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Here is everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to the Museum Mayer van den Bergh.

Who was Fritz?

The museum bears the name of Fritz Mayer van den Bergh. Who was he?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.