“An Ardent Benefactor”: Nicolaas Rockox and the Franciscan Friary of Antwerp

Valérie Herremans, 15 December 2013

Two masterpieces from the Rubens collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) were commissioned from Pieter Paul Rubens by Nicolaas Rockox for the church of the Franciscan friary in Antwerp, since lost: the Rockox Triptych, depicting Doubting Thomas and portraits of Rockox and his wife, and the renowned Coup de Lance, once the church’s altarpiece. The works were commissioned as part of a large commemorative project that Rockox devised for himself and his wife around his burial place in this church.

In this lecture Valérie Herremans described the genesis of these works and the motives underlying the commission in the context of private commissions and donations of works of art to religious institutions in the 17th century.