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Tour Director
Practical Information

  • Discover the works and worlds of the Flemish masters across Belgium with visits to important collections in Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels

  • Visit the Groeningemuseum and the refurbished Gruthuusemuseum in Bruges

  • Visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, reopening in autumn 2022 following a decade-long renovation, to see its magnificent holdings of painting, sculpture and drawing spanning seven centuries

“Very well organised… well structured tour in some beautiful cities with wonderful art”

“Rupert was knowledgeable, interesting and interested. The perfect lecturer”

ACE customers on the 2022 Flemish Painting: From van Eyck to Rubens tour

Few countries have made such a profound contribution to European art as the land we know today as Belgium. With the development of oil painting in the 15th century onwards, Belgium played an essential role in the evolution of western painting.


The ‘golden age’ of Flemish art began with the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, before being continued by Hans Memling in Bruges, Rogier van der Weyden in Brussels and Hugo van der Goes in Ghent. Flemish Mannerist architects spread Renaissance ideas throughout northern Europe, and in Van Dyck and Rubens we have two of the most formidable of all Baroque artists.


The first stop on our tour will be Bruges, where we will enjoy a visit to the Gruuthusemuseum, a luxurious city palace reopened in 2019 following a major refurbishment, and housing a multitude of artistic treasures celebrating the glories of the Burgundian age.


The Groeningemuseum is host to an enviable collection of van Eyck and van der Weyden, and is the setting for Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment. We will also pay homage to Michelangelo’s marble Madonna and Child in the Gothic Church of Our Lady.


We look forward to an excursion to the city of Mechelen, once the capital of the Burgundian Netherlands and an important political and cultural hub for the Burgundian and early Habsburg princes. Here, we will enjoy a guided walking tour exploring the city’s Burgundian past, taking in an array of historical buildings and features, including St Rumbold’s Cathedral, the Aldermen’s House and the statue of Margaret of Austria. St John’s Church contains a magnificent altarpiece by Rubens, its central panel depicting the Adoration of the Magi.


In Antwerp, the great commercial port on the Scheldt, we will enjoy an opportunity to visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, which is reopening in 2022 following a major renovation project. The collections feature works by van Eyck, Brueghel the Elder, Van Dyck, Hals, Rodin and Magritte amongst others. The Mayer van den Bergh Museum, meanwhile, is home to a collection of northern Renaissance art assembled during the 19th century.


Our tour concludes with a visit to the Musée d’Art Ancien in Brussels, home to Flemish and Belgian paintings dating from the 15th to the 18th century.


We will stay throughout in the centre of Ghent at the four-star NH Gent Belfort, opposite the town hall.


This tour will be led by Rupert Dickens, MA, an art historian specialising in Dutch and Flemish art. Rupert studied art history at Birkbeck, University of London, before gaining a Masters degree in Dutch Golden Age Studies at UCL. Previously a BBC television and radio journalist for more than 20 years, Rupert is now an Arts Society lecturer and a guide lecturer at The Wallace Collection. He has been visiting and working in the Netherlands and Belgium since the 1980s.

Tour Code

Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details.

Included: return travel, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, five breakfasts, one light lunch, four dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £295.

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