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  • Saint Luke drawing the Virgin by Rogier van der Weyden

    Sourced in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

  • Gruuthuusemuseum

  • Retable of Saint Nicholas by the Master of the Legend of St Lucy

  • Statue of Rubens

  • Palacio van Busleyden

  • The Elevation of the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens

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  • 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, recently reopened following a decade-long renovation, to see its magnificent holdings of painting, sculpture and drawing spanning seven centuries

“Thoughtfully researched and well explained, both through lectures and on-site guidance, the tour revealed many absolute gems of painting from a range of artists from this period”

– ACE customer on a previous Flemish Painting: From van Eyck to Rubens tour led by Rupert Dickens

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.


Our tour includes an excursion to 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 visit the Memling Museum, housed in one of Europe’s oldest medieval hospitals, and pay homage to Michelangelo’s marble Madonna and Child in the Gothic Church of Our Lady.


We look forward to visiting 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 hope to visit the Museum Hof van Busleyden, a wonderful Renaissance palace, due to reopen in autumn 2023 following a major renovation. Also in Mechelen, 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 has recently undergone 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.

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