The exhibition reveals Theodoor Rombouts as one of Flanders’ most important Caravaggists and as a key figure in genre painting. The curator discovered many previously unattributed works. You will therefore see many never-before-seen works. Some of them were specially restored for the exhibition.
In Italy, the young Antwerp artist was inspired by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and his successor Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582-1622). Upon his return to Belgium, Rombouts developed his own artistic identity. He was able to merge North and South in a sublime way and became an established figure in Antwerp’s art scene.
Lively and sometimes moralising genre paintings with elegant companies and musicians stand out in Rombouts’ work. These scenes are steeped in the southern play of light and dark, fused with Rombouts’ lively colour palette. The refined way in which he paints objects and textiles is typical of his work.
An interesting fact: the first work by an old master the museum ever purchased was a work by Rombouts. Before that, it had only bought works by artists who were still alive.