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Exhibition 1 − December 4, 1999


Organized by the Fundación Cajamurcia and curated by Marisa Oropesa and Maria Toral, this exhibition unveils a selection of paintings which belong to the German collector, based in Spain, Hans Rudolf Gerstenmaier. In thirty years, this patron has managed to gather more than two hundred european works from various schools and backgrounds, among which is the collection of flemish painting.

Precisely, the exhibition in the Centro Cultural Las Claras Cajamurcia focuses on the Flemish School through great masters such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Brueghel, Martin de Vos, Joost de Momper, or Kessel. The exhibition hosts 70 pieces, including paintings and graphic works, from the FIFTEENTH century to the EIGHTEENTH century, is presented as a set that helps us to understand what were the contributions of the world of flamenco to the visual culture of the european Modern Age.

The selection made for the occasion, encompassing a range of genres to deepen our understanding on the main features of the artists, representatives of the era. In this way, the religious paintings, portraits, still lifes, mythological themes, or still-lifes are mixed in this collection, achieving a harmonious diversity.

Among the religious works is a large group of works in which the christian faith is the main source of inspiration. The production of the flemish painters within this framework was of a great quality and their devotional works are characterized by their virtuosity and for their bright colors. In this section we frame the oil painting The Virgin, of Cumberland, of Rubens (notable for their chromatic values and the transparency of his glazes); the Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the Circle of the Master of the Adoration von Groote, or the heartbreaking Ordeal of Victor Wolfvoet.

Another of the themes present in the sample is mythology, for which the artist flamingos taking as a source the classic texts of Homer, Seneca, Ovid or Sophocles. In this area it is possible to cite the series of Hendrick Goltzius mythological and allegorical Subjects, among which are included The Three Graces, or the allegory of The Four Elements, arguments very dealt with within this pictorial tradition.

The portrait occupies an equally important place among the works selected. In this section, together with the portraits of Jan Karel de Cordes and Jacqueline van Caestre, made by a disciple of Van Dyck, is of great interest the series of engravings of own Van Dyck entitled Iconography of illustrious men.

Landscapes, still lifes and garlands

The landscape painting is another of the genres present in this exhibition: well as the framework of nature exultant that surrounds the human figure, or as a panoramic vision of the land of Flanders, where we observe the domain in the representation of different texture and lighting effects. In this section it is worth noting mountain Landscape with mules, a joint work of Joost de Momper the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

On the other hand, the still life also has a starring role. His technique can be seen in works of large dimensions such as still-lifes, Jan van Kessel the Elder -that is one of the most important parts of the shows, and one of the preferred Gerstenmaier - or in two small still lifes of Alexander Adriaenssen of exquisite artistic quality.

The selection meets, in addition, several examples of floral (wreaths, baskets, vases, etc) in which the flemish painters demonstrated their mastery, and that stand out for their beauty, their composition and the vibrant shades. This is the case of Vase of garden flowers, of Gaspar Peter Verbruggen II, with details as subtle as the dew drops visible on the petals.