Abondance: Dutch or Flemish ?

In the 1650 ‘s the Abondance was a popular design. It has and still ornate a room of Rubens house in Antwerp.

The dispute about the origin of this panel, is it Dutch, or is it Flemish, is not yet set. There are no facts, no documents, that set this matter. Today, “authority’s” in this particular field, will catalogue this design as Dutch.

I tend to say its Flemish (as I am ) not just out of misplaced proud, this design reflects the Flemish baroque mind and soul, its opulent and rich, it’s a showcase. The Dutch in this period were incline to introspection. Protestantism made them ponder about life and death, think of the popular Vanitas paintings the Dutch loved so much. Or the, superb, domestic paintings of Vermeer. Most of the dutch painting of that period was small-scale. smaller housing and a more modest way of living and an intellectual richness of inner life are not in favor of a Dutch attribution.

In Flanders the spirit was very different, it was festive, luxurious and opulent. appearances were important, the inner life not to be shown. Rubens and Jordaens were the artists whom dominated this period, the scale of Flemish paintings was large not ot say huge sometimes. This makes this design very Flemish to me.

         The Abondance is composed out of a left and a right hand panel, in our workshop we call this panel the Left Hand Abondance, the particularity of this panel is a pronounced embossing. Here a sample of  a polychrome panel on a silver background.

 Details do matter …


This is the Right Hand Abondance  Silver on Grey background with Gilded Birds.


One thought on “Abondance: Dutch or Flemish ?

  1. To me either the Abondance motif is flemish!

    It is very beautiful Frederic! I have some pictures of leather panels that your sister had given me a few years ago and I think this Abondance theme is seen one of them!
    The colours you use are just stunning!
    Do you have still a demand for your leather panels from Belgian interior decorators ?
    If you ever have pictures of a room where is used your leather, can you show us some? It really would interest me!
    Have a nice Sunday!

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