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What's On at Europe's Museums

Rubens, Rubens everywhere; Schiele and Janssen face off in Vienna; Rauschenberg in Ferrarra; Flemish masterpieces in Maastricht.


Rubens' painting "The Massacre of the Innocents," on view in Lille

Lille Pays Tribute to Rubens…

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France

To mark its status as European Culture Capital 2004, the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is organizing an exhibition of international scope on the artist Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens completed works for churches and convents in Lille. These will be presented alongside other masterpieces on loan from the large collections held by a number of European and American museums. This exhibition, the largest since Antwerp's in 1977, reveals Rubens' many talents. After Caravaggio and before Courbet, Rubens is one of the few artists to have revolutionized Western painting. The artist had a profound impact on the cultural history of Lille and Antwerp, and the two cities have decided to join together to commemorate this patron saint of painters.

Rubens at the Palais dex Beaux-Arts Lille runs through June 14. The show is open Mondays from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

…While Rubens is at Home in Antwerp

Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Netherlands

Peter Paul Rubens Ausstellung in Lille Frankreich

Rubens' " Samson and the Lion"

Rubens and his various interests -- he was not only a painter but an illustrator and book collector, among other things -- are highlighted in numerous locations in Antwerp. One of them, "From Delacroix to Courbet," examines Rubens' impact on modern painting. During the first half of the 19th century artists were forced to side with or against Rubens. The debate pitted those who saw Rubens as the model of the pictorial conception of art -- a person who placed color first and foremost -- against the adherents of traditional modeling, who viewed him with suspicion. For artists with a Romantic bent, like Delacroix, Rubens was the master they sought to equal. The realists, led by Courbet, preferred his contemporary Jacob Jordaens. The French masters are represented at Antwerp with their best works, which have left the walls and storerooms of the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille for this exhibition.

"From Delacroix to Courbet" is on view at the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten until June 14. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Schiele Meets Janssen

Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria

Egon Schiele, Selbstporträt

Egon Schiele, self-portrait, 1910

In cooperation with the Horst Janssen Museum in Oldenburg, Germany, the Leopold Museum is showing drawings and graphic works by Egon Schiele and Horst Janssen, two artists of key importance in their century. The Austrian expressionist Schiele produced at the beginning of the last century an astonishing and provocative oeuvre. Though prematurely cut off in his prime as a painter and draftsman, he was a revelation for the northern German Horst Janssen. Both shared similar interests in subject matter -- themes of Eros and death. Both worked unconventionally and provocatively, Schiele as a rebel at the beginning of the 20th century, Janssen as an artist set against the contemporary tide in the century's second half. Both artists were master draftsmen and watercolorists. Their works on paper are being placed side-by-side for the first time.

"Schiele/Janssen -- Self-manifestation, Eros and Death" runs until June 28. The exhibition is open every day but Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rauschenberg from Dada to Pop Art

Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrarra, Italy

Ausstellungstipps v. 04.03.2004 Vom Dada zu Pop Art - Robert Rauschenberg in Ferrara

Robert Rauschenberg, Memorandum of Bids, 1956

Italy is finally giving Robert Rauschenberg, one of the key figures in the development of Pop Art, a large exhibition. The Diamond Palace in the northern Italian town of Ferrara is showing nearly 100 works by the Texas-born painter. Beginning in the 1950s, Rauschenberg was key in the development of Dadaism toward Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. The works on view come from the Rauschenberg Collection, as well as international museums and collections. These include his early "white paintings," whose form and lighting changes with the movements of the viewer. The show follows Rauschenberg's own development, up to the "Arcadian retreats" and the "anagrams" of the 1990s.

Robert Rauschenberg at the Palazzo dei Diamanti is open through June 6, Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Flemish Splendor

The Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands

Some 50 highlights of Flemish painting from the 16th and 17th century from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum are now on loan to the Bonnefanten fMuseum until mid-2008 in a project called the Rijksmuseum on the Maas. The exhibition includes works from Rubens, van Dyck and Jordaens, among others. In addition, the Rijksmuseum, which is under renovation until mid-2008, and other Dutch collections have sent the Bonnefanten works of glass from Venice and elsewhere in Holland.

The exhibition "Flemish Splendor of the 16th and 17th Centuries" is open until mid-2008 Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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