Illustrious Russian Hermitage Museum honours Jan Fabre


The Russian State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg has honoured the Belgian artist Jan Fabre with a diamond award. Fabre's new exhibition in the renowned museum will run from the end of October 2016 until April 2017.

At the tenth edition of the annual benefit gala organised by the Russian State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Jan Fabre received a diamond award from museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky. It is the eighth time that an artist has received this award. Fabre received the award for his exhibition which will appear in the museum later in the year. At the Hermitage's invitation, Fabre will explore, across two different rooms, the theme of beauty in the modern world with his exhibition ‘Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty’. In preparation, the Belgian artist went around the empty halls of the museum wearing knightly armour, as part of a film which will be shown during the exhibition.

The exhibition is the culmination of an extraordinary year for Fabre, during which his theatre company Troubleyn celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. The Antwerp-based artist is mostly familiar to the general public through his public sculptures, including ‘The man who measures the clouds’ which stands on top the roof at Brussels Airport. Additionally, Fabre was the first living artist to exhibit his work at the Louvre, and he is a welcome guest in Venice. Fabre has already been appointed Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown and Commander of the Order of Leopold II for his artwork.

With his new exhibition, Fabre's international renown has taken on even bigger proportions. The State Hermitage Museum is actually one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. The then czarina Catherine the Great began systematically collecting works of art in 1764, and the Hermitage's collection currently includes more than three million artworks, of which only an extremely small part is exhibited. The museum has also devoted various rooms to Flemish baroque art from the 17th century. A 400-year-old painting by Peter Paul Rubens was even recently discovered in the dusty cellars of the Hermitage.