The exhibition 'Mythical Primitives: the Gothic revival in the 19th century' consists of 6 paintings from the Groeninge Museum collection, supplemented by 9 loans from Belgian as well as international collections. The exhibition focuses on the stylistic revival and thematic fascination with the Flemish Primitives so prominent during the 19th century.
This romantic attachment for the art of medieval Flemish painting must be seen within the general context of a Gothic revival that spread across all Europe. In our region, this renewal of interest concentrated primarily on the life and works of Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. Bruges artists such as Edmond Van Hove and Eugène Legendre were clearly inspired by their great predecessors. In terms of choice of materials, style and composition, they attempted to match the example set by the medieval masters. At the same time, a number of romantic anecdotes and legends about Van Eyck, Memling and the other Flemish Primitives were 'rediscovered' and served as inspiration for the paintings and engravings of artists like Joseph Ducq, Jean-Baptiste Madou, Edouard Wallays and Henri Dobbelaere. These genre pieces and historical tableaux offer an anecdotal and often sentimental image of the past.
Exhibition ‘Mythical Primitives: the Gothic revival in the 19th century'
Groeninge Museum Bruges
From November 21, 2015 until March 6, 2016
(News item November 10, 2015)