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Willem van Haecht, Apelles Painting Campaspe, c. 1630

This room is filled with paintings that are all existing Flemish, German and Italian works of art. The statues, too, are well-known classics. This ‘kunstkamer’, or art room, was painted by Willem van Haecht. It was a popular subject, particularly in Antwerp.

In the left foreground, Van Haecht depicted a story from classical antiquity. It shows Apelles painting the portrait of Campaspe, the lover of Alexander the Great. His patron thought the portrait was so beautiful that it could take Campaspe’s place, and he presented his lover to Apelles as a gift. Alexander chose art above nature.

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