Pieter Bruegel the Elder has for centuries been a source of inspiration to innumerable Flemish artists. The exhibition entitled Bruegel Land, at the Municipal Museum of Lier, explores the extent of the Master’s influence on subsequent generations of painters.
Who is not familiar with the scenes from popular life by Pieter Bruegel the Elder? They are known the world over and forever etched into our collective memory. In fact Bruegel was already a renowned artist during his lifetime. Emperors, kings and queens, as well as wealthy burghers would pay substantial sums of money for work by his hand. It was a way of confirming their self-identity by distancing themselves from the uncultivated, ‘boorish’ behaviour that Bruegel depicted in his genre scenes. After his death, his sons – Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder – picked up the proven success formula. Following in their wake were artists such as Van Ostade, Teniers and Steen, all of whom produced personal interpretations of Bruegelian tavern and festival scenes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, genre painters such as De Braekeleer and Horemans also followed in the footsteps of Bruegel. And in the early 20th century, Bruegel was reinvented by the Flemish Expressionists, as Permeke, De Smet, Smits and Van de Woestyne breathed new life into his peasant scenes with their characteristically earthy palette and raw brushwork.
Focus 5: The Van Beers Affair. Master painter or conman?
From 19 March 2016 to 5 March 2017
Though Jan Van Beers (1852-1927) has gone down in history as a painter, during his lifetime this artist from Lier was best known as an ambitious society figure.
He first made a name for himself with his history paintings, but he became a highly talented portrait painter of the Parisian beau monde. Realistic details characterize his work, which sometimes looks photographic, even to the extent that Van Beers was suspected of copying photographs and also of painting over them. Van Beers took his adversaries to court and had his work examined by experts. The outcome was inconclusive.
The exhibition presents a selection of Jan Van Beers’ eclectic oeuvre and sheds light on the artist's turbulent life.
The Van Beers Affair on ARTtube
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for further information on lectures, concerts, nocturnes, holiday workshops and guided tours
This exhibition is a collaboration between KMSKA and the Municipal Museums of Lier.