Our brand-new art project for kids is finally here: ‘Wat is Kunst?’ (What is Art?) or WIK!

WIK is an interactive art platform for kids from the ages of 8 to 12. In several comical vlogs focusing on art questions, presenter Leonard and his virtual assistant JOS take you on an art adventure.

Furthermore, the platform offers an interactive art gallery, creative games, and DIY videos to stimulate children artistically.

On the platform, teachers can find inspiration and download ready-made lesson suggestions for second and third-grade elementary schools. These meaningful lesson suggestions allow students to purposefully reflect on and experiment with art. Ideal for discovering art in all its facets with your students in a playful and interactive way!

Discover everything about WIK on www.watiskunst.be

Discover the latest episode of the KLARA radio programme Berg en Dal with Pat Donnez and none other than Dr Katharina Van Cauteren, Chief of Staff of The Phoebus Foundation! (in Dutch)

© Klara / VRT

Discover our upcoming art project for children: What is Art? (‘Wat is Kunst?’) Or WIK!

That’s right! We are developing a great interactive art platform for children aged 8 to 12. Through several comic vlogs focusing on art questions, presenter Leonard, known from Ketnet, and his virtual assistant JOS, with the voice of Clara Cleymans, take children on an art adventure. Furthermore, the platform offers an interactive art gallery, creative games, and DIY videos to stimulate children artistically.

Moreover, we will bring WIK to the classroom! Teachers can find inspiration on the platform and download ready-made lesson suggestions for second and third-grade primary schools. These meaningful class suggestions let pupils reflect purposefully on art and experiment with it. An ideal tool for discovering all facets of art with your pupils playfully and interactively!

Want to know more? Watch the trailer below or check www.watiskunst.be, available from the 9th of January!

This month, we dive into Camille Polkownik’s new article ‘An examination of a group of works related to Albrecht Dürer’s trip to the Netherlands’, in: Hamilton Kerr Institute, Bulletin, 9 (2022):  87-102. Among other things, the article examines a portrait from our collection that has recently been restored, revealing a fascinating story with unexpected results.

Before and after restauration of Portrait of a Man by an unknown South Netherlandish Master, 16th century ©The Phoebus Foundation

Find out more by reading the abstract here:

“The following paper is an investigation into the relationship between a drawing by German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and a group of paintings, initially thought to depict the Portuguese humanist philosopher Damião de Góis (1502–74). First, the paintings were examined to establish whether they were consistent with sixteenth-century materials and compared stylistically with the drawing. Second, an argument against the current identification of the sitter was made, then an alternative identification was proposed. The technical analysis showed the paintings’ materials and appearance were consistent with the sixteenth century and that they were probably made in the second quarter, shortly after the original drawing by Dürer, but most likely by an Antwerp-based studio/workshop unrelated to Dürer. Furthermore, the research suggests the sitter cannot be de Góis and that the man depicted could be a Portuguese merchant and diplomat based in Antwerp with whom Dürer developed a friendship during his stay in the Netherlands in 1520–21.”

This month we are captivated by the new study of Dr Leen Kelchtermans and Dr Katharina Van Cauteren published in the international peer-reviewed journal devoted to Dutch and Flemish art, Simiolus.

From drawings to comprehensive work of art: a reconstruction of Jacob Jordaens’s Psyche Gallery in his Antwerp house summarises five years of research where Leen and Katharina investigated Jacob Jordaens’ ceiling paintings about Amor and Psyche. The research focused on what the reception room in the Antwerp home of the Baroque master must have looked like, which made it possible to reconstruct Jordaens’ “pronkkamer” for the first time in almost 400 years. Consequently, they discovered that the artist dazzled his guests with impressive ceiling pieces and illusionistic paintings on the walls and even on the doors! Both the ceiling and the door pieces are now in the collection of The Phoebus Foundation.

Jacob Jordaens, Love of Amor and Psyche, c.1652
Trompe-l’oeil Door Panel: a Young Man with a Dog and a Young Woman, c.1640-1645
Trompe-l’oeil Door Panel: a Young Woman, an Old Man, a Fool and a Hissing Cat, c.1640-1645

Read everything about this fascinating study in: Leen Kelchtermans & Katharina Van Cauteren, ‘From drawings to comprehensive work of art: a reconstruction of Jacob Jordaens’s Psyche Gallery in his Antwerp house’, Simiolus, 44/1 (2022), pp. 28-59.

Our Crazy about Dymphna exhibition has been extended until the 2nd of October!

© Michel Wuyts

For those who have not found the opportunity yet to get to know the remarkable Saint Dymphna and the impressive altarpiece by Goossen Van der Weyden, you have three more weeks to get to Geel! Thanks to an interactive scenography with humorous and moving videos, you can discover the tragic life story of Dymphna and the secrets behind the paint layers of the eight panels with depictions of her life. On top of that, there is an adventurous game for children aged 6 to 12! Based on fascinating questions, children become real investigators, looking for the code of the treasure of Abbot Tsgrooten, the patron of the Dymphna altarpiece.

© Michel Wuyts

Book your ticket and go to the Saint Dymphna Church in Geel! The exhibition is open every Tuesday until Sunday, from 11AM until 6PM. The children’s game is available at the reception desk of the Saint Dymphna Church.

Fall will be exciting… Because The Phoebus Foundation is going to the USA!

Hendrick De Clerck and Denijs Van Alsloot, Earth Paradise with the Four Elements1613

We are very proud to announce that 120 works of art from our Old Masters sub-collection will be crossing the ocean to Denver and Dallas at the end of this year. From 16 October on, you can admire masterpieces by Hans Memling, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens and many magnificent gems at the Denver Art Museum, where they will be part of the exciting exhibition Saints, Sinners, Lovers, and Fools: 300 Years of Flemish Masterworks.

Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum is located in the heart of the United States, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and has already presented extremely successful exhibitions on Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo and Venetian masters, among others. We are therefore eagerly looking forward to putting our Flemish superstars in the spotlight at this extraordinary venue!

From April 1 onwards, we bring Goossen Van der Weyden’s exceptional Dymphna altarpiece to the place where it all began: Geel!

With Crazy about Dymphna, The Phoebus Foundation is showing the altarpiece with the life of Saint Dymphna by Goossen Van der Weyden, grandson of the famous Rogier, for the first time in the St. Dymphna Church. Van der Weyden created the monumental altarpiece at the culmination of the Dymphna cult, which is inextricably linked to the city of Geel. The Phoebus Foundation subjected the panels to an extensive restoration project of more than three years, with amazing discoveries!

The exhibition sheds light on Dymphna’s extraordinary life story, the fascinating history of Van der Weyden’s altarpiece and the secrets behind the layers of paint. Moreover, you will become acquainted with the centuries-old tradition of spiritual care, mercy and charity of the city of Geel, of which Saint Dymphna laid the foundations. All this in the form of an audio-visual trajectory with a good dose of humour and haunting emotion.

Immerse yourself in the extraordinary world of Dymphna. Book your ticket now for only one euro!

(c) Luk Monsaert

The sun is shining, the Covid-19 measures have (almost) disappeared,… ideal for a trip to Haarlem!

Until May 8, you can admire At Home with Jordaens at the Frans Hals Museum: the first monographic exhibition of the seventeenth-century Antwerp master Jacob Jordaens in the Netherlands! You will discover everything about Jordaens’ fascinating life and be surprised by the stories behind his ingenious and sometimes witty paintings. Moreover, you will really get to know the master: you will step into the contemporary reconstruction of Jordaens’ showroom with the recently restored original door and ceiling pieces. Except for their original location in Jordaens’ own house, these works have never before been shown together!

Last month to discover the exceptional masterpieces by Jacob Jordaens from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation in Haarlem.

Book your ticket now!

© Sam Tobiana

With isolations and quarantines, the end of the coronapandemic does not seem to be in sight. Even our paintings of the famous Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) in Haarlem had to go into lockdown for a few weeks. Fortunately, we have great news: the At home with Jordaens exhibition at the Frans Hals Museum is open again!

(c) Luk Monsaert

And there’s more! The exhibition has been extended until May 8 so you still have plenty of time to admire Jordaens’s masterpieces and get to know this surprising master better. Book your ticket now!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

In 2020, we received the greatest gift we could have ever imagined! Within a few years’ time, visitors will be able to enjoy our exhibitions in the most iconic tower of Antwerp and beyond: the ‘Boerentoren’ (“Farmer’s Tower”)!

Constructed between 1928 and 1931 in art-deco style and with a frame of 3500 tons of steel, the tower is a true architectural gem. Various famous architects, among them Emil van Averbeke, Jan Van Hoenacker and Jos Smolderen, were involved in the construction of the monument. With its original height of 87,5 m, the Boerentoren even was the first skyscraper in Europe.

The tower was constructed on the occasion of the World Exhibition in 1930 by the Middenkredietbank, who mainly managed the savings from farmers and the Farmer’s Union. This is why the tower obtained its nickname ‘Boerentoren’. The Antwerp icon later became property of Kredietbank and KBC, whose logo adorns the top of the tower.

Boerentoren Opbouw

In a few years, the Boerentoren will no longer be a financial skyscraper but a cultural tower. Wandering around our exhibitions with a spectacular view on the city center? Having coffee in the sculpture garden on the 10th floor? Taking the elevator to the highest floor and seeing the entire city of Antwerp at a single glance? It will all be possible soon! We look forward to start this exciting adventure together with you!

Boerentoren