Exhibition - Past
POWER FLOWER, Foral still lifes in the Netherlands
Exhibition runs 28 November 2015 to 28 March 2016
BAN PowerFlower 270x330The Rockox House and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) are organising a series of small-scale exhibitions as part of the Golden Cabinet initiative. Power Flower, Floral still life in the Low Countries is the fifth in the series.
Since time immemorial, art in Flanders, Brabant and Holland has been characterised by incisive observation of nature and the quest for naturalness.
Despite that, until into the 16th century, plants and flowers were only to be seen adorning the margins of illustrations depicting saints in books of hours. The flourishing interest in the botanical world and the burgeoning fondness for things natural prompted early-seventeenth-century artists to regard bouquets of flowers as a self-contained motif.
It was a period in which artists were totally spellbound by the 'Power Flower' and were to be for many years to come. Jan Brueghel, Jan Davidz De Heem, Osias Beert, Daniël Seghers, Rachel Ruysch are just some of the many artists on proud floral display at this most sweet-scented of exhibitions.
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), under the spell of classical antiquity
Open: 24 of April - 16 of August 2015
Tempe website v1Ortelius is generally recognised as having created the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terarum (Theatre of the World), published in Antwerp in 1570. He is also believed to be the first person to have questioned the early historical maps, proposing instead that the continents had been joined together before drifting apart to their current position. Ortelius also had a passionate interest in the history of classical antiquity and Biblical history.
In his first edition of the Theatrum, he already refers to place names in antiquity, and this subsequently results in a separate publication in 1587, the Thesaurus Geographicus. And again in his Parergon, a collection of his historical maps that he had previously published in various editions of the Theatrum, he portrays ancient history, sacred and secular, and shows the extent of the Roman Empire in Europe. With the help of his celebrated museum collection, including an extensive library and rich array of Roman coins, he reconstructed - among other things – Caesar’s conquest of Gall, and the journeys of Odysseus, Aeneas and the Argonauts. And in the texts which accompanied his maps, he always listed the sources he used.
Ortelius also literally travelled in search of history. That he visited Italy is borne out by his celebrated Itinerarium per nonnullas Galliae Belgicae partes. But also closer to home, he came looking for traces of classical antiquity in Tongeren, Trier and Metz. Towards the end of his life, he was preparing the publication of the Tabula Peutingeriana, a copy of a map of the road network across the Roman Empire dating originally from the 3rd or 4th century.
He was also a keen numismatist, and his collection included coins dating back to the latter years of the Roman Empire. Coins, and especially Roman coins, brought to life the history of those times, and his Deorum dearumque capita ex antiquis numismatibus Abrahami Ortelii geographi Regis collecta was published in 1573. For Ortelius, history and cartography went hand in hand. For him, geography was ‘the eye of history’.
It is not without reason, therefore, that Ortelius with his passion for the history of classical antiquity, finds his place in the Rockox House. Rockox (1560-1640) and Ortelius (1527-1598) were friends. They shared a passion for collecting coins. Rockox had all Ortelius’s major publications in his library, and a portrait of Ortelius hung in Rockox’s own ‘art room’ (or gallery).
This exhibition will include a range of these historical maps together with some printed works showing Ortelius’s reconstructions. Visitors will be able to follow how Ortelius collected his knowledge and then visualised it in map book form.This exhibition in the Rockox House is a joint venture with the Plantin-Moretus Museum / Print Collection in Antwerp, co-organised by Dr Dirk Imhof, curator of the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Hildegard Van de Velde, curator of the Rockox House Museum.
The Parrot. 't Cierlijk schoon van haare veeren*
* The decorative beauty of its plumage
8 November 2014 – 22 February 2015
Peter Paul Rubens, The Holy family with parrot (detail), ©KMSKA, photo: Rik Klein Gotink
As part of The Golden Cabinet season, the Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the Rockox House Museum are organising a number of small-scale exhibitions. The Parrot is the third such exhibition in the series.
Following the stunning restoration of The Holy Family with the Parrot by P.P. Rubens (KMSKA), a work that has been given pride of place in 'The Golden Cabinet' exhibition, we are turning our attention to the parrot in the pictorial art of the 16th and 17th centuries. Its magnificent plumage was a feast for the eye and a source of inspiration for countless artists. 'Beauty', 'wisdom', 'virginal', 'exotic' and 'lover' are just a few of the many predicates assigned to this bird.
Besides Rubens' work, interpretations of the parrot by Savery, Fijt, Jordaens, de Heem, Dürer, Schongauer and other artists will also be on display.
From Patinir to Ribera. Saint Jerome in Words and Images
18 January – 13 April 2014
Jan Sanders van Hemessen’s picture of Saint Jerome occupied a place of honour in Rockox’s art gallery or groote saleth, where P.P. Rubens’s famous Samson and Delilah deservedly hung, and is currently the only work from Rockox’s original collection that is now in situ in the museum that was his house.
What we are attempting is to determine St. Jerome’s place in the pictorial art of the Renaissance and the Baroque in Western Europe. During the sixteenth century, he was the subject of thirty per cent of all portrayals of saints, and remained of great importance in the pictorial art of the seventeenth century, too, being an iconic figure for the Counter-Reformation and humanism.
The Golden Cabinet presents : Bound in Friendship.
The liber amicorum or friends’ book in the sixteenth and seventeenth century
28 september 2013 – 15 december 2013
Friends’ books were prized possessions in the sixteenth century, too. The world was opening up and students sought adventure, going far abroad to enrich their knowledge, despite the fact that, in Leuven, the Southern Netherlands had a renowned university town; favourite countries were France, Italy and Germany. The friend’s book was treasured by the student and was often offered to close fellow students, professors and relatives for them to contribute comments, quotations dedictations – frequently finely illustrated – to it. It gives us the opportunity to seek out the student and trace his social network. Nicolaas Rockox, too, had a liber amicorum and this is exhibited here in company with fifteen friends’ books of his contemporaries.