Until 2 July 2017 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 exhibition: The Sky is the Limit. Flemish Landscape in the 16th and 17th centuries
From 25 March until 2 July 2017
In the 16th century a new genre of painting arose: the landscape. Artists initially painted landscapes as backdrops for biblical or mythological scenes. Gradually, they developed infinite variations on the theme, with cityscapes, mountain views, panoramas, depictions of hell and seascapes becoming subjects in their own right.
The Sky is the Limit, the last focus exhibition in The Golden Cabinet, shows how this genre conquered the art market during the 16th and the 17th century. It presents the finest landscapes from the Royal Museum and Rockox House collections and displays them alongside masterpieces of the genre from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden. A total of some forty paintings and drawings are presented, including work by Joachim Patinir, Jan Massijs, Pieter Bruegel I, Jan Brueghel I, Paul Bril, Roelant Savery and Salomon van Ruysdael. As a contemporary counterpoint, the intriguing video Travel by David Claerbout is displayed as well.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the KMSKA, the Rockox House and the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden, the latter of which has loaned over twenty works.
A mini-documentary shows you how this unique exhibition came to be. Museum curators Hildegard Van de Velde (Rockox House Museum) and Nico Van Hout (KMSKA) tell you more about Nicolaas Rockox, collecting art in the low countries, the title of the exhibition and the painting A collection by Frans Francken II.
This is Nicolaas Rockox
This video is an introduction to the exhibition for children: what is the Rockox House exactly and what will I see over there? The video opens up like a book on the life of Nicolaas Rockox.
This is Nicolaas Rockox is part of the educational programme for primary schools. Teachers can show the video to their pupils in class. That way, they will recognize lots of things in the Rockox House Museum and feel more at ease during their visit.
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)