Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels

Belgian Royal Museum of Fine ArtsBelgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Belgium's Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1875-81), one of the largest and best art galleries in the world, extends for some distance along the Rue de la Régence (Regentschapsstraat) from the west side of the Place Royale. The museum grew out of a collection first set up in 1797 and originally housed in the former palace of Charles of Lorraine. This was transferred to the newly established Musées Royaux in 1846. In 1978 a major program of modernization was undertaken involving enlargement of the museum by the addition of an underground extension. The entire collection was reorganized and divided into two parts, the Musée d'art ancien (15th to 18th C.) occupying the old building, and the Musée d'art moderne (mainly 19th and 20th C. Belgian works) in the new section lit by a shaft opening onto the Place du Musée. The main entrance is in the Rue de la Régence.
Official site:
Address: Rue du Musée 9, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts Highlights

Museum of Ancient Art

The museum is world famous for its collection of Flemish and Dutch Old Masters. This includes works by Petrus Christus ("Pietà"), Rogier van der Weyden ("The Mourning of Christ"), Dirk Bouts ("Judgment of the Emperor Otto"), Hans Memling, and a fine "Adoration of the Magi" by Gerard David. Also on view are Quentin Massys' triptych with the Life of St Anne (one of the best examples of the work of the man regarded by many as the supreme artist of the transitional period from the 15th to the 16th C.), a triptych with the Trials of Job by Bernard van Orley, an "Entombment" by the same artist, and a portrait by Lucas Cranach. Among the highpoints of the collection are two works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, "Census at Bethlehem" and "The Fall of Icarus". Among paintings of the 17th C. Flemish school are a number by Rubens himself ("Adoration of the Magi", "Calvary", and an unusual landscape painting) and several large altar pictures from his workshop. Jordaens is represented by a number of his very best works of which the finest is his "Allegory of Fertility". There are also paintings by van Dyck and by David Teniers, the latter's "Flemish Fair" being outstanding. Although the quality of the paintings from the 17th C. Dutch school is generally speaking not so high, among the more notable are pictures by Frans Hals, Rembrandt, van der Helst, Thomas de Keyzer and Nicolaus Maes, also the genre paintings by Jan Steen and Gabriel Metsu and a number of delightful landscapes.
The collection also includes other works mainly of the Italian, Spanish and French schools.
Address: Rue du Musée 9, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Museum of Modern Art

The museum of modern art occupies the ground floor of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the new below-ground extension is contoured into the slope of the hill. Most of the works displayed are by Belgian artists. Neo-Classicism (Navez) and Romanticism (Wappers) are well represented, while among other 19th C. works on view is the very famous "Assassination of Marat" by the French artist Jacques-Louis David. The collection of 20th C. painting includes works by James Ensor, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, Fernande Khnopff, Rik Wouters, Frits van den Berghe and the non-Belgian Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Salvador Dali.
Address: Rue du Musée 9, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Palais de Charles de Lorraine

The former palace of Charles of Lorraine abuts the northwest side of the Place du Musée as it runs down to the Mont des Arts. The palace is part of a larger building which, in the 18th C., was the residence of the governor of the Austrian Netherlands and which has recently been very well restored.

Rene Magritte Retrospective

During March 6 through June 28, 1998, Belgium will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rene Magritte. A major retrospective will be held at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels.

Paul Delvaux

Paul Delvaux - A Major Retrospective has been held at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels in order to honor Paul Delvaux.

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