Bruges: Birthplace of the Flemish Primitives
The Ghent Altarpiece may belong to Ghent, but Jan van Eyck was also a resident of Bruges. He was a court painter in Bruges under the Burgundian dukes and gave the city two incredible masterpieces. That is why Bruges is also shining the spotlight on the great Jan van Eyck.
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In the Burgundian era, Flanders was experiencing a golden age, its own renaissance. The dukes chose Bruges as one of their residences. At the same time, they requested the services of Jan van Eyck as a court painter. There he created a few of his best works, of which two can still be seen in Bruges. 'Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele' still hangs in the Groeninge Museum. Here you can also find Van Eyck's famous portrait of his wife, Margaret.
These two masterpieces are the inspiration for the exhibition, Jan van Eyck in Bruges. It zooms in on the life, work and creative process of this master painter. If you want to go deeper into his world, you can follow the walking route Traces of Jan van Eyck in Bruges, which explores the impact the artist left on the city.
Another highlight of Bruges is the former pharmacy, St. John's Hospital. This historic building is also now a museum and houses a few spectacular works by Hans Memling, a Flemish primitive and a contemporary of Van Eyck. His famous St. Ursula Shrine is the main showpiece. In 2020, St. John's Hospital will be exploring the influence Memling continues to have on contemporary art.
Two exhibitions in picturesque Bruges: