Unique works at the BRAFA

23rd of January 2019

Rendezvous at the BRAFA to discover our latest acquisitions, including Rubens’s sword and the map of Utopia created by Abraham Ortelius, in dialogue with works by modern artists such as Piet Stockmans, Antoine Mortier and Gustave Serrurier-Bovy. From 26/01 to 3/02 at Tour et Taxis, Brussels (stand 46a).

A dialogue between ancient and modern is the dynamic that has inspired the King Baudouin Foundation’s stand at this year’s art fair, BRAFA19.

Rubens’s sword
The sword of Rubens has been handed down from generation to generation by the painter’s descendants. This piece is exceptional because of its artistic as well as its historical importance and was donated to the King Baudouin Foundation so as to guarantee its future and make it accessible to everyone. This generous initiative came from Count Jean-Marie van der Stegen de Schrieck’s children, who donated it to the King Baudouin Foundation thanks to the intervention of Count Joseph van der Stegen de Schrieck.

The map of Utopia
Finding out what Utopia, the imaginary island governed by reason, might be like is another fascinating discovery to be made at this year’s BRAFA. Only one engraving has survived of the island, which Thomas More wrote about and was imagined by his friend Abraham Ortelius, and the Foundation was able to acquire it for safe-keeping in our public collections.

A masterpiece of Modernist sculpture
A fundamental work created by Oscar Jesper and one of the indispensable representatives of Belgian Modernism has been acquired by the Foundation. This masterpiece plays an important role in understanding the development of sculpture in the 20th century.

Early pieces of jewellery created by Belgian artists
Pieces created by Emile Souply, Jacques Moeschal, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Anita Evenepoel and Kurt Lewy are some of the early works of jewellery created by Belgian artists.

The generosity of our donors
Over a period of 30 years, more than 25,000 works of art and 57,000 historic documents have enriched our collection thanks to the generosity and confidence accorded to us by our patrons.
Count Thierry de Looz-Corswarem is one such donor who has donated to the Foundation an exceptional collection of 18th and 19th century silverwork.

Antoine Mortier
For Antoine Mortier’s daughter and grandson, a partnership with the King Baudouin Foundation enabled the most appropriate structure to be created with a view to preserving and promoting the work of this important Belgian artist, whilst also remaining associated with the project. Within this framework, they transferred a significant selection of Antoine Mortier’s work to the Foundation, through which the development of the painter’s creative process can be appreciated. A preview of some of these works can be enjoyed at the BRAFA.

Modern and contemporary works
Through the Private Art Support Foundation Fund, entrepreneurs, artists, cultural stakeholders and the King Baudouin Foundation have joined forces to save emblematic works by leading Belgian artists and make them available to the general public. Be prepared to be surprised by the works of Willy De Sauter, Jacques Charlier, Piet Stockmans and others.
Hugo Claus is also honoured: among the pieces exhibited are two self-portraits, sketched from life, and a page from the rough manuscript of his novel Le Chagrin des belges.

Belgian musical heritage
Particular attention is given to musical instruments from the Foundation’s collection, including a pair of ‘hi-hat’ cymbals that belonged to jazz drummer Kenny Clarke (1914-1985). Clarke offered the cymbals and dedicated them to Jean Warland, the leading 20th century Belgian double-bassist. Also on show are the only double bass attributed to Benoît Joseph Boussu (1703–1773) and the last piano made by Jean-François Vogelsangs, which was offered by Emperor Joseph II to his daughter Marie-Henriette, Queen of the Belgians.

Practical information:

BRAFA - Brussels Art Fair
Address: Tour & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86 C, 1000 Brussels - Stand 46a
Dates: From Saturday 26 January 2019 to Sunday 3 February 2019
Opening times: 11h to 19h
Late night: Thursday 31 January until 22h