CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Dazzling Desire – Diamonds and their emotional meaning

Exhibition: 18 October 2017 - 14 January 2018

People have desires. They desire love and security. They desire to understand the meaning of life. They also desire wealth, status and power. Visit the exhibition Dazzling Desire, and discover how mankind has made these desires tangible with striking objects, often consisting of diamonds.

Mary of Burgundy’s engagement ring, the impressive Our Lady’s Jubilee crown, the Cartier tiara worn by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and the bling of popular hip-hoppers today. Each and every one shows us how people try to shape their desires through diamond objects.

Johannes Mijtens (1614-1670), Portrait of Margareta Riccen, 1658
Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

Dazzling Desire reveals the variety of meanings that people have attributed to diamonds. The stories they have made up about them – and still do. Contemporary works by Berlinde De Bruyckere, Jan Fabre, Phillip Aguirre, Sobudh Gupta and Thierry De Cordier provide a critical viewpoint. But can mankind really draw meaning from these diamond objects? Or are they merely a symbol of desires that are ultimately unattainable?

Dazzling Desire sets the tone for the Antwerp Diamond Year. Under the heading ‘In Antwerp we speak diamond – Diamond Capital since 1447’ there will be a whole range of dazzling activities.