CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Adriaen Brouwer and Theodoor van Loon:
Two Flemish Masters Brought into the Limelight

Study visit to two monographic exhibitions
2 – 3 December 2018

At the beginning of December, CODART is organizing a CODARTfocus meeting in conjunction with two special exhibitions: Adriaen Brouwer: Master of Emotions in Oudenaarde and Theodoor van Loon: A Caravaggist Painter between Rome and Brussels, to be held in Brussels.

On Sunday afternoon 2 December we will start our study visit in Oudenaarde, where we will visit the exhibition on Adriaen Brouwer together. On Monday we will be in Brussels, and we will devote the day to Theodoor van Loon. A special addition to the program will be a visit to Scherpenheuvel, a place of pilgrimage to the east of Brussels, less than an hour’s drive away, where we will be able to look at the work of Theodoor van Loon in situ.

In this short space of time you will see two retrospective exhibitions on two Flemish painters who were active in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Both were later frequently neglected – languishing in the shadow of that one great Flemish Master from the same period. We will visit these two ambitious projects and study the content of the exhibitions. We will also be comparing the two projects. How would we characterize the differences in approach? What challenges did the curators face? What kind of media coverage has there been, and what has been the public response? How did the curators describe their experiences of the events? What can we learn from this?

Sunday, 2 December – Adriaen Brouwer – Oudenaarde

On Sunday, participants will travel independently to Oudenaarde. This is where we will start our visit to Adriaen Brouwer: Master of Emotions, with the exhibition curator Katrien Lichtert. The exhibition, at which about half of the sixty five works attributed to Brouwer will be on view, runs from 15 September to 16 December 2018, and is organized by the Museum of Oudenaarde, the painter’s birthplace, in close collaboration with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. You can find more information about the exhibition on this page.

After the visit to the exhibition, there will be an opportunity to view the museum’s remarkable tapestry collection, together with the curator Geertrui Vankerkhoven. You can find more information about this collection on this page of the museum’s website.

We will conclude the day with drinks, hosted by the Municipality of Oudenaarde. The Municipality also offers us a coach transfer back to Brussels, where you can spend the night. Please find more practical information on our Participate page.

Monday, 3 December – Theodoor van Loon – Scherpenheuvel and Brussels

On Monday, 3 December, we will go from Brussels by bus to Scherpenheuvel, the most frequently visited pilgrimage site in Belgium. Catholics have been coming here from far and wide since the 16th century to venerate a wooden figurine of the Virgin Mary. The centrally-located baroque basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel was built at the beginning of the 17th century. It was commissioned by the archducal couple Albert and Isabella and designed by the court architect Wenceslas Cobergher. Inside we will find original works by Theodoor van Loon. We will look at them together with Sabine van Sprang, curator of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels and with Michaël Hanne, Head of Archives and Heritage of Scherpenheuvel.

At the end of the morning we will drive back to Brussels. The first event after lunch will be a lecture by Sabine van Sprang, in which she will address the subject of the Van Loon exhibition in more depth, after which we will visit it together. The exhibition Theodoor van Loon: A Caravaggist Painter between Rome and Brussels will be held at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, and runs from 10 October 2018 to 13 January 2019.

Theodoor van Loon (1581–1649) was a contemporary of Rubens who was profoundly influenced – even more than Rubens – by Italian art. His work displays the clear influence not only of Caravaggio, but also of the Carracci, Barocci, and Domenichino. This is the first ever retrospective exhibition of his work. You can find more information about the exhibition on this page.

Please find the program here.


If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the CODART office:
Maartje Beekman
+31 70 333 9744 (also during the CODARTfocus)

This is a collaboration between CODART, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium, Brussels, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Museum of Oudenaarde and the Flemish Ardennes (MOU), the Municipality of Oudenaarde, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. We wish to thank the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague for its ongoing support of CODART.