From 2 February 2013 at the Rockox House.
During the latter part of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth, the Scheldt city of Antwerp enjoyed an especially favourable artistic and economic climate that made it the prime production and trading centre for luxury articles. It was a time when many patricians and merchants built up rich collections of contemporary and ancient art, though the majority of those collections have – alas – come to be dispersed in the course of time.
A luxurious art cabinet
From 2 February 2013, however, visitors to the Rockox House in Antwerp will be able to see how an Antwerp art collection must have appeared in the Golden Century. More particularly, the residence of burgomaster and patron Nicolaas Rockox (1560–1640) is being transformed into a luxurious art cabinet with top items from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp(closed for renovation) and the most important works from the Rockox House itself. On display will be a range of fine paintings by such masters as Rogier Van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens and Antoon Van Dyck.
Focus 5: Power Flower. Floral still lifes in the Low Countries
From 28 November 2015 to 27 March 2016
This is the fifth in a series of small-scale exhibitions organised as part of the Golden Cabinet initiative. Since time immemorial, art in Flanders, Brabant and Holland has been characterised by incisive observation of nature and the quest for naturalness. Despite that, until into the 16th century, plants and flowers were only to be seen adorning the margins of illustrations depicting saints in books of hours. The flourishing interest in the botanical world and the burgeoning fondness for things natural prompted early 17th century artists to regard bouquets of flowers as a self-contained motif. It was a period in which artists were totally spellbound by the 'Power Flower' and were to be for many years to come.
Jan Brueghel, Jan Davidsz. De Heem, Osias Beert, Daniël Seghers, Rachel Ruysch are just some of the many artists on proud floral display at this most sweet-scented of exhibitions.
Create your very own art cabinet
For this exhibition, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp has developed an online application for smartphone, tablet and pc. By surfing to www.hetguldencabinet.be you will discover all there is to know about the artworks in featured in The Golden Cabinet. Stroll through the rooms of Museum Rockoxhouse with your smartphone or tablet, and gain quick and easy access to information about all the items on show. Zoom in for close-up views of paintings and sculptures. Select your favourite pieces before, during or after your visit and compile your own private collection, just like Nicolaas Rockox did throughout his life. If you launch the webapp from a pc or laptop at home, you can arrange your favourite paintings and objects in your personal art cabinet using a picture of your own living room, dining room or even bathroom. There are attractive monthly prizes to be won for the best cabinets.
Download the visitors' guide (PDF, 20 MB)