From the museum website
Only three paintings and several prints by this master are known. Nevertheless, the oeuvre of the Antwerp painter Willem van Haecht (1593-1637) is nothing short of remarkable. His paintings present so-called ‘kunstkamers’ or art cabinets, interiors brimming with paintings and other art objects.
Van Haecht’s painted ‘kunstkamers’ combine reality and fantasy. Virtually all of the paintings that he depicted in these interiors were copies of existing works by famous masters. However, they were never part of the same collection. Van Haecht assembled them together in his painted world. Moreover, his cabinets are full of narrative elements referring to the artistic and cultural life in contemporary Antwerp.
Van Haecht’s three known paintings are in the Mauritshuis, the Rubenshuis in Antwerp and in a private collection. They have never before been shown together, and will form the core of a small exhibition that brings to life the fascinating world of art in Antwerp in the first half of the 17th century.
Willem van Haecht: room for art in 17th-century Antwerp
Ariane van Suchtelen and 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