Information from the museum, 9 MArch 2011
The exhibition Et in Italia ego: Dutch and Flemish Landscape Painters stages 34 paintings that belonged to baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s collection. It illustrates the special interest painters from the Low Countries had for the sunny areas of Italy, an epitome of delight and careless living in a utopian Arcadia, for which the real land of Italy became a pattern.
At the end of the 16th century but mostly in the first half of the 17th century a group of painters from the Low Countries worked in Italy where they turned to be receptive to the new stylistic patterns and to the representation of the Italian images. Those artists developed a special form of landscape painting that was characterized by the light and colours of the south, by the specific landscape formations, views of cities, depictions of ancient monuments, ruins, elements they assimilated while being in the Eternal city.
Their subjects, some of them inspired from Virgil’s oeuvre with games and pastoral activities, rich vegetation and particular chiaroscuro that created an idealized atmosphere, all those had been grafted on the traditional models of the Dutch and Flemish painting. Even after their return from Italy, those artists kept on their interest for the Italian subjects that later on they handed on to the followers.
The Brukenthal National Museum owns representative paintings that belong to Cornelis van Poelenburg, Guilliam de Heusch, Jan Asselyn, Jan Both, Jan Baptist Weenix, Pieter van Laer, Jan Lingelbach, Nicolaes Berchem, Lieve Verschuur, Pieter van Bredael and thus the exhibition is an opportunity for the visitors to see an exquisite selection of landscape paintings some of which have never been on display.