A vacation trip in Belgium is never complete without a visit to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Not only is it an imposing structure in the city landscape, it also serves as a sanctuary to much of Belgium’s artwork.
While art connoisseurs can certainly find their way through the halls, casual art lovers are better off taking one of the guided tours. These tours cater to the different interests of the museum’s visitors. For starters, you can take a tour along the major paintings in the museum. This would introduce you to the art history of Southern Netherlands and Belgium, through the works of old and modern artists. These include collections from popular artists like Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. The museum also showcases the works of Peter Paul Rubens, a major proponent of Baroque art and an inspiration to other masters such as Vincent van Gogh. The Rubens collection at the Royal Museum includes 25 oil paintings, so masterful and overflowing with technique that Van Gogh himself visited the museum to admire them.
If you want to know the stories and anecdotes behind the paintings, you can opt for tours that go behind the scenes on these Flemish and Belgian artworks. By learning about the stories and inspirations behind the paintings and sculptures, you gain a deeper understanding of the artists and their works. One of these anecdotes is the story of how Quinten Massijs painted a life-like fly on his master’s own painting. There are also themed tours, such as the Tasty Art tour. This tour shows you numerous paintings depicting harvests, markets, mouth-watering banquets and still-life paintings. They introduce the viewer to the culinary traditions that govern the lifestyle in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Through the many sights and sounds of Belgium, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts is a quiet little respite from the busy streets of Brussels and Bruges. Out of all the little museums that dot the Belgian landscape, the Royal Museum provides you with the most complete and interesting experience that would surely satisfy you’re craving for paintings and sculptures. So, if you’re quite the art lover, remember to drop by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts for a quick fix on European art.