Jacob Jordaens, Bacchus (detail), 17th cent., KMSKA © Lukas - Art in Flanders vzw.


From 11 February to 08 May 2011 – Centre for Fine Arts – Bozar

Following their initial collaboration in 2009, which focused on the collection of the House of Savoy, the museums of Flanders and of northern Italy are once again putting their respective schools of painting into perspective with a stunning selection of pictures. From the 15th to the 18th century, the exhibition presents four centuries of contrast between 15 masterpieces from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and some fifty paintings from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, one of the finest collections of Venetian paintings in existence. Venetian and Flemish Mastersis organised chronologically in four sections, one for each century; within each section, four major themes are highlighted – the portrait, saints in a natural setting, the sacred and the profane, and panoramic views. In thequattrocento Bellini’s portraits influenced Van Eyck, while the northern painter exportedhis naturalism. In thecinquecento the Venetians moved beyond the techniques of the Flemish Primitives. Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese created an explosion of colour and brought new light into the landscapes of Patenier. In theseicento, Rubens, in Italy, had an influence on Tiepolo. Thesettecento, finally,saw a proliferation of styles in a Venice in decline, from Canaletto’s snapshots to the sarcastic genre paintings of Guardi, which influenced the love of excess in the work of Jordaens. In short: the Venetian and Flemish schools could not have existed without each other.

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