Queen's M.A. student Annelies Verellen has just returned from Belgium, where she spent an illuminating 10 days in the Flemish Art Collection's summer course, Study of the Arts in Flanders - The Age of Rubens. Verellen and her colleagues dove deep into the world of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, including visits to museums, libraries, archives, and a unique look at Rubens' body of work. Verellen gave us an account of her inspiring trip:

M.A. student Annelies Verellen at The Age of Rubens in Belgium"Over the course of eleven days, the Rubens Course introduced us to museums, archives, libraries and Baroque churches all over Belgium. Experts in Flemish Baroque art guided us through Flanders’ most beautiful collections such as Mayer van den Bergh Museum, Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Brussels, and the Snijders and Rockoxhuis Museum."

"We had the wonderful opportunity to view sites that are usually not open to the public. For example, we visited De Wit tapestry conservation studio in Mechelen, where sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century tapestries are cleaned and restored if needed. Here I learned about the lengthy and very expensive process of tapestry making, a medium I had never studied before! We also visited the Antwerp Cathedral after-hours, which was very special."

"The course also introduced me to fellow young art historians and future colleagues. It is exciting to see how many avenues in Flemish art are still to be explored and examined further. This course served as a perfect interlude to my doctoral studies, which I am set to start this fall at McGill University."

"As my research focuses on Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century art, it is impossible to ignore the influence Peter Paul Rubens had on Baroque art. I have always been intrigued by his renderings of mythological scenes and his depictions of women in particular. Perhaps my favourite work by him is 'Het Pelsken,' a full-length, yet deeply intimate, portrait he made of his second wife, Hélène Fourment. Rubens' workshop flourished in Antwerp, Belgium, which is also my hometown so studying his life and work always feels a bit like coming home."

For more, have a look at the gallery below! All photos courtesy of Annelies Verellen.


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