f o r m e r l y o c c u p i e d b y the Z u i d e r k a s t e e l , the S p a n i s h s t r o n g h o l d c o n s t r u c t e d i n 1 5 6 7 b y the D u k e o f A l v a . T h e c l e a r a n c e o f the site y i e l d e d s o m e 1 0 0 h e c t a r e s for the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a n e w m u n i c i p a l d i s t r i c t and harbour installation. T h e construction c o m p a n y Societe A n o n y m e du S u d d ' A n v e r s s u b m i t t e d a n u m b e r of p l a n s to the m u n i c i p a l authorities before final a p p r o v a l w a s granted on 1 8 t h S e p t e m b e r 1 8 7 5 . T h i s p l a n f e a t u r e d the m u s e u m a s its g e o m e t r i c c e n t r e , s u r r o u n d e d b y s q u a r e s , streets a n d p a r k s . O n 29th J a n u a r y 1 8 7 7 , the C i t y C o u n c i l a n n o u n c e d a c o m p e t i tion a m o n g s t B e l g i a n a r c h i t e c t s for the d e s i g n o f a new m u s e u m . T h e first prize w a s a w a r d e d to the d e s i g n s u b m i t t e d b y J e a n - J a c q u e s W i n d e r s ( 1 8 4 9 - 1 9 3 6 ) , a y o u n g (28 y e a r o l d ) a n d a m b i tious a r c h i t e c t , w h o h a d p r e v i o u s l y w o n a n official c o m p e t i t i o n for the d e s i g n of the S c h e l d t M o n u m e n t w h i c h s t a n d s i n the p r e s e n t M a r n i x p l e i n . W i n d e r s w a s not, h o w e v e r , the o n l y w i n n e r : six e n t r a n t s w e r e c h o s e n , b u t the m a i n p r o b l e m w a s that they a l l e x c e e d e d the specification of two million francs. T h e matter dragg e d o n f u r t h e r , until a n o t h e r c o m p e t i t i o n w a s a n n o u n c e d i n 1 8 7 9 , w h i c h w a s l i m i t e d t o the s i x former f i r s t prize winners. J . J . Winders w o n o n c e a g a i n , w i t h the e v e n y o u n g e r F r a n s V a n Dijck ( 1 8 5 3 - 1 9 3 9 ) in second place. Both designs w e r e a d o p t e d , o n c o n d i t i o n t h a t the t w o a r c h i tects c o m b i n e d t h e m to p r o d u c e a s i n g l e p l a n . T h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f w h a t for the t i m e w a s a n u l t r a - m o d e r n p r o g r a m m e , w i t h the p r e s t i g i o u s f a c a d e s a n d s t r u c t u r e s o f the a p p r o v e d p l a n m e a n t t h a t n o t h i n g else c o u l d s t a n d i n the w a y o f c o n s t r u c t i o n , a n d w o r k o n the n e w i n s t i t u t i o n began in September 1884. T h e ceremonial inau-

g u r a t i o n o f the m u s e u m i n the s o u t h o f the city on iith August 1890, with processions, speeches, banquets and a large-scale celebration m a r k e d the e n d o f a difficult 1 7 y e a r s . T h e m u s e u m f e a t u r e s a c o m b i n a t i o n o f the n e o classical and neo-gothic styles, a n d is an e x a m p l e of contemporary temple architecture. F r o m the t e c h n i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w , i t i s b a s e d u p o n the g r e a t n e w m u s e u m s o f G e r m a n y , A u s t r i a a n d the N e t h e r l a n d s . I n 1 9 2 7 the m u s e u m p a s s e d into the o w n e r s h i p o f the n a t i o n . I n a d d i t i o n t o A r t i b u s P a t r i a e , t w o o t h e r p r i m a r y b e n e f a c t o r s o f the f i r s t h a l f o f the c e n t u r y s h o u l d b e m e n t i o n e d . T h e f i r s t w a s the ' F r i e n d s o f M o d e r n A r t ' s o c i e t y w h i c h w a s f o u n d e d i n 1 9 2 7 , a n d w h i c h d e v e l o p e d into a s m a l l g r o u p o f a r t - l o v e r s s u r r o u n d i n g the b r o t h ers L o u i s , F r a n c o i s a n d C h a r l e s F r a n c k . T h e s e c o n d s o u r c e o f s u p p o r t w a s p r o v i d e d b y the b r o t h e r s t h e m s e l v e s . O v e r the c o u r s e o f a h a l f c e n t u r y , the ' F r i e n d s o f M o d e r n A r t ' d o n a t e d

4 2 w o r k s o f a r t , b e g i n n i n g i n 1 9 2 1 , before they h a d b e c o m e a n official s o c i e t y , w i t h e i g h t E n s o r s , i n c l u d i n g Afternoon in Ostend, The Intrigue a n d Masks fighting over a Hanged Man. T h e F r a n c k f a m i l y itself ( F r a n c o i s a n d C h a r l e s ) d o n a t e d b e t w e e n 1 9 2 0 a n d 1 9 6 7 Fisherwoman b y C o n s t a n t P e r m e k e , Strawberries and Champagne by H e n r i De B r a e k e l e e r , The Ferryman a n d The Fall of the Rebel Angels by J a m e s E n s o r , X a v i e r M e l l e r y ' s Inspiration a n d J a k o b S m i t s ' Pieta. Although donations and bequests have dropped off s h a r p l y d u r i n g the l a s t few d e c a d e s , the m u s e u m recently c a m e into possession of a m a r v e l o u s collection. In 1989 L u d o van B o g a e r t - S h e i d b e q u e a t h e d n o less t h a n 6 9 artworks, including 58 paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures by Rik Wouters. T h e collection as a whole now n u m b e r s more t h a n 7 2 0 0 w o r k s of a r t , c o n s i s t i n g of 3 2 0 0 paintings, 3 600 d r a w i n g s a n d prints, and 400 sculptures.

The 15th Century

Medieval painting of the Old Netherlands
T h e earliest p r e - E y c k i a n panel w h i c h survives in the N e t h e r l a n d s , The Calvary of Hendrik van Rijn, w a s p a i n t e d b y a n A n o n y m o u s U t r e c h t ( ? ) M a s t e r . A c c o r d i n g t o the L a t i n i n s c r i p t i o n a t the b o t t o m , the d o n o r , s h o w n k n e e l i n g a n d i n profile, i s H e n d r i k v a n R i j n . H e i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r t h a n the s a i n t s w h o s u r r o u n d h i m : C h r i s t o n the c r o s s , M a r y a n d J o h n . T h i s m e m o r i a l w o r k w a s p r o d u c e d for S a i n t J o h n ' s church in Utrecht, to commemorate V a n Rijn, w h o w a s provost a n d a r c h d e a c o n . T h e relief d e c o r a t i o n i n the b a c k g r o u n d i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g , c o n s i s t i n g a s i t d o e s o f g i l d e d tiles w i t h a lion motif, a n d refers to the r e a l i t y of heaven. F l e m i s h p a i n t e r s o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y a r e k n o w n a s the ' F l e m i s h P r i m i t i v e s ' . A l t h o u g h the t e r m is a p p l i e d to a v a r i e t y of a r t w o r k s a n d artists, there are several striking similarities. T h e n e w v i s i o n w h i c h these a r t i s t s b r o u g h t t o b e a r u p o n the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the h u m a n f i g u r e i s o n e n o t e w o r t h y a s p e c t , w h i l e the fresh interest i n s p a c e a n d n a t u r e i s a n o t h e r . T h e u s e of oil paints is an i n n o v a t i v e technique w h i c h has been traditionally ascribed to them. T h e i r religious subjects are situated in minutely observed and executed natural or architectural l o c a t i o n s . T h e b a c k g r o u n d o f the p a i n t i n g i s o p e n e d u p , in o r d e r to p r o v i d e a c o n s t r u c t i o n w h i c h w i l l h e i g h t e n the s e n s e o f s p a c e . T h e l o v e o f f i n e r y w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i s e d the c o u r t o f P h i l i p the G o o d , D u k e o f B u r g u n d y , a n d the f l o u r i s h i n g t r a d e o f the L o w C o u n t r i e s h e l p e d s p r e a d the f a m e o f the F l e m i s h P r i m i t i v e s . T h e n u m e r o u s a n d v a r i e d w o r k s i n this collection provide us with an excellent o v e r v i e w of t h e i r a r t . J a n v a n E y c k i s g e n e r a l l y v i e w e d a s the l e a d i n g a r t i s t i c f i g u r e o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y Netherlands. He w a s interested in Antiquity, had good geographical knowledge, was wellversed in literature a n d possessed great technical i n g e n u i t y . T h e m u s e u m p o s s e s s e s t w o o f his works, which are small in format but high in q u a l i t y : Saint Barbara a n d Madonna at the Fountain. Saint Barbara is s u r p r i s i n g b e c a u s e of its g r a p h i c a l q u a l i t i e s a n d its u n u s u a l t e c h n i q u e , a n d the fact that it is not an o r d i n a r y p a i n t i n g . N u m e r o u s e x p e r t s h a v e tried t o d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r it is in fact an u n f i n i s h e d p a i n t i n g , a grisaille, or a finished d r a w i n g . T h e d r a w i n g is e x e c u t e d on a s m o o t h , y e l l o w - b r o w n tinted g r o u n d w i t h a s t y l u s , a n d is finished off w i t h a fine paintbrush. T h e work has a m a r b l e d frame b e a r i n g a n i n s c r i p t i o n w h i c h tells u s the n a m e

o f the a r t i s t a n d the d a t e o f e x e c u t i o n , n a m e l y 1 4 3 7 . V a n E y c k depicts Saint B a r b a r a with her p r a y e r - b o o k a n d p a l m , seated before a lateg o t h i c t o w e r w h i c h i s i n the p r o c e s s o f c o n s t r u c tion. T h e Madonna at the Fountain p a n e l is e v e n smaller in format, and is also signed and dated on a m a r b l e d frame. T h e attention w h i c h V a n E y c k f o c u s e d u p o n the t e n d e r e m b r a c e o f m o t h er and child is characteristic of late-medieval d e v o t i o n . T h e a r t i s t d e p i c t s the p a r a d i s i a c a l g a r d e n a n d o t h e r s y m b o l s o f the V i r g i n s u c h a s the f o u n t a i n , the r o s e a n d the iris. A n g e l s h o l d u p a g o r g e o u s b r o c a d e cloth b e h i n d the m o t h e r a n d child as a s y m b o l of honour. T h e s y m b o l i s m o f the c o l o u r s u s e d i n the p a i n t i n g s e r v e t o h e i g h t e n its s p i r i t u a l m e s s a g e . W e see a s i m i l a r a c u t e n e s s o f o b s e r v a t i o n i n R o g i e r v a n d e r W e y d e n ' s Altar of the Sacraments. T h e C a l v a r y s e q u e n c e t a k e s p l a c e i n the i n t e r i o r of a* light, spacious church, w h o s e carefully e x e c u t e d d e t a i l s i m m e d i a t e l y c a t c h the v i e w e r ' s eye. T h e seven s a c r a m e n t s are presented a r o u n d the c e n t r a l c r u c i f i x i o n g r o u p a c c o m p a nied by an angel with a banderole. T h e importa n c e of the a c t i o n in the c e n t r a l p a n e l is e m p h a s i s e d b y the size o f the d e p i c t e d p e r s o n a g e s c o m p a r e d to the figures in the s i d e p a n e l s . T h e e m o t i o n o f the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s - S a i n t J o h n a n d the three M a r y s - w h o a r e o v e r c o m e

<
H A N S MEMLING

Christ among Angels singing and playing instruments detail

A N O N Y M O U S U T R E C H T (?) M A S T E R , C a .

1363

Calvary of Hendrik van Rijn, 1363 Inv. 5 1 9 P a n e l , 1 3 3 x 1 3 0 c m (with f r a m e : 1 5 0 x 1 4 6 c m )

JAN

VAN

EYCK

M a a s e i k ? ca. 1 3 9 0 - Bruges 1 4 4 1 Saint Barbara, 1437 Inv. 4 1 0 Panel, 31 x 18 cm O n the f r a m e : I O H ( A N N ) E S D E V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1
EYCK ME FECIT.

1437

JAN

VAN

EYCK

M a a s e i k ? ca. 1 3 9 0 - Bruges 1 4 4 1 Madonna and Child at the Fountain, I4jg Inv. 4 1 1 Panel, 19 x 1 2 . 5 cm A t the b o t t o m o f the f r a m e : A L S I C H C A N , a n d :
JOH(ANN)ES DE EYCK ME FECIT + (COM)PLEVIT ANO

1439°.

V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

ROGIER

VAN

DER

WEYDEN

AND

ASSISTANTS

T o u r n a i ca. 1 3 9 9 - Brussels 1464

Altar of the Sacraments
Inv. 393-394-395 Panel, w i n g s 1 1 9 x 63 c m ; central panel 200 x 97 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

w i t h grief, i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f e a t u r e o f V a n d e r W e y d e n ' s a r t . I t i s t h o u g h t t h a t the t r i p t y c h w a s c o m m i s s i o n e d i n 1 4 4 1 b y the B i s h o p o f T o u r n a i , J e a n C h e v r o t , for the a l t a r o f h i s private chapel. V a n der W e y d e n portrays him on the left of the p a i n t i n g , as the b i s h o p a d m i n istering Confirmation. R o g i e r v a n der W e y d e n , w h o c a m e from T o u r n a i , w o r k e d i n B r u s s e l s a s official m u n i c i p a l p a i n t e r . H e i s the f i r s t g r e a t a r t i s t after J a n v a n E y c k , b u t u n l i k e his p r e d e c e s s o r h i s s t a n d i n g a l l o w e d h i m to o p e r a t e a w o r k s h o p w i t h a large number of assistants. Whereas V a n der W e y d e n w a s p r o b a b l y helped b y his assistants d u r i n g the e x e c u t i o n of the Altar of the Sacrament, his Portrait of Philippe de Croy is v i e w e d as b e i n g

e n t i r e l y f r o m his o w n h a n d . H e w a s a t a l e n t e d p a i n t e r o f p o r t r a i t s , w h o l o o k e d b e y o n d the incidental details of his subjects. P h i l i p p e de C r o y , w h o belonged to a prominent noble family, had been G o v e r n o r of H a i n a u l t since 1 4 5 6 . V a n der W e y d e n p o r t r a y e d h i m as a refined a n d p i o u s m a n . T h e fact that h e i s d e p i c t e d a t p r a y e r s u p p o r t s the n o t i o n t h a t this m a l e p o r trait o r i g i n a l l y f o r m e d the r i g h t - h a n d p a r t of a diptych. T h e Annunciation a t t r i b u t e d to a f o l l o w e r of R o g i e r v a n d e r W e y d e n i s e n t i r e l y i n the s p i r i t o f the m a s t e r . I n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h m e d i e v a l c u s t o m , the a n g e l a p p r o a c h e s M a r y i n the b e d r o o m of a townhouse. T h e room contains a red bed with a large canopy. T h e j u g w h i c h

h o l d s a n u m b e r of lily s t e m s is a s y m b o l of M a r y ' s virginity. Rogier's grandson, Goossen van der Weyden, who w a s born in Brussels around 1 4 6 5 , w a s also a p a i n t e r w h o r a n a l a r g e s t u d i o . T h e bill for the Triptych of Abbot Antonius Tsgrooten p a i n t e d in 1 5 0 7 still s u r v i v e s , s o that w e c a n b e s u r e that i t i s the w o r k o f G o o s s e n v a n d e r W e y d e n . T h e a b b o t p r o b a b l y c o m m i s s i o n e d this little triptych for his p r i v a t e q u a r t e r s . H e i s s h o w n k n e e l i n g o n the r i g h t - h a n d p a n e l , i n the p r e s e n c e o f the V i r g i n M a r y . T h e c e n t r a l p a n e l depicts Christ as intermediary and M a n of S o r r o w s , s u r r o u n d e d b y the i n s t r u m e n t s o f his Passion. S o m e d o u b t p e r s i s t s a s t o the a u t h o r s h i p o f the s m a l l p a i n t i n g e n t i t l e d Mary and the Infant Jesus. It h a s b e e n identified as o r i g i n a t i n g from the c i r c l e s u r r o u n d i n g D i r k B o u t s , o f w h o s e o r i g i n s w e k n o w little w i t h a n y c e r t a i n t y . H e p r o b a b l y c a m e f r o m H a a r l e m , a n d l e a r n e d his a r t i s t ' s t r a d e i n the S o u t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s where he w a s strongly influenced by R o g i e r v a n der W e y d e n . He received major commissions from the c i v i l a n d e c c l e s i a s t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s i n L o u v a i n . T h e panel in question w a s intended to m o v e the v i e w e r t o reflection. M a r y , the m o s t v i r t u o u s o f a l l w o m e n , i s p o r t r a y e d h e r e a s the i n c a r n a t i o n o f the c o n t e m p o r a r y i d e a l o f b e a u ty, w i t h h e r l o n g , p a l e face a n d the r a i s e d hair-line. Although H a n s M e m l i n g will forever be associated with Bruges, he w a s actually born in S e l i g e n s t a d t i n G e r m a n y . F r o m 1 4 6 5 until his death in 1 4 9 4 he w o r k e d as a painter in B r u g e s , w h e r e h e r e c e i v e d c o m m i s s i o n s from w e a l t h y citizens a n d f o r e i g n m e r c h a n t s . I t w a s a c o m m i s s i o n o f this t y p e , p r o b a b l y from a n I t a l i a n p a t r o n , w h i c h c a u s e d h i m t o p a i n t the s o b e r Portrait of a Man. A l t h o u g h m a n y h y p o t h e s e s h a v e b e e n p r e s e n t e d , it is not p o s s i b l e to m a k e a m e a n i n g f u l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the s u b j e c t . T h e a p p e a r a n c e a n d c l o t h i n g o f the p o r t r a y e d m a n s u g g e s t that he is a S o u t h e r n E u r o p e a n , m o s t likely a n I t a l i a n . H e i s d e p i c t e d w i t h a c o i n from the r e i g n o f the E m p e r o r N e r o i n his h a n d , before a l a n d s c a p e c o n t a i n i n g s w a n s a n d p a l m trees. M e m l i n g w a s h e a v i l y i n f l u e n c e d i n i t i a l l y b y R o g i e r v a n d e r W e y d e n , b u t i n the c a s e o f this o u t s t a n d i n g p o r t r a i t d a t i n g f r o m a r o u n d 1 4 7 8 , it is the i n f l u e n c e of the Q u a t t r o c e n t o w h i c h w e feel m o s t s t r o n g l y . A p a r t from this w o r l d l y p o r t r a i t , the m u s e u m a l s o p o s s e s s e s fragments of a religious polyptych by M e m l i n g , Christ among Angels singing and playing Instruments. T h e carefully ordered and simple composition d e p i c t s C h r i s t a s S o v e r e i g n o f the W o r l d , g i v i n g H i s b l e s s i n g , w i t h three s i n g i n g a n g e l s o n e i t h e r side. T h e two other panels contain five angels playing musical instruments: psaltery, tromba m a r i n a , lute, trumpet a n d oboe (left-hand panel), bassoon, trumpet, portative organ, harp and viol (right-hand panel). H e a v e n is sugg e s t e d b y the g l o w i n g c l o u d s w h i c h r u n from the left a c r o s s to the r i g h t - h a n d p a n e l . T h e s e
ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN

T o u r n a i ca. 1 3 9 9 - Brussels 1464 Philippe de Croy Inv. 254 P a n e l . 49 x 30 cm U p p e r left c o r n e r , m o n o g r a m : s e ( m ) p . O n ihe reverse, upper part: (Phil)ippe de C r o y ; lower pari: (Seigne)ur de S e m p y . with the b l a z o n of P h i l i p p e de C r o y between. V a n Ertborn bequest. 1 8 4 1 .

FOLLOWER

OF

ROGIER

VAN

DER

WEYDEN

Annunciation Inv. 396 P a n e l , 20 x 12 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1 .

GOOSSEN

VAN

DER

W E Y D E N

B r u s s e l s ca. 1 4 6 5 - A n t w e r p after 1 5 3 8 Triptych of Abbot Antonius Tsgrooten (ijOj) Inv. 5 0 9 1 / 1 to 5 0 9 1 / 5 Panel, central panel 3 3 . 7 x 2 5 . 2 c m : side panels 34 x i i cm Purchased in 1966

FOLLOWER

OF

DIRK

BOUTS

H a a r l e m ? ca. 1 4 1 5 - L o u v a i n 1 4 7 5 Mary and the Infant Jesus I n v . 28 Panel, 29.5 x 20.5 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

HANS

MEMLING

Seligenstadt ( G e r m a n y ) ca. 1 4 3 3 - Bruges 1494 Portrait of a Man Inv. 5 P a r c h m e n t on w o o d , 29 x 22 cm O n the c o i n : N E R O C L A U D . C A E S A R
IMPER. AVG. GERM TR. P.

V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

HANS

MEMLING

Seligenstadt ( G e r m a n y ) ca. 1 4 3 3 - Bruges 1494 Christ among Angels singing and playing instruments Inv. 778-779-780 P a n e l , c e n t r a l p a n e l 1 6 4 x 2 1 2 c m ; side p a n e l s , e a c h 1 6 5 x 230 cm Purchased in 1895

G E R A R D

DAVID

O u d e w a t e r ca. 1460 - Bruges 1 5 2 3 Mary, Saint John and three Women Pilate and the Jews at Golgotha Inv. 179 and 180 Panel, 45 x 4 2 . 5 cm V a n Ertborn bequest. 1 8 4 1

p a n e l s a r e f r a g m e n t s o f a p o l y p t y c h , n o w larg­ e l y lost, w h i c h o n c e s t o o d o n the h i g h a l t a r o f the B e n e d i c t i n e c h u r c h o f S a n t a M a r i a l a R e a l in Najera, Spain. T h e last big n a m e to b e l o n g to the F l e m i s h Primitives was G e r a r d David. He was born in Holland, but w a s enrolled as a Free M a s t e r in Bruges, The Holy where he died in 1523. The panels and d e p i c t i n g Pilate's Dispute with the High Priest,

F O L L O W E R

OF

G E R A R D

DAVID

Rest on the Flight into Egypt I n v . 47 P a n e l , 81 x 58 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

Women and Saint John at Golgotha, w h i c h

o r i g i n a l l y f o r m e d a t r i p t y c h t o g e t h e r w i t h Christ nailed to the Cross ( T h e N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y , L o n ­ d o n ) d a t e f r o m the p e r i o d 1 4 8 0 - 8 5 . The Egypt painting has been entitled Rest on to a the Flight into of attributed follower

G e r a r d D a v i d . A particularly impressive feature o f this s e r e n e little p a i n t i n g i s the e v o c a t i o n o f the l a n d s c a p e : with birds, a we see a s m a l l s t r e a m dark a wood and an with a spring, v a r i o u s types of flowers a n d p l a n t s , trees imposing has landscape with rocky ridge. T h e work

b e e n p r o v i s i o n a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t o a B r u g e s mas­ ter after a lost p a i n t i n g b y G e r a r d D a v i d .

M A S T E R OF

FRANKFURT

B o r n 1 4 6 0 , a n o n y m o u s artist w o r k i n g i n A n t w e r p around 1500 Portrait of the artist and his wife, 14Ф I n v . 5096 P a n e l , 38 x 26 cm T h e d a t e 1 4 9 6 a n d the a g e o f the subjects - 3 6 a n d 2 7 r e s p e c t i v e l y - a r e g i v e n at the b o t t o m Purchased in 1 9 7 4

MASTER

OF

FRANKFURT

B o r n 1 4 6 0 , a n o n y m o u s artist w o r k i n g i n A n t w e r p around 1500 Archery Festival, ( 1 4 9 3 ? )

Inv. 529 Panel, 176 x 1 4 1 cm F r o m the O l d A r c h e r s ' G u i l d h a l l , A n t w e r p

F e w o f the w o r l d l y p a i n t i n g s o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y h a v e survived intact. T h e m u s e u m does, howe v e r , p o s s e s s t w o i n t e r e s t i n g e x a m p l e s o f this t y p e o f p a i n t i n g b y the M a s t e r o f F r a n k f u r t . D e s p i t e his m i s l e a d i n g title, the a r t i s t i n q u e s tion w a s a n a n o n y m o u s m a s t e r w o r k i n g i n A n t w e r p . H i s Portrait of the Artist and his Wife is o n e o f the first p r o f a n e d o u b l e p o r t r a i t s i n the a r t o f the S o u t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s . A l l that n o w s u r v i v e s i s the c e n t r e p i e c e o f w h a t w a s o r i g i n a l l y a t r i p t y c h , w h i c h i s e v i d e n t f r o m the s h a p e o f the p a n e l a n d the t r a c e s o f h i n g e s w h i c h a r e still v i s i b l e . A n e q u a l l y u n u s u a l a n d f a s c i n a t i n g w o r k by the s a m e a r t i s t is the Archery Festival w h i c h dates from a r o u n d 1 4 9 3 . T h i s is an a l l e g o r i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t . T h e a r t i s t l e a d s the v i e w e r a l o n g a v a r i e t y o f

scenes w h i c h take place against a natural background. T h e m a n dressed in a brown tabard a n d a b l a c k c a p w h o m w e see i n the g r a s s i n s i d e the e n c l o s u r e on the r i g h t is p r o b a b l y the artist. We painted talked by above Van der about the male and portraits Memling.

Weyden

T h e r e a r e o t h e r p o r t r a i t s i n the c o l l e c t i o n w h i c h d o not b e a r s u c h i l l u s t r i o u s n a m e s , b u t w h i c h a r e w o r t h y o f o u r a t t e n t i o n all the s a m e . T h e s e include by an Portrait of Jan zonder Master Vrees o f the by the (John the F e a r l e s s ) w h i c h w a s p a i n t e d i n the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y Anonymous Southern M a s t e r of N e t h e r l a n d s , a n d the r i c h l y e m b e l l i s h e d Portrait of Abbot H99Christiaan De Hondt

ANONYMOUS

SOUTHERN

NETHERLANDISH

MASTER

M i d - 1 5 t h century

Portrait of Jan zonder Vrees, Duke of Burgundy Inv. 540
Panel, 21 x 14 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

MASTER

OF

1499

Portrait of Abbot Christiaan de Hondt Inv. 256 Panel, 30 x 14 cm
V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

Foreign medieval art
A p a r t f r o m its r i c h a n d d i v e r s e c o l l e c t i o n o f F l e m i s h m e d i e v a l art, the m u s e u m a l s o b o a s t s w o r k b y the I t a l i a n s S i m o n e M a r t i n i a n d A n t o n e l l o d a M e s s i n a , a n d the w o r l d - f a m o u s French painter, J e a n Fouquet. T h e Siena-born M a r t i n i w a s r e s p o n s i b l e for four s u m p t u o u s little p a n e l s , w h i c h w e r e p r o b a b l y e x e c u t e d i n A v i g n o n w h e r e the a r t i s t w a s i n the s e r v i c e o f the p a p a l c o u r t . T h e Annunciation, Crucifixion a n d Descentfrom the Cross r e v e a l the u t m o s t r e f i n e m e n t in d e s i g n a n d u s e of c o l o u r - b r i g h t , d e c o r a t i v e tones s t a n d o u t f r o m a b a c k g r o u n d finished in g o l d . T h e four A n t w e r p p a n e l s o r i g i n a l l y f o r m e d a s i n g l e g r o u p w i t h Christ carrying the Cross f r o m the D a h l e m m u s e u m i n B e r l i n , a n d the Entombment in the L o u v r e , P a r i s . T h e Sicilian Antonello da Messina painted his Calvary in 1 4 7 5 , m o r e t h a n a c e n t u r y l a t e r . D a M e s s i n a s u c c e e d e d i n u n i t i n g the c h a r a c t e r istics o f 1 5 t h c e n t u r y F l e m i s h a n d I t a l i a n p a i n t i n g in a p l e a s i n g , b a l a n c e d m a n n e r . D e s p i t e the fact that few o f J e a n F o u q u e t ' s p a i n t i n g s h a v e s u r v i v e d ( a l t h o u g h w e still h a v e m a n y o f his d r a w i n g s a n d m i n i a t u r e s ) , h e i s n e v e r t h e l e s s r e c o g n i s e d a s the g r e a t e s t F r e n c h p a i n t e r o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y . T h e A n t w e r p m u s e u m h a s his m a s t e r l y Mary and Jesus surrounded by Seraphim and Cherubim, w h i c h f o r m s a d i p t y c h w i t h the Portrait of Etienne Chevalier with Saint Steven. T r a d i t i o n , d a t i n g b a c k to the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y , h a s i t that the p o r t r a i t o f M a n . b e a r s the f e a t u r e s o f A g n e s S o r e l , the m i s t r e s s of C h a r l e s V I I . W i t h her high forehead, pale skin, r o u n d b r e a s t s a n d s l e n d e r f i g u r e , this f a m o u s M a r y e m b o d i e s the c o n t e m p o r a r y i d e a l of beauty. W e c a n n o t r o u n d off this section w i t h o u t m e n t i o n i n g a refined little w o r k o f G e r m a n o r i g i n , w h i c h i s a n i l l u s t r a t i v e e x a m p l e o f the s o - c a l l e d I n t e r n a t i o n a l S t y l e . S o m e fifty w o r k s h a v e b e e n attributed to an unknown Cologne master, r e f e r r e d t o for c o n v e n i e n c e a s the M a s t e r o f S a i n t V e r o n i c a , i n c l u d i n g The Man of Sorrows between Our Lady and Saint Catherine. T h e p a n e l ' s slender, almost boneless figures, depicted a g a i n s t a g i l d e d g r o u n d , its c o m b i n a t i o n of c o l o u r s a n d its d e l i c a t e m y s t i c i s m m a k e i t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the m e d i e v a l C o l o g n e s c h o o l . T h e c e u v r e o f this m a s t e r i s g e n e r a l l y d a t e d b e t w e e n

I395-I4I5-

SIMONE MARTINI

Siena ca. 1 2 8 4 - Avignon 1 3 4 4 Annunciation Crucifixion, Descent from the Cross Inv. 257-258, 259-260 Panel, n° 2 5 7 : 23 x 14 cm, n° 2 5 8 : 23 x 14 cm, n° 2 5 9 : 2 4 x 1 5 c m a n d n° 2 6 0 : 2 3 . 5 x 1 8 . 5 c m № 2 5 8 o r i g i n a l l y f o r m e d the r e v e r s e o f n ° 2 5 9 , a n d n ° 2 5 7 the r e v e r s e o f n ° 2 6 0 . V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

M A S T E R

OF

SAINT

VERONICA

A c t i v e late 1 4 t h - early 1 5 t h century Man of Sorrows between Our Lady and Saint Catherine Inv. 5070 P a n e l , 41 x 24 cm L o a n e d b y the B e l g i a n S l a t e i n 1 9 5 2

ANTONELLO

DA

MESSINA

Messina ca. 1 4 3 0 - 1 4 7 9 Calvary, Inv. 4 Panel, 5 2 . 5 x 4 2 . 5 cm L o w e r left: i 4 7 5 . a n t o n e l l u s m e s s a n e u s m e p i n x i t . V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

JEAN FOUQUET

T o u r s ca. 1 4 2 0 - ca. 1480 Mary and Jesus surrounded by Seraphim and Cherubim Inv. 1 3 2 P a n e l , 91 x 81 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

QUINTEN

MASSYS

L o u v a i n ca. 1 4 6 6 - A n t w e r p 1 5 3 0 Triptych with the Lamentation of Christ, 1508-1511 Inv. 245-249 P a n e l , 280 x 2 7 3 x 1 2 0 cm A l t a r o f the c a b i n e t - m a k e r s ' g u i l d i n O u r L a d y ' s C h u r c h , A n t w e r p ( 1 5 1 1 - 1 5 8 2 ) ; S t a t e R o o m of A n t w e r p T o w n H a l l ( 1 5 8 2 - 1 5 9 0 ) ; C i t y A l t a r i n the B e s n i j d e n i s kapel in O u r L a d y ' s Church, Antwerp ( 1 5 9 0 - 1 7 9 8 ) ; E c o l e C e n t r a l e des A r t s ; o r i g i n a l collection o f the m u seum

The 16th Century

F l e m i s h p a i n t i n g d u r i n g the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y is a complex matter, with no linear evolution of s t y l e . N e w g e n r e s a r o s e , a n d differing g r o u p s o f a r t i s t s w o r k e d in p a r a l l e l . It is not s u r p r i s i n g then t h a t the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y h a s t r a d i t i o n a l l y been viewed as a transitional period. " T h e 1 5 t h c e n t u r y w a s a t i m e of s e e k i n g , the 1 6 t h a t i m e of g r a p p l i n g w i t h n e w i d e a s , w h i l e the 1 7 t h century p a v e d the w a y for a n e n o r m o u s r a n g e o f new possibilities" ( G . H . Hoogewerff, 1 9 3 5 ) . " N o t h i n g c r e a t e d d u r i n g the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y w a s w i t h o u t v a l u e . E v e r y t h i n g s e r v e d the s a m e e n d w h i c h w a s t o b l o s s o m t r i u m p h a n t l y after 1 6 0 0 " ( P . d ' A r s c h o t , 1 9 6 3 ) . N o t o n l y d o these t w o c o m m e n t s i l l u s t r a t e the c o n f u s i o n o f the p e r i o d i n q u e s t i o n , t h e y a l s o h i g h l i g h t the a m b i g u o u s a t t i t u d e o f a r t - h i s t o r i a n s t o this e r a . T h e t e r m s most c o m m o n l y applied to 16th century culture - renaissance and h u m a n i s m - are themselves r a t h e r v a g u e . I f n o t h i n g else, this l a c k o f p r e c i sion s e r v e s to i n d i c a t e the a c t u a l m e r i t of a

p e r i o d , n a m e l y its refusal t o b e p i n n e d d o w n i n n e a t little s c h e m e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , it is p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h o n e or two major trends. O n e g r o u p of artists held o n t o the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y t r a d i t i o n , there w a s the ' m a n n e r i s t ' t r e n d , o t h e r a r t i s t s took t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n f r o m the I t a l i a n r e n a i s s a n c e a n d E u r o p e a n h u m a n i s m , w h i l e f i n a l l y w e h a v e the i n d i g e n o u s f i g u r e o f B r u e g e l a n d his s c h o o l o r c i r c l e . T h e s e different m o v e m e n t s h a v e left b e h i n d i n t e r e s t i n g , i f not o u t s t a n d i n g w o r k s i n the c o l l e c t i o n o f the A n t w e r p m u s e u m . S i x w o r k s b y Q u i n t e n M a s s y s , the first m a j o r a r t i s t o f the r i s i n g A n t w e r p s c h o o l , a r e i n c l u d e d in the c o l l e c t i o n . In his refined Saint Mary Magdalene, the a r t i s t c o n v e y s his i d e a l of f e m i n ine b e a u t y i n m a s t e r l y f a s h i o n , w h i l e his m o n u m e n t a l t r i p t y c h , The Lamentation of Christ w e l d s t o g e t h e r 1 5 t h c e n t u r y t r a d i t i o n a n d the n e w ideas about art w h i c h w e r e e m e r g i n g from Italy. T h e l i g h t effects, the g r a d a t i o n o f c o l o u r a n d the

i n t e r w e a v i n g o f the c o m p o s i t i o n h a r k b a c k t o the a t t e n t i o n to d e t a i l , the u s e of l a n d s c a p e as a b a c k d r o p a n d the r a t h e r s t e r e o t y p i c a l f i g u r e s o f the p r e v i o u s c e n t u r y . M a s s y s ' h u m a n i s t p o r t r a i t u r e i s a l s o r e p r e s e n t e d i n the m u s e u m i n the s h a p e of his Portrait of Pieter Gilles, w h o w a s a friend o f the artist, a s w e l l a s E r a s m u s a n d S i r T h o m a s M o r e . Quinten's e x a m p l e w a s followed b y his son C o r n e l l s , b y w h o m w e h a v e a characteristic landscape, and J a n M a s s y s , w h o s e Judith b e a r s w i t n e s s to the i n f l u e n c e of the F o n t a i n e b l e a u s c h o o l . J a n P r o v o s t ' s Martyrdom of Saint Catherine - the p e n d a n t of Saint Catherine disputing with the Emperor and the fifty Philosophers i n the M u s e u m B o y m a n s - v a n B e u n i n g e n i n R o t t e r d a m - is a c o l o u r f u l m i x t u r e of t r a d i t i o n and innovation. Provost w a s a painter, cartographer and architect, w h o met A l b r e c h t Diirer in A n t w e r p in 1 5 2 0 . J o a c h i m Patinir's m a r v e l o u s Flight into Egypt, w i t h its three-fold scheme of colour, landscape and geometrical form c o m p l e t e s the s u r v e y o f M a s s y s ' e n t o u rage. K e y w o r k s from the m a n n e r i s t m o v e m e n t a r e a l s o t o b e f o u n d i n the m u s e u m i n the s h a p e o f B a r e n d v a n O r l e y ' s l a r g e Last Judgement tript y c h , a n d the s m a l l e r Adoration of the Magi triptych b y a n a n o n y m o u s artist. T h e majestic a r c h e d c o m p o s i t i o n , b o r r o w e d from R a p h a e l , the scientific r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the n u m e r o u s , a n i m a t e d n u d e f i g u r e s , a n d the d u l l , b r o w n i s h but s m o o t h c o l o u r i n g a l r e a d y p o i n t t o the s t r o n g l y I t a l i a n a t e t e n d e n c y i n the p a i n t i n g o f V a n O r l e y . T h e c h a r m i n g little w o r k b y the M a s t e r o f the A n t w e r p A d o r a t i o n (first h a l f o f the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y ) i s e x u b e r a n t , l i v e l y a n d full o f e c c e n t r i c s h a p e s a n d a t t i t u d e s , w h i l e the n e w l y a c q u i r e d w e a l t h o f A n t w e r p i s d i s p l a y e d i n the a b u n d a n c e of luxurious, gothic reminiscences.

JAN

PROVOST

M o n s ca. 1465 - Bruges 1 5 2 9 The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine Inv. 8 3 8 P a n e l , 94 x 68 cm P u r c h a s e d from J . K l e i n b e r g e n , Paris 1 9 0 4
JOACHIM PATINIR

B o u v i g n e s ca. 1 4 7 5 - A n t w e r p 1 5 2 4 Landscape with the Flight into Egypt I n v . 64 Panel, 1 7 x 2 1 c m L o w e r left: O P U S J O A C H I M D . P A T I N I R . V a n E r t b o r n bequest, 1 8 4 1

QUINTEN

MASSYS

L o u v a i n ca. 1 4 6 6 - A n t w e r p 1 5 3 0 Saint Mary Magdalene Inv. 243 P a n e l , 45 x 29 cm V a n E r t b o r n bequest, 1 8 4 1

BAREND

VAN

ORLEY

Brussels ca. 1 4 9 2 - 1 5 4 2 The Last Judgement and the Seven Acts of Mercy Inv. 7 4 1 - 7 4 5 P a n e l . 248 x 2 1 8 c m ( c e n t r e 1 : 248 x 9 4 c m (side p a n e l s ) P r o p e r t y o f the ' O C M W " . A n t w e r p

MARINUS

VAN

R E Y M E R S W A E L

R e i m e r s w a a l ca. 1493 - probably Middelburg ca. 1 5 6 7 The Tax Collectors Inv. 244 Panel, 65 x 52 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

M a r i n u s v a n R e y m e r s w a e l , a c a l v i n i s t from Z e e l a n d , w a s s t u d y i n g i n A n t w e r p a t the t i m e w h e n Q u i n t e n M a s s y s w a s the u n d i s p u t e d l e a d er of the c i t y ' s p a i n t e r s . In his Saint Jerome I 1 5 4 1 1 a n d The Tax Collectors, V a n R e y m e r s w a e l — realist, mannerist and even expressionist c a r r i e d o n the t r a d i t i o n o f M a s s y s ' g e n r e w o r k s in a picturesque, precious a n d almost caricature fashion. T h e v e r s a t i l e artist P i e t e r P o u r b u s , w h o s e c a r e e r w a s s p e n t i n the f l o u r i s h i n g t o w n o f B r u g e s , c a n a l s o b e seen a s d i s p l a y i n g a c e r t a i n duality of both progressive a n d old-fashioned t r a i t s . H i s Portrait of Olivier van Nieulant, a B r u g e s a l d e r m a n , d a t e s from his less s u c c e s s f u l p e r i o d . H i s s o b e r a n d s h a r p o b s e r v a t i o n is, h o w e v e r , still p r e s e n t , w h i l e the e v e n e x e c u t i o n , n e u t r a l g r o u n d a n d f l o w i n g o u t l i n e s o f his subject are characteristic. T h e neat a n d rather o l d - l o o k i n g (he i s o n l y 2 6 ) f i g u r e o f V a n N i e u l a n t c o n t r a s t s w i t h t w o Portraits of young Men p a i n t e d b y u n k n o w n m a s t e r s , a n d w i t h Pierson

JAN

MASSYS

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 0 9 - ca. 1 5 7 5 Judith Inv. 5076 Panel, 1 1 5 x 80.5 cm O n the s w o r d : J O A N N E S M A S S I I S

PING.

Bequest of M r s . Huybrechts-Delstanche, 1957

L a Hues, d r u m m e r a n d p a g e o f the O l d A r c h e r s ' Guild, which w a s painted by Gillis Congnet in 1 5 8 1 . T h e s e paintings are marvelous represent a t i v e s o f a g e n r e w h i c h , i n the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y , w a s the l e a s t r a t e d o f the p a i n t e r ' s s p e c i a l i s m s . A s the p o r t r a i t i s c l o s e s t t o life, c o n t e m p o r a r y o p i n i o n d e e m e d i t t o b e m u c h less c r e a t i v e o r intellectual than mythological, biblical or m o r a l i s t i c p a i n t i n g . N e v e r t h e l e s s , this s e r i e s o f f o u r p o r t r a i t s p r o v i d e s u s w i t h o n e o f the m o s t l i v e l y d o c u m e n t s o f the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y . T h e m u s e u m does not h a v e a n original w o r k b y P i e t e r B r u e g e l the E l d e r , b u t this i s p a r t i a l l y compensated action tightly colours, the is by an early, reliable planned, sharply scene copy, while The the Bridal Dance ( c a . really 1 5 6 6 ) . T h e apparently chaotic carefully but contrasting that the

delineated

the s h o r t , s t u r d y p e a s a n t f i g u r e s a n d mean truthful r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of B r u e g e l ' s

semicircular village

w o r k is a

i m m e n s e talent. T h e m u s e u m also possesses a w h o l e series of w o r k s by B r u e g e l ' s followers,
MARINUS VAN REYMERSWAEL

R e i m e r s w a a l ca. 1 4 9 3 - p r o b a b l y M i d d e l b u r g ca. 1 5 6 7 Saint Jerome 1541 I n v . 990 P a n e l , 78 x 1 0 7 cm On the e d g e of the lectern: M a r i n u s - me f e c i t . 1 5 4 1 Donated by Artibus Patriae, 1 9 3 5

O F T H E A N T W E R P A D O R A T I O N (ca. I520) Triptych with the Adoration of the Magi I n v . 208-210b P a n e l , 29 x 22 cm (central p a n e l ) , 29 x 8.5 cm (side panels) V a n E r t b o r n bequest, 1 8 4 1 MASTER

1 6 t h century t> Portrait of a young Man Inv. 341 P a n e l , 46 x 32 cm O n the letter: M o n tres hon... b o n e g r a c e . . . p r e s s e n c e sera... c o m e n d par... recen... la v o s . . . ; in the b a c k ground: Aetatis 1 9 . V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1
DUTCH MASTER

PIETER

POURBUS

G o u d a 1 5 2 3 - Bruges 1584 The Portrait van of Nieulant Olivier

Inv. 5074 Panel, 49.5 x 3 7 . 5 cm U p p e r right:
An° D N I I 573./Л.26.M. 10.

P u r c h a s e d from C. Bender, 1954

UNKNOWN

MASTER

(second quarter of the 16th century) Portrait of a young Man Inv. 5 6 4 Panel. 69 x 52 cm V a n Ertborn bequest. 1 8 4 1

GILLIS CONGNET

t>

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 3 8 - H a m b u r g 1 5 9 9 Pierson Guild, La 1581 Hues, Drummer and Page of the Old Archers'

b v . 35 Panel, 1 7 0 x 1 3 3 cm O n a m e d a l l i o n : G i l l i s C o n g n e t f e . ; o n the s t o n e o n t h e left: P i e r s o n l a H u e s , t r o m e l s l a g e r heeft d e s e g u i d e v a n den ouden handboge ghedient 31 j a r e n , 1 5 8 1 in M e e r t , e n d e sterff i n ' t j a a r 1 5 . . F r o m the ' G i l d e k a m e r v a n d e O u d e H a n d b o o g ' G i l d e n k a m e r s t r a a t , A n t w e r p ; p u r c h a s e d from F . V e r a c h tert, M u n i c i p a l A r c h i v i s t , 1 8 4 3

Early copy
BRUEGEL

AFTER

PIETER

THE

ELDER

The Bridal Dance Inv. 973 Panel, 1 1 5 x 166 cm P u r c h a s e d from S p i r i d o n , Berlin, 1929

ABEL

GRIMMER

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 7 0 / 7 7 - 1 6 1 9 Spring Inv. 8 3 1 P a n e l , 33 x 47 cm Summer Inv. 8 3 1 P a n e l , 33 x 47 cm L o w e r right: Albert G r i m e r F 1607 Autumn Inv. 831 Panel, 33 x 47 cm O n w e l l : A b e l G r i m e r fecit Winter Inv. 831 P a n e l , 33 x 47 cm Lower right: Abel Grimer fecit/1607 P u r c h a s e d from the a n t i q u a r i a n D e H e u v e l , B r u s s e l s , 1904

including eight paintings by Pieter ' H e l l ' B r e u g h e l the Y o u n g e r , f i v e b y J a n ' V e l v e t ' Breughel, a fair-scene by H a n s B o l , and five p a n e l s b y J a c o b a n d A b e l G r i m m e r . O n e o f the latter is an interesting reproduction of B r u e g e l ' s Four Seasons. The Temptation of Saint Anthony is a t h e m e w h i c h w a s i m m e n s e l y s u c c e s s f u l from the e n d o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y o n w a r d s . T h e A n t w e r p m u s e u m p o s s e s s e s a c o p y o f the c e n t r e p i e c e o f H i e r o n y m u s Bosch's original Saint Anthony triptych in Lisbon. T h e praying Saint Anthony is surrounded by d e m o n s in human, animal and m o n s t r o u s f o r m , w h i c h a r e s y m b o l s o f all k i n d s o f sin. T h e w o r k o f B o s c h a n d his f o l l o w e r s , a n d o f B r u e g e l a n d his f o l l o w e r s , i s a v e r y i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e for o u r k n o w l e d g e o f the life o f the l o w e r s o c i a l c l a s s e s w i t h i n the c u l t u r e a n d p h i l o s o p h y of the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y as a w h o l e . A s i s e v i d e n t from the a f o r e m e n t i o n e d w o r k by Patinir, l a n d s c a p e in 1 6 t h century art w a s not t r e a t e d r e a l i s t i c a l l y in the s e n s e t h a t it w a s a portrayal of actual views. Compositions were d e v e l o p e d u s i n g s k e t c h e s from n a t u r e . I n his View of Huy, L u c a s v a n V a l c k e n b o r g h offers a d e t a i l e d d e p i c t i o n o f the t o w n a n d its s u r r o u n d i n g s , b u t then c a l l s u p o n h i s i m a g i n a t i o n i n o r d e r to c r e a t e a s e n s e of h a r m o n y b e t w e e n the e l e m e n t s o f the c o m p o s i t i o n , the d e t a i l a n d the grey tones. J a c o b G r i m m e r also sought topograp h i c a l p r e c i s i o n in h i s View of the Kiel, b u t still felt it n e c e s s a r y to a d d the p i c t u r e s q u e p l e a s u r e g a r d e n scene a n d a colourful procession of f a i r - g o e r s . T h e Landscape p a i n t e d b y P a u l B r i l , w h o w o r k e d for a l o n g t i m e i n R o m e a n d w h o w a s the c r e a t o r o f c l a s s i c a l l a n d s c a p e s i n the s t y l e o f C l a u d e L o r r a i n , i s full o f c o n t r a s t s b e t w e e n the d a r k a n d i d y l l i c f o r e g r o u n d a n d the light, p a n o r a m i c b a c k g r o u n d . T h e s e r e n i t y a n d s o b e r n e s s o f the l a n d s c a p e g e n r e g a v e w a y i n the w o r k o f the t r a n s i t i o n a l f i g u r e K e r s t i a e n d e K e u n i n c k to action and d r a m a . It is primarily the r i c h l y c a r v e d s p r i n g w h i c h c a t c h e s the e y e in his Landscape with Diana and Acteon in w h i c h A c t e o n c o m e s across D i a n a while she is bath-

AFTER

HIERONYMUS

BOSCH

Temptation of Saint Anthony Inv. 25 P a n e l , 88 x 71 cm Bottom: J h e r o n i m u s Bosch V a n Ertborn bequest. 1841

i n g . T h e fertile i m a g i n a t i o n , the fanciful r o c k f o r m a t i o n s a n d the c l e a r s e p a r a t i o n b e t w e e n the different a r e a s o f the p a i n t i n g l a t e r g a v e w a y t o greater unity. F r a n s F l o r i s is c h a r a c t e r i s e d to a l a r g e e x t e n t b y the six y e a r s h e s p e n t i n R o m e a n d b y his a d m i r a t i o n for M i c h e l a n g e l o . H e w a s the l e a d ing representative of Italianism in m i d - 1 6 t h c e n t u r y A n t w e r p . W i t h its c r o w d e d , a n i m a t e d c o m p o s i t i o n , his f a m o u s Fall of the Rebel Angels ( 1 5 5 4 ) , a flamboyant a n d i m a g i n a t i v e glorification o f the h u m a n b o d y , c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the s o b e r , s t a t i c p a n e l d e p i c t i n g Saint Luke painting the Virgin Mary. As in the Fall, the s e n s e of s p a c e is l i m i t e d in his Banquet of the Gods ( 1 5 5 0 ) by a g r o u p of figures in the f o r e g r o u n d . F l o r i s ' a b i d i n g i n t e r e s t i n the m u s c u l a r s y s t e m

JACOB

GRIMMER

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 2 5 - 1 5 9 0 View of the Kiel Inv. 671 Panel, 1 2 1 x 196 cm O n the h e d g e : J A C Q . G R I M E R F A 1 5 7 8 . P r o p e r t y o f the C i t y o f A n t w e r p

a n d i n the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f f o r e s h o r t e n e d f i g u r e s , t o g e t h e r w i t h his p r e f e r e n c e for m y t h o l o g ical scenes, m a d e him a highly innovative a n d a t the s a m e t i m e v e r y s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s t i n A n t w e r p . H i s large studio p r o d u c e d a w h o l e series of pupils, assistants and followers. T h e m u s e u m p o s s e s s e s ten m o n u m e n t a l w o r k s b y F l o r i s ' b e s t pupil and successor, M a a r t e n De V o s , w h o f o u n d e d the f r a t e r n i t y o f r o m a n i s t s i n A n t w e r p . T h e s e w o r k s a r e c l e a r p r e c u r s o r s o f the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y b a r o q u e . B o t h Saint Luke painting the Virgin Mary (1602) and The Emperor's Toll ( 1 6 0 1 ) , c e n t r a l p a n e l o f the C o i n - M a k e r s ' T r i p t y c h , a r e late w o r k s b y D e V o s w h o d i e d i n 1 6 0 3 . His rich and varied use of colour might be a t t r i b u t a b l e t o the six y e a r s h e s p e n t i n F l o r ence, R o m e and Venice (where he studied with T i n t o r e t t o ) ; his paintings are clear, b a l a n c e d a n d often s y m m e t r i c a l i n c o m p o s i t i o n , a n d d e s p i t e his p r e f e r e n c e for s h a l l o w s p a c e s , h e s u c c e e d e d in c r e a t i n g a s t r o n g s e n s e of d r a m a a n d p l a s t i c i t y . O n the o t h e r h a n d , a l t h o u g h a L u t h e r a n for a l o n g t i m e , D e V o s w a s a l s o a f i g u r e - h e a d o f the C o u n t e r R e f o r m a t i o n . T h e best e v i d e n c e of this is to be f o u n d in the m o n u m e n t a l s c a l e o f his w o r k s a n d his strict a d h e r e n c e t o the i c o n o g r a p h i c a l p r e c e p t s l a i d d o w n b y the C o u n c i l o f T r e n t . T h e iconography of J o a c h i m Beuckelaer's w o r k i s e q u a l l y f a s c i n a t i n g but totally different in character. B e u c k e l a e r w a s a contemporary of M a a r t e n D e V o s , but d i e d y o u n g i n a r o u n d 1 5 7 5 . H e took the m a r k e t a n d k i t c h e n p a i n t i n g created by Pieter Aertsen, and developed them into a n i n d e p e n d e n t g e n r e w h i c h r e m a i n e d p o p u l a r u n t i l w e l l into the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y . T h e didactic element of Beuckelaer's paintings did not m a n i f e s t itself i n p r o p a g a n d a o n b e h a l f o f C a t h o l i c o r t h o d o x y , b u t i n the c h e e r f u l c e n s u r e o f the w i c k e d n e s s o f w o r l d l y p l e a s u r e . H i s p a i n t i n g s a r e full o f a l l u s i o n s t o s e n s u a l i t y , s e x u a l i t y a n d fertility, w i t h v e g e t a b l e s , fruit, fish, meat a n d cooking utensils piled up a r o u n d a few f i g u r e s . I n his b e s t w o r k s , B e u c k e l a e r m i x e s a s t r o n g s e n s e o f s p a c e a n d d e t a i l o n the o n e h a n d , w i t h u n i t y o f c o m p o s i t i o n o n the other. T h i s s u r v e y o f the c o l l e c t i o n o f 1 6 t h c e n t u r y a r t w o u l d not b e c o m p l e t e w i t h o u t m e n t i o n i n g a few o u t s t a n d i n g w o r k s b y f o r e i g n a r t i s t s . T h e r e a r e three w o r k s b y L u c a s C r a n a c h the E l d e r , c o u r t p a i n t e r t o the E l e c t o r o f S a x o n y , o f w h i c h Caritas is p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g , Portrait of the Dauphin Franqois, son of Francois I, p a i n t e d by the court painter J e a n Clouet, and a youthful work by T i t i a n , Pope Alexander IV presenting Jacopo

PAUL

BRIL

(?)

Antwerp 1 5 5 4 - Rome 1626 Landscape Inv. 974 C a n v a s , 91 x 38 cm D o n a t e d b y S . H a r t v e l d , A n t w e r p 1 9 2 9 t h r o u g h the intermediary of Artibus Patriae

LUCAS VAN VALCKENBORGH
L o u v a i n before 1 5 3 5 - F r a n k f u r t 1 5 9 7 View of Huy from Ahin Inv. 30 P a n e l , 24 x 33 cm V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

KERSTIAEN DE KEUNINGK
Courtrai 1560 - Antwerp 1 6 3 3 Landscape with Acteon and Diana Inv. 376 Panel, 31 x 51 cm Right, on base of fountain: K . D . Keuninck Donated by Oscar Nottebohm, 1909

Pesaro to Saint Peter. T h e s e G e r m a n , F r e n c h a n d I t a l i a n m a s t e r s w e r e b o r n d u r i n g the f i n a l q u a r t e r o f the 1 5 t h c e n t u r y , b u t a r e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f a n e n t i r e l y different w o r l d . T h e n u d e C a r i t a s , o r C h a r i t y , i s s u r r o u n d e d b y three c h i l d r e n . I n this w a y , the p r o t e s t a n t C r a n a c h i m b u e d his s u b j e c t w i t h a q u a l i t y o f m o t h e r l y l o v e , d e s p i t e the fact t h a t h e i s m o r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h the f e m a l e b o d y t h a n the e m b l e m a t i c a s p e c t o f the s u b j e c t . C r a n a c h ' s n u d e s a r e i m m e d i a t e l y recognisable a n d he glorified them in numerous mythological and biblical scenes. J e a n C l o u e t ' s r o y a l c h i l d b e l o n g s t o the t r a d i tion of c o u r t l y p a i n t i n g . It is a little stiff, a n d r a t h e r i d e a l i s e s its s u b j e c t w i t h a g r e a t d e a l o f a t t e n t i o n to e x t e r n a l d e c o r a t i o n . A c h a l k s t u d y for this little p o r t r a i t , in its fine, a n t i q u e s t y l e f r a m e in i m i t a t i o n m a r b l e , is n o w k e p t in the m u s e u m a t C h a n t i l l y . T h e t h i r d o f these i m p o r t a n t w o r k s is a v o t i v e p a i n t i n g by T i t i a n unique a m o n g s t B e l g i u m ' s artistic heritage. T h i s y o u t h f u l w o r k b y the V e n e t i a n m a s t e r , whose teacher, G i o v a n n i Bellini, might h a v e b e g u n the c a n v a s , refers t o the c a p t u r e o f the i s l a n d S a n t a M a u r a f r o m the T u r k s b y S p a n i s h , Venetian and papal armies in 1 5 0 2 . Although it d o e s not h a v e the s o l i d i t y a n d p o w e r o f c o n v i c tion of the m a t u r e T i t i a n , the w o r k is still a f a s c i n a t i n g s p e c t a c l e . T h e c o l o u r s a r e r i c h , the p o p e a n d the b i s h o p i n c l i n e in a h i g h l y s c u l p t u ral m a n n e r t o w a r d s the s a i n t , a n d the l o c a l tones a n d v a r y i n g m a t e r i a l s a r e e a r l y h e r a l d s o f T i t i a n ' s g r e a t oeuvre.

FRANS

FLORIS

Antwerp 1 5 1 9 / 2 0 - 1570

The Fall of the Rebel Angels, '554
Inv.
I

12

P a n e l , 3 0 8 x 2 2 0 cm L o w e r right: '554A l t a r of the F e n c e r ' s g u i l d in Our L a d y ' s Church, Antwerp FF IV. ET F A .

FRANS

FLORIS

Antwerp 1 5 1 9 / 2 0 - 1570 Banquet of the Gods Inv. 956 Panel, 1 5 0 x 198 cm Donated by W. Frilling, 1926

JOACHIM B E U C K E L A E R

A n t w e r p ca. •573/74

1530/35 -

The Vegetable Market, 1367 Inv. 5045 Panel, 149 x 2 1 5 cm O n the a w n i n g o f the stall
in t h e b a c k g r o u n d : J O C H BEUCKELAER I 8 NOV. BRIS I 567.

Donated by Artibus Patriae, •95°

LUCAS CRANACH T H E

ELDER

Kronach 1477 - Weimar 1553 Caritas Inv. 43 P a n e l , 50 x 34 cm M o n o g r a m l o w e r left V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1

JEAN

CLOUET

MAARTEN

DE

VOS

B r u s s e l s (?) c a . 1 4 7 5 - 1 5 4 0 / 4 1 ? The Dauphin Francois, son of Francois I Inv. 33 Panel, 1 6 x 1 3 V a n Ertborn bequest, 1 8 4 1
c m

Antwerp 1 5 3 1 / 3 2 - 1602 The Emperor's Toll, 1601 Inv. 83 L o w e r right: M . D . V . F . 1601 C e n t r a l p a n e l o f t r i p t y c h o f the C o i n m a k e r ' s G u i l d from S a i n t A n d r e w ' s C h u r c h , A n t w e r p

TIZIANO

VECELLIO

(TITIAN)

Pieve di C a d o r e between 1 4 7 7 / 1 4 8 9 - Venice 1 5 7 6 Pope Alexander IV presenting Jacopo Pesaro to Saint Peter Inv. 3 5 7 C a n v a s , 1 4 5 x 184 cm Collection of C h a r l e s I of E n g l a n d ; convent of San P a s q u a l e i n M a d r i d ; d o n a t e d b y W i l l e m I o f the Netherlands in 1 8 2 3

<3
MAARTEN DE VOS

Antwerp 1 5 3 1 / 3 2 - 1603 Saint Luke painting the Virgin Mary, 1602 I n v . 88 Panel, 270 x 2 1 7 cm O n t a b l e leg, r i g h t : F . M . D . V o s 1 6 0 2 C e n t r a l p a n e l o f the t r i p t y c h o f the G u i l d o f S a i n t L u k e , for w h i c h side p a n e l s w e r e p a i n t e d b y M a a r t e n P e p y n , from A n t w e r p C a t h e d r a l

The 17th century

The Grand Masters of the Flemish Baroque: Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck
R u b e n s , V a n D y c k a n d J o r d a e n s . often n a m e d i n the s a m e b r e a t h , a r e the m o s t p r o m i n e n t a r t i s t s o f the F l e m i s h B a r o q u e . T h e trio d o m i n a t e d a r t i s t i c life i n the S o u t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s t h r o u g h o u t the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y . A l l three m a d e a n e n o r m o u s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the f a m e of the city of A n t w e r p , b u t i t i s R u b e n s w h o b e a r s the g r e a t e s t a u t h o r i t y , b e c a u s e h e w a s the m o s t versatile and talented. T h e m u s e u m possesses n o f e w e r t h a n 2 1 o f his p a i n t i n g s a n d oil s k e t c h e s . A f t e r b e c o m i n g a m a s t e r i n the A n t w e r p G u i l d o f S a i n t L u k e i n 1 5 9 8 , R u b e n s left for I t a l y i n 1 6 0 0 , w h e r e h e s p e n t e i g h t y e a r s a n d v i s i t e d all the m a j o r cities. H e s p o k e I t a l i a n , k n e w L a t i n , a n d w a s f a m i l i a r w i t h the g r e a t writers of Antiquity. His period in Italy allowed h i m t o s t u d y A n t i q u e w o r k s o f art a n d the

m a s t e r p i e c e s o f the I t a l i a n R e n a i s s a n c e a t first hand. After returning to A n t w e r p in 1608, he w a s appointed court painter to A r c h d u k e A l b e r t a n d the I n f a n t a I s a b e l l a i n 1 6 0 9 . H e m a r r i e d I s a b e l l a B r a n t , a n d w o r k e d o n the c o n s t r u c t i o n , d e c o r a t i o n a n d f u r n i s h i n g o f his h o u s e a n d studio. He w a s given a great many c o m m i s s i o n s . B e t w e e n 1 6 1 3 a n d 1 6 1 5 . for i n s t a n c e , h e p a i n t e d the t r i p t y c h The Incredulity of Saint Thoma s for N i c o l a a s R o c k o x . w h i c h w a s d e s t i n e d for the c h a p e l c o n t a i n i n g his t o m b i n the F r a n c i s can church in A n t w e r p . R o c k o x . a famous A n t w e r p patrician and humanist, w h o w a s m a y o r o f the city o n a n u m b e r o f o c c a s i o n s , i s s h o w n i n the left-hand p a n e l , w i t h his w i f e o n the right. O n e o f the few m y t h o l o g i c a l s c e n e s b \ R u b e n s to be f o u n d in B e l g i u m is Venus Frigida d a t i n g from 1 6 1 4 . T h e p a i n t i n g d e p i c t s the p r o v e r b ' H u n g e r a n d thirst cool l o v e ' s a r d o u r " . W h e n R u b e n s d i e d i n 1 6 4 0 , h e still p o s s e s s e d his Prodigal Son of 1 6 1 8 . A m o n g s t his manygrand altarpieces and dramatic mythological

PETER

PAUL

RUBENS

PETER

PAUL

RUBENS

Th Adoration of the Magi detail

Siegen ( G e r m a n y ) 1 5 7 7 - Antwerp 1640 The Incredulity of Saint Thomas Inv. 3 0 7 - 3 1 1 W o o d , central panel 1 4 3 x 1 2 3 cm, side panels 146 x 55 cm F r o m the F r a n c i s c a n c h u r c h i n A n t w e r p

PETER PAUL RUBENS
Siegen ( G e r m a n y ) 1 5 7 7 - A n t w e r p 1640 The Prodigal Son Inv. 781 Panel, 107 x 1 5 5 cm Purchased in 1894

PETER PAUL RUBENS

Siegen ( G e r m a n y ) 1 5 7 7 - A n t w e r p 1640 Venus Frigida I n v . 709 Panel, 1 4 2 x 1 8 4 cm Purchased in 1888

O n the next p a g e s :
PETER PAUL RUBENS

Siegen ( G e r m a n ) ) 1 5 7 7 - A n t w e r p 1640 The Lance I n v . 297 Panel, 429 x 3 1 1 cm F r o m the F r a n c i s c a n c h u r c h i n A n t w e r p
PETER PAUL RUBENS

Siegen (Germany) 1 5 7 7 - Antwerp 1640 7 7 K Adoration of the Magi I n v . 298 P a n e l , 4 4 7 x 3 3 6 cm F r o m the C h u r c h o f S a i n t M i c h a e l ' s A b b e y . A n t w e r p

s u b j e c t s , the c r e a t i o n o f this r u r a l s c e n e , i n t e n d e d for his o w n l i v i n g r o o m , m u s t h a v e given him a great deal of pleasure. T h e biblical subject - depicted bottom right — serves merely as a v e h i c l e for the p a i n t i n g of o n e of his e a r l i e s t landscapes. R u b e n s ' c l o s e i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h the r e s u r g e n c e o f C a t h o l i c i s m a n d the s t r u g g l e for p o w e r led t o the p r o d u c t i o n a n u m e r o u s l a r g e a l t a r p i e c e s . H i s s t i r r i n g b a r o q u e i d e a s c o m e t o the fore i n The Lance ( 1 6 1 9 - 2 0 ) , w i t h its e m o t i o n a l l y c h a r g e d , h i g h l y p l a s t i c figures, a n d The Adoration of the Magi ( 1 6 2 4 ) . T h i s m a s t e r p i e c e is p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p r e s s i v e b e c a u s e o f its a n i m a t e d , asymmetrical composition, its marvelously g r a d a t e d c o l o u r i n g , the s p o n t a n e i t y o f e x e c u tion a n d , a b o v e a l l , the e x p r e s s i v e n e s s o f the depicted figures.

R u b e n s ' r e n o w n g r e w t o s u c h a n e x t e n t that h e r e c e i v e d c o m m i s s i o n s from r o y a l a n d a r i s t o c r a t i c c i r c l e s for l a r g e s e r i e s o f w o r k s i n w h i c h h e w a s a b l e t o d i s p l a y the full r a n g e o f his versatility. R u b e n s ' astonishing output is partly e x p l a i n e d b y the efforts o f his e x t e n s i v e s t u d i o . H i s interests w e r e v e r y w i d e - r a n g i n g , a n d e x t e n d e d t o affairs o f state. A s s i s t e d b y his artistic career, R u b e n s carried out d i p l o m a t i c m i s s i o n s w h i c h took h i m t o M a d r i d a n d E n g l a n d . D u r i n g his s t a y i n M a d r i d , h e s o u g h t o u t s o u r c e m a t e r i a l c o n c e r n i n g the w r i t i n g s o f M a r c u s A u r e l i u s o n b e h a l f o f his friend, the A n t w e r p m u n i c i p a l official w h o m h e d e p i c t e d a t his d e s k in the Portrait of Gaspard Gevartius. R u b e n s continued to carry out large-scale comm i s s i o n s until the e n d o f his life. I n 1 6 3 8 the A n t w e r p city a u t h o r i t i e s o r d e r e d a t r i u m p h a l car which was to be drawn ceremonially

PETER

PAUL

RUBENS

Siegen ( G e r m a n y ) 1 5 7 7 - A n t w e r p 1640 Portrait of Gaspard Gevartius I n v . 706 Panel, 1 1 9 x 98 cm B e q u e s t o f C o u n t e s s G i l l e s d e ' s G r a v e n w e z e l , nee d e Brouckhoven de Bergeyck

PETER

PAUL

RUBENS

Siegen ( G e r m a n y ) 1 5 7 7 - A n t w e r p 1640 The Triumphal Car of Kallo Inv. 3 1 8 Panel, 1 0 3 x 71 cm From Antwerp T o w n Hall. Between 1794 and 1 8 1 5 in Paris

JACOB JORDAENS

Antwerp 1593 - 1678 Meleager and Atalanta

Inv. 844 C a n v a s , 1 5 2 x 120 cm Purchased in 1906

JACOB

JORDAENS

Antwerp 1593 - 1678 As the Old sang, the Young play Pipes, 1638 Inv. 677 C a n v a s , 192 x 1 2 0 cm U p p e r centre: J A C O B Purchased in 1883
JORDAENS

1638

ANTHONY

VAN

DYCK

Antwerp 1 5 9 9 - Blackfriars (England) 1641 Portrait of the Artist Marten Pepijn Inv. 793 P a n e l , 72 x 56 cm Left: M e Pictorem Pictor Pinxit D . A n t . V a n D y c k , E g n e s Illustris Purchased in 1898

through the city. The commission was p r o m p t e d b y the v i c t o r y o f the I n f a n t e F e r d i n a n d o v e r the a r m i e s o f the U n i t e d P r o v i n c e s o f the N e t h e r l a n d s at K a l l o . The Triumphal Car of Kallo is a b r i l l i a n t e x a m p l e of R u b e n s ' c o n f i d e n t and improvisational sketching technique. A f t e r the d e a t h o f R u b e n s i n 1 6 4 0 , J a c o b J o r d a e n s b e c a m e the l e a d i n g a r t i s t o f the S o u t h ern N e t h e r l a n d s . H e w a s p r i m a r i l y a c t i v e i n A n t w e r p , a n d his a r t i s t i c a s p i r a t i o n s d i d not e x t e n d q u i t e s o h i g h a s those o f R u b e n s . J o r daens showed himself to be an uncomplicated m e m b e r o f the m i d d l e - c l a s s , a n d there i s little r o o m i n his w o r k for reflection o r a n y feeling o f transcendence. Although he never visited Italy, he w a s strongly influenced by C a r a v a g g i o . T r a c e s o f this i n f l u e n c e a r e v i s i b l e i n the c o n trast b e t w e e n light a n d d a r k w h i c h s e r v e s t o h e i g h t e n the d r a m a t i c t e n s i o n of his Meleager and Atalanta p a i n t e d i n 1 6 1 8 . T h e p a i n t i n g ' s s u b j e c t i s t a k e n f r o m O v i d ' s Metamorphoses. T h e w o r k d e p i c t i n g the t h e m e o( As the Old sang, the Young play Pipes, s i g n e d b y J o r d a e n s a n d d a t e d 1 6 3 8 , i s the e a r l i e s t k n o w n v e r s i o n o f this h i g h l y p o p u l a r t h e m e w h i c h the a r t i s t p a i n t e d a n d d r e w o n a variety of occasions. T h i s wonderful family c o n c e r t s h o w s J o r d a e n s a t his b e s t . T h e y o u n g e s t o f the three g r e a t m a s t e r s w a s A n t h o n y V a n D y c k , ten o f w h o s e w o r k s a r e i n the m u s e u m ' s p o s s e s s i o n . H e w o r k e d w i t h R u b -

e n s for a t i m e in his y o u t h , after w h i c h he s p e n t m o s t o f his c a r e e r i n E n g l a n d a n d I t a l y . H e w a s e v e n m o r e a d m i r e d i n E n g l a n d t h a n i n his o w n country, and he had a significant influence upon E n g l i s h p a i n t i n g . V a n D y c k ' s c e u v r e , less v a r i e d t h a n that o f R u b e n s , c o n s i s t s m a i n l y o f b r i l l i a n t portraits. H i s sensitive personality a n d restless temperament were brought to bear in penetrating p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s o f m e m b e r s o f l e a d i n g f a m i l i e s , the n o b i l i t y a n d r o y a l t y . H i s s o b e r Portrait of Marten Pepijn s h o w s the a r t i s t as an e n e r g e t i c m a n o f fifty-eight y e a r s , d e p i c t e d i n a b l a c k j e r k i n w i t h a refined p l e a t e d c o l l a r . V a n D y c k also painted grandiose religious a n d m y t h o l o g i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n s . H i s Descent from the Cross, e x e c u t e d as a c o m m i s s i o n from an I t a l i a n a b b o t , is i m b u e d w i t h s o m e t h i n g of a t h e a t r i c a l character b y M a r y ' s expansive gestures. V a n D y c k s h o w s his s e n s e o f the m o n u m e n t a l i n this b i b l i c a l t h e m e i n w h i c h the i n t i m a t e e m o t i o n o f the d e p i c t e d c h a r a c t e r s e n j o y s the v i e w e r ' s fullest a t t e n t i o n .

ANTHONY VAN DYCK

A n t w e r p 1 5 9 9 - Blackfrjars ( E n g l a n d ) 1 6 4 1 The Lamentation of Christ I n v . 404 C a n v a s . 1 1 5 x 208 c m F r o m the F r a n c i s c a n c h u r c h i n A n t w e r p

ABRAHAM JANSSENS

Antwerp 1 5 7 5 - 1632 Scaldis and Antiuerpia Inv. 2 1 2 Panel, 1 7 4 x 308 cm From Antwerp T o w n Hall

THEODOOR ROMBOUTS

Antwerp 1597 - 1637 The Card Players Inv. 358 C a n v a s , 1 5 2 x 206 c m V a n den B o s c h - V a n C a m p bequest, 1847

Flemish figure painters
A p a r t from its m a j o r c o l l e c t i o n s o f the three g r e a t A n t w e r p m a s t e r s , the m u s e u m a l s o p o s sesses m a n y paintings w h i c h p r o v i d e a v a r i e d picture of 1 7 t h century Flemish artistic speciali s m s , s u c h a s a l l e g o r y , g e n r e , art g a l l e r i e s , embellished landscape, historical paintings and portraiture. I n a d d i t i o n t o his f a v o u r i t e a l l e g o r i c a l s c e n e s , A b r a h a m J a n s s e n s also painted religious and mythological themes. J a n s s e n s w a s slightly y o u n g e r t h a n R u b e n s , a n d for a t i m e w a s his e q u a l . A f t e r his v i s i t t o I t a l y , h o w e v e r , R u b e n s q u i c k l y s u r p a s s e d h i m . J a n s s e n s p a i n t e d Scaldis and Antwerpia for the S t a t e R o o m or ' S t a e t e n camer' of Antwerp T o w n Hall. This decorative, a l l e g o r i c a l w o r k , c o m m i s s i o n e d b y the city a u t h o r i t i e s , o r i g i n a l l y a d o r n e d the c h i m n e y b r e a s t , a n d c o n s i s t s o f a p a e a n o f p r a i s e t o the c i t y ' s m a i n a r t e r y , the R i v e r S c h e l d t . T h e s h a r p contrast b e t w e e n light a n d dark recalls C a r a v aggio, w h o h a d a great influence upon m a n y of the a r t i s t s of the t i m e . T h e o d o r e R o m b o u t s was a pupil of A b r a h a m J a n s s e n s , a n d another c a r a v a g g i s t . He spent a n u m b e r o f y e a r s i n I t a l y , a n d w a s m u c h influenced by C a r a v a g g i o ' s genre works. As far as the s u b j e c t m a t t e r is c o n c e r n e d , his Card Players is a g e n r e p a i n t i n g , d e p i c t i n g as it d o e s a jollys c e n e from e v e r y d a y life p r o b a b l y w i t h a m o r a l ising undertone. T h e painting is large in format, realistic in conception a n d traditional in style, a n d its s u b j e c t i s p o r t r a y e d i n s o b e r a n d m o n u m e n t a l f a s h i o n . T h e m u s e u m a l s o h a s a treatm e n t of the s a m e s u b j e c t , Card Players by

A d r i a a n B r o u w e r , o n e o f the m o s t o r i g i n a l t a l e n t s in F l e m i s h art. B r o u w e r ' s v e r s i o n is a genre piece in a s m a l l e r format, with m a r v e l o u s , velvety colouring. W h e r e a s B r o u w e r chose to p l a c e p a r t i c u l a r e m p h a s i s u p o n the g r i m e x i s t e n c e o f the p o o r , D a v i d T e n i e r s the Y o u n g e r concentrated upon more idealised works. As u s u a l , he p a y s a g r e a t d e a l of a t t e n t i o n to the l a n d s c a p e in his Before the Inn. T h e d r i n k e r s a r e almost incidental. A p a r t from p a i n t i n g s d e a l i n g w i t h s o c i a l c u s t o m s a n d m o r e s , there w a s a g r e a t d e m a n d from c o n t e m p o r a r y p a t r o n s o f the a r t s for d e c o rative canvases. An attractive example is prov i d e d b y the l a r g e n u m b e r o f art g a l l e r y p a i n t i n g s , a s p e c i a l i s m w h i c h a r o s e i n the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y , i n w h i c h the p a t r o n i s p o r t r a y e d i n the m i d s t o f his c o l l e c t i o n , a n d i n w h i c h the a r t i s t e x p r e s s e s the i d e a s a n d a t t i t u d e s o f his t i m e . F r a n s F r a n c k e n I I , w h o p a i n t e d the A n t w e r p m e r c h a n t Sebastiaan Leerse in his Gallery t o g e t h e r w i t h h i s s e c o n d w i f e a n d their s o n , w a s a m a s t e r i n this field. P a i n t i n g s o f this k i n d h a v e b o t h aesthetic and documentaryvalue, as the d e p i c t e d p a i n t i n g s c o u l d l a r g e l y b e identified. P o r t r a i t u r e w a s g e n e r a l l y v i e w e d a s a slightlyi n f e r i o r b r a n c h o f art, a s i t r e q u i r e d less i n v e n t i v e n e s s o n the p a r t o f the p a i n t e r . T h e p o r t r a i t s o f C o r n e l i s D e V o s a r e a m o n g s t the m o s t b e a u t i f u l p r o d u c e d i n the S o u t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s i n the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y . T h e m u s e u m p o s s e s s e s s e v e r a l w o r k s b y this a r t i s t w h o w a s b o r n i n H u l s t i n the N o r t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s , b u t w h o w a s a c t i v e i n A n t w e r p . T h e f u l l - l e n g t h , life-size s u b j e c t s of his Family Portrait a r e e x e c u t e d in a truthful a n d i n t r i g u i n g m a n n e r .

DAVID

TENIERS

THE

YOUNGER

Antwerp 1 6 1 0 - Brussels 1690 Before the Inn - 345 P a n e l , 37 x 49 cm L o w e r c e n t r e : D . T E N T E R S , F E C . P u r c h a s e d at the S c h a m p van Aveschoot Auction in Ghent in 1840
I n v

ADRIAEN

BROUWER

Oudenaarde 1605/06 - Antwerp 1638 The Card Players Inv. 642 Panel, 25 x 39 cm P u r c h a s e d a t the C o u r t e b o u r n e A u c t i o n i n 1 8 8 0

FRANS FRANCKEN II

Antwerp 1607 - 1667 Art Gallery I n v . 669 Panel, 77 x 1 1 4 cm L o w e r right: F. F R A N C K . I N . E T . F. Donated by Artibus Patriae, 1878

No matter how versatile individual artists m i g h t h a v e b e e n , the s p l i t t i n g u p o f p a i n t i n g into different s p e c i a l i s m s m e a n t that a r t i s t s often c o o p e r a t e d on a s i n g l e p a i n t i n g to w h i c h e a c h m a d e his o w n s p e c i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n . E r a s m u s Q u e l l i n a n d J a n F y t p a i n t e d the Portrait o f a Boy, w i t h Q u e l l i n p o r t r a y i n g the y o u n g l a d , a n d F y t the d o g s .

CORNELIS

DE

vos

Hulst 1 5 8 4 / 8 5 Antwerp 1651 Family Portrait, 1631 Inv. 841 Panel, 1 6 5 x 1 3 5 cm L o w e r left: C . D E V O S F . A ° I 63 I P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 0 5

ERASMUS QUELLIN

Antwerp 1 6 0 7 - 1678 and JAN FYT Antwerp 1 6 1 1 - 1661 Portrait of a Boy I n v . 407 P a n e l , 1 3 6 x 1 0 3 cm V a n den H e c k e - B a u t d e R a s m o n bequest, 1 8 5 9

JOOS

DE

MOMPER

THE

YOUNGER

Antwerp 1 5 6 4 - c a . 1635
HENDRIK VAN BALEN

Antwerp 1 5 7 5 - 1632
JAN 'VELVET' BREUGHEL

Brussels 1568 - Antwerp 1 6 2 5 Helicon or Minerva's Visit to the Muses Inv. 957 P a n e l , 1 4 0 x 1 9 9 cm L o w e r right: B A L E , M O M P E R . B R U E G H E L . Selb. V a n H u m b e e c k bequest, 1 9 2 5

DAVID

TENIERS

THE

YOUNGER

Antwerp 1 6 1 0 - Brussels 1690 Return from the Hunt, 1670 Inv. 727 P a n e l , 28 x 35 cm L o w e r r i g h t : D . T E N I R S 1670 F E . P u r c h a s e d a t the G e e l h a n d d e L a b i s t r a t e A u c t i o n , 1878

Landscape, still-life and animals
W e p i c k u p the t h r e a d o f l a n d s c a p e d e v e l o p m e n t w i t h K e r s t i a e n d e K e u n i n c k ' s Landscape (see p. 3 7 ) . Helicon or Minerva's visit to the Muses, b y the trio J o o s d e M o m p e r ( l a n d s c a p e ) , H e n d r i k v a n B a l e n (figures) a n d J a n ' V e l v e t ' B r e u g h e l ( f l o w e r s ) is a v e r y s i m i l a r w o r k , a l b e i t rather more attractive, and with a more harm o n i o u s l a n d s c a p e . (It is in fact a r a t h e r a r t i f i c i a l d e v i c e t o p l a c e D e K e u n i n c k i n the 1 6 t h c e n t u r y a t a l l , a s the p a i n t i n g i n q u e s t i o n d a t e s from the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y ) . T h e f o r e g r o u n d and b a c k g r o u n d merge gradually with one another, forbidding rocks give w a y to a g r a n d v a l l e y , in w h i c h the m y t h o l o g i c a l s c e n e f o r m s a b a l a n c e d c o m p o n e n t . In his Landscape with Shepherds, J a n W i l d e n s a b a n d o n e d the b i r d ' s - e y e v i e w in f a v o u r of a t y p e of r e a l i s t i c , a l t h o u g h at the s a m e t i m e i d e a l i s e d a n d s e r e n e slice o f n a t u r e . T h e d y n a m i c , c o s m i c v i s i o n i n the tradition of R u b e n s is also absent from D a v i d T e n i e r s the Y o u n g e r ' s Return from the Hunt a n d J a n S i b e r e c h t s ' The Wager. B o t h a r t i s t s w e r e s e d u c e d b y D u t c h l a n d s c a p e art w i t h its lightness of touch, a n d clear, impressionistic a t m o sphere. Siberechts' v a g u e l y erotic paintings h a v e , h o w e v e r , a certain solidity of form a n d evenness of execution, while in Teniers' work, colours and contours are diaphanous and a l m o s t d i s s o l v e into o n e a n o t h e r . Still life in the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y , be it a floral c o m p o s i t i o n , a ' p r o n k s t u k ' (or s u m p t u o u s still life) or a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the vanitas t h e m e , is invariably opulent, ingenious and moralistic. J a n ' V e l v e t ' B r e u g h e l ' s Flowers in a Vase b l o o m i n different s e a s o n s , a r e a r r a n g e d h i e r a r c h i c a l l y in a rich b o u q u e t , a n d refer in all t h e i r b e a u t y to the t r a n s i e n c e o f life. T h e o d o o r A e n v a n c k ' s Fruit a l s o r e p r e s e n t s the p r o c e s s o f d e c a y a n d destruction, but it w a s Franciscus G y s b r e c h t s w h o e x p r e s s e d this t r a n s i e n c e i n the m o s t e x p l i cit f a s h i o n . H i s Vanitas is c o n c e i v e d as a g r a n d i o s e s p e c t a c l e d e a l i n g w i t h the v a n i t y o f the i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r l d ( g l o b e , b o o k s ) , of the vita voluptaria ( m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t s , s m o k i n g i m p l e m e n t s ) a n d , f i n a l l y , of the t r a n s i e n c e of life (skull, h o u r g l a s s ) . T h e moralistic m e a n i n g o f these still lifes m i g h t h a v e lost s o m e o f its u r g e n c y a s far a s m o d e r n v i e w e r s a r e c o n c e r n e d , b u t the v i s u a l p l e a s u r e w h i c h they offer is an equally important aspect. T h e fully-fledged a n i m a l painting e m e r g e d in the l a t e 1 6 t h c e n t u r y w i t h the rise o f b i o l o g i c a l research a n d collections of rare creatures. R o e l a n t S a v e r y in The Garden of Eden a n d J a n v a n K e s s e l in The Mockery of the Owl d e m o n s t r a t e a thorough knowledge of exotic animals such as the w a t e r - b u f f a l o a n d the d r o m e d a r y . B o t h a r t i s t s u s e a n a r r a t i v e s u b j e c t as a v e h i c l e for painting their a n i m a l s , while F r a n s S n y d e r s , by contrast, takes a realistic starting point - a m a r k e t s c e n e - for his p a i n t i n g of the Fishmonger's. T h e d r a m a t i c , l a r g e f o r m a t w a s a l s o u s e d for h u n t i n g s c e n e s .

AORIAAN VAN STALBEMT
Antwerp 1 5 8 0 - 1662 Landscape with Fables, 1620 I n v . 469 Panel, 1 2 9 x 169 cm L o w e r right: A. Stalbemt F 1620 Donated by Artibus Patriae, 1868

JAN

WILDENS

Antwerp 1 5 8 6 - 1653 Landscape with Shepherds, 1631 I n v . 987 C a n v a s , 1 3 5 x 201 cm L o w e r left: J . W i l d e n s 1 6 3 1 Donated by Artibus Patriae, 1 9 3 5

JAN 'VELVET'

BREUGHEL

Brussels 1568 - Antwerp 1 6 2 5 Flowers in a Vase Inv. 643 P a n e l , 1 0 1 x 76 cm P u r c h a s e d from M r s . P e l g r i m s - H a e n e g r a e f f , 1 8 8 0

JAN

SIBERECHTS

A n t w e r p 1 6 2 7 - L o n d o n ca. 1 7 0 3 The Wager Inv. 886 C a n v a s , 120 x 160 cm L o w e r right: J e a n Siberechts. D . Envers 1 6 6 . C . S e d e l m e y e r c o l l e c t i o n , P a r i s ; p u r c h a s e d from F. Kleinberger, Paris, 1 9 1 0 .

THEODOOR AENVANCK

Antwerp 1 6 3 3 - 1690 Fruit, 1653 Inv. 758 P a n e l , 63 x 80 cm Left o n t a b l e : T h e o d o o r A e n v a n c k 1 6 5 3 P u r c h a s e d from the V a n C u t s e m family, 1 8 9 2

ROELANT SAVERY

Courtrai 1 5 7 6 - Utrecht 1 6 3 9 77K Garden of Eden Inv. 5088 P a n e l , 54 x 87 cm Left on s t o n e : Roelant Savery Fe Purchased at Christie's Auction House, London, 1965

FRANCISCUS G Y S B R E C H T S (second half 1 7 t h century) Vanitas Inv. 5 1 0 2 Canvas, 1 1 5 x 134 cm C e n t r e left: F . G y s b r e c h t s . P u r c h a s e d from G u y D a r r i e n t o r t , P a r i s , 1 9 8 4

JAN VAN KESSEL THE E L D E R

Antwerp 1626 - 1679 Concert of the Owl Inv. 428 C a n v a s , 1 7 0 x 234 cm F r o m the P i t s e m b u r g Commanderie, Mechelen

FRANS

SNYDERS

Antwerp 1 5 7 9 - 1657 Fishmonger's Inv. 7 1 9 C a n v a s , 202 x 3 3 7 cm M a x v a n den Bergh bequest. 1873

GEORG

PETEL

Weilheim (Germany) 1 5 9 0 / 9 3 - Augsburg (Germany) > 34 Bust of P.P. Rubens, 1633 Inv. 6 2 1 Fired clay, b r o n z e d , 68 x 67 cm O n the left s h o u l d e r : P . P . R U B E N S B e n e a t h the left s h o u l d e r : I A P F C T 1 6 3 3 Donated by J . A . Nottebohm, 1866
6

ARTUS

QUELLIN

THE

ELDER

Antwerp 1 6 0 9 - 1668 Luis de Benavides, Marquis of Caracena, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands Inv. 701 M a r b l e , 98 x 7 4 . 2 cm C h a m b e r o f the G u i l d o f S a i n t L u k e

1 jth century sculpture
T h e r e w a s a major blossoming of sculpture in the S o u t h e r n N e t h e r l a n d s i n the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y . T h e m u s e u m i s not a b l e t o p r o v i d e a c o m p r e hensive survey of artistic production a n d develo p m e n t in this field, b u t a n u m b e r of v a l u a b l e p i e c e s from the e r a in q u e s t i o n a r e to be f o u n d in the c o l l e c t i o n . T h e G e r m a n artist G e o r g Petel modelled a h i g h l y e x p r e s s i v e Bust of P.P. Rubens in 1 6 3 3 . He b e c a m e the p i o n e e r o f G e r m a n B a r o q u e s c u l p ture, p a r t l y b e c a u s e o f the m a n y c o n t a c t s h e h a d w i t h the l e a d i n g f i g u r e s o f the F l e m i s h Baroque. O n e o f the m o s t i n f l u e n t i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the c l a s s i c a l B a r o q u e i s A r t u s Q u e l l i n the E l d e r . I n 1 6 6 5 , this i m p o r t a n t i n t e r p r e t e r o f the R u b ens s t y l e d o n a t e d a b u s t of Luis de Benavides,

Marquess of Caracena, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands to the G u i l d of S a i n t L u k e , b e c a u s e the M a r q u e s s h a d p r e s s e d for the s e t t i n g u p o f the R o y a l A c a d e m y i n 1 6 6 3 . A n o t h e r m e m b e r o f the s a m e a r t i s t i c f a m i l y w a s A r t u s Q u e l l i n I I . A r t u s Q u e l l i n the Y o u n g e r , n e p h e w a n d p u p i l o f Q u e l l i n the E l d e r , c a r v e d an o a k Saint Sebastian w h i c h , until the e n d of the 1 8 t h c e n t u r y , f o r m e d p a r t o f the c h a p e l e n c l o s u r e o p p o s i t e the a l t a r o f the Y o u n g A r c h e r s ' Guild in Antwerp Cathedral. T h e m a r b l e b u s t of Maximilian Emmanuel of Bavaria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands b e l o n g s to the l a t e - B a r o q u e . It is the m a s t e r p i e c e of the A n t w e r p s c u l p t o r W i l l e m K e r r i c k x the E l d e r , w h o , w o r k i n g the m a r b l e w i t h s u c h v e r v e a n d e l e g a n c e , a c h i e v e d a l i v e l y p o r t r a i t of a c o u r t l y a p p a r i t i o n from a s o c i e t y c i v i l i s e d to the p o i n t of caricature.

WILLEM

KERRICKX

THE

ELDER

Dendermonde 1652 - Antwerp 1 7 1 9 Maximilian Emmanuel of Bavaria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, i6g4 Inv. 678 Marble, 1 1 7 x 75.3 cm L o w e r right: G. K E R R I C X I N V . E T F E C I T C h a m b e r o f the G u i l d o f S a i n t L u k e

A"

1694

ARTUS

QUELLIN

THE

YOUNGER

Sint-Truiden 1 6 2 5 - A n t w e r p 1700 Saint Sebastian Inv. 702 Oak, 150 x 5 3 . 5 cm O r i g i n a l collection o f the M u s e u m

FLORIS

GERRITSZ.

VAN

SCHOOTEN

H a a r l e m c a . 1 5 9 0 - after 1 6 5 5 Breakfast Inv. 836 P a n e l , 50 x 82 cm O n knife: F V S Purchased al J o z e f Isenbaert Auction, Antwerp, 1905

A B R A H A M

VAN

B E Y E R E N

T h e Hague 1620/21 Overschie Still life Inv. 5084 C a n v a s , 87 x 107 cm L o w e r r i g h t : лв.Г. Purchased in 1962 1690

i yth century in Holland
T h e limited scope of this book does not permit a comprehensive survey of D u t c h art, w h i c h is represented in the museum by a fine collection of around 2 5 0 items, including several masterpieces. T h e examples depicted here represent a variety of genres: still life, portrait, landscape, architectural painting and genre works. A l l of these genres were also practiced in F l a n d e r s , yet there are distinct differences between the N o r t h and the South. M i d d l e - c l a s s and calvinist tendencies are particularly evident in the D u t c h preference for mock-realism and intimacy, a n d it is these characteristics w h i c h predominate in most of the works discussed here. Anthonie Palamedes' Family Portrait dates from ten years after C o m e l i s De V o s ' painting of a similar subject (see p a g e 5 4 ) . T h e family, with numerous children, sits primly in a room with the air of a peep-show; P a l a m e d e s is not particularly interested in the actual portrait aspect of the work. T h e rather stiff relationship between the characters is also present, in a manner of speaking, in Floris G e r r i t z . v a n Schooten's austere Breakfast. The carefully painted and arranged ingredients contrast sharply with the baroque Still life of A b r a h a m v a n Beyeren, in w h i c h the silver plates, V e n e t i a n g l a s s w a r e and

fruit a r e h e a p e d u p t o f o r m a w a r m - c o l o u r e d w h o l e , w i t h s p a r k l i n g l i g h t effects. U s e o f l i g h t i n this w a y w a s , i n fact, a p r i m a r y f e a t u r e o f D u t c h p a i n t i n g : the p i n k , s o u t h e r n l i g h t of K a r e l D u j a r d i n ' s Roman Campagna, the h i g h , c l e a r light o f the n o r t h t h a t w e f i n d i n the s m a l l p a i n t i n g s o f P h i l i p s W o u w e r m a n s (Rider's rest Place) a n d J a n v a n d e r H e y d e (View of a Bridge), or the e v e n light in The new Church at Delft b y H e n d r i k C o r n e l i s z . v a n V l i e t . F r o m 1 6 3 5 o n w a r d s , w h e n c o l o u r t o n e s w e r e a t their peak, and colour contrasts were being replaced by translucent strokes, Dutch l u m i n i s m establ i s h e d the r e p u t a t i o n w h i c h w a s t o l a s t u n t i l w e l l into the 2 0 t h c e n t u r y . T h e i n t i m a c y , w h e t h e r or not with a m o r a l i s ing undertone, w h i c h we detect in interior p a i n t i n g s s u c h a s G e r a r d T e r B o r c h ' s Lute Player o r J a c o b V r e l ' s Hospital Orderly, a r e far r e m o v e d from the p a s s i o n a t e , a l m o s t u n - D u t c h s q u a b b l i n g o f the Inn Scene p a i n t e d b y A d r i a e n v a n O s t a d e , w h o d e v e l o p e d after 1 6 4 0 t o w a r d s a 'genial homeliness'. D u t c h artists m a n a g e d to c a p t u r e b r i l l i a n t l y the t w i n , c l o s e d w o r l d s o f the m i d d l e - c l a s s e s ( u p p e r a n d l o w e r ) o n the o n e h a n d , a n d the p r o l e t a r i a t o n the o t h e r . T h e t r u t h f u l n e s s o f t h e i r w o r k h e l p e d the g e n r e t o d e v e l o p i n t o o n e o f the p e a k s o f 1 7 t h c e n t u r y art.

ANTHONIE

PALAMEDES

Delft 1 6 0 1 - A m s t e r d a m 1 6 7 3 Family Portrait, / 6 5 5 Inv. 8 1 0 P a n e l , 80 x 1 0 7 cm Left o n t i l e : A . P a l a m e d e s A . 1 6 3 5 P u r c h a s e d from the L e R o y b r o t h e r s , B r u s s e l s , 1 9 0 2

KAREL

DUJARDIN

Amsterdam 1622 - Venice 1678 Landscape in the Roman Campagna, i6jj Inv. 965 C a n v a s . 85 x 1 0 7 cm L o w e r right: K . D u J a r d i n F e e . R o m a 1 6 7 5 K . O o m s - V a n Eersel bequest, 1 9 2 2

HENDRIK

CORNELISZ.

VAN

VLIET

Delft 1 6 1 1 / 1 2 - 1 6 7 5 The new Church at Delft Inv. 196 Panel, 40 x 35 cm A d e l a i d e v a n H e c k e - B a u t d e R a s m o n bequest, 1 8 5 9

T h e a b s o l u t e m a s t e r p i e c e i n the m u s e u m ' s c o l l e c t i o n of D u t c h a r t is the Portrait of Stefanus Geraerdts b y F r a n s H a l s . S t e f a n u s h o l d s out h i s h a n d t o his w i f e I s a b e l l a C o y m a n s , w h o , i n a m a t c h i n g p o r t r a i t w h i c h i s not, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , in the s a m e c o l l e c t i o n , offers h i m a rose in r e t u r n . T h e m a n ( a n d the c o u p l e ) r a d i a t e s w a r m t h . H i s full f i g u r e , his s m i l e a n d his r i c h clothing are executed with a j a u n t y , impressionistic s t r o k e i n b l a c k , w h i t e a n d g o l d . D e s p i t e the fact that it b e a r s R e m b r a n d t ' s s i g n a t u r e a n d a d a t e , the o t h e r w e l l - k n o w n p o r t r a i t , that o f Eleazer Swalmius, is p r o b a b l y not by the m a s t e r himself, t o w h o m i t h a s t r a d i t i o n a l l y b e e n a t t r i b u t e d , b u t f r o m his A m s t e r d a m s t u d i o . T h e p o r t r a y a l i s s o b e r , s i m p l e a n d l i f e - s i z e ; the c o l o u r i n g i s m u t e d , a n d the u s e o f l i g h t s e r v e s t o e m p h a s i s e the f a c e a n d h a n d s o f the sitter. D e s p i t e all the q u a l i t i e s offered b y this p o r t r a i t , i t c a n n o t e q u a l the m a s t e r p i e c e b y H a l s .

ADRIAEN VAN OSTADE

Haarlem 1 6 1 0 - 1685 Inn Scene v - 959 P a n e l , 31 x 46 cm Purchased in 1 9 2 6
I n

JAN VAN

DER

HEYDE

Gorinchem 1637 — Amsterdam 1 7 1 2 View of a Bridge I n v . 980 Panel, 24 x 31 cm D o n a t e d b y G . N a u w e l a e r t s , t h r o u g h the i n t e r m e d i a r y of Artibus Patriae, 1 9 3 1

PHILIPS WOUWERMANS

H a a r l e m 1 6 1 9 - 1668 Rider's rest Place Inv. 500 P a n e l , 43 x 37 cm L o w e r right: P A W P u r c h a s e d a t the D e s i r e v a n d e n S c h r i e k A u c t i o n . Brussels, 1861

GERARD

TER

BORCH

Zwolle 1 6 1 7 - Deventer 1681 The Lute Player Inv. 349 P a n e l , 31 x 27 cm O n the s p i n e o f the b o o k o n the t a b l e : G t . B o r g F C T P u r c h a s e d a t the D e s i r e v a n d e n S c h r i e k A u c t i o n , Brussels, 1861

JACOB

VREL

P r o b a b l y w o r k e d i n Delft a n d H a a r l e m a r o u n d 1 6 5 0 The Hospital Orderly Inv. 790 P a n e l , 56 x 45 cm O n upper half o f door: P H P u r c h a s e d a t the K u m s A u c t i o n , A n t w e r p , 1 8 9 8

FRANS

HALS

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 8 0 - H a a r l e m 1666 Fisherboy Inv. 188 C a n v a s , 74 x 61 cm Left: F H P u r c h a s e d from J . C . M e r t z , P a r i s , 1 8 7 1

REMBRANDT

VAN

RIJN

Leyde 1606 - Amsterdam 1669 Portrait of Eleazer Swalmius Inv. 705 C a n v a s , 1 3 2 x 109 cm U p p e r right: Rembrandt 1 6 3 7 Purchased in 1886

FRANS

HALS

A n t w e r p ca. 1 5 8 0 - H a a r l e m 1666 Portrait of Stefanus Geraerdts Inv. 674 Canvas, 1 1 5 x 87 cm S t e p h e n B o u r g e o i s , C o l o g n e - P a r i s , sold the p o r t r a i t o f the wife t o B a r o n d e R o t h s c h i l d , P a r i s , a n d the p o r t r a i t o f the h u s b a n d t o A n t w e r p M u s e u m , 1 8 8 6

Flemish painting in the 18th century

A series of recent studies a n d acquisitions h a v e led to s o m e t h i n g of a n e w a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s p a i n t i n g i n the 1 8 t h c e n t u r y . U n t i l f a i r l y r e c e n t ly, the a r t o f this p e r i o d w a s c o n s i d e r e d t o b e r a t h e r i n f e r i o r , d e s p i t e the h i g h a r t i s t i c o u t p u t , b e c a u s e o f its p e r c e i v e d l a c k o f i n n o v a t i o n . O n the o n e h a n d , F l e m i s h a r t i s t s o f the 1 8 t h c e n t u r y c o n t i n u e d to l i v e off the i n h e r i t a n c e of R u b e n s , w h o s e art s e e m e d u n s u r p a s s a b l e . A r t i sts s u c h a s P i e t e r J o z e f V e r h a g h e n w o r k e d entirely in the t r a d i t i o n o f R u b e n s , a n d a l t h o u g h he s p e n t a few y e a r s in I t a l y , t h e r e a r e few t r a c e s of this in his w o r k . H i s Hagar and Ishmael banished by Abraham, p a i n t e d for the a b b e y a t T o n g e r l o , h a s all the o u t w a r d c h a r a c teristics o f a b a r o q u e p a i n t i n g , b u t l a c k s R u b ens' expressiveness.

M e a n w h i l e , o t h e r a r t i s t s h a d fallen u n d e r the spell o f F r a n c e w i t h its t r e n d - s e t t i n g r o c o c o artists. T h i s development w a s , however, rather out of c h a r a c t e r with F l e m i s h artistic tradition, and encountered a certain degree of resistance i n the a r t w o r l d . A n d r i e s C o r n e l l s L e n s h a d t o r u n the g a u n t l e t o f these difficulties i n A n t w e r p w h e r e he strove to renew both painting a n d a r t i s t i c e d u c a t i o n . H e w a s a n artist w i t h a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e p u t a t i o n , a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the n e o - c l a s s i c a l i d e a l . H i s p a i n t i n g s a r e the r e s u l t o f his s t u d y o f a n t i q u e a n d I t a l i a n m a s t e r s , b u t a l s o his r e a d i n g o f c l a s s i c a l a n d b i b l i c a l w r i t i n g s . I n 1 7 6 3 , L e n s b e c a m e the d i r e c t o r o f the A n t w e r p A c a d e m y , a n d t o s h o w his g r a t i t u d e , he d o n a t e d the w o r k Hercules protects Painting from Ignorance and Envy - an a l l e g o r y in w h i c h h i s

JAN

FRANS

ELIAERTS

PIETER-JOZEF

VERHAGHEN

Bouquet of Flowers in a Sculpted Vase detail

Aarschot 1728 - Louvain 1 8 1 1

Hagar and Ishmael banished by Abraham, Inv. 491 C a n v a s , 168 x 1 9 5 cm

iy8i

L o w e r right: P . J . V e r h a g h e n F 1 7 8 1 O r i g i n a l c o l l e c t i o n o f the m u s e u m , 1 8 1 0

n e w task w a s c l e a r l y e x p r e s s e d . L e n s h i m s e l f i s portrayed in an expressive, theatrical manner, in a f l o w i n g c l o a k , s u r r o u n d e d by the tools of his p a i n t e r ' s t r a d e , in Portrait of the Artist A.C. Lens, by Willem Herreyns. T h i s painting reveals H e r r e y n s ' i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h t o his p o r t r a i t s , s o m e t h i n g w h i c h c a n n o t b e s a i d o f his r e l i g i o u s a n d h i s t o r i c a l c o m m i s s i o n s . H e w a s i n fact a n opponent of L e n s ' reforms. During the second h a l f o f the century, as

Brussels b e g a n to occupy centre stage alongside A n t w e r p , h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g as a form of official artistic expression also began to gain in importance. T h e middle-classes, however, retained their p r e f e r e n c e for p o r t r a i t s , still lifes, l a n d s c a p e s a n d s c e n e s from e v e r y d a y life. J a n J o z e f H o r e m a n s I I w a s w i d e l y a d m i r e d for c h a r m i n g s c e n e s s u c h as The Card Game a n d Tea Time. T a k i n g his c u e f r o m 1 7 t h c e n t u r y g e n r e w o r k s , H o r e m a n s depicted pleasant scenes with a

JAN

FRANS

ELIAERTS

Antwerp 1 7 6 1 - 1848 Bouquet of Flowers in a sculpted Vase Inv. 1 2 6 C a n v a s , 90 x 71 cm L o w e r left: J . F . E l i a e r t s P u r c h a s e d in 1 8 5 0

ANDRIES

CORNELIS

LENS

Antwerp 1 7 3 9 - Brussels 1822 Hercules protects Painting from Ignorance and Envy, 1763 Inv. 1 0 9 2 C a n v a s , 73 x 92 cm L o w e r left: A n d r e a s C . L e n s i n v : pinxit/et huic A c a demia D . D . 1 7 6 3 O r i g i n a l collection o f the m u s e u m , 1 8 1 0

J A N JOZEF HOREMANS

A n t w e r p 1 7 1 4 - after 1 7 9 0 Tea Time Inv. 5061 C a n v a s , 51 x 58 cm R e c o v e r e d from G e r m a n y , 1 9 5 1

refined c o l o u r s c h e m e . H i s w o r k s d o not, h o w ever, show a n y sign of profundity or criticism. Flower painters were regarded particularly highly. J a n Frans Eliaerts painted a sumptuous bouquet of flowers which, in terms of composition, c o n t i n u e s the t r a d i t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d in the f i n a l q u a r t e r o f the 1 7 t h c e n t u r y . T h e p a i n t i n g in q u e s t i o n is e n t i t l e d Bouquet of Flowers in a sculpted Vase. T h e c h o i c e of flowers a n d the cool c o l o u r i n g a r e a g a i n t y p i c a l o f their t i m e .

WILLEM

HERREYNS

Antwerp 1743 - 1827 Portrait of the Artist A.C. Lens Inv. 1 2 1 3 C a n v a s , 1 1 6 x 96 cm Purchased in 1 8 9 3

The 19th Century

T h e romantic movement, which m a y be dated b e t w e e n 1 7 8 0 a n d 1 8 5 0 , t u r n e d its f a c e a g a i n s t authoritarian classicism. R e l e a s e d from e v e r y d a y c o n c e r n s b y the p o w e r o f the i m a g i n a t i o n , the r o m a n t i c s s o u g h t n e w a r t i s t i c f o r m s , b u t a l s o a n e w i d e a l of life b a s e d u p o n a d e m a n d for freedom. T h e r o m a n t i c artist w a s d r a w n towards mysterious, ambiguous and unknown t e r r i t o r y , w h i l e his feeling o f p r o f o u n d l o n e l i n e s s could take on tragic proportions. R o m a n t i c i s m s e r v e d t o unite E u r o p e , b u t e a c h c o u n t r y r e a c t e d i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h its s p e c i a l n a t i o n a l character. G e r m a n r o m a n t i c i s m had a penc h a n t for the m a g i c a l , E n g l i s h r o m a n t i c i s m w a s l y r i c a l , w h i l e the F r e n c h h a d a taste for e v e r y thing d r a m a t i c . T h e s a m e applied to B e l g i a n romanticism. Inspired by B e l g i u m ' s recently w o n i n d e p e n d e n c e from the U n i t e d N e t h e r l a n d s , t h e r e w a s a m a r k e d p r e f e r e n c e for p o r -

t r a y a l s o f the h e r o i c a n d d r a m a t i c e l e m e n t s o f the n a t i o n a l i s t s t r u g g l e i n the c o u n t r y ' s p a s t . T h e l a r g e f o r m a t p a i n t i n g s w i t h their d i a g o n a l ly arranged compositions, animated movement a n d s t r o n g c o n t r a s t s b e t w e e n light a n d s h a d o w a n d different c o l o u r s , often r e c a l l the ' G o l d e n A g e ' of R u b e n s . Nicaise De K e y s e r constructed his Charles V freeing the Slaves at Tunis in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h these p r i n c i p l e s from the B a r o q u e era, but it w a s G u s t a f W a p p e r s in particular w h o b e c a m e B e l g i u m ' s foremost romantic artist. T h e i n s p i r a t i o n for h i s p a i n t i n g s w a s d r a w n from his w i d e k n o w l e d g e o f r o m a n t i c l i t e r a t u r e , the history o f the L o w C o u n t r i e s , a n d his reflections u p o n the role o f the a r t i s t a n d p o l i t i c s in general. H i s best w o r k ( 1 8 2 8 - 1 8 5 0 ) reveals a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t y l e a n d r i c h use o f c o l o u r . I n the p a i n t i n g The De Witt Brothers in Captivity ( 1 8 3 8 ) , he s u c c e e d e d in c o m b i n i n g a s o b e r c o m p o s i t i o n

HENRI

DE

BRAEKELEER

GUSTAF

WAPPERS

Flower detail

Grower's

Garden

A n t w e r p 1 8 0 3 - Paris 1 8 7 4 The De Witt Brothers in Captivity, 1838

Inv. 1 1 8 1 P a n e l , 56 x 69 cm
Purchased in 1 8 7 5

w i t h d r a m a t i c tension. C o r n e l i s a n d J o h a n d e Witt, 1 7 t h century Dutch statesmen and fierce anti-Orangists, are about to be d r a g g e d from p r i s o n b y the m o b a n d l y n c h e d . T o W a p p e r s a n d o t h e r r o m a n t i c s , they w e r e a s y m b o l o f faith in liberalism a n d in political steadfastness. F r o m 1 8 4 0 o n w a r d s , the h i s t o r i c a l p a i n t i n g gradually b e c a m e a rather sedate, bourgeois g e n r e . H e n r i L e y s , for i n s t a n c e , c h o s e t o p o r t r a y the Arrival of Albrecht Diirer in Antwerp in 1520 ( 1 8 5 5 ) rather than a more tumultuous and momentous occasion. T h e accuracy of colour, form and historical reconstruction contrast with a c e r t a i n n o s t a l g i c tone, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of romanticism. T h e b r e a k t h r o u g h o f r e a l i s m , w h i c h , like romanticism, originated in France, occurred in Belgium between 1850 and i860. According to the r e a l i s t s , e v e r y d a y s u b j e c t s s h o u l d n o l o n g e r be considered unworthy of being painted. T h e i n n o v a t i o n o f the r e a l i s t s l a y not o n l y i n the m a n n e r o f p a i n t i n g , b u t a l s o i n the t h e m e s a n d subjects of their work. T h e y chose to p o r t r a y their i m m e d i a t e s u r r o u n d i n g s r a t h e r t h a n seeki n g refuge i n c o m p o s i t e w o r k s o r i m a g i n a t i o n . L a n d s c a p e s w e r e painted in situ, a n d w e r e no l o n g e r the r e s u l t o f c o m b i n e d s t u d i e s f r o m n a t u r e a n d the i m a g i n a t i o n o r i d e a l s o f the a r t i s t s . T h e w o r l d s u r r o u n d i n g the a r t i s t w a s m o r e important than historical scenes or tales f r o m A n t i q u i t y a n d the B i b l e . R u l e s o f c o m p o s i tion, c o l o u r a n d e x e c u t i o n h a d t o g i v e w a y t o the a c c u r a t e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f r e a l i t y . T h e a r t i s t A l f r e d S t e v e n s w a s the c h r o n i c l e r o f the P a r i s demi-monde. O n e o f h i s b e s t w o r k s i s the Parisienne Sphinx ( 1 8 6 7 ) , in w h i c h an e n i g matic female portrait with sober colouring a n d delicate lighting is preferred to an a n e c d o t a l

NICAISE

DE

KEYSER

Zandvliet 1 8 1 3 - Antwerp 1887 Charles V freeing the Slaves at Tunis I n v . 2886 C a n v a s , 44 x 64 cm L o w e r left: N D K Purchased in 1958

ALFRED

STEVENS

B r u s s e l s 1 8 2 3 - Paris 1 9 0 6 Parisienne Sphinx, 1867 Inv. 1 3 7 3 C a n v a s , 72 x 53 cm L o w e r left: A . S t e v e n s P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 0 2

HENRI

LEYS

Antwerp 1 8 1 5 — 1869 Arrival of Albrecht Diirer in Antwerp in 1 5 2 0 , 183J Inv. 2 1 9 8 P a n e l , 90 x 1 6 0 cm L o w e r right: H . L e y s f . 1 8 5 5 D o n a t e d by the g o v e r n m e n t , citv a n d A r t i b u s P a t r i a e . •93
1

HIPPOLYTE

BOULENGER

T o u r n a i 1 8 3 7 - Brussels 1874 Josafat Valley at Schaarbeek, 1868 Inv. 1988 Panel, 1 1 0 x 85 cm L o w e r left: H i p . B o u l e n g e r Purchased in 1 9 2 5

CHARLES

DE

GROUX

K o m e n 1 8 2 5 - Brussels 1 8 7 0 The Coffee Tin Inv. 1206 Canvas. 1 1 7 x 150 cm L o w e r right: Charles De G r o u x Purchased in 1892

C O N S T A N T ™

MEUNIER

Etterbeek 1 8 3 1 - Elsene 1 9 0 5 Man with a Sledgehammer Inv. 1984 B r o n z e , 48 x 25 cm Pedestal: C. M e u n i e r ; reverse right: Fondu par V e r beyst pour l'atelier Constantin Meunier. Bruxelles Purchased in 1 9 2 5

CONSTANTIN

MEUNIER

Etterbeek 1 8 3 1 - Elsene 1905 Return from the Mine I n v . 2698 Canvas, 159 x 1 1 5 cm L o w e r right: C . Meunier Donated by Mrs. G. Born, 1950

JAN

STOBBAERTS

Antwerp 1839 Schaarbeek 1 9 1 4 Dragging in the Woluwe Inv. 1801 C a n v a s , 47 x 70 cm Lower right: stamp Atelier J a n Slobbaerts 1 9 1 4 D o n a t e d by a g r o u p of friends o f the m u s e u m , 1 9 2 0

FRANCOIS

LAMORINIERE

Antwerp 1828 - 1 9 1 1 Fir Wood, 1883 Inv. 1 5 8 9 Canvas, 1 1 4 x 126 cm L o w e r right: F. Lamoriniere xx 1883 Purchased in 1899

and sentimentally bourgeois approach. Realism adopted a socially engaged character with J o z e f Stevens, Charles De G r o u x and Constantin M e u n i e r . I n S t e v e n s ' c a s e this w a s s e n s i t i v e , i n D e G r o u x ' s w r e t c h e d , w h i l e i n M e u n i e r ' s Coffee Tin, the w o r k e r i s p o r t r a y e d a s n o b l e . M e u n i e r ' s skill a s b o t h a n a r t i s t a n d s c u l p t o r i s e v i d e n t from Return from the Mine a n d Man with a Sledgehammer. T h e A n t w e r p m u s e u m h a s a r i c h selection of realistic l a n d s c a p e s , including F r a n c o i s L a m o r i n i e r e ' s Fir Wood ( 1 8 8 3 ) a n d H i p p o l y t e B o u l e n g e r ' s Josafat Valley ( 1 8 6 8 ) , b o t h h i g h ly a c c u r a t e slices of nature. E v e r y s h a p e , detail, n u a n c e o f c o l o u r , reflection a n d effect o f the light i s c o n v e y e d w i t h a l m o s t p a i n f u l p r e c i sion. A f u r t h e r s t e p in the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of n a t u r e i s p r o v i d e d b y the l a n d s c a p e s a n d m a r i n e p a i n t ings o f L o u i s A r t a n , G u i l l a u m e V o g e l s , J a n

S t o b b a e r t s a n d P e r i c l e s P a n t a z i s . G i v e n the r e a l i s t s ' o b s e s s i o n w i t h the p r o b l e m s o f v i s u a l o b s e r v a t i o n a n d the o u t w a r d a p p e a r a n c e o f t h i n g s , i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that t h e y w o u l d a l s o w i s h t o c a p t u r e the c h a n g e a b i l i t y a n d t r a n s i e n c e o f n a t u r e . T h e i m p r e s s i o n i s m o f the B e l g i a n l a n d scape artists is m e l a n c h o l y and grey, and retains a certain solidity of form. L o u i s A r t a n ' s Marine scene is s u b t l e in its c o m b i n a t i o n s of w a t e r , a i r a n d light, G u i l l a u m e V o g e l s ' w o r k , p a r t i c u l a r l y My Garden, r e c o r d s the d u l l B e l g i a n climate, J a n Stobbaerts worked with green, h a z y p a t c h e s of c o l o u r in Dragging in the Woluwe, w h i l e in his On the Beach, P e r i c l e s P a n t a z i s r e c a l l s the s e a v i e w s p a i n t e d b y B o u d i n . A l l four of these l a n d s c a p e painters h a d a rich pictorial t a l e n t w h i c h , t h o u g h not i n c l i n e d t o s u m p t u o u s colouring, nevertheless reveals a delicate and poetic tonal shading.

GUILLAUME

VOGELS

Brussels 1836 Elsene 1896 My Garden Inv. 2028 C a n v a s , 84 x 56 cm L o w e r right: G . Vogels Purchased in 1925

LOUIS A R T A N

The Hague 1837 Oostduinkerke 1890 Morning Inv. 1943 C a n v a s , 57 x 37 cm Purchased in 1 9 2 3

PERICLES PANTAZIS

Athens 1 8 4 9 - Brussels 1884 On the Beach Inv. 2 6 1 7 C a n v a s , 70 x 108 cm Purchased in 1947

HENRI DE B R A E K E L E E R

Antwerp 1840 - 1888 Flower Grower's Garden, Inv. 1 2 0 3 Canvas, 84 x 1 1 5 cm

1864

L o w e r right: Henri de Braekeleer Purchased in 1 8 9 2

Henri De Braekeleer has been described as the f i r s t r e a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t f i g u r e i n 1 9 t h c e n t u r y B e l g i a n art. T h e A n t w e r p m u s e u m possesses 3 3 o f his p a i n t i n g s a n d 4 5 d r a w i n g s . T h e keye l e m e n t s i n his p a i n t i n g a r e O l d A n t w e r p w i t h its q u i e t s q u a r e s a n d p e a c e f u l r u s t i c f a c a d e s , solitary people, almost medieval craftsmen and stuffy b o u r g e o i s i n t e r i o r s . H e i s totally o b l i v i o u s t o the a c t i v e life, his w o r k e x h a l i n g i n s t e a d a n a t m o s p h e r e of silence and peace. A w a r m palette, s o b e r c o m p o s i t i o n , strict d i v i s i o n o f the

p a i n t i n g ' s s u r f a c e a n d a p a s s i o n for the s u b stance of things are characteristic of De Braekeleer. O n e of his b e s t - k n o w n p a i n t i n g s is The Man in the Chair ( 1 8 7 5 ) . L i g h t floods t h r o u g h the o p e n w i n d o w into a r o o m i n the B r o u w e r s h u i s , i n w h i c h a n o l d m a n sits s t a r i n g i n a c h a i r . T h e p r e c i s e r e a l i s m of his Flower Grower's Garden ( 1 8 6 4 ) , a n e a r l y w o r k , i s c o m b i n e d i n o n e o f his l a s t p a i n t i n g s , Strawberries with Champagne ( 1 8 8 3 ) w i t h a free p a i n t i n g s t y l e a n d a m o r e l i v e l y range of colours.

HENRI

DE

BRAEKELEER

Antwerp 1840 - 1888 Strawberries and Champagne, Inv. 2 1 7 3

1863

C a n v a s , 40 x 60 cm L o w e r right: Henri de Braekeleer Donated by F. Franck, 1930

HENRI

DE

BRAEKELEER

Antwerp 1840 - 1888 The Man in the Chair, i8jj Inv. 1 8 4 5 C a n v a s , 79 x 63 cm L o w e r right: Henri de Braekeleer Donated by Baron G. Caroly, 1921

J E F

LAMBEAUX

T h e s c u l p t o r J e f L a m b e a u x a n d the p a i n t e r s J a n van Beers, Leon Frederic and George Hend r i k B r e i t n e r , the o n l y f o r e i g n e r t o b e w e l l represented in our collection (seven works) b e l o n g to the f o l l o w i n g g e n e r a t i o n - that of 1 8 5 0 . T h e N a t u r a l i s m w h i c h links these artists w a s e x p r e s s e d i n a different f a s h i o n b y e a c h . T h e a n i m a t e d m o v e m e n t o f The Kiss ( 1 8 8 1 ) , i s characteristic of L a m b e a u x ' s sculptures, while the p h o t o g r a p h i c r e a l i s m of the Portrait of Peter Benoit b y J a n v a n B e e r s t a k e s o n a m a g i c a l d i m e n s i o n t h r o u g h the f l o a t i n g a c c e s s o r i e s . I n

Antwerp 1 8 5 2 - Brussels 1908 77K Kiss, 1881 Inv. 1085 F r o n t , l o w e r left: J e f L a m b e a u x 1 8 8 1 ; r e v e r s e , l o w e r left: C i e D e s B r o n z e s B r u x e l l e s . F o n t e d ' u n s e u l j e t (cire p e r d u e ) Purchased at Triennial Exhibition, 1882

LEON FREDERIC

Brussels 1 8 5 6 - Schaarbeek 1940 Two Walloon Peasant Children or Les bo'echelles 1888 Inv. 1 2 6 4 C a n v a s , 1 2 4 x 91 cm L o w e r left: L . F r e d e r i c 1 8 8 8 Purchased at Triennial Exhibition, 1894

JAN

VAN

BEERS

Lier 1852 - Fay-aux-Loges 1927 Portrait of Peter Benoit, 1883 Inv. 1 1 4 0 P a n e l , 44 x 32 cm L o w e r r i g h t : A a n m y n e n v r i e n d Peter B e n o i t . J a n v a n Beers. Parijs 1 8 8 3 D o n a t e d b y the artist, 1 8 8 3

GEORGE HENDRIK BREITNER

Rotterdam 1857 - Amsterdam 1923 Women in Amsterdam Inv. 2020 C a n v a s , 98 x 1 4 8 cm Purchased in 1928

JAMES

ENSOR

Ostend i860 - 1949 Bourgeois Drawing Room, 1881 Inv. 2 7 3 5 C a n v a s , 1 3 3 x 109 cm L o w e r left: J a m e s E n s o r 1 8 8 1 Purchased in 1 9 5 2

JAMES

ENSOR

Ostend i860 Woman eating Inv. 2073 C a n v a s , 207 Lower right: Purchased in

- 1949 Oysters, 1882 x 1 5 0 cm J . Ensor 1882 1927

JAMES

ENSOR

Ostend i860 - 1949 Masks fighting over a hanged man, 1891

Inv. 1857
C a n v a s , 59 x 74 cm L o w e r right: Ensor 1 8 9 1 D o n a t e d b y a g r o u p o f friends o f the m u s e u m , 1 9 2 1

his Two Walloon Peasant Children ( 1 8 8 8 ) L e o n Frederic executes a naturalistic portrait with a c l e a r l y s o c i a l i n t e n t ; his w o r k d o e s , h o w e v e r , often w a v e r b e t w e e n n a t u r a l i s m a n d s y m b o l i s m . B r e i t n e r , the l e a d i n g f i g u r e a m o n g s t the A m s t e r d a m i m p r e s s i o n i s t s , u s e d his o w n p h o t o g r a p h s - in Women in Amsterdam we a r e offered a k i n d of s n a p s h o t - in o r d e r to w o r k n e w motifs into his p a i n t i n g s . A s i n the c a s e o f D e B r a e k e l e e r , the m u s e u m a l s o b o a s t s the l e a d i n g c o l l e c t i o n o f w o r k s b y B e l g i u m ' s o t h e r m a i n f i g u r e f r o m the 1 9 t h c e n t u r y , n a m e l y J a m e s E n s o r . A total o f 3 5 p a i n t i n g s a r e p r e s e r v e d h e r e , r a n g i n g from a n e a r l y a t t e m p t a t the a g e o f 1 7 , t o late w o r k s d a t i n g from 1 9 0 6 / 0 7 , t o g e t h e r w i t h a c o l l e c t i o n

o f 6 0 6 d r a w i n g s . E n s o r took the i n s p i r a t i o n for his e a r l y w o r k f r o m his i m m e d i a t e s u r r o u n d i n g s : h e p a i n t e d m e m b e r s o f his f a m i l y , i n t e r i o r s , city v i e w s a n d the s e a i n a d a r k - t i n t e d s t y l e w i t h an i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c t o u c h , as in his Bourgeois Drawing Room ( 1 8 8 1 ) . U n d e r the i n f l u e n c e of the French, and particularly J . M . W . Turner, he l i g h t e n e d his p a l e t t e a n d his p o i n t o f v i e w b e c a m e m o r e m o d e r n , a s i n his f a m o u s Woman eating Oysters. In o t h e r p a i n t i n g s , like Adam and Eve driven from the Garden of Eden, the c l a r i t y of the light b e c a m e p i e r c i n g a n d i n c a n d e s c e n t . S e r e n i t y w a s b a n i s h e d f r o m his w o r k o n c e a n d for a l l , t o b e r e p l a c e d b y fear, v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d o v e r s e n s i t i v i t y w h i c h w e r e b e s t e x p r e s s e d i n the d i s c o v e r y o f g r e a t e s t g e n i u s a n d o r i g i n a l i t y , the

JAMES

ENSOR

Ostend i860 - 1949 The Intrigue, i8go Inv. 1856 C a n v a s , 90 x 1 5 0 cm L o w e r right: Ensor 1890 D o n a t e d b y a g r o u p o f friends o f the m u s e u m , 1 9 2 1

JAMES

ENSOR

Ostend i860 - 1949 The Curassiers at Waterloo, 1891 detail Inv. 2740 P a s t e l , I n d i a ink, 225 x 625 mm L o w e r left: E n s o r 1 8 9 1 Purchased in 1 9 5 2

m a s k . I n h i s f i n e s t c r e a t i o n s , s u c h a s The Intrigue ( 1 8 9 0 ) , Masks his strange, express people fighting rage, over a hanged Man ( 1 8 9 1 ) , and menacing and mask sarcasm vengeance, fantastic

the w o r l d of d r e a m , allegory, m y t h , spirituality and and literature, used an the symbolists elements his In simplified and form to decorative idea. colours

embody

painting

Inspiration,

feelings with w h i c h E n s o r h i m s e l f w a s r a v a g e d . H i s style b e c a m e increasingly p e r s o n a l ; bright colours, expressive brush strokes, theatrical composition, harsh contrasts, linear technique. E n s o r ' s art is u n i q u e in E u r o p e , a n d represents o n e o f t h e m a i n g a t e w a y s t o the 2 0 t h c e n t u r y . T h e use o f s y m b o l s b y J a m e s E n s o r , w h o held society ment up to ridicule arose in with his mask people, the differs f u n d a m e n t a l l y f r o m the s y m b o l i s t move­ which France. Following e x a m p l e of literary works, artists sought to react against impressionism by no longer concerning themselves with the outward appearance of things, but by a t t e m p t i n g instead to c o n v e y the m y s t e r y b e h i n d the r e a l i t y . I n o r d e r t o p o r t r a y

X a v i e r M e l l e r y h a s a c h i e v e d s o m e t h i n g o f his ideal: murals depicting allegorical scenes with floating (and simultaneously petrified) figures a g a i n s t a g o l d e n b a c k g r o u n d . H i s g r i s a i l l e inter­ iors in c h a l k are a m o n g s t the best in B e l g i a n symbolism. shows clear This black and white the painting of affinities with drawings

E d w a r d B u r n e s - J o n e s , b y w h o m the m u s e u m p o s s e s s e s t h r e e w o r k s . E u g e n e L a e r m a n s ' Blind Man ( 1 8 9 8 ) r e p r e s e n t s a s y n t h e t i c i m a g e o f the proletarian His work type in an elementary landscape. socially sym­ The grey, expressive and

e n g a g e d - forms a link b e t w e e n r e a l i s m , bolism and expressionism. Blue Emile Vloors'

Thistle or Portrait of Louise Laridon a n d J o s u e

XAVIER

M E L L E R Y

HENRI

EVENEPOEL

Laken 1845 - 1921 Inspiration Inv. 2 1 7 7 Canvas, 1 5 3 x 1 3 1 cm L o w e r r i g h t : X . M e l l e r y ; u p p e r part, l o w e r left: х м . Donated by Francois Franck, 1930

Nice 1872 - Paris 1899 Louise in Mourning, 1894. Inv. 2 8 1 3 C a n v a s on w o o d , 79 x 46 cm L o w e r left: A m a c h e r e L o u i s e . L . E v e n e p o e l 9 4 Purchased in 1954

EUGENE

LAERMANS

St.-Jans-Molenbeek 1 8 6 4 - Brussels 1940 Blind Man, i8g8 Inv. 1 9 4 1 C a n v a s , 1 3 4 x 1 7 4 cm L o w e r right: Eug. Laermans 1898 P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 2 3

EMILE

VLOORS

Borgerhout 1 8 7 1 - Antwerp 1 9 5 2 77K Blue Thistle or Portrait of Louise Laridon Inv. 1 4 1 7 C a n v a s , 1 3 6 x 126 cm C e n t r e left: E m i l e V l o o r s P u r c h a s e d at the T r i e n n i a l E x h i b i t i o n , 1 9 0 4

D u p o n ' s i v o r y s t a t u e t t e Diana b e a r w i t n e s s t o a n o t h e r c o n f l u e n c e - that b e t w e e n a c e r t a i n s e v e r i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f s y m b o l i s m , a n d the decorative refinement o f A r t n o u v e a u . T h e seco n d g e n e r a t i o n o f s y m b o l i s t s i s t o b e f o u n d after 1 9 0 0 at S i n t - M a r t e n s - L a t e m , w h e r e they were r e s p o n s i b l e for a m a j o r r e n e w a l o f i d e a s a n d form. It is c l e a r t h a t up to the turn of the c e n t u r y , a w i d e variety of styles existed both alongside one another, and in a n u m b e r of hybrid forms. T h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f i n - d e - s i e c l e m e l t i n g pot i n c l u d e d r e a l i s m , i m p r e s s i o n i s m a n d s y m b o l i s m , togethe r w i t h all t h e i r v a r i a n t s . T h e s h o r t - l i v e d H e n r i E v e n e p o e l p a i d h o m a g e to M a n e t in h i s Louise in Mourning ( 1 8 9 4 ) w i t h its s o l i d c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d s t u r d y u s e o f c o l o u r s , b u t w i t h i n a few y e a r s , his

HENRY

VAN

DE

VELDE

JOSUE

DUPON

Antwerp 1863 - Oberiigi 1 9 5 7 Woman at the Window (1889) Inv. 2 5 8 9 Canvas, i l l x 125 cm P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 4 4

Ichtegem 1 8 6 4 - Berchem 1 9 3 5 Diana Inv. 1 2 6 3 I v o r y and bronze, 92 x 25 cm Side, lower right: J . Dupon P u r c h a s e d at the T r i e n n i a l E x h i b i t i o n , 1 8 9 7

work underwent a fundamental change. Emile C l a u s a l s o set off a l o n g the realist p a t h , but his contact with impressionism turned him around 1 g o o into a p i o n e e r of B e l g i a n l u m i n i s m . Summer ( 1 8 9 3 ) is a m a s t e r p i e c e of fine c o l o u r s h a d i n g r e p r e s e n t i n g light, s u n a n d h e a t . T h e r e w e r e also Belgian adepts of French neo-impressioni s m or p o i n t i l l i s m , a n d it is w i t h t w o m a s t e r p i e c e s o f this g e n r e that w e r o u n d off this s u r v e y o f B e l g i a n art i n the 1 9 t h c e n t u r y : H e n r y V a n

de V e l d e ' s Woman at the Window ( 1 8 8 9 ) a n d T h e o V a n R y s s e l b e r g h e ' s Portrait of Marie Sethe ( 1 8 9 1 ) . W h i l e V a n R y s s e l b e r g h e u s e s the p o i n tillist t e c h n i q u e to a c h i e v e a fairly r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a i t , d e s p i t e the u n u s u a l , artificial c o l o u r s , V a n d e V e l d e p r o d u c e d a n e n t i r e l y different r e s u l t u s i n g the s a m e p r o c e d u r e . T h e s i m p l i f i c a tion of the s u r f a c e s a n d a c o m b i n a t i o n of p i n k a n d p u r p l e c o l o u r s i m b u e his p o r t r a i t w i t h a n almost symbolic quality.

THEO VAN RYSSELBERGHE

Ghent 1862 - Saint-Clair 1926 Portrait of Marie Sethi, 1891 Inv. 2690 C a n v a s , 1 1 8 x 84.5 cm U p p e r centre: 18 VR 91 P u r c h a s e d from H e n r y V a n de Velde, 1949
EMILE GLAUS

St.-Eloois-Vijve 1849 - Astene 1924 Summer, 1893 Inv. 1836 C a n v a s , 59 x 91 cm L o w e r left: E m i l e C l a u s ; r e v e r s e : J u n i j 1 8 9 3 E . C . Donated by Mrs. Edm. Wappers, 1924

20th Century

Symbolism

and

Expressionism

T h e m u s e u m ' s acquisition policy has resulted in a rich c o l l e c t i o n o f w o r k b y F l e m i s h s y m b o l i s t s a n d , p a r t i c u l a r l y , e x p r e s s i o n i s t s i n the w i d e s t s e n s e o f the w o r d . T h e w o r k o f G e o r g e M i n n e , Valerius De Saedeleer, Gustave V a n de Woest y n e a n d J a k o b S m i t s a r e different e x p r e s s i o n s of a mystical, almost religious s y m b o l i s m . A r o u n d 1 9 0 0 , a g r o u p of artists met at SintM a r t e n s - L a t e m o n the r i v e r L y s . T h i s i d y l l i c little v i l l a g e n e a r G h e n t w a s the h o m e o f the l a n d s c a p e artist V a l e r i u s D e S a e d e l e e r , w h o was joined by sculptor and draughtsman G e o r g e M i n n e , the p o e t a n d c r i t i c K a r e l V a n d e W o e s t y n e , a n d his b r o t h e r G u s t a v e . T h e y l a t e r b e c a m e f a m o u s a s the f i r s t L a t e m g r o u p , w h i c h took its i n s p i r a t i o n from s y m b o l i s m . T h e y s o u g h t t o c a p t u r e i n their p a i n t i n g s the d e e p e r , invisible character of nature and people. T h r o u g h t h e i r p a i n t i n g s they w a n t e d to lift the v e i l o f o u t w a r d r e a l i t y i n o r d e r t o r e v e a l the magic, mystic or religious mystery beneath. G u s t a v e V a n d e W o e s t y n e ' s earl) w o r k contained certain symbolist elements, but g r a d u a l ly evolved towards expressionism. His painting The two Springs m a y be d e s c r i b e d as s y m b o l i s t d u e to the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n in the t w o f e m a l e f i g u r e s o f the n a t u r a l c o u n t r y life o n the o n e h a n d , a n d a r t i f i c i a l city life o n the o t h e r . H i s l a t e r w o r k Gaston and his Sister is, in its a l i e n a tion, a t y p i c a l l y e x p r e s s i o n i s t p i e c e . I n the s a m e w a y a s the a r t i s t s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e w i t h d r e w t o the u n s p o i l e d b e a u t y o f L a t e m , the o l d e r J a k o b S m i t s h a d a l r e a d y s p e n t a d e c a d e i n the C a m p i n e w h e r e h e p a i n t e d his r u s t i c i n t e r i o r s , p o r t r a i t s , l a n d s c a p e s a n d religious paintings. T h e m u s e u m possesses a comprehensive collection of 31 paintings and n u m e r o u s d r a w i n g s b y this artist, w h i c h c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e his c o n c e p t i o n o f light. I t w a s his specific technique, consisting of thickly layered and thoroughly worked paint, which imbued w o r k s s u c h as The Train of the Magi w i t h their u n u s u a l intensity of light.

T h e F l e m i s h e x p r e s s i o n i s t s o c c u p i e d a not unimportant place in Western Europe between the t w o W o r l d W a r s . G u s t a v e D e S m e t , F r i t s V a n den Berghe, Albert Servaes and Constant P e r m e k e e a c h c r e a t e d a p e r s o n a l c c u v r e in w h i c h the r u r a l t h e m e in p a r t i c u l a r is a c o m m o n feature. T h e s e artists b e c a m e f a m o u s as the s e c o n d g r o u p to settle in S i n t - M a r t e n s L a t e m . T h e time spent a b r o a d - De S m e t a n d V a n d e n B e r g h e i n the N e t h e r l a n d s , a n d P e r m e k e in B r i t a i n - s e r v e d to o r i e n t a t e t h e i r a r t further t o w a r d s c u b i s m a n d e x p r e s s i o n i s m . A l b e r t S e r v a e s w a s the f i g u r e w h i c h p r o v i d e d the link b e t w e e n the f i r s t a n d s e c o n d g r o u p o f S i n t - M a r t e n s - L a t e m artists. S e r v a e s v i e w e d p e o p l e a n d l a n d s c a p e from a r e l i g i o u s p e r s p e c tive w h i c h led h i m t o d e v e l o p his o w n s t y l e . H i s early works are simple in form and two-dimens i o n a l , b u t a t the s a m e time p o w e r f u l a n d

RIK WOUTERS

Woman ironing detail
GEORGE MINNE

Ghent 1 8 6 6 - Latem 1941

Design for the I 'oldersmonument (Solidarity), i8g8 Inv. 2687 P l a s t e r , 68 x 69 x 28 cm
Donated by Henry V a n de Velde, 1949

m o n u m e n t a l . The dying Man, p a i n t e d in 1 9 1 0 and purchased in 1989, recalls J a k o b Smits with its fresh c o l o u r i n g , t w o - d i m e n s i o n a l c h a r a c t e r , the g r a i n y s u r f a c e a n d the l o c a t i o n o f the subject in an e v e r y d a y interior. De S m e t e v o l v e d f r o m his i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c d e b u t t o w a r d s a fairly s t r i c t l y c o n s t r u c t e d b u t s e r e n e e x p r e s sionism. A n y sense of directness a n d spontaneity is t i g h t l y c o n t r o l l e d in The Mussel Eaters. T h e i n t i m a t e , d o m e s t i c s c e n e w i t h its s u b t l e t o n a l i ties, the c u b i s t , s y n t h e t i c s t y l e a n d the m a n n e r in w h i c h s p a c e is r e d u c e d to a flat s u r f a c e , a r e b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r to f o r m a s i n g l e h a r m o n i o u s image. Frits V a n den B e r g h e later b e c a m e more i n t e r e s t e d in city life t h a n in the r u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t . T w o o f the w o r k s i n o u r c o l l e c t i o n complement one another particularly well in

their i l l u s t r a t i o n o f the t w o s i d e s o f his art. I n the r e c e n t l y a c q u i r e d Double Portrait of P.G. Van Hecke and Norine, d a t i n g from 1 9 2 3 / 2 4 , we r e c o g nise the a r t i s t ' s w o r l d l y , i r o n i c a n d c r i t i c a l characteristics, while the melancholy Life, p a i n t e d i n the s a m e y e a r , h i g h l i g h t s the m o r a l i s i n g t e n d e n c y o f his p e r s o n a l i t y . B o t h w o r k s w e r e p r o d u c e d d u r i n g his e x p r e s s i o n i s t p e r i o d . P . G . V a n H e c k e p l a y e d a n i m p o r t a n t role i n B e l g i a n a r t i s t i c life a s a w r i t e r , g a l l e r y o w n e r and promotor of m o d e r n art. T h e rather s a r c a s tic V a n d e n B e r g h e w a s l a t e r d u b b e d the s u r r e a l i s t a m o n g s t the E x p r e s s i o n i s t s , b e c a u s e a r o u n d 1 9 2 9 h e left the p u r e e x p r e s s i o n i s t fold and turned increasingly towards p h a n t a s m a g o ria. T h e m u s e u m ' s c o l l e c t i o n i s p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l - e n d o w e d w i t h his w o r k from the 1 9 3 0 - 3 9 period.

GUSTAVE

VAN

DE

WOESTYNE

Ghent 1881 - Ukkel 1947 The two Springs, igio Inv. 2044 C a n v a s , 73 x 63 cm L o w e r left: G u s t a v e V a n d e Woestyne 1923 Purchased in 1927

GUSTAVE

VAN

DE

WOESTYNE

Ghent 1 8 8 1 - Ukkel 1947 Gaston and his Sister, 1923 Inv. 3 2 1 1 C a n v a s , 2 0 4 x 204 cm Lower right: Gve V A N Purchased in 1984
DE WOESTYNE

1923

JAKOB

SMITS

Rotterdam 1 8 5 5 - Achterbos (Mol) 1928 The Train of the Magi Inv. 2 3 2 5 C a n v a s , 91 x 1 0 0 cm D o n a t e d b y the late E . \ " a n d e n B o s c h . 1 9 3 6

C o n s t a n t P e r m e k e , the p u r e s t e x p r e s s i o n i s t , portrayed m a n as crushed and deformed by work, with broad, hard contours and monochr o m e tints. H e p a i n t e d f a r m w o r k e r s a n d fishermen, large seascapes, imposing landscapes and large female nudes in a rough and p r i m a r y m a n n e r , but with a sense of e m p a t h y . H i s O s t e n d Fisherwoman, r o b u s t , like a m a s s i v e b l o c k b e a r i n g the m a r k o f life's t r a g e d y , sits a n d waits. Permeke used a sombre range of colours w i t h b l u i s h g r e y tones. H i s p r e f e r e n c e for m o n o c h r o m e i s e v e n m o r e s t r i k i n g i n the a n g u l a r a n d l i n e a r Vespers o f 1 9 2 7 . Hippolyte Daeye, Edgard Tytgat, J e a n Brusselmans and Leon Spilliaert - rather more isolated figures w h o , nonetheless, h a d certain points of contact with e x p r e s s i o n i s m - develo p e d a new content a n d style through their o w n particular temperaments. Hippolyte Daeye s p e n t the p e r i o d b e t w e e n 1 9 1 4 a n d 1 9 2 0 i n Britain, where he w a s in contact with G u s t a v e V a n de Woestyne, Edgard Tytgat and Constant P e r m e k e . I t w a s d u r i n g this p e r i o d t h a t h e w a s introduced to other modernist tendencies in E u r o p e a n a r t . H e w a s f a s c i n a t e d b y the w o r k o f M o d i g l i a n i , as he w a s following a similar path t o w a r d s s t r i p p i n g d o w n the p o r t r a i t g e n r e t o its e s s e n c e . A p a r t from the o u t w a r d f o r m , h e a l s o s o u g h t to c r e a t e the e x p e r i e n c e of s e e i n g . Despite Daeye's apparently spontaneous m e t h o d o f w o r k i n g , h e s t u d i e d the m o d e l for a g r e a t d e a l of t i m e u n t i l a s y n t h e s i s b e g a n to
ALBERT SERVAES

Ghent 1 8 8 3 - Lucerne (Sw.) 1966
GUSTAVE DE SMET

The dying Man, Inv. 3 2 8 1

igio

Ghent 1877 - Deurle 1943 The Mussel Eaters Inv. 2 1 6 0 C a n v a s , 93 x 1 2 3 cm D o n a t e d b y the G o v e r n m e n t 1 9 3 0

C a n v a s , 99 x 88 cm P u r c h a s e d in 1988

d e v e l o p , b r i n g i n g w i t h it a n e c e s s a r y d e g r e e of d e f o r m a t i o n . Serenity is s i m p l e in c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d h i g h l y refined i n its c o l o u r i n g . D a e y e ' s p a l e t t e i s u n u s u a l l y i n t e n s e i n this w o r k , i n w h i c h , as c u s t o m a r y , a single figure situated a g a i n s t a n a b s t r a c t b a c k g r o u n d f i l l s the c a n vas. A l t h o u g h l e a n i n g t o w a r d s e x p r e s s i o n i s m , the paintings o f J e a n B r u s s e l m a n s are m o r e cont r o l l e d i n c h a r a c t e r . T h e s t r u c t u r e o f his c a n v a s e s i s p a r a m o u n t , a n d i t i s his i m p r e s s i o n s o f n a t u r e w h i c h then h a v e t o y i e l d , thereby r e s u l t ing i n s t r i c t l y c o n s t r u c t e d c o m p o s i t i o n s . T h e y are carefully ordered, but retain a playful quality t h r o u g h their l i v e l y c o l o u r i n g a n d r h y t h m a s w e see i n Spring a n d Pajottenland. T h e m u s e u m h a s t w e l v e p a i n t i n g s b y this h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l f i g u r e w i t h i n F l e m i s h e x p r e s s i o n i s m , three o f w h i c h w e r e d o n a t e d b y the a r t i s t ' s son i n 1981. W a s Spilliaert an expressionist, a symbolist o r a s u r r e a l i s t ? M o s t o f his w o r k s h a v e s o m e t h i n g of a s u r r e a l a t m o s p h e r e , w i t h every t h i n g bound up synthetically, and he w a s able to c o n v e y the e s s e n c e of his s u b j e c t w ith s p a r i n g u s e o f m a t e r i a l s . H e d i d not w o r k after n a t u r e , but r a t h e r s u g g e s t s a m e m o r y o f r e a l i t y , p r e f e r -

ring w a t e r colours, g o u a c h e a n d coloured pencils to oil p a i n t s . T h e a r t i s t ' s Self Portrait reflected in a m i r r o r is e x e c u t e d in s y m b o l i c light-dark water colours. O s c a r J e s p e r s i s o n e o f the m o s t i m p o r t a n t representatives of expressionist sculpture. He m a d e his d e b u t a s a n i m p r e s s i o n i s t , b u t c h a n g e d his v i e w s u n d e r the i n f l u e n c e o f s e v e r a l revolutionary impulses. His works are simple a n d p u r e i n f o r m . T h e h u m a n f i g u r e o f The Hooded Cloak e x e c u t e d in taille directe is s t r i p p e d d o w n to a s t r i c t l y c l o s e d f o r m .

FRITS

VAN

DEN

BERGHE

Ghent 1883 - 1939 Double Portrait of P.G. van Hecke and his Wife Norine Inv. 3268 Canvas. 1 6 1 x 1 2 1 cm Purchased in 1987
FRITS VAN DEN BERGHE

Ghent 1883 - 1939 Life

Inv. 2527
Canvas, 1 3 1 x 141 cm Purchased in 1942

CONSTANT

PERMEKE

A n t w e r p 1 8 8 6 - Ostend 1 9 5 2 Fishtruoman. 1920 Inv. 2 1 7 9 Panel. 1 0 0 x 1 2 4 cm L o w e r r i g h t : Permeke 1 9 2 0 Oosiende Donated b> F. Franck 1 9 3 0

CONSTANT

P E R M E K E

Antwerp 1 8 8 6 - O s t e n d 1952 Vespers, ig2y Inv. 2779 Panel, 1 2 8 x 1 4 9 cm L o w e r c e n t r e : P e r m e k e ; l o w e r left: 1 9 2 7 Purchased in 1 9 5 3

LEON

SPILLIAERT

Ostend 1 8 8 1 - Brussels 1946 Self Portrait Inv. 3 1 0 7 W a t e r c o l o u r on p a p e r , 6 x 50 cm Purchased in 1 9 7 2

HIPPOLYTE

DAEYE

Ghent 1873 - Antwerp 1952 Serenity Inv. 2229 C a n v a s , 91 x 74.5 cm L o w e r right: D a e y e Purchased in 1 9 3 2

OSCAR

JESPERS

Borgerhout 1887 - Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe 1970 The hooded Cloak Inv. 2066 W h i t e stone, 89 x 31 cm Reverse: Osc. Jespers D o n a t e d b y the F r i e n d s o f M o d e r n A r t i n 1 9 2 6

JEAN

BRUSSELMANS

Brussels 1 8 8 1 - Dilbeek 1 9 5 3 Spring, 1935 I n v . 2967 Canvas, 1 5 1 x 1 5 1 cm L o w e r left: J e a n B r u s s e l m a n s 1 9 3 5 Purchase

Rik Wouters
T h e m u s e u m ' s collection features 1 0 9 w o r k s b y R i k W o u t e r s , t h a n k s in p a r t to the r e c e n t donation of 58 works by L u d o van BogaertS h e i d . W o u t e r s , the m o s t i n t e r e s t i n g o f the B r a b a n t f a u v i s t s , w a s a w a r e o f the n e w p o s s i b i l ities o f e x p r e s s i o n offered b y c o l o u r . B r a b a n t f a u v i s m is a t e r m a p p l i e d to the w o r k of a n u m b e r o f p a i n t e r s a c t i v e i n the B r u s s e l s r e g i o n (the p r o v i n c e o f B r a b a n t ) i n the p e r i o d a r o u n d 1 9 1 0 - 2 3 , w h o are related to French fauvism. T h e artists w e r e friends w h o exhibited together, b u t d i d not r e a l l y f o r m a c o h e r e n t g r o u p . S o m e o f t h e m o n l y a d h e r e d t o f a u v i s m for p a r t o f their c a r e e r . T h e h o m e o f A u g u s t e Oleffe w a s a m e e t i n g p l a c e for E d g a r d T y t g a t , J e a n B r u s s e l mans, Anne-Pierre de K a t and Rik Wouters, the s t a r o f the g r o u p . Wouters painted sun-drenched landscapes, brilliant portraits with b r o a d green a n d blue strokes, a n d sunny rooms filled with vibrant light. H i s u n u s u a l v i t a l i t y i s a p p a r e n t from the fact that he c o m p l e t e d this c e u v r e in a p e r i o d of less t h a n ten y e a r s . H e d r e w , p a i n t e d a n d m o d e l l e d the life a r o u n d h i m - his wife N e l , the l a n d s c a p e o f B o s v o o r d e , c h i l d r e n a n d still lifes. H e r a r e l y d e v i a t e d i n his p a i n t i n g s from his

o b s e r v e d feasts o f c o l o u r . T h e c h a o t i c f e e l i n g s a n d p r o b l e m s o f the w a r p e r i o d a r e barelyd e t e c t a b l e in his w o r k . Woman ironing is o n e of m a n y paintings inspired by Nel at work. She l o o k s up in s u r p r i s e in a b r i g h t r o o m filled w i t h shimmering sunlight. T h e colours are muted to f o r m s u b t l e v a r i a t i o n s o f soft y e l l o w , p a l e p i n k a n d w a t e r y g r e e n a c r o s s the e n t i r e s u r f a c e o f the c a n v a s . T h i s p a i n t i n g w h i c h d a t e s from 1 9 1 2 i s the f i r s t o f W o u t e r s ' w o r k s t o b e p u r c h a s e d b y the m u s e u m i n 1 9 2 3 . W o u t e r s p a i n t e d h i m s e l f d u r i n g his i l l n e s s in Rik with a black Eye Patch, which followed a second operation in 1 9 1 5 . T h e c a n v a s i s d i v i d e d into l a r g e p a t c h e s o f c o l o u r : the d e e p r e d o f the c u r t a i n , the m e l a n c h o l y b l u e o f his p y j a m a s a n d the b l u e - b l a c k a r m c h a i r . D e s p i t e all his t r o u b l e s , W o u t e r s c o n t i n u e d t o w o r k w i t h a n u n f o r g e t t a b l e i n t e n s i t y u n t i l the very end. W o u t e r s a l s o m a n a g e d t o i m b u e his s c u l p t u r e s w i t h the s a m e i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c t o u c h a s his p a i n t i n g s . N e l w a s o n c e a g a i n his m o d e l for Reverie, a u n i q u e , s l i g h t l y l a r g e r t h a n life-size w o r k . T h e m a t u r i t y o f the f i g u r e i s a c c e n t u a t e d b y the a l m o s t c l o s e d c o m p o s i t i o n , a n d a g r e a t deal of e m p h a s i s is p l a c e d upon a c h i e v i n g a plastic, round representation of volume. T w o s c u l p t u r e s a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y e y e - c a t c h i n g : Mad

RIK WOUTERS

Mechelen 1882 Amsterdam 1 9 1 6 Woman ironing Inv. 1 9 3 2 C a n v a s . 107 x 1 2 3 cm Purchased in 1 9 2 3

RIK W O U T E R S

Mechelen 1882 - Amsterdam 1 9 1 6 Rik with a black Eye Patch Inv. 3297 C a n v a s , 102 x 85 cm D o n a t e d b y L u d o v a n B o g a e r t - S h e i d i n 1989

Force a n d Household Cares, b o t h on l o a n to the Middelheim Open Air Museum in Antwerp. T h e latter represents a m o m e n t of reflection, w h i l e the f o r m e r s h o w s the letting g o o f all control. W o u t e r s ' progressive attitudes are reflected in the r e t u r n to the c l a s s i c a l , b r e a k i n g w i t h p a t h o s a n d r o m a n t i c i s m . H e tries t o c a p ture n a t u r e i n its o u t w a r d a p p e a r a n c e a n d c o n c e n t r a t e s o n its v o l u m e i n s p a c e , the m o v e m e n t o f this s i n g l e f i g u r e , a n d the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the h u m a n b o d y .

GEORGES

ROUAULT

Paris 1 8 7 1 - 1958 Newspaper Vendor, igog Inv. 2792 P a p e r and w o o d , 50 x 40 cm L o w e r right: G. Rouault 1909 Purchased in 1 9 5 3

RIK

WOUTERS

Mechelen 1882 - Amsterdam 1 9 1 6 Reverie Inv. 2056 Bronze, 1 9 3 x 50 cm L o w e r left s i d e : R i k W o u t e r s D o n a t e d b y E . M i s t i e r t h r o u g h the i n t e r m e d i a r y o f Artibus Patriae in 1 9 2 7

Modern

International Masters

A l t h o u g h they c a n n o t b e s u m m e d u p u n d e r a single heading, we certainly cannot ignore a series of i m p r e s s i v e n a m e s - a r t i s t s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t a t u r e w h o h e l p e d d e t e r m i n e the c h a r a c ter of the 2 0 t h c e n t u r y a r t i s t i c s c e n e . A n u m b e r o f f o r e i g n m a s t e r s a r e r e p r e s e n t e d i n the m u s e u m ' s collection, thanks in particular to p u r c h a s e s s t i m u l a t e d b y the ' F r i e n d s o f M o d e r n Art', and a variety of donations. L o v i s Corinth w a s o n e o f the l e a d e r s o f G e r m a n i m p r e s s i o n i s m . H e p a i n t e d the e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c p o r t r a i t o f Georg Brandes, the D a n i s h c r i t i c , in 1 9 2 5 , the y e a r of B r a n d e s ' d e a t h . The Newspaper Vendor ( 1 9 0 9 ) b y the F r e n c h m a n G e o r g e s R o u a u l t , w h o w a s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d i n p e o p l e o n the

fringes of s o c i e t y , is f a u v i s t in c h a r a c t e r . A n o t h e r F r e n c h m a n , R a o u l D u f y , e x e c u t e d his w a t e r c o l o u r Anemones w i t h b r i g h t , j o y f u l c o l o u r ing of typical fauvist sumptuousness. A m e d e o M o d i g l i a n i , a n I t a l i a n a r t i s t from a r o u n d the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y , w h o w o r k e d i n P a r i s , w a s a leading sculptor and painter. His monumental Sitting Nude w a s a gift of the g o v e r n m e n t . M a r c C h a g a l l , meanwhile, w a s a quiet modernist w h o l i v e d i n a u n i v e r s e all o f his o w n . H i s s e n s e o f c o l o u r is e v i d e n t from At the Window, w h i c h is dated around 1927-28. Like Henri Matisse and Maurice De Vlaminck, Kees van Dongen was o n e o f the f o u n d e r s o f f a u v i s m . H e p a i n t e d Mgr. G. Messarra, Metropolitan of Beirut w h e n f a u v i s m h a d a l r e a d y p a s s e d its p e a k , a n d h e d e d i c a t e d himself to portraits of figures from w o r l d l y and

RAOUL

DUFY

Le H a v r e (Fr.) 1877 - Forcalquier (Fr.) 1 9 5 3 Anemones Inv. 2286 W a t e r c o l o u r , 65 x 49 cm L o w e r left: R a o u l D u f y Purchased in 1 9 3 4

LOVIS CORINTH

T a p i a u (East Prussia) 1858 - Zandvoort 1 9 2 5 Georg Brandes, 1925 Inv. 2452 C a n v a s , 91 x 70 cm U p p e r left: L o v i s C o r i n t h 4 A p r i l 1 9 2 5 Purchased in 1 9 3 9

official c i r c l e s w i t h a c e r t a i n e l e m e n t of l i g h t h e a r t e d m o c k e r y . G e o r g G r o s z ' s Portrait of Walter Mehring w a s p u r c h a s e d at the f a m o u s a u c t i o n o f ' D e g e n e r a t e A r t ' in L u c e r n e in 1 9 3 9 . T h i s is a fine e x a m p l e of the G e r m a n Neue Sachlichkeit. T h e m u s e u m h a s a l s o a c q u i r e d three s c u l p t u r e s i n different m a t e r i a l s b y O s s i p Z a d k i n e , o n e o f the m o s t i m p o r t a n t s c u l p t o r s o f the 2 0 t h cent u r y . T h e e a r l i e s t of these, The Suffering of Job, e x e c u t e d i n 1 9 1 4 , a n d w h i c h w a s d o n a t e d b y the artist himself, is a s t y l i s e d , e x p r e s s i o n i s t w o r k .

MARC

CHAGALL

Vitebsk (Ru.) 1887 - Saint-Paul-de-Vence 1985 At the Window Inv. 2280 P a p e r and o p a q u e water colour, 65 x 50 cm L o w e r right: C h a g a l l M a r c D o n a t e d b y the F r i e n d s o f M o d e r n A r t 1 9 3 2

AMEDEO

MODIGLIANI

Livorno 1 8 8 4 - Paris 1920 Sitting Nude Inv. 2060 Canvas, 1 1 4 x 74 cm U p p e r right: Modigliani D o n a t e d b y the G o v e r n m e n t i n 1 9 2 7

GEORG

GROSZ

Berlin 1893 - 1959 Portrait of Walter Mehring Inv. 2454 C a n v a s , 90 x 80 cm Purchased in 1 9 3 9

OSSIP Z A D K I N E

Smolensk (Ru.) 1890 - Neuilly-sur-Seine (Paris) The Suffering of Job, 1914 Inv. 2338 E l m wood, 1 2 3 x 84 cm Front right: Zadkine 1 9 1 4 D o n a t e d b y the artist i n 1 9 3 6

1967

KEES

VAN

DONGEN

Delfshaven 1877 - Monte C a r l o 1968 Mgr. Gerassimos Messarra, Metropolitan of Beirut Inv. 2 3 5 1 Canvas, 2 1 8 x 1 2 5 cm L o w e r right: V a n Dongen Purchased in 1 9 3 7

Before

ig45

T h e first g e n e r a t i o n o f a b s t r a c t a r t i s t s a c t i v e i n B e l g i u m d u r i n g a n d after the F i r s t W o r l d W a r included J o z e f Peeters, G e o r g e s v a n Tongerloo, Jules Schmalzigaug, Victor Servranckx and J a n K i e m e n i j . V a n T o n g e r l o o i s not r e p r e s e n t e d i n the m u s e u m . J o z e f P e e t e r s w a s A n t w e r p ' s d e f e n d e r o f the c o n s t r u c t i v i s t i d e a l , w h i c h w a s based u p o n form, geometry and surface structure. Composition, d a t i n g from 1 9 2 1 , i s his painted manifesto. It is brightly coloured with o v e r l a p p i n g surfaces, with m o v e m e n t a n d dist a n c e c r e a t e d b y the p r o p e r t i e s o f the c o l o u r s . B e f o r e P e e t e r s w i t h d r e w from the a v a n t - g a r d e f r a y i n 1 9 2 7 h e w a s a f o u n d e r o f the M o d e r n A r t group, he organised conferences and exhibitions and contributed to magazines. V i c t o r Servr a n c k x a l s o h a d t o d e f e n d a b s t r a c t art b y m e a n s o f a r t i c l e s a n d a d d r e s s e s b e c a u s e o f the r e s i s t a n c e w h i c h i t a r o u s e d . T h e t w o e x t r e m e s o f this p i o n e e r i n g a r t i s t ' s w o r k a r e p r e s e n t i n the museum. His paintings are sometimes w a r m l y lyrical, with a suggestion of m o v e m e n t a n d chaos, a n d sometimes strictly constructive with

c o m p l e x compositions. His resolute message is c o n v e y e d by b o t h the g e o m e t r i c a l Opus 20 of 1 9 2 2 , a n d The Domain of the Water, a c o s m i c w o r k i n w h i c h h e u s e s the s t r u c t u r e o f the b a s e m a t e r i a l , a t r i p l e x sheet, t o s u g g e s t w a v e m o v e m e n t s . L i k e S e r v r a n c k x , w h o w a s a friend a n d c o r r e s p o n d e n t o f the f u t u r i s t s , J u l e s S c h m a l z i g a u g w a s a l s o p a r t i c u l a r l y a t t r a c t e d t o futurist a r t . H e i s the o n l y B e l g i a n futurist, a n d h i s w o r k consists primarily of w a t e r colours a n d d r a w i n g s , w i t h a total of o n l y t h i r t y oil p a i n t i n g s . S e v e n o f h i s w o r k s w e r e d o n a t e d t o the m u s e u m b y the a r t i s t ' s f a m i l y , i n c l u d i n g the r e v o l u t i o n a ry Impression of a Dance Hall d a t i n g from 1 9 1 4 . ' T h e G e n e r a t i o n of 1 9 0 0 ' , a collective n a m e g i v e n to artists born a r o u n d 1 9 0 0 , can be b r o a d l y split into t w o t r e n d s . O n the o n e h a n d t h e r e w e r e a n i m i s t s like A l b e r t V a n D y c k a n d J o z e f V i n c k , w h o sought through a process of internalisation to achieve an intimate realism, w h i l e o n the o t h e r t h e r e w e r e the s u r r e a l i s t s Paul Delvaux, Rene Magritte and E . L . T . Mesens, who created alien worlds with concrete and f a m i l i a r d e t a i l s . P a u l D e l v a u x p a i n t e d his Pink Snares i n a n a l m o s t f r u g a l s t y l e . T h e t h e a t r i c a l

JOZEF

PEETERS

VICTOR SERVRANCKX

A n t w e r p 1895 - i960 Composition, Inv. 2924 C a n v a s , 150 x 150 cm L o w e r left: J . P . / 2 2 - 1 0 - 2 1 / Purchased in 1961 1921

Diegem 1897 - Vilvoorde 1965 OpUS 20, IQ22 Inv. 3 1 4 2 C a n v a s , 70 x 45 cm L o w e r left: 1 9 2 2 S e r v r a n c k x Purchased in 1 9 7 5

VICTOR

SERVRANCKX

Diegem 1897 - Vilvoorde 1965 The Domain of the Water (Opus 2), 1927 Inv. 3 0 5 9 T r i p l e x , 70 x 45 cm L o w e r left: S e r v r a n c k x 1 9 2 7 P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 6 8

d e c o r a n d the a n t i q u e b u i l d i n g s f o r m a s p a c e for a group of naked women w h o have just stepped out of a d r e a m w o r l d . R e n e M a g r i t t e had an e n o r m o u s i n f l u e n c e u p o n the d e v e l o p m e n t o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n t e m p o r a r y a r t . I n 1 9 8 5 , the museum purchased the sculpture Madame Recamier by this m a r v e l o u s t r a n s f o r m e r of o b j e c t s , w h o c r e a t e d s u r p r i s i n g effects b y linking hitherto unconnected items. H i s w o r k s a r e not e x p l a i n e d b y their p o e t i c titles. O n the contrary, even greater mystery is aroused t h r o u g h the l i n k i n g o f w o r d a n d i m a g e , a s i n Vengeance.

RENE

MAGRITTE

Lessines 1898 - Brussels 1967 Vengeance Inv. 2569 W a t e r colour, 47 x 35 cm U p p e r right: Magritte Purchased in 1 9 3 9

JULES

SCHMALZIGAUG

A n t w e r p 1 8 8 6 - Delft 1 9 1 7 Impression of a Dance Hall, 1914 I n v . 2 1 0 0 bis C a n v a s , 53 x 65 cm L o w e r right: Schmalzigaug 1 9 1 4 D o n a t e d b y the a r t i s t ' s f a m i l y , 1 9 2 8

PAUL

DELVAUX

Antheit 1897 Pink Snares, ig^y Inv. 2850 C a n v a s , 1 2 1 . 5 x 160 cm L o w e r right: P. Delvaux 2-37 P u r c h a s e d .in 1 9 5 7

After
JAN СОХ

ig45
art, which began in Belgium The two before main Luc flourished after 1945.

Abstract 1920, Coma, igyj

T h e Hague 1 9 1 9 - Antwerp 1980 My Father in Inv. 3 1 3 1 C a n v a s , 243 x 1 2 7 cm R e v e r s e : ' M y father i n c o m a ' J a n C o x 1 9 7 3 Purchased in 1 9 7 4

trends - the g e o m e t r i c w i t h J o sionistic Mortier, collection. or more lyrical Lint

Delahaut,

P e i r e a n d G u y V a n d e n b r a n d e n , a n d the e x p r e s abstract and of Antoine van Louis Van Englebert

Anderlecht - are represented

i n the m u s e u m ' s

T h e artists' m o v e m e n t ' J e u n e Peinture B e i g e ' w a s founded in 1 9 4 5 , and w a s joined by Pierre Alechinsky, to a Jan Cox, Louis Van a Lint painter and of A n t o i n e M o r t i e r , a l t h o u g h it did not give birth uniform a style. Jan Cox, pictorially rich portraits a n d figures, has been dubbed subjects, fragments images. led him classical which based are modernist often with Antique because and of his ethereal Christian dream colourful, visions and

upon

civilisation,

together

Like Cox, to the by a

Louis V a n

L i n t w a s interabstract on

ested-in the C o b r a m o v e m e n t . H i s e x p e r i m e n t s creation powerful of lyrically rhythm c a n v a s e s . T h e s t r u c t u r e o f h i s Chartres ( 1 9 5 0 ) i s determined applied

LOUIS VAN

LINT

Sint-Joost-ten-Node 1 9 0 9 - Brussels 1980 Chartres, ipjo
cm

Inv. 2707 Canvas, 1 5 1 x 106.5 Purchased in 1950

L o w e r left: L . V a n L i n t 5 0

t o p o f the c o l o u r like n e r v o u s h a n d w r i t i n g . T h e lyrical abstraction of Antoine Mortier is more passionate, and it is Mortier w h o m a y be v i e w e d as B e l g i u m ' s 'action painter'. His spont a n e o u s g e s t u r e s a r e like a r e l e a s e , l e a v i n g d y n a m i c t r a c e s b e h i n d o n the c a n v a s . I n 1 9 6 6 , r a w a n d e m o t i o n a l , he p a i n t e d The third Pair, with powerful stripes, a true u n b u r d e n i n g . We find a similar tendency towards expressionism i n the C o b r a m o v e m e n t - a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l g r o u p i n g of poets and artists such as K a r e l A p p e l a n d Pierre A l e c h i n s k y w h i c h w a s fascin a t e d b y the m a t e r i a l s , c o l o u r , w r i t i n g a n d i m a g e s i t f o u n d i n the w o r l d o f p r i m i t i v e p e o p l e s , c h i l d r e n a n d the m e n t a l l y ill. I n h i s Flying Man d a t i n g from 1 9 5 8 , K a r e l A p p e l combined bright colours and raw, passionate forms to p r o d u c e a d i s p l a y of action painting. The last Day ( 1 9 6 4 ) is a m o n u m e n t a l oil p a i n t i n g w h i c h is v i e w e d as a h i s t o r i c p e a k in the evolution of Alechinsky's C o b r a adventure. A c c o r d i n g to the artist, the title of the w o r k refers t o the i d e a o f d e a t h . I n the m i d s t o f prevailing chaos we discover strange creatures in a c o l o u r f u l w h i r l w i n d .

T h e years 1960-70 saw a great deal of experim e n t a t i o n . T h e a i m o f the i n t e r n a t i o n a l a v a n t garde group called ' Z e r o ' w a s to find a symbiosis b e t w e e n n a t u r e , a r t a n d t e c h n o l o g y . A m a j o r exhibition entitled ' Z e r o International A n t w e r p ' w a s m o u n t e d i n the m u s e u m i n 1 9 7 9 , w h i c h l e d to a n u m b e r of p u r c h a s e s . Concetto Spaziale, w i t h its r a z o r c u t s , by the s p i r i t u a l f a t h e r o f the Z e r o g r o u p , L u c i o F o n t a n a , w a s b o u g h t , as w e r e Big Sun a n d the s e r i a l Nail Object b y O t t o P i e n s a n d G t i n t h e r U e c k e r r e s p e c t i v e l y , b o t h o f w h o m b e l o n g e d t o the G e r m a n c o r e o f the m o v e m e n t . T h e k e y f i g u r e a s f a r a s the Z e r o m o v e m e n t i n B e l g i u m w a s c o n c e r n e d , w a s J e f V e r h e y e n w i t h his m o n o c h r o m e paintings. P u r e m o n o c h r o m e is u s e d in his w o r k to s u g g e s t infinite s p a c e . Variation is o n e of h i s w e l l - k n o w n " r a i n b o w tint p a i n t i n g s ' , from w h i c h a r a d i a n t light i s c o n j u r e d . I t w a s t h r o u g h the p e r s o n o f J e f V e r h e y e n that the internationally oriented g r o u p 'G 58 - Hessenh u i s ' c a m e into c o n t a c t w i t h the G e r m a n Z e r o m o v e m e n t . T h e g r o u p p r o v i d e d a n artistic m e e t i n g p l a c e i n A n t w e r p for d e m o n s t r a t i o n s and exhibitions, and boasted honorary mem-

KAREL

APPEL

Amsterdam 1921 Firing Man. igj8 Inv. 2897 Canvas, 145 x 1 1 4 cm L o w e r right: K. Appel 58 Purchased in 1 9 5 9

ANTOINE

MORTIER

'Sint-Gillis (Brussels) 1908 The third Pair, ig66 Inv. 3047 C a n v a s , 1 9 5 x 146 cm L o w e r r i g h t : M o r t i e r 9-66 Purchased in 1968

bers like R e n e Guiette and J o z e f Peeters, and members including V i c Gentils, Paul V a n H o e y d o n c k a n d W a l t e r L e b l a n c . T h e s e artists experimented with new materials. V i c Gentils created spatial compositions by combining wooden materials and objects like frames, driftw o o d , furniture legs and hat blocks, w h i c h he scorched with a blow l a m p or sandblasted. T h e s e heterogenous objects were combined to form b a r o q u e figures, charged with irony a n d / or humour. Homage to Permeke developed into a pure sculpture, while Sun Explosion is a lively relief m a d e from piano keys and h a m m e r s , and felt. After setting out with abstract, monochrome c a n v a s e s , Paul V a n H o e y d o n c k discovered an entirely new figuration: his w o r k is associated with space travel and the planets. He gives concrete form to the new mythology which

has g r o w n up around j o u r n e y s of exploration in space, by means of assembled astronauts, cosmonauts and mutants. H i s Spacemen are put together using all kinds of materials, including little wheels, machine parts and rags, w h i c h he sprays white in order to indicate the infinity of the universe. T h e sculptor Roel D ' H a e s e is also inspired by new materials, and he attaches a great deal of importance to craftsmanship. T h e large equestrian statue Song of Evil is his most monumental and most recent self-cast statue. He began by fashioning the hind legs, then the body, the front legs, the head and the rider. It is his d r a m a t i c manifesto, in which he views the worst enemy of mankind as mankind itself. D ' H a e s e occupies a leading position in p o s t - w a r Belgian sculpture.

LUCIO FONTANA

Rosario de Santa Fe (Arg.) •969 Concetto Spaziale Inv. 3 1 9 7 C a n v a s , 92 x 58 cm Purchased in 1980

1 8 9 9 - C o m a b b i o (It.)

PIERRE

ALECHINSKY

Brussels 1927 The last Day Inv. 3 0 3 9 C a n v a s , 330 x 500 cm L o w e r right: Alechinsky P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 6 8

OTTO

PIENE

Laasplu (Ger.) 1928 Big Sun, ig6j Inv. 3 1 9 6 C a n v a s , 2 0 0 x 2 0 0 cm On reverse: Piene 65 P u r c h a s e d in 1 9 8 0

GUNTHER

UECKER

Wendsdorf (Ger.) 1 9 3 0 Nail Object Inv. 3202 Panel, 1 5 0 x 1 5 0 cm Purchased in 1981

J E F

VERHEYEN

Izegem 1932 Saint-Saturnin D'Apt 1984 Variation Inv. 3063 C a n v a s , 1 3 0 . 5 x 1 3 0 . 5 cm Purchased in 1968

VIC

GENTILS

Ilfracombe (Eng.) 1 9 1 9 Homage to Permeke Inv. 3070 W o o d , 75 x 60 cm Reverse: H o m m a g e a Permeke 1964 V i c Gentils L o a n e d b y the M i n i s t r y o f the F l e m i s h C o m m u n i t y

PAUL VAN

HOEYDONCK

Antwerp 1925 Spaceman, ig6y Inv. 3045 Mixed media, 2 1 1 x 1 1 2 cm R e v e r s e r i g h t : P . V . H o e y d o n c k oct. 6 7 Purchased in 1968

ROEL

D'HAESE

Geraardsbergen 1921 The Song of Evil, Inv. 3038 B r o n z e , 2 2 7 x 87 cm 1Ф4

Side right: Roel D ' H a e s e 1964 P u r c h a s e d in 1968

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful