It was my last trip of the year. And a prodigal return to one of my favourite European cities: Antwerp.
I’ve covered everything from culture to chips previously but this assignment threw up a new angle – classical art.
The reason? A major new exhibition of works featuring Rubens and the artists he influenced, which opens at London’s Royal Academy in January 2015.
Antwerp is awash with references to the Flemish grand master and his influence extends to the contemporary art and fashion so prevalent in the city today.
I started my visit on a wintery December afternoon over coffee Nico Van Hout, Research Curator at Antwerp’s Royal Museum of Fine Arts (closed until 2019 for refurbishment), who has curated the London exhibition. He said:
“Rubens is not about analysis but sensuality. The fluency of his brushwork and his use of colour makes him the artist’s artist.”
“He makes me feel very small. He lived the lives of fix or six men, yet did so at a time when Antwerp was the centre of social and political turmoil in Europe,” he added.
The story will be published in the Daily Express in January.
Meanwhile, that’s me done for another year. 45 commissions, 25 trips and three payments still outstanding from work completed this year.
Another year beckons and my posts resume here early January 2015. Expect more teaching, more family-travel assignments and more single-dad content to come.
Come along for the ride.