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Have a look at the acquisitions from 2012.
The way Rubens brought his models to life was only equalled in Flemish painting by Anthony van Dyck. This portrait of the Bishop of Antwerp, Jan van Malderen (1563–1633), which dates from Van Dyck’s ‘second Antwerp period’ (1627–32), is an outstanding example.
Scenes like this were known as simmenfeesten or singeries. Apes are placed in various human roles as a playful way of encouraging the viewer to reflect on all the folly in the world. This painting on copper dating from the early 1620s is one of the earliest known examples.
A still life is a composition comprising motionless objects painted from life. The skill was to emulate reality as precisely as possible. Snyders’s brilliance in the genre was unmatched.
Van Dyck was in The Hague in early 1632, where he painted a number of works including this portrait of Prince William II (1626–1650). He made a second version that same year for King Charles I of England, whose eldest daughter Mary married William in 1641. The first portrait is now in Dessau, Germany, while the one painted for Charles I, long believed lost, recently re-emerged.
The painting shows the moment when Saul falls from his horse as Jesus appears to him. Chaos reigns all around. Rubens deftly captures the drama with his powerful brushstrokes and strong contrasts of light and shadow.
Although Adriaenssen painted a whole range of still lifes, he really made his name as a painter of fish. He also produced a number of paintings in which he combined fish with other motifs. This composition is a fine example.