Nicolaas Rockox and Frans Snijders were key figures in Antwerp during the Baroque era. Each made his mark on the city’s cultural and social life – Nicolaas as burgomaster, patron and art collector, and Frans as a brilliant painter of animals, market scenes and still lifes. They were also neighbors for 20 years, occupying the two adjacent patricians’ houses in the Keizerstraat that now house the Snijders&Rockox House.
The museum evokes the everyday world of seventeenth-century citizens through artworks from its own collection, supplemented by long-term loans. The permanent exhibition shows Nicolaas and Frans’s domestic environment, and focuses on themes such as the production of art and the various workings of the art market. Through richly set tables and paintings of games, gardens and nature, the life of the humanist and average citizen is shown in context of the turbulent era in which they lived. On display are paintings from the sixteenth and seventeenth century, including works by Jan van Hemessen, Maerten de Vos, Antonio Moro, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Frans Snijders. These, and more, are presented in a setting alongside original furniture, sculptures and other artefacts.
Hildegard Van de Velde, Curator (November 2021)