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"So Many Brilliant Talents: Art and Craft in the Age of Rubens"
1999-09-17 until 2000-01-09
Michael C. Carlos Museum
Atlanta, GA, USA United States of America

From September 17, 1999 through January 9, 2000, the Michael C. Carlos Museum and the King Baudouin Foundation, U.S., will present So Many Brilliant Talents: Art and Craft in the Age of Rubens, an exhibition of nearly 90 objects devoted to the art and culture of the 17th century in the southern Netherlands. This region, that roughly corresponds to present-day Belgium, was governed by the Spanish archdukes Albert and Isabella, who succeeded in uniting the war-ravaged country under the flag of a resurgent Catholicism.

The period was one of extraordinary artistic achievement, with artists of the highest caliber working for the court, the Church and the upper middle class, says the exhibition curator, Dr. Ronni Baer, curator of European art at the Carlos Museum and a specialist in Dutch and Flemish art. While it is among the painters of the period, including Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, that one finds the artistsı names most familiar to us, artists in other media were working at no less distinguished a level. Their works tell us a great deal about the interests, institutions, and preoccupations of the time, including the guilds and their influence, the rituals and routines of daily life and leisure pursuits. The exhibition will put the artistic production of 17th-century Flemish culture in an historical context, elucidating the intellectual, civic, domestic and religious life of the time, she says.

So Many Brilliant Talents will include approximately 20 important paintings, among them works by Rubens and van Dyck, as well as drawings, sculpture, prints, furniture, silver, brass, glass, and textiles (in the form of a superb tapestry designed by Jacob Jordaens). The works of art in the exhibition are to be drawn primarily from distinguished collections in Brussels: The Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Royal Museums of Art and History, The Royal Library, and the collection of the King Baudouin Foundation. The establishment in Atlanta of the U.S. branch of the King Baudouin Foundation, Belgiumıs largest and most influential foundation, has helped to make this opportunity possible.

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