From the museum website, 1 July 2009
The paintings made by Willem van Haecht show so-called “treasure rooms”, interiors filled with paintings and other art objects.
Only three paintings made by Antwerp painter Willem van Haecht (1593-1637) are known to us. Which does nothing to detract from the special qualities of his oeuvre. His canvases show so-called “treasure rooms”, interiors filled with paintings and other art objects. These painted treasure rooms are a mixture of reality and fantasy.
Almost without exception, the paintings rendered in his treasure rooms were copied from existing paintings by famous masters. But they were not always kept together as part of one and the same collection. What is more, his treasure rooms are full of narrative elements referencing artistic and cultural life in Antwerp of the day.
The three paintings that we know are by van Haecht are in the Rubens House, the Mauritshuis in The Hague and in a private collection. Combing to make up the heart of a small exhibition that brings to life the fascinating art world of Antwerp during the first half of the 17th century. This is the first time they will be on display together.
The exhibition is the result of a joint collaboration between the Rubens House and the Mauritshuis and will be shown in both museums.
Willem van Haecht: room for art in 17th-century Antwerp
Ariane van Suchtelen en Ben van Beneden
Catalogue of an exhibition held in the Rubenshuis in Antwerp (2009-10) and the Mauritshuis in The Hague (2010)
144 pp., 29 cm., 80 illustrations in color and 20 in black-and-white