Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen: History, Collection Highlights.



Koninklijk Museum voor Schone
Kunsten van Antwerpen.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Contents

Introduction
Renovation Program
History
Permanent Collection Highlights
Rubens Research
Contact Details


FRANCE/BELGIUM
Musee Conde, Chantilly
Louvre Museum
Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts
NETHERLANDS
Mauritshuis Art Museum
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
GERMANY - AUSTRIA - SWISS
Alte Meister Dresden
Gemaldegalerie SMPK, Berlin
Pinakothek Museum Munich
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunstmuseum Basel
BRITAIN
National Gallery London
Courtauld Gallery
British Museum
British Royal Art Collection
Victoria & Albert Museum

Introduction

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen, KMSKA) houses nearly 7,600 artworks including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by European Masters. Founded in 1810, it owns numerous masterpieces of early Flemish painting from the 15th and 16th century Netherlandish Renaissance, as well as works by modern Flemish Primitives and Expressionists. Considered to be one of the best museums in Europe, it has the largest collection of works by Dutch artist Wik Wouters (1882-1916) and the most important collection in the world of paintings by James Ensor (1860-1949). Other highlights of the collection include works by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Jean Fouquet (1420-71) and Titian (1488-1576) as well as sculptors Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967).

Melun Diptych by Jean Fouquet
The Melun Diptych (1450-55)
(Left Hand Panel)
By Jean Fouquet.

ITALY
Uffizi Gallery Florence
Doria Pamphilj Gallery
Pitti Palace, Florence
Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel Frescoes
Raphael Rooms (Vatican)
Guggenheim Venice
Capodimonte Museum, Naples
SPAIN
Prado Museum Madrid
Reina Sofia, Madrid
RUSSIA
Hermitage St Petersburg
Tretyakov Gallery Moscow
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

APPRECIATING PAINTING
Before visiting the Antwerp
Royal Museum of Fine Arts, see:
Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art.

Renovation Program

However, visitors the city will be disappointed to learn that the museum is closed until the end of 2017 due to major renovations. In the meantime the museum's website has an online virtual tour of some of its rooms and they have uploaded a large selection of their important works ready for viewing. Additionally many of the paintings are being hosted in other exhibitions and project venues in and around Antwerp. The best selection from their modern art collection will be put on display at Koningin Fabiolazaal (Jezusstraat 28), including works by Ensor, Modigliani and Wouters, as well as paintings by figurative artist Fernando Botero (b.1932), painter and sculptor Constant Permeke (1886-1952), landscapist Emile Claus (1849-1924) and painter and etcher Henri De Braekeleer (1840-88). Also the Municipal Museum in Lier will temporarily exhibit the works of Flemish Renaissance painter and printmaker Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525/30-69) until 2017.

ART GALLERIES IN USA
Best Art Museums in America.

FINE ARTS GUIDES
Painting (oils/watercolours)
Printmaking (etching/lithography)

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
For news of major art shows,
see: Art News Headlines.

History

Although the museum was founded in 1810, the collection can date its roots back to the establishment of the Antwerp guild of painters in 1382. The Guild of St Luke, as it was known, met regularly at a local banqueting hall and adorned their walls with their own paintings. Rubens for example donated his Family with Parrot (1614) which can be seen today in the museum's Rubens Room. In 1773 the works from the Guild were transferred to the Antwerp Academy of Art, by which time they also included examples of Baroque painting by artists like Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), Abraham Grapheus and portraitist Cornelius de Vos (1584-1651). During the 1800s, the collection continued to grow by bequests from wealthy benefactors, to include works by Flemish painters like Hans Memling (1430-94), Roger van der Weyden (1399-1464) and Jan van Eyck (1395-1441). During the 19th century the Academy required members to donate an artwork, which is why the 19th century collection grew considerably quickly: Ingres (1780-1867) and Jacques Louis David (1748-1825) were among them. In 1890 the collection was rehoused in its present location. Donations to the museum continued. In total, roughly 600 artworks in the collection originated as gifts.

 

 

Permanent Collection Highlights

Old Masters

- The Adoration of the Magi (1624) by Peter Paul Rubens.
- Melun Diptych: Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels (1452) Jean Fouquet.
- Portrait of the Preacher Eleazar Swalmius (1637) by Rembrandt.
- The Lamentation of Christ (1635) by Anthony van Dyck.

Modern Art

- Ironing (1912) by Rik Wouters, Dutch Impressionist.
- The Intrigue (1890) by James Ensor.
- The Oyster-Eater (1882) by James Ensor.
- Sitting Nude (c.1916) by Modigliani.
- The Stroll (1964) by Roger Raveel.

Rubens Research

In 2007 the museum began a project to systematically research all the works it owns by Rubens, which includes 28 paintings, 665 prints (burin engravings, etchings and woodcuts) and one drawing. Researchers are combining a traditional art historical approach as well as undertaking a detailed technical analysis of the pieces in question. They are reviewing the exact origin of the works, and any previous restorations carried out. Photographic X-rays are providing invaluable insights into how Rubens painted and the techniques he and his assistants employed, as well as providing more accurate dating. Each year the results are presented to the public in a series entitled Rubens Revealed. In 2010 the museum published a book with all its findings to date.

Contact Information

Address
Royal Museum of Fine Arts
(Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen)
Plaatsnijdersstraat 2
Leopold De Waelplaats
Antwerp 2000

While the Museum is closed, an information office has been set up to provide visitors with information on news of the renovation as well as details of the exhibitions to visit during the closure.

Temporary Information Office
Leopold de Waelplaats
Antwerp 2000

Website
www.kmska.be/en/

Phone
+32(0)3 238 78 09

Opening Times
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm
Closed Sunday to Tuesday

• For details of more galleries in Belgium, see: Best Art Museums.
• For more details about Belgian painting & sculpture, see: Homepage.


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