Masterpieces on paper

1st of March 2019

Remarkable craftmanship and ambitious entrepreneurship contributed to the development of the art of engraving and printmaking during the century of Breughel. Hans Bol’s series of engravings “Emblemata Evangelica”, acquired by the King Baudouin Foundation, bears witness to this period and are shown at the exhibition “Prints in in the Age of Breughel”.

Hans Bol was considered as one of the most accomplished landscape artists of his time. He succeeded in telling real stories in his engravings through the mise en scene of his landscapes. This is admirably displayed in the drawings he made for his masterpiece, the series known as the “Emblemata Evangelica”. Acquired by the Heritage Fund in 2014, the prints will be exhibited at the Bozar until June 23, 2019.

After Breughel’s death, Hans Bol continued to explore the theme of landscapes in his work. He made numerous preparatory drawings for his engravings, including the “Emblemata Evangelica” series, which played a key role in the development of engraving. By associating landscape with Biblical themes and astrological or cosmological themes, his works illustrate the diversity of themes as well as the richness of the period’s engraving market. Bol’s preparatory drawings as well as the engravings themselves have been preserved so that various comparisons can be be made.

This series of prints first saw the light of day during the siege of Antwerp in 1585, a turning point in history, which saw the symbolic end of the “century of Breughel” and provoked Bol’s departure to the Northern Netherlands.

The exhibition Prints in the Age of Breughel is a joint initiative of BOZAR and the Belgian Royal Library which provides an impressive portrait of print production in the Southern Netherlands during the 16th century.

Practical information:

Prints in in the Age of Breughel
From 27 February to 23 June, 2019
BOZAR/Palais des Beaux-Arts
Rue Ravenstein 23
1000 Brussels