Nico Van Hout gets the ball rolling this year for a series of The Rubenianum Lectures. On Sunday, 29 March, Dr. Van Hout, who is a curator at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp (KMSKA), is speaking about the relationship amongst 3 remarkable painters: Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt Harmensz. Van Rijn and Antoine Watteau.
Van Hout is the curator of the recent Rubens exhibition, Sensation and Sensuality, which was first to be seen at BOZAR and is now in the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This lecture deals with the differences with respect to aemulatio (aemulatiois survived from the classic Antiquity, having to do with sources by which one tries to exceed the example) of Rubens' oeuvre by Rembrandt and Watteau. Rembrandt is fascinated by Rubens' rendering of drama and violence and by his choice of the moment being portrayed within a mythological or Biblical story. Rembrandt likewise consciously enters into the competition by approaching the same subjects with more empathy. For his part, Watteau refines Rubens' prototypes by taking them up in to his own surreal dream world.