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THE ART OF LAW

FROM 28 OCTOBER 2016 TO 5 FEBRUARY 2017


THREE CENTURIES OF JUSTICE DEPICTED

(c) Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp


In the fifteenth century, it was customary to decorate courtrooms with works of art that were intended to 'encourage’ the aldermen and judges to perform their duties in an honest and conscientious manner. These works often depicted the supreme moment of divine justice: the Last Judgement. But other scenes from the Bible were also used, as were images from more profane sources. Together, these are known as the ‘exempla iustitiae’ (meaning ‘examples of fair justice’). In 1498, Gerard David was commissioned by the city council of Bruges to paint just such a work: The Judgement of Cambyses. This remarkably gruesome painting once hung in the courtroom of Bruges town hall and is now one of the finest masterpieces in the Groeningemuseum. Subjects relating to justice were also depicted outside the courtroom in paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and stained glass windows. ‘The Art of Law’ exhibition has brought together some twenty works of art from the collections of Musea Brugge, supplemented by about hundred other pieces on loan from galleries and museums both at home and abroad. They paint a fascinating picture of the way in which justice and the law were represented in art during the Ancien Régime.


The exhibition also leaves the confines of the museum and moves into the city centre. In  collaboration with the guide associations, a special city walk - ‘On the right track’ - has been developed. It takes in the many places where the administration of justice and the law has left its mark over the centuries on the cityscape of Bruges.The Flemish Research Centre for Art in the Burgundian Netherlands is also devoting four of its autumn lectures to the exhibition.In addition, the exhibition is the subject of an academic conference, in which some thirty researchers from different countries will contribute to ongoing scientific research into ‘the law’ as a theme in art from the late medieval period up to the nineteenth century. This academic conference will take place from 16 to 18 January 2017 and is organized in collaboration with the Institute for Legal History of the University of Ghent.


GROENINGEMUSEUM DIJVER 12
8000 BRUGES, BELGIUM
INFORMATION: • Phone: +32 50 44 87 43
• Website: www.museabrugge.be
• Mail : musea.reservatie@brugge.be

OPENING TIMES: • From Tuesday to Sunday: 09:30 - 17:00
• Closed on Mondays
ADMISSION PRICE: • € 8
• € 6 (red.)
incl. permanent collection + Brugse Vrije

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