Katlijne Van der Stighelen curated the first exhibition on the 17th century painter Michaelina Wautier and her younger brother Charles Wautier (1609 -1703), after this enigmatic brother-sister pair had been forgotten for centuries. The exhibition was staged at the Antwerp Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), in collaboration with the Rubens House.
Very little is known about Michaelina Wautier herself. Her life is barely documented. Born in Mons, this artist moved to Brussels soon after 1640, together with her brother Charles. Both remained unmarried and lived in a stately town house near the Chapel Church. Michaelina distinguishes herself from her female counterparts due to her focus on many different genres. Besides taking on portraits and genre paintings, she also turned her hand to large format historical pieces – a challenge that even many male painters resisted. She effortlessly portrayed religious themes and mythological scenes. She observed everyday reality and painted both poignant children’s portraits and astonishing and interesting figures.
The BRAFA organisation would like to thank the In artibus Foundation and its founder Inna Bazhenova, Prof. Dr. Katlijne Van der Stighelen, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Moscow, VISIT FLANDERS and BRAFA’s representative in Russia Ekaterina Limonad for their support.