Press Releases BRAFA: Rubens’s sword has pride of place on the King Baudouin Foundation stand Foundation presents its recent acquisitions

BRAFA: Rubens’s sword has pride of place on the King Baudouin Foundation stand Foundation presents its recent acquisitions

BRAFA: Rubens’s sword has pride of place on the King Baudouin Foundation stand

Foundation presents its recent acquisitions

At the BRAFA art and antiques fair, the King Baudouin Foundation will be presenting a recently restored sword which was received by P.P. Rubens from Charles I of England and recently entrusted to the Foundation by Rubens’ descendants. Visitors will also be able to see Old Masters recently acquired and exhibited in dialogue with Modern Art, thanks to the new partnership with PASFoundation.

BRAFA opens on 26 January, and in accordance with its annual tradition it has invited the King Baudouin Foundation to exhibit its new acquisitions. One remarkable item that will be exhibited is a rapier (a thin, sharp pointed sword) given by Charles I of England to Peter Paul Rubens in 1630 in ‘gratitude for services rendered’. The painter Rubens also frequented the European courts as a diplomat, and had acted as a mediator in the conflict between Spain and England in the Thirty Years’ War, for which he received a knighthood from Charles I.

For generations the rapier, with an accompanying case and documents, has been looked after by the descendants of Rubens. Last year the children of Count Jean-Marie van der Stegen de Schrieck entrusted the items to the King Baudouin Foundation thanks to the intervention of Count Joseph van der Stegen de Schrieck, with the intention that the sword will be made accessible to the public. Now the rapier, which has both artistic and historical value, can be put on display.

The sword is listed by Wallonia as a significant heritage work. Once BRAFA has come to an end, the piece will be given on long-term loan to the Grand Curtius in Liège, which holds the largest collection of ceremonial weapons in Belgium. During the summer months visitors will have the opportunity to see the rapier in the family’s castle.

Old Masters and Modern Art in dialogue

The Foundation will be displaying the works acquired during the past year in the form of a dialogue between Old Masters and Modern Art. This has been made possible partly thanks to the new partnership in the ‘Private Art Support Foundation – Fund’: in the PASF Fund entrepreneurs, artists, cultural actors and the King Baudouin Foundation have joined forces to collect multiple works by leading modern and contemporary artists covering their entire oeuvre, keep these works together and make them accessible to the public. The PASFoundation has chosen to entrust its existing and future collections to the King Baudouin Foundation to guarantee to artists that their oeuvre will be kept together and cannot be sold. The collection already includes works by Jacques Charlier, Piet Stockmans, Willy De Sauter and others. A number of them can be seen at BRAFA.

This Fund is allowing the King Baudouin Foundation not only to establish closer ties with the modern and contemporary art movement, but also to explore different venues and ways of making modern art more accessible. The expressed aim is to regularly exhibit works in venues that are open to the public, not only in museums.


Other acquisitions

Some of the highlights from the presentation at BRAFA. We can send you high-res photographs of each of these works on request. The following works will, amongst others, be on display:

– the map of Utopia made by Abraham Ortelius in the late 16th century after the book by humanist Thomas More,

– the sculpture Perle fine (1925) by Oscar Jespers, a masterpiece by one of the most significant Belgian sculptors of the 20th century

– unique musical instruments, including Belgian jazz musician Jean Warland’s cymbal, donated by Kenny Clark,

– a number of items of Belgian art jewellery from the collection of Nelly Van den Abbeele, which were given on loan to DIVA when it opened last year in Antwerp,

– four silver toilette boxes (late 17th century) by Lambermont, one of the most famous silversmiths from Liège,

– the tapestry ‘The Triumph of Cleopatra’, a splendid example of fine tapestry produced in Brussels in the 17th century, from a design by French artist Charles Poerson.

– and many more … If you would like to receive more information about the works that are not included here, we will be glad to help.

Press contact:
Erika Racquet
02-549 02 56
0477-77 88 02

Cathy Verbyst
02-549 02 78
0478-75 01 41

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