CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Mythische primitieven: gotisch reveil in de 19de eeuw

Mythic primitives: Gothic revival in the 19th century Exhibition: 21 November 2015 - 6 March 2016

Information from the organizers, 6 October 2015

During the nineteenth century, late medieval painting by the Flemish primitives was rediscovered. The romanticised interest in the old Flemish painting style occured within a general movement of gothic revival which spread throughout Europe. In particular the lives and works of Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling ignited the imagination of 19th century artists.

Bruges painters Edmond Van Hove and Eugène Legendre were clearly inspired by the Flemish Primitives in their own works. They tried to imitate the medieval examples in terms of choice of materials, style and content.

Simultaneously, anecdotes and legends about the fifteenth-century artists reemerged after having been forgotten. The romanticised legends surrounding the lives of the most well-known Flemish primitves inspired artists like Joseph Ducq, Jean-Baptiste Madou, Edouard Wallays and Henri Dobbelaere in their paintings and engravings. Their genre paintings and history pieces portray an anecdotal and often sentimental image of the past.

This exhibition, consisting of 6 paintings from the Groeninge collection, supplemented by 9 loans from Belgian as well as international collections, focusses on the stylistic revival and thematic fascination with the Flemish primitives so prominent during the 19th century.

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