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€ 45,00


Expo: 2/6/2018 - 2/9/2018, MAS, Antwerp
Katlijne Van der Stighelen
HB, 300 x 240 mm, 324 p, throughout colour illustrations
E edition
Publication date: June 18

ISBN: 9789085867630 (HB - E)

In Antwerp in the summer of 2018 the MAS, in collaboration with the Rubens House, will be organizing a first-ever monographic exhibition of the forgotten female artist Michaelina Wautier (1614-89). She was born in Mons but developed her career in Brussels, where she was working in around 1650. The artist maintained contacts with the court of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria who had four of her works in his collection. We know of some thirty paintings and one drawing by her hand. More than a third of these are signed in full and dated. Wautier painted masterful historical pieces, incisive portraits, endearing genre scenes and tranquil flower arrangements. There is no doubt that she displayed a ground-breaking versatility. Challenging themes, masterly techniques and a grand scale are all characteristic of her work. All her pieces were produced between 1643 and 1659. Her masterpiece is undoubtedly The Triumph of Bacchus held at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Michaelina Wautier appears in the painting as a seminude bacchante and is the only one of the figures present to look directly at the viewer.

More than ten life-size figures are seen passing by in procession. The way in which she has depicted the male nudes shows that she had had the opportunity to draw from life models, a unique instance among women with artistic ambitions in the early modern period. A portrait historié showing Saint Agnes and Saint Dorothea has now become a favourite with the public. In the piece, two blushing girls are posing in an intimate space as the two young martyrs. Instead of looking at each other, they appear deep in thought and communicate unseen. It was the portrait that she painted of the Italian Jesuit Martino Martini which came to establish her reputation firmly. The painting is of an imposing figure posing in Chinese dress: a painting reminiscent of Venetian examples in terms of colouration and the broad brushstrokes.




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