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Exhibition of master drawings from a Belgian private collection opens in Brussels
Queen Mathilde of Belgium (L) visits the exhibition "From Floris to Rubens - Master drawings from a Belgian private collection" at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels on April 14, 2016. ERIC LALMAND / Belga / AFP.

BRUSSELS.- The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium present the exhibition “From Floris to Rubens. Master drawings from a Belgian private collection”. This exhibition features eighty-seven drawings from artists from the Southern and Northern Netherlands created during the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. These drawings from a private collection have never been shown to the public before. They belong to one of the most fascinating and prolific periods in the history of draughtsmanship.

Great masters from the Southern and Northern Netherlands
Showing this private collection gives art lovers and specialists the chance to discover artworks that have rarely been shown, or that were up till now completely unknown. The sheer variety of artists, subjects and techniques renders the collection even more attractive.

The exhibition offers a representative overview of nearly two centuries of drawings in the Netherlands: from the Flemish Primitives to the Renaissance and Italianate artists of the sixteenth century and the Baroque masters Rubens and Jordaens, as well as the work of masters such as Jan and Erasmus Quellinus whose work inclined towards classicism at the end of the seventeenth century.

Visitors will see rare master drawings that served as models for not only the execution of prints and drawings, but also for tapestries, stained-glass windows and objects in precious metal.

The exhibition is a surprising trajectory through the artistic production of less known or only recently studied artists such as Hans Collaert, who is mainly acknowledged as the engraver of countless prints, Gerard van Groeningen, the enigmatic Master of Liechtenstein and unknown studio assistants who gathered around celebrities of the Flemish painting such as Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Bernard van Orley and Michiel Coxcie.

The selection also includes a number of unusual items such as drawings by Frans Pourbus the Elder, Hendrick Vroom and Hans Savery the Younger, as well as important new attributions to Karel van Mander, Joachim Wtewael, Paul de Vos and Lucas van Uden. They are the result of thorough, sustained study by a group of art historians led by Stefaan Hautekeete, curator of ancient drawings at the RMFAB and curator of the exhibition.

Collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation
This exhibition was organised in close collaboration with a passionate collector (who prefers to remain anonymous), the King Baudouin Foundation and the RMFAB. The exhibition is, again, a perfect example of public-private cooperation that is essential to the Museum.

This partnership is even stronger than usual: several drawings from the private collection were donated to the King Baudouin Foundation, which in turn decided to house them at the Museum as long-term loans. These works will contribute to a more complete and nuanced panorama of the Museum’s ancient drawing collection.

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April 18, 2016

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