Museum Mayer van den Bergh

This small but attractive museum is named after the Antwerp art collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901) and features many of the works of art that he collected in the late nineteenth century.

In the Mayer van den Bergh Museum, Antwerp

What surprised me about Mayer van den Bergh, when I read about him in the museum’s Gallery Guide, was that in his lifetime he was practically the only collector to take a serious interest in the sixteenth century painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569, also spelled Brueghel or Breughel).

Gallery Guide

“Mayer van den Bergh stood alone in his interest in Bruegel’s work. Not only was Bruegel almost unknown, but the work of the several painters in the Breughel family was confused. Mayer van den Bergh was the first to distinguish between Pieter Brueghel the Elder and his sons Pieter the Younger and Jan.”

The Gallery Guide explains that in the nineteenth century the art of Brueghel and his contemporaries was “little appreciated” and was “considered of strange or even questionable taste. However, in the twentieth century it was recognized as one of the high points of European painting in general.”

Hunting still-life by Samuel Hofmann (1595-1649)

Address: Lange Gasthuisstraat 19

My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2020.

See more posts on Antwerp, Belgium.

3 thoughts on “Museum Mayer van den Bergh”

  1. Yes a most impressive museum, I loved the wood work also when I visited it years ago and it is definitely a place where I will visit again on my next visit. A lovely blog post Don.

  2. You have made me think about visiting Belgium but even though it is close by it is not easy to get to. I think I will have to travel by ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge. I would have liked to have visited before leaving EU but that is not possible now.

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