The ports we will visit feature some of the greatest collections of art in the world, from the encyclopedic Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to the cathedrals of Western Europe and Brazil, the mosques and palaces of the Islamic World, and the folk art centers of West Africa and the Caribbean. Through visual and contextual analyses, we will prepare voyagers for richer encounters with both historic masterworks and modern trends in the art of the Atlantic World.
Field WorkCountry: Belgium
Day: 1 - Antwerp - Sunday, 14 September
We will explore the city of Antwerp and its many connections to its most famous native son, the artist Peter Paul Rubens. We will begin our tour at the Grote Markt (the main square of the old city center), with its towering 16th century Stadhuis (City Hall). Then, we will walk down Hoogstraat, a lively pedestrian street, to the Plantin-Moretus Museum, which commemorates two of the most influential printers in 16th century Europe. Its collections include some of the oldest printing presses in the world, antiquarian books and prints, original furnishings, and works by Rubens who worked with the printing house on book illustrations. After lunch, we will go to Groenplaats (a large square with a statue of Rubens) and proceed down the fashionable shopping street, the Meir, to Rubenshuis (Rubens’s House/Studio) on Wapper. Afterwards, we will visit the Cathedral of our Lady, the main Gothic cathedral of Antwerp. As it happens, since the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp is closed for renovation until 2017, the cathedral is now hosting an exhibition of eight monumental altarpieces from the museum’s collection. Entitled “Reunion, From Quentin Matsys to Peter Paul Rubens, Masterpieces from the Royal Museum Reunited in the Cathedral,” this exhibition is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these altarpieces in their original setting. We will conclude our tour with the Cathedral to Sint Pauluskerk (St. Paul’s Church), which has an impressive collection of altarpieces by Rubens and other 17th century Flemish painters. Academic Objectives: 1. To become familiar with Antwerp and its 17th century art and architecture . 2. To gain insight into the life and career of Peter Paul Rubens and how an artist lived and worked in the 17th century. 3. To witness and explore various curatorial methods of presenting and interpreting art.