VALENCIENNES.- Gérard Seghers (on 1591 - 1651), painter of Antwerpen by big religious paintings, was subordinated for such a long time by the history to his illustrious contemporary Pierre-Paul Rubens (on 1577 - 1640). We can find tracks of the rubenian art in the painting of Seghers but no more than at the other antwerpers painters of the same generation The art of Gérard Seghers thinks in the other problems. The title of this exhibition shows well the questioning lifted by Seghers.
Flemish painter, he made very early his journey in Rome (on 1611 - 1620), and in his return of Rome tried to impose this new art based on the art of the Caravaggio and called caravagisme. But instead of reproducing this Roman art in Antwerp, Seghers tried - and often succeeds - to mix him in the Flemish art of his time, resulting from artists of the XVIth century as Martin de Vos or Maarten van Heemskerck. To create this alchemy between the ancient and the contemporary appears to be the program of young and talented Seghers trying to exist in front of the machine Rubens. Seghers gave himself during ten years to this mixture of the kinds - dangerous but prosperous - and his fruit is exposed to Valenciennes today. Effectively, the exhibition covers the first ten years of the work of Gérard Seghers as master (on 1620-1630).
Besides the big sizes which shows the exhibition (coming from Liège, Frameries, Ghent, Calais), the exhibition allows to follow exactly Gérard Seghers in its creative process concerning a work, saint Philippe in bust, stemming from a continuation of fourteen paintings discovered with Anne Delvingt in 2001. The visitor can discover the preparatory drawing to this saint Philippe, to see the painting preserved to Saint-Ghislain (Belgium)), its original retort (preserved in a private collection de in Sweden) and the engraving relative to the preparatory drawing. So thus, we can follow Seghers in his reflection and in its doubts also. Testimony rarely exposed so completely by the same subject becoming refined according to its various supports.
Curator of the exhibition is Anne Delvingt, a doctor in art history of the University Libre of Brussels (Belgium). She realized her doctoral thesis on the art of Gérard Seghers. Besides, she published number of articles on this painter, in the Revue du Louvre or Burlington Magazine, for example.