From 11 September 2009 to 11 January 2010, the Musée Jacquemart-André hosted, for the first time in Paris, an outstanding selection of works by the great Flemish masters of the 14th to 18th centuries, including Bruegel, Memling, van Eyck, amongst others. These major works, supplemented by works of the Italian, Dutch and German schools, belong to one of Central Europe’s most prestigious collections - the Brukenthal Collection.
A major exhibition
Bringing together world - famous masterpieces of Flemish painting – including the famous betrothal portrait by van Eyck, The Man in the Blue Hat – the Brukenthal Collection is one of the most illustrious in Eastern Europe. On the occasion of this exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart-André, this group of about fifty major works was presented in France for the first time.
The exhibition is designed to encourage the visitor to go from room to room, seeing works from the collection by the great names associated with a specific pictorial genre: Pieter Bruegel, master of landscape painting and master of the art of capturing atmosphere and the subtle nuances of nature, then Hans Memling, one of the most distinguished Flemish portrait painters, as well as Jan van Eyck. The visitor is also transported into the world of David Teniers the Younger and his genre and peasant scenes, to the religious world of Titian and Jacob Jordaens who offer us striking chiaroscuro studies as well as the sophistication and symbolic richness of Jan Davidsz de Heem’s still lifes.
Samuel von Brukenthal's exceptional collection
Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803)
For many years, the Baron was a close adviser of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. After a long career in politics, in 1777 he was appointed governor of Transylvania, where he had been born in 1721. He quickly gained a reputation as an insatiable collector, acquiring, over just a few years, more than 16 000 valuable books, a huge number of objets d'art, almost 800 etchings and 1200 pictures. The collection, created with the assistance of art dealers and specialists, was expanded by the donation of some very fine works from the Empress herself. It quickly became regarded as one of the "finest and richest collections in Vienna". Nowadays, the collection is known as one of the most prestigious in Central Europe.
The Brukenthal National Museum
Opened to the public in 1817, the Brukenthal National Museum was originally Baron Samuel von Brukenthal's official residence. Built between 1778 and 1788, at Sibiu in Romania, the palace, then comprising an art gallery and a library, was home to the entire collection. During his lifetime, the Baron transformed the palace into a veritable museum, one of the first museums in Romania.
For the first time in its history, the Brukenthal National Museum is offering on loan an incomparable group of some fifty works of art. This exhibition is a genuine voyage of discovery and a unique opportunity to discover, at the Musée Jacquemart-André, the masterpieces in this collection. This important event is the fruit of a close collaboration between the Muzeul National Brukenthal, the Romanian Ministry of Culture, the Institut de France and Culturespaces.