CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Flamands et Hollandais: La collection du musée des beaux-arts de Nantes

Flemish and Dutch: The collection of the musée des beaux-arts de Nantes Exhibition: 30 May - 30 August 2015

The exhibition has been extended to 30 August 2015

Information from the museum, 12 May 2015

The Musée des beaux-arts de Nantes presents a selection of fifty masterworks by Flemish and Dutch painters, primarily from the Dutch Golden Age, as part of a brand new catalogue of its older foreign paintings (nearly 300 works). The 17th century was an exceptionally rich period for artistic production, and this collection allows for an overview ranging from the great historical paintings (the sensual Mary Magdalene by Bloemaert, and Rubens’ grandiose Judas Maccabeus Praying for the Dead) to the tiny tableaux de cabinet, which were greatly appreciated by the merchants and burghers of the former Netherlands.

Like a mirror to Flanders and the United Provinces, the thematic sections allow for a celebration of the new genres painters would eventually specialize in: portraits (Pourbus, Voet), landscapes (Fouquières, Lytens), seascapes, battle scenes (Droochsloot, Wouwerman), and still lifes (Claesz, Coninck). In these works, the extraordinary technical prowess of painting with oils (which would go on to influence all European painting) works admirably to reveal the attention paid to details and the rendition of textures, as well as the atmospheric transparency of landscapes. The museum’s collection is home to some of the greatest artists from the 16th to 18th centuries, from Jan Brueghel to Rubens, by way of Rembrandt’s best students (Govert Flinck, Jürgen Ovens).