Beginning on 9 March, the exhibition Blut und Tränen: Albrecht Bouts und das Antlitz der Passion (Blood and Tears: Albrecht Bouts and the Image of the Passion) is to be viewed in the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum in Aachen. The exhibition was on display last Spring in the Musée national d'histoire et d'art Luxembourg. This was in collaboration with the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels.
Albrecht Bouts (1451/55-1549), the painter from Leuven, was the son of Dieric Bouts (1410/20-1475), a world-renowned Flemish Primitive. In 1475, he took over the studio of his father until his death in 1549. Albrecht was specialised in contemplative portraits of Christ, The Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. By way of the Devotio Moderna movement, believers were encouraged to pray before devotional images in private. In order to accommodate the demand, Bouts sensibly expanded his studio and completed a large number of this type of works. Some are based upon prototypes by Dieric Bouts, but a substantial number were conceptualised by Albrecht himself.
In addition to works by Bouts and his studio, other examples from diverse historical art centres such as Bruges and Brussels are presented in Aachen in order to sketch out a broader time frame. It includes works from Hans Memling and Colijn de Coter, among others, but also sculptures that are exhibited which are thematically related to Bouts's art. For this exhibition the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp loaned Albrecht Bouts's Man of Sorrows. The Groeninge Museum in Bruges loaned two paintings: Vera Icon (a seventeenth century copy after Jan van Eyck) and the diptych Mater Dolorosa and Man of Sorrows, attributed to Simon Marmion.
Moreover, the video Study for Emergence (2002) by the contemporary artist Bill Viola (1951) reveals the modern value of the theme of the Passion.
Exhibition Blut und Tränen. Albrecht Bouts und das Antlitz der Passion
Where: Suermondt-Ludwig Museum Aachen
When: March 9 - June 11
(News item March 2, 2017)