Discover Benelux | Culture | Antwerp Baroque 2018
Museum Aan De Stroom (MAS). Photo: Visit Antwerp.
Paul Kookier will be delving into the Baroque splendour of Rubens and Rembrandt at the Foto Museum (FOMU) from 29 June to 7 October. Meanwhile, the first solo exhibition in Antwerp of young Dutch photographer Athos Burez will be showing at the Museum Aan De Stroom (MAS). Entitled Baroque Burez (from 1 June), his photo series consisting of 30 images and installations will show his distinctively modern take on the Baroque genre using his bizarre signature style.
Monumental churches The omnipresence of Rubens can undoubtedly be felt in the monumental churches of Antwerp. These locations belonged to commissioners of Rubens and his contemporaries and are treasure troves of masterpieces and architecture too good to miss this year. For example, Antwerp’s Cathedral of Our Lady, the highest Gothic church in the Low Countries, holds a remarkable art collection including Rubens’ Elevation of the Cross (1610) and Descent from the Cross (1612-14). St Paul’s Church, completed in 1639, holds 50 paintings including Rubens’ The Vision of St Dominic (1616) on the main altar. Also, in addition to music and dance events 76 | Issue 49 | January 2018
this year at the Saint Charles Borromeo Church, visitors can also find Rubens’ The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt. Even the final resting place of Rubens is located in Antwerp’s St James’ Church. In the 17th century, Antwerp’s Baroque painters were commissioned by the Order of St Augustine for an altarpiece. The main altar, The Holy Family with Saints, was painted by Rubens. Jacob Jordaens and Antoon Van Dyck adorned the Apollonia and Augustine altars with the Martyrdom of St Apollonia and the Ecstasy of St Augustine. All three of these works are now part of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and, as part of Antwerp Baroque 2018, these spaces will be permanently filled by the work of renowned Belgian artist Jan Fabre from this August. Visitors more inclined to fashion can find contemporary designs of chasubles, clothing worn by the clergy, at St Andrew’s Church in the heart of Antwerp’s fashion neighbourhood.
Autumn 2018 As the weather turns colder, Antwerp Baroque 2018 will still have a few gems for visitors to discover. At the Snijders & Rockox House, currently undergoing renova-
tion, food photographer Tony Le Duc will curate Cokeyen (28 September - 13 January 2019). Compiling both his own work and that of Frans Snijders, a collaborator of Rubens who specialised in market and hunting scenes and still lifes, Le Duc will present an exhibition with food and ingredients as the focus. Visitors who feel peckish afterwards can indulge in the local Baroque restaurants or food trucks. Another collaborator of Rubens during his lesser-known career as a book designer will be studied at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Museum Plantin-Moretus at the exhibition Baroque Book Design (28 September-6 January 2019). Rubens and his collaboration and friendship with Balthasar I Moretus bore many fruits, including the creation of the Baroque Book, which this exhibition will explore alongside tributes to other notable book designers.
Rubens Experience Centre Following ongoing renovations of the 400-year-old original remnants of the Rubens House, the portico and garden pavilion, the former house of Rubens will be getting a new reception area and ex-
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.