Masterpieces by Maeterlinck with illustrations by Spilliaert, Memling and Alechinsky are some of the works on display at the King Baudouin Foundation’s BRAFA stand.
This year, at the King Baudouin Foundation’s BRAFA stand, you can discover key works of Belgian heritage that have been acquired to display in our public collections. And, as a nod to the 2023 Year of Art Nouveau, we are also exhibiting several previously-acquired Art Nouveau pieces by Philippe & Marcel Wolfers, Paul Hankar and silver jewellery by George Morren.
This year, the King Baudouin Foundation’s stand (n° 131) will also feature an important 20th century masterpiece of Belgian heritage, namely the three volumes of Théâtre, the collected plays of Maurice Maeterlinck, illustrated with original drawings by Léon Spilliaert (1902-1903). Listed as a major Flemish work, the volumes were part of a private collection for many years before being purchased by the KBF thanks to a legacy from the philanthropist Eliane Vercaempt, and given on loan to the Belgian Royal Museums of Fine Arts. Through this financial support and the intervention of the King Baudouin Foundation, Théâtre is now accessible to everyone. This rescue operation of a valuable part of Belgium’s heritage succeeded thanks to the unique collaboration of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Flemish Community and the KBF.
The King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS) has recently facilitated the donation of a painting by Hans Memling to the Saint John’s Hospital in Bruges. The purchase has meant that the portrait of Francisco de Rojas has returned home from the United States, to the city where Memling painted it in the 15th century. This masterpiece, by one of the most important Flemish Primitive painters, will exceptionally be on display at this year’s BRAFA.
The King Baudouin Foundation is also exhibiting a number of drawings by the internationally renowned Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky, created for his book Extrait pour traits. The maquette was purchased by the Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund. There are 88 drawings that engage in dialogue with texts by authors including Pol Bury, Hugo Claus, Christian Dotremont and Luc de Heusch.
You may recognise the Art Nouveau jewellery designed by the renowned painter George Morren. The King Baudouin Foundation purchased the pieces at last year’s BRAFA, thanks to the Christian Bauwens Fund. The silver coat hook and six ladies’ buttons are unique Art Nouveau pieces, coming from the artist’s estate.
At the start of 2023 – the Year of Art Nouveau in Brussels – the King Baudouin Foundation hopes that you will come and discover some of the other exceptional Art Nouveau pieces from its collection. Folding screens created by Paul Hankar, a leading figure in modern architecture, will be presented, alongside drawings from the famous Wolfers collection and a special silver table service that Philippe Wolfers designed for Victor Horta, Art Nouveau architect par excellence.
Finally, modern paintings by Hugo Duchateau (acquired by the PASF Fund), and by Louis Van Lint (from the Thomas Neirynck collection), a sculpture by Serge Vandercam and a beautiful 15th century retable fragment.
Would you like more information about the King Baudouin Foundation and our heritage?
The King Baudouin Foundation has been committed to protecting and preserving Belgium’s heritage for more than 30 years. Every year, we present a selection of our most recent acquisitions (purchases and donations) to the general public at BRAFA.
BRAFA Art Fair
29 January - 5 February 2023
Open from 11am to 7pm (Thursday 2 February open until 10pm)
Brussels Expo I Heysel, Palaces 3 & 4
Stand King Baudouin Foundation: nr 131