DIERIC BOUTS. Creator of images

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In the autumn of 2023, M will present a major retrospective exhibition on Dieric Bouts  as part of the 'New Horizons | Dieric Bouts Festival'. Never before have so many works by the Flemish Master come together in his home city. Moreover, you get a completely new look at work that is more than five centuries old — through a radical confrontation with today's visual culture.

Dieric Bouts (ca. 1410-1475), who can be mentioned in the same breath as Jan Van Eyck or Rogier Van der Weyden, is one of the most important Flemish Masters. The painter spent most of his life in Leuven, where he painted his best panels - rich scenes, powerful portraits and otherworldly landscapes. In 1472 Bouts was even appointed city painter of the city, an honorary title. At that time, Leuven was undergoing gigantic urban renewal and was experiencing glory days with its new university – the ideal context for Bouts to develop as a Renaissance artist.

The concept of this exhibition is certainly radical: we should not view Bouts as an artist. The image we have today of the artiste peintre did not yet exist in the 15th century. Dieric Bouts was not a romantic genius or a brilliant inventor, he was an image maker. He painted what was expected of him and excelled at it – just think of masterpieces such as 'The Last Supper' and 'The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus'. That is why it makes sense to confront Bouts with today's image makers: sports photographers, filmmakers, game developers. In M they will stand side by side with the old master.

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