CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Behind the Curtains: The Secrets of the Art Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest (Rubens Talk Series)

9 June 2021

Behind the Curtains: The Secrets of the Art Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest (Rubens Talk Series)

Online event: 9 June 2021

Date: Wednesday 9 June 2021
Times: 19:00 to 20:00 BST, and available to view for one week thereafter
Location: Zoom Webinar (Online)
Speaker: Ben van Beneden, Director, Rubenshuis

Talk Description: If there is one painting that affords us a privileged look at the artistic culture of 17th-century Antwerp, it is The Art Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest of 1628, by Willem van Haecht (1593-1637). It depicts the visit of the Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella, regents of the Southern Netherlands, to the art gallery of Cornelis van der Geest (1555-1638), one of Antwerp’s greatest patrons and collectors. The picture is not only a painted inventory of Van der Geest’s collection, but also a unique group portrait: a ‘who’s who’ of the cultural elite of the time. Among the guests, we recognise such prominent collectors and artists as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck.

On the basis of new findings, in this talk Ben van Beneden unravels the secrets of this gallery picture and the role played by Rubens and Van Dyck in its conception.

About the Speaker: Ben van Beneden has been Director of the Rubenshuis since 2009. He has organised numerous internationally-acclaimed exhibitions on 17th-century art, including ‘Room for Art in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp’ (2009), ‘Palazzo Rubens: The Master as Architect’ (2011), ‘Rubens in Private: The Master Portrays his Family’ (2015) and ‘Michaelina Wautier (1604-1689): Glorifying a Forgotten Talent’ (2018). He is co-author of ‘Rubens’s Designs for Small Sculptures and Decorative Objects’, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard XXII (3), the catalogue raisonnĂ© of the complete oeuvre of Rubens. Ben van Beneden is currently preparing an exhibition and a book on Rubens’s designs for small sculptures in ivory and decorative objects in ivory and silver.

Rubens Talk Series, 9 June to 21 July: To accompany the Wallace Collection’s new exhibition, Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes, this series of seven evening talks will explore different aspects of Rubens’s extraordinary life and achievements, the fascinating social, cultural and economic circumstances of his age, and his enduring artistic legacy.

For more information and to register, see

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