The Rubens House, Antwerp, permanent damask exhibition
Visit the linen room in museum the Rubens House in Antwerp, and it seems as though Rubens’ wife is in the middle of caring for her linen. She has neatly placed 3 tablecloths, 18 napkins and 10 cloths between the planks of her beautiful 17th-century linen press. The door to her linen cabinet is open, where you can see the tablecloths and the carefully folded piles of napkins.
Two napkins hang on the wall in all their glory: one with the design of hunting scenes and another with a scattered flowers design. The bed is also made up with an antique linen bedsheet with entredeux bobbin lace. This is how the museum becomes even more like the home in which Rubens lived, worked and relaxed.
The museum director is pleased with this long-term loan, which he called: “A valuable addition”. The project is still on-going: the plan is to lay Rubens’ table with a four-metre long, 17th-century linen damask tablecloth depicting the annunciation by the Angel Gabriel to Mary.
Sanny de Zoete developed the concept for the refurnishing of the linen room and provided the 17th and 18th-century damask for the linen press and the cabinet from her private collection. This permanent exhibition has been open to visitors since 2014.