From November 21, 2022 to February 26, 2023, the exhibition "Painting Flanders" is presented in the new rooms of the house of Gainsborough in the city of Sudbury. Reconnecting with the centuries-old history shared by Suffolk and Flanders, nearly 50 masterpieces from the collection of the Phoebus Foundation have traveled in this context to the United Kingdom.
"Painting Flanders". Flemish Art 1880-1914 tells the story of the reaction of certain artists to the rapid industrialization of 19th century Belgium.
This was the time when Ghent, with its countless mills and factories, was known as the "Manchester of the Continent". Against this backdrop of smoking chimneys, pollution, rampant disease and squalid slums, growing nostalgia for a lost pastoral era drove artists from the city to the countryside in search of a better life.
Artists like Émile Claus, Théo Van Rysselberghe, or Rik Wouters wanted to find their ancestral roots while expressing a universal need for peace, tranquility and reflection in a constantly accelerating world.
The exhibition transports the visitor to idealized landscapes of the Flemish countryside. Curator Katharina Van Cauteren says: “The images in this exhibition exude tradition, but also testify to very contemporary concerns. It's about the environment, social values and the threat of war, nostalgia for the past and concern for the future."
46 Gainsborough Street
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