Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Brussels: area by area: The Upper Town – Musées Royaux de Beaux-Arts: Musée d’Art Ancien


The Museum of Ancient Art houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 15th to the 18th century. The core of the collection is made up of works of art confiscated during the revolutionary period and works of art deposited by the French State. The collection has been subsequently enhanced thanks to not only acquisitions, but also donations and bequests from numerous patrons.

Paintings from the former Southern Netherlands represent the bulk of the collection. The works are presented in chronological order in order to allow visitors to apprehend the development and evolution of the pictorial art of these regions under the Ancien Régime.

The circuit starts majestically with the precious panels of Primitive Flemish artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Dirk Bouts, Hans Memling and Hieronymus Bosch. Visitors then discover the rich panorama of the numerous artistic movements which developed in the 16th century, culminating in the Bruegel room where four important paintings of the master are exhibited.

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