With Koen Fillet and Leen Kelchtermans, Researcher of The Phoebus Foundation

In this episode of Phoebus Focus, you will learn everything about religious women and their devotion, but also about Catholic and dynastic power plays. Phoebus researcher Leen Kelchtermans and Koen Fillet take you from the seventh to the seventeenth century and explore how Begga, daughter of Itta of Nivelles (c. 592-652) and Pepin the Elder (c. 580-639), was designated as the foundress of the flourishing beguine movement in 1630. Then, around 1635, Flemish baroque topper Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) painted Holy Begga, resulting in a painting brimming with fascinating stories!

Jacob Jordaens, Saint Begga, c.1635

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With Koen Fillet and Timothy De Paepe, director of Museum Vleeshuis.

In this episode, Timothy De Paepe peels the layers of a late sixteenth-century scene, as if it were an onion. If you look superficially, you see what the title of the work promises: elegantly dressed figures celebrating in a garden. But as the author lets you look with the eyes of a sixteenth-century man, he takes you into a world of entertainment and dance, but also of foolishness, envy and lust.

Circle of Joris Hoefnagel, Elegant Company in a Garden, c.1570-1590.

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With Koen Fillet and Leen Kelchtermans, Researcher of The Phoebus Foundation

War, insecurity, refugees, and economic crisis are just a few suspiciously familiar-sounding keywords that marked the 17th century. Peter Snayers specialised in painting war scenes. Besides large canvases that glorified commanders, he also depicted the ordinary man or woman ravaged by the daily reality of war. A raid on travellers does not usually make it into the history books. However, it is at the center of Attack on Travellers, a work by Snayers which is discussed in this episode of Phoebus Focus. Together with Koen Fillet, Phoebus researcher Leen Kelchtermans revives a forgotten master and a forgotten piece of history.

Peter Snayers, Attack on Travellers, c.1640-1650

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With Koen Fillet and Naomi Meulemans, conservator modern and contemporary art from The Phoebus Foundation

Conservator Naomi Meulemans looks over the shoulder of CoBrA artist Karel Appel with the work Bird (1954). Like no other, she is able to unlock secrets from the materiality of the paint. The author dissects Appel’s painting layer by layer. The outcome is somewhat sobering. Were the CoBrA artists really as ‘free’ as they wanted to believe? Listen now (in Dutch)!

Karel Appel, Bird, 1954

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With Koen Fillet and Leen Kelchtermans, Researcher of The Phoebus Foundation

The portrait of Elisabeth Jordaens may seem charming at first sight, but it also raises many questions. Who was Elisabeth Jordaens? When did her father, the famous Jacob Jordaens, paint her portrait and why does she look like a peasant girl?

In this episode, Jordaens expert Leen Kelchtermans takes you through the story behind the painting and together with her you will discover the surprising answers to these questions. Listen now (in Dutch)!

Jacob Jordaens, Portrait of Elisabeth Jordaens, c.1637-1645

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With Koen Fillet, Sven Van Dorst (Chief Conservator) and Niels Schalley (Project Coordinator) of The Phoebus Foundation

The life of Saint Dymphna reads like a fairy tale! The life story of this remarkable saint appeals so much to the imagination that Goossen Van der Weyden (1465-1538), grandson of the famous Rogier, painted an altarpiece, consisting of eight panels, with an episode from the life of Dymphna on each panel. But it is not only the iconography of the masterpiece that is surprising. For more than three years, the panels were subjected to an extensive conservation treatment by the conservators of The Phoebus Foundation. They discovered even more extraordinary stories, which had been hidden for centuries under layers of dust and dirt. 

In the fourth episode of Phoebus Focus, Sven Van Dorst and Niels Schalley take you along their discoveries of the secrets of Dymphna and Goossen Van der Weyden. (in Dutch)

Would you like to admire the panels with your own eyes? Visit our Crazy about Dymphna exhibition!

Digital construction of Altarpiece with the Life of Saint Dymphna (1505)

Want to know more? Order the Crazy about Dymphna book!

With Koen Fillet and Hildegard Van de Velde, curator of the Snijders&Rockox House Museum.

Never heard of Maerten De Vos (1532-1603)? In sixteenth-century Antwerp he may have been a superstar, but today his fame is far less than that of, for example, Peter Paul Rubens. In this episode, Hildegard Van de Velde, curator of the Snijders&Rockox House Museum, introduces you to this talented superstar and guides you through his masterpiece The Allegory of the Seven Liberal Arts.

Maerten De Vos, The Allegory of the Seven Liberal Arts, c.1560-90

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With Koen Fillet, Katrijn Van Bragt (Collection Consultant) and Sven Van Dorst (Chief Conservator) of The Phoebus Foundation

The Study of a Young Woman (c.1649-1659) by the Brussels artist Michaelina Wautier appears at first sight to be an ordinary study. Nothing could be further from the truth! A look into the details and behind the layers of paint reveals great secrets of this forgotten important artist. Not only her striking life itself but also the intriguing work raises many questions. Who is the woman depicted? How was the work created and what was its function? Thanks to recent technical research, it is possible to see the painter at work.

In this second episode of Phoebus Focus, Katrijn Van Bragt and Sven Van Dorst take you behind the paint layers of Study of a Young Woman and discover the secrets of one of the most extraordinary artists.

Michaelina Wautier, Study of a Young Woman, c.1649-59
‘Study of a Young Woman’ 180° turned, MA-XRF-scanning for mercury (Hg)

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With Koen Fillet and Sven Van Dorst, head of conservation at The Phoebus Foundation studio

In the seventeenth century, the Jesuit Daniel Seghers must have been something of a pop star. He worked with Peter Paul Rubens, Cornelis Schut, Gonzales Coques and Erasmus II Quellinus. The highest-ranking nobles queued up for his flower still lifes. Studying his work opens up a whole new world. Years of extensive and remarkable technological-material research sheds light on the past and present. It allows us to literally look through the layers of paint, over the artist’s shoulder.

In this first episode of Phoebus Focus, Sven Van Dorst takes you into the wonderful flower world of Daniël Seghers.

Daniël Seghers, Vase with Roses, Daffodils and Tulips, c.1630-40

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