Belgium has made a significant contribution to the history of art documentaries with pioneers such as Henry Storck, Charles Dekeukeleire, Paul Haesaerts and André Cauvin; the latter made an influential short film about the Ghent Altarpiece in 1939. Audio commentary is minimised and the visual experience of the work of art is translated into a film bringing the static artwork to life by means of a mobile camera and magnificent close-ups. Together with Cauvin’s film about Memling, this documentary was screened in 1939 at the New York World's Fair where it left a strong and lasting impression. Cauvin made a newsreel about the return of the Ghent Altarpiece in 1946, when the famous painting was brought back to Belgium after having been looted by the Germans during the Second World War. Finally, the confrontation between painting and film is the central topic in André Delvaux’s lyrical film essay about Dieric Bouts.
The screening is introduced by Joséphine Vandekerckhove (Art History department, Ghent University)
Tuesday 25 February at 8.30 pm, Kaskcinema (within the scope of Film Plateau)
- L’Agneau mystique (André Cauvin, 1939, 8’)
- Memling, peintre de la Vierge (André Cauvin, 1939, 11’)
- Le retour de l'Agneau mystique (André Cauvin, 1946, 9’)
- Met Dieric Bouts (André Delvaux, 1975, 29’)