Baroque Masters at Nationalmuseum

On Thursday 25 February, the Rubens & van Dyck exhibition opens at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. From then until 23 May, visitors will be able to see works by two of the 17th century’s leading painters and some of their disciples.

The exhibition brings together works by Peter Paul Rubens and Anthonis van Dyck, two of the leading painters of the 17th-century Baroque, highlighting the relationship between them and their unparalleled influence on Flemish painting in their day. In all, 123 works will be on show – a mix of portraits, landscapes, historic scenes, kitchen still lifes and hunting scenes. Works from Nationalmuseums own fine Flemish art collection will appear alongside works on loan from other museums and collections.

Otto van Veen, “Allegory of the Temptations of Youth”. Oil on canvas, 146 x 212 cm. ©Nationalmuseum

Rubens often used mythological and historical motifs. He was inspired by Titian, the Italian Renaissance master, and painted free copies of several Titian works. Both masters versions of Adam and Eve will appear side by side in the exhibition. Van Dyck collaborated extensively with Rubens in the early stages of his career but soon became a master in his own right with his own distinct style. Best known for his portraiture, he painted many religious works as well. The exhibition also features historic scenes by Jacob Jordaens, kitchen still lifes by Adriaen van Utrecht, and dramatic hunting scenes by Frans Snyders, Paul de Vos and Jan Fyt.

The exhibition focuses on the huge success enjoyed by Flemish painters in the 17th century. A distinctive style, featuring vivid and colourful motifs, appeared in portraits, landscapes, hunting scenes and still lifes. Art trading flourished, and paintings were exported to all parts of Europe. As a result of this high demand, artists chose to specialize, and close working relationships developed. Rubens, for instance, collaborated with Jan Brueghel, Frans Snyders and Anthonis van Dyck on various details in his paintings.

There will be a 45-minute introductory talk in the Auditorium at 1 pm daily Tuesday–Friday, starting 2 March. In Swedish.


Görel Cavalli-Björkman and Karin Sidén discuss Rubens, van Dyck and Flemish painting. Special program in The Studio. In Swedish.


Lectures by Görel Cavalli-Björkman, Karin Sidén, Carina Fryklund, Lena Dahlén and Björn Fredlund to mark the publication of Dutch and Flemish Paintings III.