The Fall of the Rebel Angels (c)KMSKB, photo J. Geleyns-Ro

An exemplar of the Flemish Renaissance, Pieter Bruegel the elder is best known for his idiosyncratic landscapes and allegories, rooted in folklore and biblical or classical tradition. Let us take you on a journey through his works and life.


The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB) exhibits the world's second largest collection of paintings by Pieter Bruegel. The collection features five original, exceptional paintings by the master himself, as well as works by his sons and disciples. And the RMFAB has plenty of other cards up its sleeve to share the master's amazing legacy with the world.

Bruegel's legacy has inspired artists and art lovers for almost five centuries. And now contemporary technology allows us to get to know and understand these works even better. That is why the RMFAB has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to develop a digital offering. 12 masterpieces are now available in the very highest resolution. Visitors can now literally zoom in and observe hidden details that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The "Bruegel Box" is another astounding feat, with amazing videos of three of Bruegel's masterpieces projected onto three walls. Visitors can thus stand shoulder to shoulder with the villagers in Netherlandish Proverbs, look the palm reader in The Sermon of St John the Baptist in the eye or dive into The Fall of the Rebel Angels. And the RMFAB now allows you to add another dimension to this, as visitors can now immerse themselves in the 360-degree universe of The Fall of The Rebel Angels, using a virtual reality viewer.

The RMFAB has combined the genius and centuries-old craftsmanship of the Flemish master Pieter Bruegel with the latest technologie to introduce people to his legacy. What's more, the museum is also ideally located for visitors. You can walk across the magnificent Place Royale with the St Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, past the Musical Instruments Museum and its Arts Nouveau façade up the steps of Mont des Arts, from where you can enjoy a phenomenal panoramic view of Brussels.

2. Sablon

The Sablon or Zavel (in Dutch) is a neighbourhood in the historic upper town of Brussels. In the sixteenth century, some of the leading noble families settled at the top of the Sablon and in the Wolstraat: the families of Egmont, Culemborg and Brederode. And later, the families Lalaing and Thurn und Taxis followed them. This resulted in the Sablon being the most aristocratic and wealthiest part of the city in the seventeenth century. This is probably the reason why Bruegel had his painting studio in this area.

3. Eglise Notre Dame de la Chapelle

Visit the remarkable church where Bruegel is married and buried. Afterwards, explore the vivid neighbourhood called the ‘Marolles’ (or Bruegel district) . Following the Rue Haute, you arrive at Bruegel's house (Rue Haute 132).
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