78 Route 12. BRUSSELS. Picture Gallery.
The admirably-arranged Collection of Engravings (60,000 in number) is
worthy of notice; it is entered from the Musee de Peinture. The Flemish
masters are admirably represented. One of the most interesting plates is
an engraving of 1418, found at Malines. — The Collection of Coins is also
of importance; adm. 12-3, entrance Rue du Musee 5.
Part of the ground-floor is occupied by the Ecole Industrielle.
L'Ancienne Court, a building adjoining the Palais de l'lndustrie
on the E., was the residence of the Austrian stadtholders of the
Netherlands after 1731, when the old ducal palace (in the present
Place Royale) was destroyed by fire. Part of the ground-floor is
now fitted up as a library and part contains the cabinet of natural
history (p. 88; entrance from the court), while the upper story is
devoted to the picture-gallery (Musee). The chapel on the right
of the entrance, erected in 1760, and devoted to Protestant worship
in 1803, is known as l'Eglise du Musee (French and German services
The **Musee Royal de Belgique (PL D, 4), or royal pic¬
ture-gallery, which was purchased from the city by the state in
1845, is growing in importance every year. Formerly inferior to the
gallery at Antwerp, it must probably now be considered as the chief
collection in Belgium. The Early Flemish School of the 15th cent.
is represented by various important pictures, such as Adam and Eve
by Hubert van Eyck (No. 13), Madonna by Petrus Cristus (No. 21),
the Legend of the lying empress and the innocent nobleman by
Dieric Bouts (Nos. 51, 52), and the Holy Family by Quinten Massys
(No. 38). Flemish and Dutch art of the 17th cent, has also, through
judicious purchases, gradually come to be most favourably represent¬
ed. Th« pictures by Rubens at Brussels cannot indeed be compared,
either in number or beauty, with those at Antwerp; but his Ado¬
ration of the Magi (No. 410) ranges among the finest treatments of
this subject, and his portraits and the Virgin in an arbour of roses
(No. 412) also deserve attention. The full-length portrait of Willem
van Heythuysen (No. 283) and a half-length portrait (No. 282) by
.Frans Hals, the portraits by Van der Heist (Nos. 291, 292) and
Dow (No. 285), and the large Village Feast by Teniers (No. 465)
may also be specified. — Good Catalogue, by E. Fetis, 1 fr. The
names of the painters are affixed to the frames. As the collection
is constantly being augmented, the pictures are often re-arranged,
and some of the more recent acquisitions are not yet numbered.
The Entrance (comp. p. 69) is in the crescent at the N.W.
end of the Place du Musee. From the circular entrance-hall we
proceed through the glass-door to the left to the staircase, at the
foot of which is a statue of Hercules by Delvaux. Sticks and um¬
brellas are left here with the custodian (no charge). [The door in
the rotunda opposite the entrance-door leads to the inner court, on
the left side of which is the hall containing the natural history
collection (p. 88).]
At the top of the staircase we reach another rotunda, where a