23/04/2021 - 28/11/2021

The Golden Age of Flanders

Why does Hans Memling paint every detail with such precision? How did Rubens manage, with a few brushstrokes, to create an effect that would have made Steven Spielberg jealous? And why were the Southern Netherlands the artistic centre of the world for three centuries?

From Memling to Rubens showed Flemish art from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as you have never seen it before. The exhibition was a journey through three hundred years of cultural history, with breathtaking masterpieces from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation in the leading role. Unknown gems by Hans Memling, Quinten Metsys, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens and Anthony Van Dyck took you to a world full of folly and sin, fascination and ambition. From Memling to Rubens was about dukes and emperors, about rich citizens and poor saints, about art rooms as wine cellars and about Antwerp as Hollywood on the Scheldt.

From Memling to Rubens took you on a voyage of discovery through the past. Visitors were moved by the Flemish primitives, could see the world through the eyes of Mercator and Vesalius, and immersed themselves in the baroque excess of Rubens and Van Dyck. From Memling to Rubens had it all.

For the first time, The Phoebus Foundation presented highlights from its collection of ancient art abroad. Such a prestigious exhibition project required an appropriate location. From Memling to Rubens therefore took place in the Kadriorg Museum in Tallinn (Estonia).

The Kadriorg is nothing less than an architectural gem. The recently restored palace was built between 1718 and 1725 for the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. He named the building and its idyllic surroundings ‘Kadriorg’ – in German: Catharinenthal – in honour of his wife, Czarina Catharina. It’s a true declaration of love: the Kadriorg is considered one of the most exquisite highlights of Baroque architecture in Northern Europe.

Tallinn was once the northernmost of all the Hanseatic cities. Today, the beautifully preserved medieval city is an ideal destination for a city trip. Moreover, a visit to Tallinn can easily be combined with a trip to the Finnish capital Helsinki, or with a diversion to the other Baltic States. In short: From Memling to Rubens offered you the best of all worlds!

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