Baroque in Amsterdam

The Hermitage Amsterdam will present a selection from the Flemish art collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. With 75 paintings and about 20 drawings, this exhibition will include numerous masterpieces by the three giants of the Antwerp School – Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens – accompanied by the work of well-known contemporaries. Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) will be a special focus of the exhibition, represented by 17 paintings and many drawings. Rubens was the most accomplished and influential Flemish painter of the seventeenth century. He was a legend in his day, a homo universalis. Both Rubens’s religious and his secular works illustrate his unequalled talent. The exhibition will also examine Rubens’s influence and followers in detail, devoting particular attention to the elegant and refined portraits of his greatest pupil, Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641). Around 1638, Van Dyck painted King Charles I of England and his wife, the French princess Henrietta Maria. By that time, he had been serving as the king’s court painter for several years and had been knighted Sir Anthony. The third great master of the Flemish school, Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678), did not study with Rubens but was influenced by him. His impressive paintings invite viewers to share in his exuberant Flemish joie de vivre. Even his history paintings have a Flemish ambiance. Chirping birds, freshly killed game and floral bouquets grace the still lifes of Frans Snijders, while David Teniers the Younger was renowned for his genre pieces of everyday life. The exhibition will also feature a touching family portrait of Cornelis de Vos and many other major paintings by Flemish masters, displayed in their full glory.