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Highlights

We have selected the works you definitely shouldn’t miss. You will be astonished, moved and awe-struck by these masterpieces.

Mad Meg

A horror film in painted form

You never grow tired of looking at Pieter Bruegel’s world-famous painting Mad Meg. There’s always something new to see and experience.

Pissing at the moon

Pieter Bruegel had a thing about sayings and proverbs. And a sense of humour too. This is clear from these twelve little paintings, which together represent one of his 45 or so works.

Intimate portrayal of Jesus

It’s a moving scene: Jesus’ favourite apostle, John, rests his head on Christ’s chest. He puts his right hand into that of his master. And Jesus puts his arm around John’s shoulder.

High-status family

Anyone back in 1625 who was able to commission a portrait of his family from a famous Antwerp painter was rich. Joris Vekemans did just that.

Radiant miniatures

In 1898, in purchasing a beautifully illustrated prayer book, Fritz Mayer van den Bergh spent the highest sum he ever paid out: 35,500 francs, a fortune at the time. He knew what he was doing: this is an absolute masterpiece. It is now named after him.

The mayor and his family

In the Golden Age, the Dutch bourgeoisie liked to display their prosperity. Chic family portraits were one of the status symbols they used. This is a carefully orchestrated example of such portraits.

A travel altar

Paintings from before Jan van Eyck’s time are rare in this part of Europe. And there are hardly any well-preserved masterpieces from that period. These beautiful, radiant panels from around 1400 are therefore exceptional.

Despair and anguish

This scene is pure emotion. The bloodied body of Jesus has just been taken down from the cross and will be laid in the tomb. The dramatic scene was intended to encourage compassion and reflection in those who looked at it.

Man of Sorrows

The bloody and wounded Christ displaying his wounds and wearing the crown of thorns was a favourite subject of late medieval art. It was intended to arouse compassion in onlookers.

Gilded elegance

This is painting and sculpture together in one beautiful work: a gilded retable in the form of an elegant tower. A very wealthy client must have commissioned it – perhaps from the circle of the dukes of Burgundy.

A procession of figurines

Retables with their numerous figurines are a beautiful sight. Large examples were intended to be placed on an altar or attached to the wall behind an altar. Smaller pieces like this were for private use.

Lifelike

Cradles like this were usually found in nunneries. At Christmas time, the sisters would rock the cradle as if there was a real baby in it.

A lavish still life

Still lifes are a real treat. The genre flourished in 17th-century Netherlandish painting. The challenge for the painter was to make everything look truly lifelike...