Joachim Patinir is a 16th century Flemish artist, contemporary of Bosch, that has gradully slipped into oblivion, despite the quality of his works and especially the fact that he is, by all means, considered to be the father of landscape painting as we conceive it today. Little known to the larger public and an enigma to some of the specialists, Patinir was not a prolific artist and so far only a handfew of his works have found their way into private or museums collections. So the study of his works and biography have posed a difficult chalenge for a long time, even to the best art historians. So the initiative of the Museo del Prado in Madrid of organising an exhibition dedicated to this unique artist, titled " Patinir and the Invention of Landscape", opened between 3 July - 7 October 2007 is a welcome one.
The curators have selected a total of 48 paintings, 22 by Patinir (of the 29 atributed to him) and the rest (canvases and works on paper) signed by some of his most important predecessors and followers, trying to present in this way the influences, themes, techniques and creative world of this artist. Also, the organisers will publish a full colour catalogue of Patinir's work, hoping that this will become the mai reference for the study of the painter's creations.
Little is known about Patinir's biography. He is still considered to be the inventor of landscape painting, and his few surviving works show him as a painter with an original, and poetic vision, yet marked by an interesting sadness. Most of the works have seldom or even never been taken out of deposits for exhibitions, as they are oils on panel, which must have strict conservation conditions. Six of them are from Spanish collections (no few that four from the Prado, which has the larger collection of the painter's works), as most of Patinir's works are to be found in Spain. It is the best and certainly most ambitious exhibition dedicated to a Flemish artist of the 16th century, put together at the Museo del Prado. Other canvases are loans from other famous museums world wide, such as Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna , Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Yorkor El Escorial.
Photo : cgfa.sunsite.dk