Wildlife painters of the 17th century are exhibited at the Musée de Flandre in Cassel


From 8 October 2016 to 22 January 2017, the Musée de Flandre based in Cassel in the north of France will be presenting its exhibition “The Odyssey of Animals”. Featuring around a hundred works by 17th century Flemish painters displayed to delight visitors, this exhibition will rediscover relatively unknown wildlife art.

The 17th century saw the birth of a new genre of Flemish painting: the art animalier. At that time, Flemish painters were very meticulous with the quality of expression in their works, and sought to create perfect depictions of animals. This exhibition will highlight the art of detail and the art of presentation, giving priority to the premise of realism.

Roelandt Savery, Frans Snijders, Jan Fijt, Paul de Vos, Jan van Kessel and Pieter Boel are amongst the greatest animal painters. They are fantastic observers whose paintings are full of life, and thousands of colours and textures. Amongst hunting scenes, market stalls and depictions of earthly paradise, visitors will be transported to the heart of the animal kingdom, where the face-to-face encounter symbolises strength and compassion, and there is no place for violence. The will to survive is symbolic, and is demonstrated throughout an odyssey of animal splendour.

The exhibition highlights these artists of centuries past, their specific characteristics and respective influence on changing concepts. It will bring together hundreds of works from famous museums and private collections, and will be divided into small rooms focusing on the particular talent of each artist. Many artists influenced each other, and specific paintings will be placed side-by-side for comparison and commentary.

Visitors will also be able to admire the many manners of depicting animals. Through the eyes of 17th century painters, they will be transported to this century of scientific turmoil and intellectual transformation.

“The Odyssey of Animals” will be divided into two sections. The first part will focus on Flemish wildlife painters of the 17th century, and the second, which opens in 2017 (4 March to 9 July), will focus on creativity in contemporary Belgian art.

For more information, take a look at the website of the Musée de Flandre at Cassel.