Belgian Art at the NCA Lahore

One World News, Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan, 12.04.09. "Two hundred students and special guests attended the lecture on Belgian art given by Mariano Akerman at the National College of Arts in Lahore. The event was opened by a moving welcome from Prof. Naazish Ata-Ullah and the remarks of Belgian Ambassador Hans Kint. During the lecture, Mariano Akerman dealt with the importance of mimesis (imitation) and fantasy in Belgian imagery, considering their interplay from the fifteenth century up to the present. The mimetic approach to reality was illustrated by the work of artists such as Jan van Eyck, Rogier de la Pasture, Teniers, Rubens, Van Dyck and Constantin Meunier. Imagination had its representatives in the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Joris Hoefnagel, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, James Ensor, René Magritte and Jean-Michel Folon. The lecturer analyzed the mechanisms which operate in each approach. He demonstrated that considerable symbolism accompanies realistic imagery and that, far from being capricious or irrational, the art of imagination encapsulates its own truth. Because of his educational contribution to Pakistan, Mariano Akerman was granted with the Molka-Sajjad Prize, which he received from the Authorities of the National College of Arts in Lahore yesterday."

Akerman, Belgian Species, digital collage, April 2009

« Monsieur Mariano Akerman est un historien d'art qui sait partager sa passion. À l'occasion d'une conférence sur l'art belge donnée au National College of Arts de Lahore, il a montré combien il maîtrise parfaitement son sujet, "tressant" habilement les mises en évidence de l'oscillation et de l'imbrication des concepts de mimesis et de fantaisie, selon les perspectives historiques et spatiales qui caractérisent la peinture belge. » - Christian Adam de Villiers, Directeur, Alliance Française de Lahore

Limbourg Brothers, "January", Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, c. 1413-16. Musée Condé, Chantilly

Jan van Eyck, "Adam", Mystique Lamb Altarpiece, 1432. Cathedral Saint-Bavon, Ghent

Peter Paul Rubens, Saturn devouring one of his sons, 1636. Museo del Prado, Madrid

Émile Claus, The Girl with the Ducks, c. 1883

James Ensor, Squeletons willing to warm themselves up, 1889

René Magritte, The Taste of Tears, 1948. Oil, 60 x 50 cm.

Jean-Michel Folon, Yes to Thought, watercolor

The National College of Arts, Lahore
Photographs by Mariano Akerman

Mariano Akerman: Belgian Art Lectures to Pakistan, 2008-2010


La Palabra

Francisco Luis Bernárdez, poeta y diplomático argentino, 1900-1978

En cada ser, en cada cosa, en cada
palpitación, en cada voz que siento
espero que me sea revelada
esa palabra de que estoy sediento.

Aguardo a que la diga el firmamento,
pero su boca inmensa está callada;
la busco por el mar y por el viento,
pero el viento y el mar no dicen nada.

Hasta los picos de los ruiseñores
y las puertas cerradas de las flores
me niegan lo que quiero conocer.

Sólo en mi corazón oigo un sonido
que acaso tenga un vago parecido
con lo que esa palabra puede ser.