5 April to 7 September 2014

As one of Rubens’ pupils who then worked closely with him, Erasmus Quellinus II (Antwerp, 1607 -1678) very much played a part in his home town’s artistic influence and reputation, through his prolific activity and neat, meticulous style. His curiosity, taste for philosophy and interest in the arts – especially sculpture – meant he was an altogether atypical artist, an erudite painter, and produced a wide variety of works.

Although several of these works were inspired by the Baroque movement – in the same vein as the great Master Rubens – over time a certain restraint in his subject’s gestures, stronger monumental architectural d├ęcor and the emergence of bright, sparkling colours hinted at a new stylistic direction. Erasmus Quellinus II may be considered one of the precursors of Classicism in Flemish painting.

By presenting fifty or so of the most symbolic works, this first retrospective sets out to restore Erasmus Quellinus II’s rightful place in the fascinating painting of the 17th century, transcended by the art of Rubens. The myriad ties forged by the artist with his contemporaries helped to bring about high-quality original pieces – such as his enigmatic flower garlands for example.

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