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Flemish Landscape Painting

Jan Brueghel the elder and Peter Paul Rubens • The Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man • around 1615, wood • The Hague, Mauritshuis • Photo courtesy of  Kunsthistorisches Museum  • 
Jan Brueghel the elder and Peter Paul Rubens
The Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man
around 1615, wood
The Hague, Mauritshuis
Photo courtesy of Kunsthistorisches Museum
Flemish Landscape Painting: 1520 - 1700
VIENNA  •  Kunsthistorisches Museum  •  Ongoing
In Flanders and Brabant, landscape painting developed into a genre of its own a little ahead of still life painting. Even at the time of its inception, arond 1520, it was considered a Netherlandish speciality, and works by such masters were highly acclaimed in many parts of Europe.

In a period marked by far-reaching political and religious changes, during which the southern Netherlands experienced the Counter Reformation and the consolidation of a new state, the art scene around 1600 saw artists specialising in particular genres.

In the Flemish centres of Antwerp and Brussels, the development of landscape painting was particularly strong. Famous artists such as Patinir, Bruegel, and Rubens, as well as those now known only to scholars and experts, played important roles in the development of landscape painting during the 16th and 17th century - painters such as Herri met de Bles, Jan van Amstel, Cornelis Massys, or Lucas Gassel. This development reached its first highpoint in the art of Peter Bruegel the elder - wisely, the organisers have decided to include only prints by him (some of his most famous paintings are on show in the permanent collection of the KHM).

The works of P.P. Rubens from the early 17th century mark the next highpoint. Between the two, during the period between 1570 and 1610, there worked a large number of less well-known (leaving aside Jan Brueghel the elder, who is, of course, also included in the show) though important masters, who must be credited with some changes and innovations; among them are Cornelis van Dalem, Lucas van Valckenborch, Jacob Grimmer, Paul Bril, Roelant Savery, Gillis van Coninxloo, Josse de Momper, David Vinckboons, Tobias Verhaecht, Kerstiaen de Keuninck, Frederik und Gillis van Valckenborch, to name but a few.

Around 1600, these artists would increasingly specialise and develop, in contrast to the so-called "world landscapes" popular in the 16th century, various different and differentiated types of landscape. In the exhibiton, each of these new types or categories will have its own chapter - there are, for example, mountain views, forest landscapes, river and village scenes, seascapes, topographical landscape portraits, depictions of the seasons, paradise landscapes, and fantastic landscapes. In art history, this period is usually called "Late Mannerism".

Rubens brings something completely new to the genre: baroque landscapes. His landscapes breathe atmosphere and he creates pictures of sublime nature that leave behind the traditions of his precursors - except Bruegel. Rubens, who will probably be represented in the exhibition by eight loans, and his followers such as Jan Wildens, Lucas van Uden, and the Brussels school of landscape painters (Lodewijck de Vadder, Jacques díArthois, Lucas Achtschellink, Daniel van Heil, Cornelis Huysmans) conclude the exhibition.

This show includes about 130 paintings and 18 prints which makes it the largest ever dedicated to this subject. It will include loans from all over the world: from the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the Prado in Madrid, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Koninklijk Museum and the Museum van den Bergh in Antwerp, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the National Gallery in Washington, the Cleveland Museum of Modern Art, the Toledo Museum of Modern Art, the Städel in Frankfurt, the Picture Gallery in Dresden, the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples and the collections of the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, to name only the largest of the lenders, as well as from numerous other museums and some private lenders.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Web Site

Contact: Tel: (43) 1 525 24 416

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