The Doges’ Palace exhibits two of the King Baudouin Foundation’s masterpieces

19th of September 2019

Until March 1st 2020, the Doges’ Palace is holding a fringe exhibition to the Venice Biennale with masterpieces from Flemish collections. Among the exhibits are a silver ensemble designed by Rubens and the terracotta sculpture Apollon et Python by Artus I Quellinus, two masterpieces from the King Baudouin Foundation’s collection.

The Rubens silver ensemble comprises a 17th century ewer and basin representing respectively The Triumph of Venus and Suzanna and the Elders. Pierre and Colette Bauchau acquired these pieces at auction and subsequently donated them to the King Baudouin Foundation. They are the only silver works to have been created based on a design by Rubens and they had remained in the possession of the artist and his heirs for over 400 years. The ensemble is also the only work by famous Antwerp silversmith Théodore I de Rasiers to have been conserved. In addition to the extremely refined craftsmanship, the pieces are of an outstanding pictorial quality, whilst the representations harbour remarkable references to the work of Rubens.

Dating from the 17th century, the terracotta sculpture by Artus Quellinus the Elder is part of the famous Antwerp collection of Charles Van Herck, which was acquired by the King Baudouin Foundation’s Heritage Fund in 1997 and includes several major listed works.

A talented pupil of Rubens, Artus I Quellinus was sought out between 1650 and 1665 to create an impressive number of sculptures destined to decorate the facades and reception areas of what was, at that time, the town hall of Amsterdam and which has since become the Royal Palace. This ambitious project was the idea of the city’s regents, who hoped to compete with Saint Mark’s Square in Venice, which had been re-designed by Jacopo Sansovino. The terracotta work represents the sun god Apollo after he had killed Python, the snake guardian of the oracles at the Temple of Delphi. It is a model of one of the famous marble sculptures in the palace, considered today as being amongst the finest works of 17th century European art.

The Venice exhibition From Titian to Rubens. Masterpieces from Antwerp and other Flemish Collections retraces the wealth of artistic production in Antwerp between 1550¬ and 1650.

Works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, Cornelis De Vos, Gaspar de Crayer, Théodore van Loon and Jacob van Oost, as well as Italian artists including Titian and Tintoretto are also on show.

Practical information:

‘From Titian to Rubens. Masterpieces from Flemish Collections’
Until 1st March 2020
Doge's Palace
Piazza San Marco 1
30124 Venice