The collections of Renaissance art in the Northern and Southern Netherlands include several works of high quality. These works are proof of the constant close contact between the Toulouse region and Northern artists.
Thus, the Descent from the Cross from the Parliament has been in Toulouse since the 16th century. Painted around 1520-1530, this arched panel remains anonymous. We don't know whether it was brought to Toulouse from the Netherlands or produced by one of the many travelling artists, whose names have been passed down through the archives. Scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist (see panorama) from the mid-16th century also passed through Toulouse Parliament and bears witness to the same story. Toulouse, gateway to Spain, saw many Flemish painters pass through, as was perhaps the case for Storm - who became Esturmio in Seville - the painter of The Entombment, painted in Flanders before he set off for the Iberian Peninsula.
Ferdinand STORM, dit également
Hernando ESTURMIO (Zierickzee, 1500 vers - Séville, 1556),
La Déposition du Christ,
Inv. 2007 2 1
Photo Daniel Martin
At the very end of the Renaissance, we have chosen to present Mankind before the Flood by Cornelis van Haarlem (see panorama). Although it is dated 1616, this painting has all the features of the Mannerism of the Haarlem School, defined around 1590, featuring sturdy human figures, courtly outdoor conversation and subtle allegories. Thus the idyll is threatened by the imminent arrival of Noah's Ark and the flood. All of the erudition and academic culture of Haarlem, one of the centres of Mannerism in Northern Europe along with Prague and Fontainebleau, shines through in this strong, ambitious composition.