Between Commemoration and Glorification: The 17th-century wars depicted by Rubens’s contemporary Peter Snayers

Leen Kelchtermans, 29 June 2014

This lecture focused on the 17th-century painter Peter Snayers (1592-1667), who was famous for his battle scenes. Born in Antwerp, he moved to Brussels in 1628. The lecture examined for the first time his large network of contacts in Antwerp and his social aspirations in Brussels, and dwelt on Snayers’s ability to produce large, highly accurate topographical battle scenes without witnessing the events at first hand. Kelchtermans drew on unpublished archival documents to illuminate the military figures who commissioned work from Snayers and the functions of Snayers’s war paintings. She also paid particular attention to the blurred line between commemoration and glorification, the balance between fact and fiction, and the borrowings from Peter Paul Rubens in Snayers’s oeuvre.