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A cheerful Flemish

A cheerful Flemish
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17 June – 28 August
10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Room 306

The Hall of  Art Documents (room No 306) will host book–illustrative exhibition "A Cheerful Flemish," devoted to the 445th-yers anniversary from the date of birth of a prominent artist, a bright representative of baroque style, a founder of the Flemish art school named after Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) from June 17th to August 28th.

The author of extensive works on mythological, allegoric, historical and religious themes, the brightest portrait artist, a gifted painter, a master of landscape painting, a developer of altar compositions, Rubens has left awesome heritage which as large as it has still not well learnt and needs a whole group of specialists united. It is not by chance that a painter-romantic Eugene Delacroix called his associate as "Homer of painting" for his inexhaustible fantasy, diversity of themes and looks.

According to contemporaries, Rubens was well educated; spoke fluently a few languages; a clever minded; a high level of ethics; natural tactfulness and charisma. Thanks to these qualities, the painter made a successful career. The life of a great Flemish was bright and eventful; the destiny discriminated in favour of his: protectorship of monarchs, large creative orders, overall respect and glory in his lifetime, bringing up of gifted trainees and broadest famousness of his workshop… “The fortune loves him so much as he exceeds other nowadays painters in honors and wealth”, wrote Jan Brueghel. Ecstasy of happiness and love of life, warm saturated colors, sharp contrasts of light and shadow, complex angles, lush female figures, emotionally charged atmosphere characterize the bright Rubens style, which influenced many outstanding masters, including Watteau, Delacroix, Renoir.

The exhibition presents reproductions of the best Rubens paintings of various subjects from the collection of the National Library of Belarus. Noteworthy are his canvases created on evangelical subjects, according to which one can trace the life of Christ: "The Adoration of the Magi", "The Holy Family under the Apple Tree", "The Resurrection of Lazarus", "The Feast at Simon the Pharisee", "The Removal from the Cross" and others. A vivid impression will be left by works demonstrating mythological plots – Rubens' favorite theme. Among them are "The Union of Earth and Water", "The Three Graces", "Perseus and Andromeda", "Venus and Adonis", "Bacchus", "Bathsheba", "The Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus", "Mercury and Argus". In them, the artist invested all his love for life, embodied the triumph of beauty, depicted the mighty heroes of legends and myths, the famous "Ruben’s women", personifying the richness of nature, the abundance of earthly goods. The visitors will see the most complex multi-figure compositions "Boar Hunting", "Lion Hunting", depicting the fights of people with wild animals, which Rubens wrote "playing on the feelings of the audience and tickling their nerves."

Rubens was an excellent portrait painter and created a whole gallery of portraits of representatives of the Western European nobility of the XVII century: the Duke of Mantua, the Spanish King Philip IV, the French kings Henry IV and Louis XIII, Marie de' Medici. The portrait painting of the artist is more restrained and realistic, it has the rigor and grandeur of crowned heads, but there is warmth and sincerity in the image of close people. Children's portraits of Rubens, numerous images of the painter's wives – Isabella Brant and Elena Fourmen, who died early, will not leave indifferent, the beautiful face of the maid of the infant Isabella will remain in memory, the piercing gaze of the Franciscan monk will impress. The painter paid close attention to the landscape backgrounds of his canvases, left many sketches and sketches of rural Flemish nature. The radiant "Landscape with a rainbow" and "Landscape with a Stream", the festive "Garden of Love", the gloomy and philosophical "Stone Carters" presented in the exhibition will allow you to appreciate the talent of Rubens, a landscape painter.

The exhibition is complemented by a variety of literature about Rubens, published from the second half of the 1870th to the present day. These are numerous studies of the work of the master and students of his school, written by authoritative art historians V. Razdolskaya, M. Lebedyansky, N. Smolskaya, M. Varshavskaya, Marie-En Lecure. Of particular value is the fundamental work on the life and work of the artist "Erinnerungen aus Rubens" (1898), created by the classic of art criticism J. Burkhardt. No less valuable is the collection of Rubens' letters, his documents and the opinions of his contemporaries about him, which will help to unravel the identity of the great Flemish.

The opening hours of the exhibition corresponds to the library’s opening hours.
Entrance to the exhibition is available by the library ticket or ticket of the library's social and cultural center.

For more info: (+375 17) 293 27 53.

Special Collection Service Department.


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