Flemish masters

Architecture, design, landscape

Nice to meet you. My name is Nicolaas Rockox and for a number of years during the 17th century I was the mayor of Antwerp. Are you interested in the stunning Baroque palaces of Antwerp and in architecture in general? Let me show you the most beautiful places in Flanders.

Flanders is bursting with beautiful national heritage in different architectural styles.

I would love to show you the stunning old buildings and new architecture.

Fully experience Flanders' wealth.

Meet the other guides.

Discover the portrait of Nicolaas Rockox

Nicolaas Rockox
Painter: Peter Paul Rubens
Year: 1545
Visit me: KMSKA, Antwerp

Hello, my name is Nicolaas Rockox (1560-1640). Nice to meet you.

​​​I was close friends with Peter Paul Rubens for a number of years and during the 17th century I was the mayor of Antwerp. As a patron for the arts, I commissioned multiple paintings from Rubens and other artists, including Anthony van Dyck (my colleague guide for the Flemish Masters), Jan van Eyck and Pieter Bruegel. 

In 1613 I asked Rubens to paint a triptych – a three-fold paneled painting – to express commitment to my faith. In the centre panel, he depicted the apparition of Christ before the incredulous Thomas, the figure on the right, who refused to accept that the Son of God had risen from the dead. The old man beside Thomas is Peter, the apostle who renounced Jesus by denying their friendship on no fewer than three occasions. The third figure is Paul who, prior to his conversion, had persecuted Christians. Yet Christ forgave all three men their sins and admitted them to the Heavenly Kingdom.

On the side panels, Rubens portrayed Mrs Rockox, Adriana Perez, and myself. Look close and you will see my wife holding a rosary, a symbol of faith. We are begging for forgiveness of our sins and praying to be admitted to heaven.

Unfortunatly, I died without any children and my collection was publicly sold. But I’m happy to see that my home, the Rockox House, is now renovated and can be visited.