Flemish and Dutch Painting at the Musee des Augustins
From 18th December 2004 to 9th April 2005
When the Museum of Toulouse was created in 1793, it was mainly built up of works seized from churches and private individuals during the Revolution. Amongst the collections confiscated from aristocrats, that of the Bishop of Montauban, Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, was particularly rich in small Northern paintings. These formed the basis for the collection.
Following the Napoleonic campaigns, many works were sent to the Louvre then shared out to fifteen major regional museums, including that of Toulouse. Our museum thus received the majority of its large Flemish Baroque paintings in 1803, 1805 and 1812.
The third major contribution was that of the Maury bequest in 1892. This merchant from Toulouse, having made his fortune in California, built up a collection of rare pictures by lesser-known masters.
Add several purchases in the 19th and 20th Centuries and some pictures deposited here by the Louvre, and the result is a little-known and certainly incomplete collection, but one that has some delightful discoveries in store, thanks to the restoration campaigns carried out for this exhibition.
After studying the beginnings of Dutch painting, the exhibition helps give an understanding of the national character of the Flemish and Dutch schools. In spite of its particularly local nature, Northern painting was open to international influences, especially those of Italy and France. This exhibition will centre on the life in an artist's studio.