Breathtaking Baalbek

1 April until 25 September 2016

Baalbek-painting by Teun van Staveren (acrylic on panel, Ø 98 cm)Baalbek-painting by Teun van Staveren (acrylic on panel, Ø 98 cm)
Baalbek-painting by Teun van Staveren (acrylic on panel, Ø 98 cm)Baalbek-painting by Teun van Staveren (acrylic on panel, Ø 98 cm)

From 1 April 2016, twenty paintings by the artist Teun van Staveren (b. 1951, Zwolle) will be on display in the Tempelzaal. They show the Roman ruins of the town of Baalbek. These works reflect Van Staveren's fascination with the unparalleled size and impressive details of the architecture. 

Vast complex of Roman temples

The ruins of Baalbek lie in the Beqaa valley in eastern Lebanon, close to the Syrian border. Excavations have revealed that this settlement has a history going back at least five thousand years. Baalbek's great fame is due mainly to the temples built there in the Roman era. Furthermore, the site of the ruins is breathtakingly beautiful, in the midst of a valley surrounded by – often snow-capped – mountains. 

The Temple of Bacchus: 69 metres long 

The vast complex of forecourts, temples, temple podia, and underground passageways is exceptionally well preserved. The Temple of Bacchus, for instance, is the largest Roman temple still standing, in an almost complete form, today. It measures 69 by 36 metres, with 42 columns that are 19 metres high.

The paintings: attention to detail

Since 1997, Teun van Staveren has visited Baalbek several times, so that he could capture the essence of the temples in his paintings. He is fascinated not only by the large dimensions of the structures, but also by the fine architectural details throughout the site. In his work, he therefore wished to convey not only the majesty of the complex, but also the passion and attention to detail that it expresses. After five visits, he had accumulated enough impressions, sketches, and measurements to create the paintings in this exhibition. 


Several paintings have already been sold. The others are available for purchase. If you are interested, please contact the artist through his website.


More work by Teun van Staveren will be exhibited at Kunstzaal van Heijningen in The Hague from 7 April to 1 May 2016.