Call for Justice. Art and law in the Low Countries (1450-1650).


Date 23/03/2018 - 24/06/2018

Call for Justice highlights the rich and fascinating interaction between art, law and justice in the Netherlands from the 15th to the 17th century.

During the fifteenth century to the mid-seventeeth century the Low Countries are under the jurisdiction of the Great Council of Mechelen. They gradually came to exercise more control over the legal process. While the administration of justice became more professional, it also became more unwieldy and less accessible. So it is no coincidence that justice and its administration feature as one of the most prominent themes in the art of the Low Countries in this period.


The exhibition is structured around three themes: justice, jurisprudence and injustice. You will discover prestigious masterpieces by artists such as Quinten Metsys, Maarten van Heemskerck, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Maerten de Vos, Peter Paul Rubens, Antoon van Dyck and Philippe de Champaigne. Call for Justice examines the legal, historical and cultural context in which these works were created, gradually revealing one of the most universal human desires, namely the pursuit of justice and the complexity when it comes face-to-face with reality. Some of the most prestigious museums in the world have loaned works for this exhibition. They include the Prado and the Patrimonio Nacional in Madrid, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, the Ashmolean museum in Oxford as well as national and international private collections.


Call for Justice is a collaboration between Museum Hof van Busleyden Mechelen and Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA).

Curator: dr. Samuel Mareel / Co-curators: Prof. Manfred Sellink, dr. Elsje Janssen and Ellen Goetstouwers

Practical information

Call for Justice
Art and law in the Low Countries (1450-1650).


Museum Hof van Busleyden Mechelen
Sint-Janstraat 2A, 2800 Mechelen


From 23 March 2018 to 24 June 2018

More info:


Museum offices

Lange Kievitstraat 111-113 bus 100, B-2018 Antwerpen

T +32 (0)3 224 95 50