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Room for Art in Seventeenth Century Antwerp

written by Ariane Van Suchtelen

Waanders Publishers | ISBN 9789040076558

Hardback – 144 pages


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In the early seventeenth century a unique genre of painting arose in Antwerp: the gallery picture, typically showing an 'art cabinet' filled to the brim with paintings and other art treasures. Such paintings - representing imaginary museums where art lovers, artists and other personages meet to view and discuss art - give a splendid impression of the rich culture of collecting that prevailed in Antwerp in that period. This overview of the development of the gallery picture focuses on the paintings of Willem van Haecht, an important founder of the genre. While working as a painter-curator for Cornelis van der Geest, Van Haecht 'catalogued' his employer's collection in several splendid paintings. Special attention is paid to a group of gallery pictures in which the paintings were executed by various masters, so that these collaborative works represent a unique sampling of the best the Antwerp school of painting had to offer. This publication accompanies the exhibition of the same name held at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp and the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

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