Flanders is a breeding ground for artistic trends. Now and in the past
Rubens and Antwerp, Gaudi and Barcelona, Warhol and New York. The city was their muse and in turn, their genius helped to shape the city. Antwerp is a must-visit for true art enthusiasts.
Bridge between passion and reason
Flanders has always been a coveted region. It lies on a strategic crossroads in Europe. Philip the Good, Napoleon, and William of Orange all "appropriated" the region. And you can feel it. It is the bridge between the passionate south and the efficient north, and both of these currents can also be discerned in Rubens' work.
"Flanders remains a home to many artists."
Then and now.
Flanders was a vastly prosperous region at the time. Church leaders, wealthy traders and political heavyweights had the necessary capital to order expensive works of art, which made it possible for such a relatively small region to generate so many painters and movements. Flanders remains the home of many artists. Here's a small selection:
The classics: the van Eyck brothers, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Pieter Brueghel the elder, and more
The modern: René Magritte, James Ensor, Rik Wouters...
The contemporary: Panamarenko, Luc Tuymans, Michaël Borremans, Jan Fabre, Dirk Braeckman...
After the post-war period, too, Antwerp continued to be one of Europe's cultural hotspots with a strong avant-garde flow. Visit the picturesque sculpture park of the Middelheim, MHKA, the studio of Joseph Peeters, or enter into a lively conversation about humanism with the owner of the Black Panther Gallery. Also well worth a visit are Zeno X or Tim van Laere. Both Antwerp galleries represent famous artists, but there is more than Antwerp – there is quite simply a lot happening in the whole of Flanders.
Brussels also plays a leading role in the contemporary art scene. This is underscored by the many international galleries that have been established in the city.
Almost nowhere else will you find the great art cities as close to each other as in Flanders.
Are you interested in painting? Then I recommend the following places: