Exquisite Corpses / Erwin Olaf’s homage to Egmont

01 July 2018 - 26 August 2018

Death is omnipresent in the history of Gaasbeek Castle. But one man’s loss was another man’s gain. The castle always rose again, like a phoenix from its ashes. This vanitas, or transience of life in the castle, was captured stunningly in 2012 by Dutch master photographer, Erwin Olaf (°1959). He shot photos inspired by the painting 'The Last Tribute to the Counts of Egmont and Horne' (1851) by Louis Gallait, which portrays the deceased Count of Egmont (1522-1568), one of the most striking former castle residents.

Gaasbeek Castle is resuming this exhibition specially for this vanitas year. These impressive photographs show Egmont’s entourage and the Brabant nobility paying him their last respects. Olaf has added some striking female figures, with a nod to Marchioness Arconati Visconti, the last owner of the castle. In addition, he has integrated Belgian fashion (with accessories by names such as Delvaux, Ann Demeulemeester, Jean-Paul Knott, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Elvis Pompilio, Kaat Tilley, Dries Van Noten, Wouters & Hendrix) into the main scene and the derived portraits. The icing on the cake is a monumental photo of a 'real' vanitas piece, constructed around Egmont’s heart, which is preserved in a lead box.

Brasserie Graaf van Egmond presents the Exhibition Menu (1st July - 28th August 2018):

Starter: Soup of leeks with chives
Main Course: Pie of chicken with bacon, grapes and cream
Dessert: Still life of vanilla ice cream with a baroque coulis of red fruit

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