Flemish Masters

Hello, I'm Anthony van Dyck

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Google likes Bruegel. Find out why

It's best to take your time when looking at Bruegel's work. Just call it 'slow looking'. The longer you look at a painting, the more you are drawn into it and the greater the number of subtle yet masterful details you will discover. That is also the reason why Google is so interested in this painter.

Brussels

And yet there is nothing that beats actually experiencing Bruegel's work in his hometown. The best way to do this is to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, where you'll find a wide range of Bruegel's paintings. Here is just a selection from the staggering collection:

  • 'The Fall of the Rebel Angels', a painting full of hybrid creatures and fanciful characters
  • 'The Census of Bethlehem', a masterpiece that invites you to take a walk among the farmers, pilgrims, playing children and gypsies
  • 'The Fall of Icarus', the famous painting with its refined and Oriental-looking visual style

It is precisely this diversity that characterises Bruegel's exceptional talent. Very few artists are able to comine such differences in style with such skill. Furthermore, this Flemish master is exceptional in terms of both his composition and his painting techniques. Bruegel's works are often very lively and detailed, yet simultaneously radiate an extraordinary amount of tranquillity and balance. His sons were unable to emulate their father's talent, but did reproduce quite a number of his paintings. These are also on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, hanging next to the work of their father in a unique combination.


Unseen Masterpieces, Museums der Schönen Künste, Brüssel

Unseen Masterpieces, Museum of Fin Arts, Brussels - © KMSKB

Brussels

Study the miniatures of the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. This is where you'll also find De Librije, the library of the dukes of Burgundy, which houses around 300 original manuscripts dating back to that time.


Miniaturen

Royal Library, Keizerslaan, Brussels - © Op zoek nr Utopia

Westhoek

The Westhoek still tells the story of the First World War, more than one hundred years after it broke out. Here, you'll find hundreds of monuments and cemeteries that have great historical significance for people from all over the world. It is a place that leaves you speechless.

Französischer Militärfriedhof Saint Charles de Potyze

French Military Cemetery, Saint Charles de Potyze - © Thierry Caignie - Westtoek

Lier

Discover one of the many beguinages in Flanders, like the one in Lier. In gated communities such as this one, which is on the list of UNESCO heritage sites, life moves on at a slightly slower pace. Plan your visit.


Beginenhof, Begijnhofstraat, Lier

Beguinage, Begijnhofstraat, Lier - © Instagram visitlier - Source

Ostend

Admire the great master James Ensor at the Mu.ZEE. He based his work on sources from folk art and elevated them to masterpieces. Just like Bruegel's oeuvre, Ensor's work entreats you to engage in slow looking.


Mu-Zee, Romestraat, Oostende

Mu-Zee, Romestraat, Ostend - © Instagram samlaplante - Source

Have you fallen under the spell of the Baroque period?

I'd love to tell you more about it.

Baroque is not an artistic movement, it's a way of life.

Ask the other guides as well.