Architecture, design, landscape

It's nice to meet you. My name is Nicolaas Rockox, lover of beautiful things and long-time mayor of Antwerp in the 17th century. Rubens was a personal friend of mine, so art and architecture are no strangers to me. Are you interested in the beautiful Baroque palaces of Antwerp or architecture in general? Then you should definitely come to Flanders between 2018 and 2020 while the Flemish Masters are being celebrated. I'll be happy to show you the most beautiful places to visit.

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

Peter Paul Rubens, portrait of Nicolaas Rockox (1613) - © Rockox House, Antwerp © www.lukasweb.be - Art In Flanders vzw - photo Rik Klein Gotink

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.