Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
Anthony van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck
Quentin Massys
Friedrich von Amerling
Friedrich von Amerling
Teapot with cover
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For over 400 years, the princes of Liechtenstein have collected art and antiques

Each successive prince, with their differing views and personalities, put their personal stamp onto their acquisitions, creating a lasting family legacy with a collection of thousands of paintings, Italian bronzes, drawings and engravings, tapestries, furniture, and masterpieces from the early Renaissance to the nineteenth century.

Until 20th February the Hong Kong Palace Museum is hosting Odysseys of Art, a small part of the Princes of Liechtenstein’s collection of art and antiques.

Period paintings by Peter Paul Rubens & Anthony van Dyck

Highlights of the exhibition are works by European masters Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. An astonishing sixteen paintings by Rubens and eight by van Dyck are on show.

Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein (1657-1712) enthusiastically collected their works. He was very wealthy and keen to acquire paintings from both painters. He instructed his art dealer to search for and acquire works and in doing so, built up one of the largest private collections of works by Rubens and Van Dyck. These are amongst the most important holdings in the Princely Collections.

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) was the son of a lawyer and trained as a painter in Antwerp where he would later establish a busy and prolific workshop. 

In 1600 he went to Italy to study the works of Renaissance masters, and then spent years learning from the compositions by iconic artists such as Titian, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio.

When he returned to Antwerp in 1608, he established himself as the foremost painter in northern Europe. He was appointed court painter and worked for wealthy patrons and clients that included all the royal houses, such as those of France and Spain. 

Amongst the many highlights of the works by Rubens is the portrait of his daughter, Clara Serena. The innocent glowing face of this young child is a beloved portrayal that radiates warmth and tenderness.

Anthony van Dyck

Rubens’ Antwerp workshop created enormous volumes of paintings that required the assistance of apprentices and students. Many painters trained and contributed to Rubens’ works. One of these students was Anthony van Dyck, who would gain his own fame as a portrait painter.

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) became the most important Flemish painter after Rubens in the seventeenth century. He was highly sought after by European royalty and aristocrats.

His remarkable talent is shown in the Portrait of Maria de Tassis. It is outstanding for its luminosity and colours, showing tremendous detail in the textile, dress and jewellery of the subject.

An afternoon well spent

Seeing these paintings and the accompanying commentaries (along with the other priceless artworks and antiques) provides an opportunity to both appreciate great art and, for those interested, learn some art history. Perusing Odysseys of Art is an afternoon well spent.  

Text and Photos Cammy