‘The Arrival at St. Anneke, with view of Antwerp’

Hendrik van Minderhout and Jan van Helmont
17th century

The painting titled ‘The Arrival at St. Anneke, with view of Antwerp’ has been able to return to Antwerp thanks to an acquisition by the Heritage Fund. This unique illustration of Antwerp in the seventeenth century is the work of Hendrik van Minderhout and Jan van Helmont. It is being given on loan to Museum Vleeshuis, where it will be on display to the public.

The painting ‘The Arrival at St. Anneke, with view of Antwerp’ (‘De aankomst in Sint-Anneke, met zicht op Antwerpen’) dates from 1692 and is the work of Hendrik van Minderhout and Jan van Helmont. This historic testimony serves as a valuable source illustrating Antwerp history, customs and architecture. For example, in the distance we see Vleeshuis (the Butchers’ Hall) itself, the new home of the work.

This extraordinarily large painting presents a view of the 17th-century port and the panorama of the city, but in the foreground we also see a noble family. This is presumed to be the well-known Arenberg-Croÿ family. For many years, until 1926, the painting was part of their extensive and internationally renowned art collection. The fact that van Minderhout and van Helmont combined a view of the port with a noble family portrait is very unusual. The work is of outstanding quality, and it is dated and signed by both artists.

Hendrik van Minderhout (1632–1696) was a Dutch painter of marine scenes and was active mainly in the cities of Bruges and Antwerp. The Antwerp-born Jan van Helmont (1650 – between 1714 and 1734), who painted the large figures, met Hendrik van Minderhout at the St Luke’s Guild, of which they were both members. Jan van Helmont was a successful painter of historic canvases and portraits of prominent people. Thus, he painted the portrait of Joannes Jacobus Moretus and his wife Theresa Mathilde Schilders, the owners of the well-known Plantijn Moretus printing house.

The Heritage Fund was able to buy the work and has entrusted it to Museum Vleeshuis. There, it will be accessible to the general public and will be further studied. “We are very much looking forward to the arrival of the work,” says Timothy De Paepe, director of Museum Vleeshuis. “Initially, we will exhibit the work in our Treasury room. The Treasury room is part of the exhibit titled Klavier which is being organised in collaboration with Snijders&Rockoxhuis from 26 March to 26 June. ‘Arrival at St. Anneke, with view of Antwerp’ brings the city of Antwerp in the age of the harpsichord to life in a particularly lively manner. After this exhibition, the painting will be incorporated into the permanent collection, in which the many beautiful depictions of church towers, among other things, constitute the starting point of our story of church and belfry music. Later this year, the series ‘Cahiers van het museum’ will issue a publication about the painting.

 

Type: 
Painting
Material / technique: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
146 x 271,8cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquisition from the Heritage Fund
Year of acquisition: 
2022
Depository institution: 
Museum Vleeshuis