The exhibition The Sky is the Limit in Antwerp’s Rockox House showcases examples of Flemish landscape painting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including paintings and drawings by Brueghel, Patinir and Massijs.
Painting underwent a revolution during the sixteenth century, with new genres, such as landscape painting, taking the art world by storm and finding their way into the collections of merchants, the wealthy and noblemen. Landscapes served as a background for biblical and mythological scenes. At the same time, however, painters enjoyed creating endless variations on townscapes, mountainscapes, panoramic views, depictions of hell and seascapes.
One of the pioneers of Flemish landscape painting was Joachim Patinir. Peter Brueghel the Elder was already painting “world landscapes” from the mid-sixteenth century onwards. By the seventeenth century, Rubens expressed his penchant for the countryside, applying his flair for colour in his paintings, with their panoramic views, resulting in renewed attention for landscape painting.
The exhibition features paintings and drawings by artists such as Joachim Patinir, Jan Massijs, Peter Brueghel I, Jan Brueghel I and Paul Bril. “Travel”, an intriguing contemporary work by the artist David Claerbout, has also been included in the exhibition.
The exhibition comprises loans from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, which devoted a major exhibition to landscape painting in autumn 2016 and is supplemented with landscape paintings from the permanent collections of Antwerp’s Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the Rockox House.
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