Flemish Masters Museum Tour, a series of short documentaries on the museums of Flanders, is born

A series of documentaries, online and free, to learn about Flemish artistic heritage: this is The Flemish Masters Museum Tour initiative.

The Flanders Tourist Board has launched The Flemish Masters Museum Tour, an online documentary series through which the viewer virtually enters some of Flanders ’ most extraordinary museums and art collections from preferential access. In fact, the curator or an art expert connected to the museum will guide him or her through a video of about 10 to 15 minutes, delving into certain aspects of the collection and sharing trivia and anecdotes.

The short documentaries in The Flemish Masters Museum Tour project allow visitors to learn about excerpts from the vast Flemish artistic heritage. Each “journey” is structured in detail and features in-depth discussions by some of the leading names in the museum world. The presence of interactive images of the works also makes it possible to zoom in on details and draw attention to elements that are normally little seen and known. The tours can be considered independent of each other, but at the same time encourage the creation of imaginary itineraries with stops from one city to another.

The initiative comes on the heels of The Stay at Home Museum project, launched in the spring to address the Covid emergency and provide the public with the opportunity to visit exhibitions and museums despite their temporary closure.

The new cycle of virtual tours was inaugurated on Thursday, Nov. 12, with the Mayer van den Bergh house-museum in Antwerp, presented by director Carl Depauw, an expert on Antwerp art of the 16th and 17th centuries, which comprehensively chronicles the collection and the art of collecting. A place to immerse oneself in the multitude of art objects, some 6,000 in number, collected in just ten years by Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901). His untimely and sudden death caused his mother Henriëtte to carry out her son’s wish in 1904: to start a museum and display the rich collection. Today it is therefore possible to virtually admire paintings, altarpieces, sculptures, manuscripts and tapestries, in an atmosphere that lets the enthusiasm and expert eye of Fritz Mayer van den Bergh and his mother’s unconditional love for her son shine through. The highlight of the collection is the enigmatic Dulle griet(Daisy the Mad) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, whose exciting vicissitudes Depauw will recount. Bought at auction by Fritz for a derisory sum, it revealed his flair for business and is currently the Museum’s signature piece.

Other appointments on the calendar:

St. Peter’s Church, Leuven (published Nov. 19) Of great interest is Peter Carpreau’s virtual tour of the Brabant Gothic-style St. Peter’s Church in Leuven, restored in March 2020 to its full glory after a lengthy restoration. It houses, in addition to a collection of Flemish masterpieces, The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts (c. 1410-1475), a triptych in which his mastery of perspective and attention to landscapes, meticulously depicted on the side panels, stand out.

Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges (published Nov. 26) The Hans Memling and Contemporary Art exhibition is an opportunity to enter the Sint-Janshospital in Bruges, under the guidance of director Eva Tahon, and discover the works of one of the Flemish Primitives and his influence on such greats as Dürer, Raphael and contemporary artists of the caliber of Joseph Kosuth. The building was one of the oldest hospitals inEurope and offers the chance to learn about important medical-related evidence as well.

KBR museum, Brussels (published Dec. 3) Ann Kelders is the curator of the KBR museum in Brussels, recently opened inside the Royal Library in the 16th-century Nassau Chapel. She leads scholars in the discovery of 14th- to 15th-century manuscripts, the heritage of the Dukes of Burgundy, which resulted in a unique and fascinating collection of books and codices, where political, social, economic, artistic and cultural aspects of the Flemish Renaissance are explored.

The videos are posted on the Flemish Masters Facebook page and the VISITFLANDERS Youtube channel, at www.flemishmasters.com along with previous episodes of The Stay at Home Musuem.

Flemish Masters Museum Tour, a series of short documentaries on the museums of Flanders, is born
Flemish Masters Museum Tour, a series of short documentaries on the museums of Flanders, is born

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