Carlos de Amberes Foundation
The Carlos de Amberes Foundation, located in the Salamanca district, is a non-profit private cultural institution. Its creation is the result of the desire expressed by a Flemish man to bequeath his entire fortune to Madrid in 1594 to create this institution and is still fully active four hundred years later.
The foundation promotes programmes and activities in the humanistic and scientific fields. Today, it carries out diverse activities, such as exhibitions, concerts, courses, conferences, etc. Its updated programme can be consulted on the official website.
Furthermore, its rooms display the painting “The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew” by Pedro Pablo Rubens, which can be visited from Monday to Friday.
This painting historic, a property of the Carlos de Amberes Foundation, was commissioned to Rubens by Jan van Vucht, a Flemish citizen who lived in Madrid as an agent of the famous printer from Antwerp, Balthasar Moretus, leaving it on his death in 1639 to the San Andrés de los Flamencos Hospital, origin of today’s Carlos de Amberes Foundation. In the same will, a frame was commissioned for the painting, which is the original that we can still see today.
It is an absolute masterpiece from the end of the Rubens period, which he finished painting just one year before his death. In it, his colour palette inspired by the free, loose and luminous brushstrokes of the Venetian Titian stands out, along with his great dynamically Baroque compositional skill, as well as the great narrative clarity and the game of expressions and gestures that made him famous throughout Europe.