Works of art

The figures in the portraits take the visitor back in time. Masterpieces from art history by the likes of Quentin Massys, Jan van Scorel, Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, introduce you to the history and variety of portrait art. From religious altarpieces incorporating devout patrons to characterful head studies, and from ‘selfies’ to solemn, stately portraits. Children’s portraits and monumental still lifes by Frans Snyders show that the subjects of these paintings were once flesh-and-blood people with their own peculiarities and agendas, ambitions and higher goals. Sometimes highly personal and hyperindividual, sometimes a little dusty – ladies and gentlemen who were very much children of their time. More often than not, though, their dreams and pretensions are surprisingly timeless and disconcertingly familiar.

BLIND DATE is an appointment with history: an encounter with men and women from long lost centuries. Yet for those prepared to look closely, the borderline between past and present is paper-thin.