Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
October 1, 2009
From journal Weekend in Brussels
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
August 2, 2006
From journal Belgium: Waffles, Chocolate and More!
August 23, 2004
In fact, there 2 main museums: Ancient Arts and Modern Arts. You enter the museum via a beautiful common room exhibiting giant paintings from the 19th century.
The Ancient Arts covers the 15th to 18th century with such highlights as Primitive Flemish like Rogier Van Der Weyden and Hieronymus Bosch (he has his own room).
One of my favourite of those ancient painters is Bruegel the Elder (I saw "Icarus's Fall" so many times in books... ) and its depiction of everyday life in the early Renaissance in the Low Countries. You can feel he really took pleasure in the little joys of the peasants' life at the time. His popular paintings are like little time capsule and show the simple life and pleasure of simple people.
If there is a Flemish painter I particularly like, it's Pieter-Paul Rubens. He also has his own room. I particularly love the sensuality of his paintings, the colours, the texture... His plump and rosy-cheeked female figures are very characteristic (yeah, they had other beauty criteria at the time). It's the baroque era folks!
One painting that struck me the most though was Jacques-Louis David's "Marat Assassiné". This is a painting that everybody has seen in his/her history schoolbook when it's time to talk about the French Revolution. Marat was a Revolution leader and was murdered while taking a bath by Charlotte Corday, who held him accountable for the Terror regime. After the fall of Napoleon, David lived (and died) in exile in Brussels and that's the reason why this painting is in Brussels and not at the Louvres. The simplicity and realism of this work is touching. Marat is in his bathtub, one of his arm just laying out of the tub with a quill in his hand (he was a writer for the paper called "L'ami du peuple") and looks peaceful, as if asleep. David was a personal friend of Marat so that explains it all. The painting is exposed on its own on an isolated wall leading the 19th-century paintings and marks the transition between the Ancient and Modern Art museums.
From journal Must-See Brussels
April 20, 2004
The Museum of Ancient Art was designed in a neoclassical style by Alphonse Balat in 1874. It features the great Flemish and Dutch Old Masters like Rubens, Bruegels, Bosch, Van der Weyden, Memling, Van Dyck, Jordaens, Hals, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. This is not exactly the Louvre (but that is an unfair comparison), but it is a very solid collection of art that any visitor will appreciate.
The Museum of Modern Art occupies the ground floor of the original building and the newer wing burrowed underground. My favorite pre-20th Century masterpiece here is the 1793 work "Death of Marat" by the chameleon-like French painter Jacques-Louis David. The main core of the new gallery is a circuit that goes down, sort of like a bunkered version of the great Frank Lloyd Wright spiral at the New York Guggenheim Museum. The new wing features two rooms; one each devoted to Belgian superstars Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Many of your favorite modern artists are here – Ensor, Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Dali, Miro, Ernst, Bacon, Moore, Segal, Flavin, and many more.
South of the museum complex is a pleasant sculpture garden, with the figures intermingling with nature. "The River", a stunning sculpture considered to be Maillol’s last masterpiece, is a nude woman squirming afloat a reflecting pool. There are a few benches in this practically unnoticed garden.
The museum complex is closed on Mondays, and there is a mandatory coat check for security reasons. Some galleries are closed during the lunch hour, and there is a chart showing the daily projected closings. The art shop and cafeteria will help you spend your extra euros.
From journal Bill in Belgium - BRUSSELS
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
September 28, 2003
I was sorry that I could not appreciate Memling properly, but I had no problems with Brueghel or Hieronymus Bosch in that section. In particular, I enthused over the elder Brueghel's painting of the census scene at Bethlehem.
As closing time was approaching for lunch I went quickly on to see the Rubens works, and again I found no difficulty in appreciating his works and his development. I had certainly not realised the extent to which he had changed after his visit to Italy.
I preferred the idea of the musical instruments to the 20th-century artwork and left accordingly after enjoying a small self-loaded salad plate in the cafeteria.
From journal Brussels without pissing