MiMa Brussels

The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art. Opened just after we’d left for New York in 2016, Brussels’ newest contemporary museum showcasing works by younger artists mainly, it goes without saying that we couldn’t wait to pay a visit. The renovated red-brick building – a former brewery – is amazing; the art on show not so much, but fun nonetheless.


October 20th, 2019

”The Fall of the Rebel Angels”, by Pieter Bruegel I

Elaborately worked details define most of the Elder’s paintings but, in The Fall of the Rebel Angels, he manages to surpass even himself! If anyone could encompass an entire cabinet of curiosities in one painting – and have tons of fun in the process, that must be Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

So absorbed was I by all these wonderful details – every little one a work of art in itself, I almost missed the violence the work is supposed to depict, with the fall of Lucifer and his fellow rebel angels, chased away from heaven by Archangel Michael.

Another ”fun” detail: The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the masterpieces at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The Royal Museums acquired the painting in 1846 thinking it was the work of his son, Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The work was then attributed to Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) until 1898 when the date and signature “MDLXII / Brvegel” were found in the bottom left-hand corner, hidden by the frame.

Thus the painting was finally attributed to its legitimate creator, Bruegel the Elder. [source]

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium [Musée Oldmasters Museum], Brussels

October 19th, 2019

The fun is in the details

The Old Masters may be all divine symbolism and biblical images, but who said they couldn’t have fun?

Detail #1: apparently, keeping squirrels as pets is not a new idea.

Detail #2: the ”Oh, man…” look on the Demon’s face.

(Suzanne, a married woman, sends her maids away while is she is taking a bath. Once alone, two elders who secretly desire her, make advances. Suzanne refuses, but is later accused of adultery by the very men she refused. She is found guilty and condemned to death).

Detail #3: Carnival costume inspiration.

Detail #4: the Younger having fun copying the Elder but, in a bout of originality, appropriates a barrel to sign his work.

Detail #5: the original. As in most of the Elder’s paintings, there’s so much going on here, you’re bound to discover something new every time you look. This time, the eye lingers over the warm red sun setting far at the background, beyond the dark bare branches of the tree.

Detail #6: Going commando in the 17th century was the norm, apparently.

Detail #7: so much to see, so little time… *yawn*

Detail #8: what did you see first?

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium [Musée Oldmasters Museum], Brussels

October 19th, 2019

La Barque de l’Ideal, 1907 || Constant Montald

Adorning the Great Hall at the entrance of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, together with its companion ”La Fontaine de l’Inspiration”, it is so striking one simply must stop and stare. These monumental paintings (they measure around 400x500cm) were created by Montald specifically for the Museum, but were both rejected by its acquisitions committee and returned to him – yet, in a symbolic twist of fate, they ended up back were they belonged!

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

October 19th, 2019