In the autumn of 2009 the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp invited one of its former conservators, Marcel Maeyer, to exhibit his recent work in the galleries displaying the permanent collection of the museum.
Marcel Maeyer turned 89 years old in 2009, but that does not keep him from elaborating one of the most surprising oeuvres in post-war Belgian art history. In the 50s, Maeyer worked as a conservator in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. It was he who shaped the museum's modern art collection, along with head-conservator Walther Vanbeselaere. As a professor in Art History at the University of Ghent he taught generations of art historians to have an eye for the power of the artistic concept and the magic of realisation.
Updating ancient genres
Maeyer made his debut as a plastic artist at the beginning of the 1960s. He renounced painting almost immediately, but later on he rediscovered the medium. With his recent work, he wants to find out if the ancient genres - still life, landscape, portrait, historical fiction - are still up to date. The exhibition displayed 15 of his paintings alongside their historical models from the museum collection.