The Inheritance of Charles V, 1500-1555
Revolt and War, 1555-1598
The rule of the Archdukes, 1598-1633
The Later Governors, 1633-1665
 

This first exhibition ever mounted of Flemish paintings in the Royal Collection brings together 51 works from the 15th to 17th centuries, including masterpieces by Hans Memling, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Jan Brueghel, Van Dyck and Rubens. By the 1550s the Netherlands enjoyed a level of wealth that remained unmatched in the West for centuries. The Eighty Years War with Spain, from 1568 to 1648, all but destroyed the region’s infrastructure and creative industries. The paintings in the exhibition were produced in the Southern (Spanish-ruled) Netherlands during this period of extraordinary turbulence and its immediate aftermath, when peace was finally restored to the region.