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Title: Cities of Belgium - Grant Allen's Historical Guides
Author: Allen, Grant
Language: English
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                           CITIES OF BELGIUM

    =G r a n t   A l l e n ’ s   H i s t o r i c a l   G u i d e s=
            Fcap. 8vo, green cloth, with rounded corners to
              slip in the pocket, price 3s. 6d. net each.

              I. P A R I S. By GRANT ALLEN
                                           (_Second Edition_).

             II. F L O R E N C E.  By GRANT ALLEN
                                           (_Second Edition_).

            III. T H E   C I T I E S   O F   B E L G I U M.
                 By GRANT ALLEN            (_Second Edition_).

             IV. V E N I C E.  By GRANT ALLEN.

              V. T H E   C I T I E S   O F   N O R T H E R N
                   I T A L Y. By GEO. C. WILLIAMSON, Litt.D.

             VI. T H E   U M B R I A N   T O W N S.  By
                   Mr. and Mrs. J. W. CRUICKSHANK.

                         LONDON: GRANT RICHARDS
                          48 LEICESTER SQUARE

                       GRANT  ALLEN’S  HISTORICAL

                         =CITIES  OF  BELGIUM=

                            BY  GRANT  ALLEN


                        LONDON:  GRANT  RICHARDS
                         48  LEICESTER  SQUARE

                            BUTLER & TANNER,
                      THE SELWOOD PRINTING WORKS,
                           FROME, AND LONDON.

                     PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

RECENT alterations, especially in the Brussels Gallery, make a new
edition of this book imperative, and, as I had been with my father
during its inception, I have undertaken such revision as is necessary.
In the main, however, my work has been merely mechanical, and the guide
remains substantially identical in detail with that originally published
in 1897.

Since that date it has been remarked in more than one quarter that many
interesting towns and objects have been omitted. I can only reply that
it would be impossible to deal exhaustively with a country so rich in
historical and artistic interest as Belgium in a single volume of this
size, and that my father only professed to point out such sights in the
chief towns as seemed to him most worthy of interest.

To alter even slightly the work of an author (especially when, as in
this case, that author is powerless to object) is a task to be
approached with the utmost diffidence, and I can only trust that those
who use this book will impute all blame for any errors or omissions
wholly to me, rather than to one who is beyond the reach of criticism.

                                                  JERRARD GRANT ALLEN.
 July, 1902.


THE object and plan of these Historical Handbooks is somewhat
different from that of any other guides at present before the public.
They do not compete or clash with such existing works; they are rather
intended to supplement than to supplant them. My purpose is not to
direct the stranger through the streets and squares of an unknown town
towards the buildings or sights which he may desire to visit; still less
is it my design to give him practical information about hotels, cab
fares, omnibuses, tramways, and other every-day material conveniences.
For such details, the traveller must still have recourse to the trusty
pages of his Baedeker, his Joanne, or his Murray. I desire rather to
supply the tourist who wishes to use his travel as a means of culture
with such historical and antiquarian information as will enable him to
understand, and therefore to enjoy, the architecture, sculpture,
painting, and minor arts of the towns he visits. In one word, it is my
object to give the reader in a very compendious form the result of all
those inquiries which have naturally suggested themselves to my own mind
during thirty-five years of foreign travel, the solution of which has
cost myself a good deal of research, thought, and labour, beyond the
facts which I could find in the ordinary handbooks.

For several years past I have devoted myself to collecting and arranging
material for a set of books to embody the idea I had thus entertained. I
earnestly hope they may meet a want on the part of tourists, especially
Americans, who, so far as my experience goes, usually come to Europe
with an honest and reverent desire to learn from the Old World whatever
of value it has to teach them, and who are prepared to take an amount of
pains in turning their trip to good account which is both rare and
praiseworthy. For such readers I shall call attention at times to other
sources of information.

These guide-books will deal more particularly with the Great Towns where
objects of art and antiquity are numerous. In every one of them, the
general plan pursued will be somewhat as follows. First will come the
inquiry why a town ever gathered together at all at that particular
spot—what induced the aggregation of human beings rather there than
elsewhere. Next, we shall consider why that town grew to social or
political importance and what were the stages by which it assumed its
present shape. Thirdly, we shall ask why it gave rise to that higher
form of handicraft which we know as Art, and towards what particular
arts it especially gravitated. After that, we shall take in detail the
various strata of its growth or development, examining the buildings and
works of art which they contain in historical order, and, as far as
possible, tracing the causes which led to their evolution. In
particular, we shall lay stress upon the origin and meaning of each
structure as an organic whole, and upon the allusions or symbols which
its fabric embodies.

A single instance will show the method upon which I intend to proceed
better than any amount of general description. A church, as a rule, is
built over the body or relics of a particular saint, in whose special
honour it was originally erected. That saint was usually one of great
local importance at the moment of its erection, or was peculiarly
implored against plague, foreign enemies, or some other pressing and
dreaded misfortune. In dealing with such a church, then, I endeavour to
show what were the circumstances which led to its erection, and what
memorials of these circumstances it still retains. In other cases it may
derive its origin from some special monastic body—Benedictine,
Dominican, Franciscan—and may therefore be full of the peculiar
symbolism and historical allusion of the order who founded it. Wherever
I have to deal with such a church, I try as far as possible to exhibit
the effect which its origin had upon its architecture and decoration; to
trace the image of the patron saint in sculpture or stained glass
throughout the fabric; and to set forth the connection of the whole
design with time and place, with order and purpose. In short, instead of
looking upon monuments of the sort mainly as the product of this or that
architect, I look upon them rather as material embodiments of the spirit
of the age—crystallizations, as it were, in stone and bronze, in form
and colour, of great popular enthusiasms.

By thus concentrating attention on what is essential and important in a
town, I hope to give in a comparatively short space, though with
inevitable conciseness, a fuller account than is usually given of the
chief architectural and monumental works of the principal art-cities. In
dealing with Paris, for example, I shall have little to say about such
modern constructions as the Champs Élysées or the Eiffel Tower; still
less, of course, about the Morgue, the Catacombs, the waxworks of the
Musée Grévin, and the celebrated Excursion in the Paris Sewers. The
space thus saved from vulgar wonders I shall hope to devote to fuller
explanation of Notre-Dame and the Sainte Chapelle, of the mediæval
carvings or tapestries of Cluny, and of the pictures or sculptures in
the galleries of the Louvre. Similarly in Florence, whatever I save from
description of the Cascine and even of the beautiful Viale dei Colli
(where explanation is needless and word-painting superfluous), I shall
give up to the Bargello, the Uffizi, and the Pitti Palace. The passing
life of the moment does not enter into my plan; I regard each town I
endeavour to illustrate mainly as a museum of its own history.

For this reason, too, I shall devote most attention in every case to
what is locally illustrative, and less to what is merely adventitious
and foreign. In Paris, for instance, I shall have more to say about
truly Parisian art and history, as embodied in St. Denis, the Île de la
Cité, and the shrine of Ste. Geneviève, than about the Egyptian and
Assyrian collections of the Louvre. In Florence, again, I shall deal
rather with the Etruscan remains, with Giotto and Fra Angelico, with the
Duomo and the Campanile, than with the admirable Memlincks and Rubenses
of the Uffizi and the Pitti, or with the beautiful Van der Goes of the
Hospital of Santa Maria. In Bruges and Brussels, once more, I shall be
especially Flemish; in the Rhine towns, Rhenish; in Venice, Venetian. I
shall assign a due amount of space, indeed, to the foreign collections,
but I shall call attention chiefly to those monuments or objects which
are of entirely local and typical value.

As regards the character of the information given, it will be mainly
historical, antiquarian, and, above all, explanatory. I am not a
connoisseur—an adept in the difficult modern science of distinguishing
the handicraft of various masters, in painting or sculpture, by minute
signs and delicate inferential processes. In such matters, I shall be
well content to follow the lead of the most authoritative experts. Nor
am I an art-critic—a student versed in the technique of the studios and
the dialect of the modelling-room. In such matters, again, I shall
attempt little more than to accept the general opinion of the most
discriminative judges. What I aim at rather is to expound the history
and meaning of each work—to put the intelligent reader in such a
position that he may judge for himself of the æsthetic beauty and
success of the object before him. To recognise the fact that this is a
Perseus and Andromeda, that a St. Barbara enthroned, the other an
obscure episode in the legend of St. Philip, is not art-criticism, but
it is often an almost indispensable prelude to the formation of a right
and sound judgment. We must know what the artist was trying to represent
before we can feel sure what measure of success he has attained in his

For the general study of Christian art, alike in architecture,
sculpture, and painting, no treatises are more useful for the tourist to
carry with him for constant reference than Mrs. Jameson’s _Sacred and
Legendary Art_, and _Legends of the Madonna_ (London, Longmans). For
works of Italian art, both in Italy and elsewhere, Kugler’s _Italian
Schools of Painting_ is an invaluable _vade-mecum_. These books should
be carried about by everybody everywhere. Other works of special and
local importance will occasionally be noticed under each particular
city, church, or museum.

I cannot venture to hope that handbooks containing such a mass of facts
as these will be wholly free from errors and misstatements, above all in
early editions. I can only beg those who may detect any such to point
them out, without unnecessary harshness, to the author, care of the
publisher, and if possible to assign reasons for any dissentient

                                                           GRANT ALLEN

                            C O N T E N T S

          PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION                        5
          INTRODUCTION                                         6
          HOW TO USE THESE GUIDE-BOOKS                        12
          ORIGINS OF THE BELGIAN TOWNS                        13
          ORDER OF THE TOUR                                   20
               I BRUGES—
                 _A._  Origins of Bruges                      22
                 _B._  The Heart of the City                  25
                 _C._  The Hospital of St. John               35
                 _D._  The Town in General                    45
                 _E._  The Churches                           49
                 _F._  The Academy                            59
              II GHENT—
                 _A._  Origins of Ghent                       66
                 _B._  The Core of Ghent                      69
                 _C._  The Cathedral                          77
                 _D._  The Outskirts                          90
             III BRUSSELS—
                 _A._  Origins of Brussels                    98
                 _B._  The Heart of Brussels                 100
                 _C._  The Picture Gallery                   105
                 _D._  The Cathedral                         138
                 _E._  The Upper Town                        145
                 _F._  Surroundings                          156
              IV ANTWERP—
                 _A._  Origins of Antwerp                    164
                 _B._  The Cathedral                         168
                 _C._  The Picture Gallery                   176
                 _D._  The Town in General                   205
               V HISTORICAL NOTES                            217
          INDEX                                              229

                      HOW TO USE THESE GUIDEBOOKS

_T__HE portions of this book intended to be read at leisure_ =at
home=, _before proceeding to explore each town or monument, are enclosed
in brackets [thus]. The portion relating to each_ =principal object=
_should be quietly read and digested_ =before= _a visit, and referred to
again afterwards. The portion to be read_ =on the spot= _is made as
brief as possible, and is printed in large legible type, so as to be
easily read in the dim light of churches, chapels, and galleries. The_
=key-note words= _are printed in_ =bold type=, _to catch the eye. Where
objects are numbered, the numbers used are always those of the latest
official catalogues._

_Baedeker’s Guides are so printed that each principal portion can be
detached entire from the volume. The traveller who uses Baedeker is
advised to carry in his pocket one such portion, referring to the place
he is then visiting, together with the plan of the town, while carrying
this book in his hand. These Guides do_ =not= _profess to supply
practical information_.

_Individual works of merit are distinguished by an asterisk (*); those
of very exceptional interest and merit have two asterisks._ =Nothing=
_is noticed in this book which does not seem to the writer worthy of

_See little at a time, and see it thoroughly._ =Never= _attempt to “do”
any place or any monument. By following strictly the order in which
objects are noticed in this book, you will gain a conception of the_
=historical evolution= _of the town which you cannot obtain if you go
about looking at churches and palaces hap-hazard. The order is arranged,
not quite chronologically, but on a definite_ =plan=, _which greatly
facilitates comprehension of the subject_.

                      ORIGINS OF THE BELGIAN TOWNS

THE somewhat heterogeneous country which we now call =Belgium= formed
=part of Gaul= under the Roman Empire. But though rich and commercial
even then, it seems to have been relatively little Romanised; and in the
beginning of the 5th century it was overrun by the =Salic Franks=, on
their way towards Laon, Soissons, and Paris. When civilization began to
creep northward again in the 9th century through the districts
barbarised by the Teutonic invasion, it was the Frankish =Charlemagne=
(Karl the Great) who introduced Roman arts afresh into the Upper and
Lower Rhinelands. The Rhine from Basle to Cologne was naturally the
region most influenced by this new Roman revival; but as Charlemagne had
his chief seat at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), near the modern Belgian
frontier, the western Frankish provinces were also included in the
sphere of his improvements. When the kingdom of the Franks began to
divide more or less definitely into the Empire and France, the Flemish
region formed nominally part of the Neustrian and, later, of the French
dominions. From a very early date, however, it was practically almost
independent, and it became so even in name during its later stages. But
Brabant (with Brussels) remained a portion of the Empire.

The =Rhine= constituted the great central waterway of mediæval Europe;
the =Flemish towns= were its =ports= and its manufacturing centres. They
filled in the 13th and 14th centuries much the same place that
Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Birmingham fill in the 20th. Many
causes contributed to this result. Flanders, half independent under its
own Counts, occupied a middle position, geographically and politically,
between France and the Empire; it was comparatively free from the
disastrous wars which desolated both these countries, and in particular
(_see_ under Ghent) it largely escaped the long smouldering quarrel
between French and English which so long retarded the development of the
former. Its commercial towns, again, were not exposed on the open sea to
the attacks of pirates or hostile fleets, but were safely ensconced in
inland flats, reached by rivers or canals, almost inaccessible to
maritime enemies. Similar conditions elsewhere early ensured peace and
prosperity for Venice. The canal system of Holland and Belgium began to
be developed as early as the 12th century (at first for drainage), and
was one leading cause of the commercial importance of the Flemish cities
in the 14th. In so flat a country, locks are all but unnecessary. The
two towns which earliest rose to greatness in the Belgian area were thus
=Bruges= and =Ghent=; they possessed in the highest degree the combined
advantages of easy access to the sea and comparative inland security.
Bruges, in particular, was one of the chief stations of the Hanseatic
League, which formed an essentially commercial alliance for the mutual
protection of the northern trading centres. By the 14th century Bruges
had thus become in the north what Venice was in the south, the capital
of commerce. Trading companies from all the surrounding countries had
their “factories” in the town, and every European king or prince of
importance kept a resident minister accredited to the merchant Republic.

Some comprehension of the =mercantile condition of Europe= in general
during the Middle Ages is necessary in order to understand the early
importance and wealth of the Flemish cities. Southern Europe, and in
particular Italy, was then still the seat of all higher civilization,
more especially of the trade in manufactured articles and objects of
luxury. Florence, Venice, and Genoa ranked as the polished and learned
cities of the world. Further east, again, Constantinople still remained
in the hands of the Greek emperors, or, during the Crusades, of their
Latin rivals. A brisk trade existed _viâ_ the Mediterranean between
Europe and India or the nearer East. This double stream of traffic ran
along two main routes—one, by the Rhine, from Lombardy and Rome; the
other, by sea, from Venice, Genoa, Florence, Constantinople, the Levant,
and India. On the other hand, France was still but a half civilized
country, with few manufactures and little external trade; while England
was an exporter of raw produce, chiefly wool, like Australia in our own
time. The Hanseatic merchants of Cologne held the trade of London; those
of Wisby and Lübeck governed that of the Baltic; Bruges, as head of the
Hansa, was in close connection with all of these, as well as with Hull,
York, Novgorod, and Bergen. The position of the Flemish towns in the
14th century was thus not wholly unlike that of New York, Philadelphia,
and Boston at the present day; they stood as intermediaries between the
older civilized countries, like Italy or the Greek empire, and the newer
producers of raw material, like England, North Germany, and the Baltic

The local =manufactures= of Flanders consisted chiefly of woollen goods
and linens; the imports included Italian luxuries, Spanish figs and
raisins, Egyptian dates, Oriental silks, English wool, cattle, and
metals, Rhenish wines, and Baltic furs, skins, and walrus tusks.

In the early 16th century, when navigation had assumed new conditions,
and trade was largely diverted to the Atlantic, Antwerp, the port of the
Schelde, superseded the towns on the inland network. As Venice sank,
Antwerp rose.

The =art= that grew up in the Flemish cities during their epoch of
continuous commercial development bears on its very face the visible
impress of its mercantile origin. France is essentially a monarchical
country, and it is centralized in Paris; everything in old French art is
therefore regal and lordly. The Italian towns were oligarchies of
nobles; so the principal buildings of Florence and Venice are the
castles or palaces of the princely families, while their pictures
represent the type of art that belongs in its nature to a cultivated
aristocracy. But in Flanders, everything is in essence =commercial=. The
architecture consists mainly, not of private palaces, but of guilds,
town halls, exchanges, belfries: the pictures are the portraits of solid
and successful merchants, or the devotional works which a merchant donor
presented to the patron saint of his town or business. They are almost
overloaded with details of fur, brocade, jewellery, lace, gold, silver,
polished brass, glasswork, Oriental carpets, and richly carved
furniture. In order to understand Flemish art, therefore, it is
necessary to bear in mind at every step that it is =the art of a purely
commercial people=.

Another point which differentiates Flemish painting from the painting of
Italy during the same period is the complete absence of any opportunity
for the display of frescoes. In the Italian churches, where the walls
serve largely for support, and the full southern light makes the size of
the windows of less importance, great surfaces were left bare in the
nave and aisles, or in the lower part of the choir, crying aloud for
decoration at the hands of the fresco-painter. But in the northern
Gothic, which aimed above all things at height and the soaring effect,
and which almost annihilated the wall, by making its churches consist of
rows of vast windows with intervening piers or buttresses, the
opportunity for mural decoration occurred but seldom. The climate also
destroyed frescoes. Hence the works of pictorial art in Flemish
buildings are almost confined to =altar-pieces and votive tablets=.
Again, the great school of painting in early Italy (from Giotto to
Perugino) was a school of fresco-painters; but in Flanders no high type
of art arose till the discovery of oil-painting. Pictures were usually
imported from the Rhine towns. Hence, pictorial art in the Low Countries
seems to spring almost full-fledged, instead of being traceable through
gradual stages of evolution as in Italy. Most of the best early
paintings are small and highly finished; it was only at a comparatively
late date, when Antwerp became the leading town, that Italian influence
began to produce the larger and coarser canvases of Rubens and his

=Very early Flemish art= greatly resembles the art of the School of
Cologne. Only with Hubert and Jan van Eyck (about 1360-1440) does the
distinctively Flemish taste begin to show itself—the taste for delicate
and minute workmanship, linked with a peculiar realistic idealism, more
dainty than German work, more literal than Italian. It is an art that
bases itself upon truth of imitation and perfection of finish: its chief
æsthetic beauty is its jewel-like colour and its wealth of decorative
adjuncts. The subsequent development of Flemish painting—the painting
that pleased a clique of opulent commercial patrons—we shall trace in
detail in the various cities.

Whoever wishes to gain a deeper insight into Flemish painting should
take in his portmanteau Sir Martin =Conway’s “Early Flemish Artists,”= a
brilliant and masterly work of the first importance, to which this Guide
is deeply indebted.

The =political history= of the country during this flourishing period of
the Middle Ages has also stamped itself, though somewhat less deeply, on
the character of the towns and of the art evolved in them. The =Counts
of Flanders=, originally mere lords of Bruges and its district, held
their dominions of the Kings of France. Their territory included, not
only Arras (at first the capital, now included in France) with Bruges,
Ghent, Courtrai, Tournay, and Ypres, but also the towns and districts of
Valenciennes, Lille, and St. Omer, which are now French. From the time
of Baldwin VIII. (1191), however, Arras became a part of France, and
=Ghent= was erected into the capital of Flanders. In the beginning of
the 13th century, two women sovereigns ruled in succession; under them,
and during the absence of the elective Counts on crusades, the towns
rose to be practically burgher republics. Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, and
Lille were said to possess each 40,000 looms; and though this is
certainly a mediæval exaggeration, yet the Flemish cities at this epoch
were at any rate the chief manufacturing and trading centres of northern
Europe, while London was still a mere local emporium.

In the 14th century, the cities acquired still greater freedom. The
citizens had always claimed the right to elect their Count; and the
people of Ghent now made treaties without him on their own account with
Edward III. of England. To this age belongs the heroic period of the Van
Arteveldes at Ghent, when the burghers became the real rulers of
Flanders, as will be more fully described hereafter. In 1384, however,
Count Louis III. died, leaving an only daughter, who was married to
=Philip the Bold of Burgundy=; and the wealthy Flemish towns thus passed
under the sway of the powerful princes of Dijon. Brabant fell later by
inheritance to Philip the Good. It was under the =Burgundian dynasty=,
who often held their court at Ghent, that the arts of the Netherlands
attained their first great development. Philip the Good (1419-1467)
employed Jan van Eyck as his court painter; and during his reign or just
after it the chief works of Flemish art were produced in Bruges, Ghent,
Brussels, and Tournai.

=Charles the Bold=, the last Duke of Burgundy, left one daughter, Mary,
who was married to Maximilian, afterwards Emperor. From that date
forward the history of the Flemish towns is practically merged in that
of the dynasty of Charles V., and finally becomes the story of an
unwilling and ever justly rebellious Spanish province. The subsequent
vicissitudes of Belgium as an Austrian appanage, a part of Holland, and
an independent kingdom, belong to the domain of European history. For
the visitor, it is the period of the Burgundian supremacy that really
counts in the cities of Belgium.

Yet the one great point for the tourist to bear in mind is really
this—that the art of the Flemish towns is essentially =the art of a
group of burgher communities=. It is frankly commercial, neither royal
nor aristocratic. In its beginnings it develops a strictly municipal
architecture, with a school of painters who aimed at portraiture and
sacred panel pictures. After the Reformation had destroyed sacred art in
Holland, painting in that part of the Netherlands confined itself to
portraits and to somewhat vulgar popular scenes: while in Belgium it was
Italianised, or rather Titianised and Veronesed, by Rubens and his
followers. But in its best days it was national, local, and sacred or

Take =Conway’s “Early Flemish Artists”= with you in your portmanteau,
and read over in the evening his account of the works you have seen
during the day.

                           ORDER OF THE TOUR

IF possible, visit the cities of Belgium in =the order in which they
are treated in this Guide=:—Bruges first; then Ghent, Brussels, and
Antwerp. For this order you will find very good reasons. Bruges is the
most antique in tone and the least spoiled of all the Flemish towns; it
best exhibits the local peculiarities we have here specially to
consider; and it leads up naturally to the other cities. It is true,
Memling, the great painter whom we have chiefly to study at Bruges, is
later in date than Jan van Eyck, whose principal work (with that of his
brother Hubert) is to be seen at Ghent. But historical sequence in this
minor matter is somewhat less important than a due apprehension of the
general air of an old Flemish town such as those in which the art of the
Van Eycks arose; and besides, there is at least one characteristic Van
Eyck at Bruges, while there are many Memlings for comparison in other

As a rule, too little time is given by tourists to Bruges and Ghent, and
too much to Brussels. I should advise three or four days each to the
first-named towns, and a week to the capital.

Those who intend to combine a visit to =Holland= in the same tour should
certainly see Belgium in the order here given first, and then proceed to
Rotterdam, the Hague, Haarlem, and Amsterdam. For such a sequence, which
is geographically the easiest, is also chronologically natural. Bruges
is the most mediæval of all the towns, and has for its principal great
artist Memling. Ghent comes next, with the Van Eycks and a few later
painters. Brussels represents the end of the Middle Ages, and contains a
general metropolitan collection of early and middle Flemish art. Antwerp
gives us in particular Quentin Matsys and his contemporaries, as well as
Rubens and Van Dyck. And the Dutch towns lead us on through Van Dyck and
the later transitionals to Rembrandt, Van der Helst, Frans Hals, and the
other mighty masters of Holland. I may add that as the arrangement of
this Guide is roughly chronological, the tourist will use it best if he
follows its order.

The =Ostend route= takes the towns naturally in the sequence I suggest.
Visitors arriving by =Harwich= or =Calais= should not stop first at
Antwerp or Brussels, but go straight to Bruges, and then double back


                         _A._ ORIGINS OF BRUGES

IN a lost corner of the great lowland flat of Flanders, defended from
the sea by an artificial dyke, and at the point of intersection of an
intricate network of canals and waterways, there arose in the early
Middle Ages a trading town, known in Flemish as =Brugge=, in French as
=Bruges= (that is to say, =The Bridge=), from a primitive structure that
here crossed the river. (A number of bridges now span the sluggish
streams. All of them open in the middle to admit the passage of
shipping.) Bruges stood originally on a little river, the =Reye=, once
navigable, now swallowed by canals: and the Reye flowed into the =Zwin=,
long silted up, but then the safest harbour in the Low Countries. At
first the capital of a petty Count, this land-locked internal harbour
grew in time to be the Venice of the North, and to gather round its
quays, or at its haven of Damme, the ships and merchandise of all
neighbouring peoples. Already in 1200 it ranked as the central mart of
the Hanseatic League. It was the port of entry for English wool and
Russian furs: the port of departure for Flemish broadcloths, laces,
tapestries, and linens. Canals soon connected it with Ghent, Dunkirk,
Sluys, Furnes, and Ypres. Its nucleus lay in a little knot of buildings
about the Grand’ Place and the Hôtel de Ville, stretching out to the
Cathedral and the Dyver; thence it spread on all sides till in 1362 it
filled the whole space within the existing ramparts, now largely
abandoned or given over to fields and gardens. It was the wealthiest
town of Europe, outside Italy. In the 14th century, Bruges was
frequently the residence of the Counts of Flanders; and in the 15th it
became the seat of the brilliant court of the Dukes of Burgundy. Under
their rule, the opulent burghers and foreign merchants began to employ a
group of famous artists who have made the city a place of pilgrimage for
Europe and America, and to adorn the town with most of those buildings
which now beautify its decay.

The foreign traders in Bruges lived in “factories” or guilds, resembling
monasteries or colleges, and were governed by their own commercial laws.
The Bardi of Florence were among its famous merchants: the Medici had
agents here: so had the millionaire Fuggers of Augsburg.

Bruges is the best place in which to make =a first acquaintance= with
the towns and art of Flanders, because here almost all the principal
buildings are mediæval, and comparatively little that is modern comes in
to mar the completeness of the picture. We see in it the architecture
and the painting of Flanders, in the midst of the houses, the land, and
the folk that gave them origin. Brussels is largely modernised, and even
Ghent has great living manufactures; but Bruges is =a fossil of the 15th
century=. It was the first to flourish and the first to decay of the
towns of Belgium.

The =decline= of the town was due partly to the break-up of the
Hanseatic system; partly to the rise of English ports and manufacturing
towns; but still more (and especially as compared with other Flemish
cities) to the silting of the Zwin, and the want of adaptation in its
waterways to the needs of great ships and modern navigation. The old sea
entrance to Bruges was through the Zwin, by way of Sluys and Kadzand; up
that channel came the Venetian merchant fleet and the Flemish galleys,
to the port of Damme. By 1470, it ceased to be navigable for large
vessels. The later canal is still open, but as it passes through what is
now Dutch territory, it is little used; nor is it adapted to any save
ships of comparatively small burden. Another canal, suitable for craft
of 500 tons, leads through Belgian territory to Ostend; but few vessels
now navigate it, and those for the most part only for local trade. The
town has shrunk to half its former size, and has only a quarter of its
mediæval population. The commercial decay of Bruges, however, has
preserved its charm for the artist, the archæologist, and the tourist;
its sleepy streets and unfrequented quays are among the most picturesque
sights of bustling and industrial modern Belgium. The great private
palaces, indeed, are almost all destroyed: but many public buildings
remain, and the domestic architecture is quaint and pretty.

Bruges was the mother of the arts in Flanders. Jan van Eyck lived here
from 1428 to 1440: Memling, probably, from 1477 till 1494. Caxton, the
first English printer, lived as a merchant at Bruges (in the Domus
Anglorum or English factory) from 1446 to 1476, and probably put in the
press here the earliest English printed book (though strong grounds have
been adduced in favour of Cologne). Colard Mansion, the great printer of
Bruges at that date, was one of the leaders in the art of typography.

Those who desire further information on this most interesting town will
find it in James Weale’s _Bruges et ses Environs_, an admirable work, to
which I desire to acknowledge my obligations.

                 *        *        *        *        *

At least two whole days should be devoted to Bruges: more if possible.
But the hasty traveller, who has but time for a glimpse, should neglect
the churches, and walk round the Grand’ Place and the Place du Bourg to
the Dyver: spending most of his time at the =**Hôpital de St. Jean=,
which contains the glorious works of =Memling=. These are by far the
most important objects to be seen in the city. The description in this
Guide is written from the point of view of the more leisurely traveller.

Expect the frequent recurrence of the following =symbols= on houses or
pictures: (1) the Lion of Flanders, heraldic or otherwise, crowned, and
bearing a collar with a pendant cross; (2) the Bear of Bruges; (3) the
Golden Fleece (_Toison d’or_), the device of the Order founded by
Philippe le Bon in 1430, and appropriate to a country which owed its
wealth to wool; it consists of a sheep’s skin suspended from a collar.
The Flemish emblem of the Swan is also common as a relief or decoration.

St. Donatian, Archbishop of Rheims, is the patron saint. His mark is a
wheel with five lighted candles.

                       _B._ THE HEART OF THE CITY

    [The original =nucleus of Bruges= is formed by the =Bourg=,
    which stands near the centre of the modern city. In 865, Baldwin
    Bras-de-Fer, Count of Flanders, built a _château_ or _burg_ by
    the Reye, in a corner of land still marked by the modern canal
    of the Dyver, and near it a chapel, into which he transported
    the relics of St. Donatian. This _burg_ grew in time into the
    chief palace of the Counts of Flanders, now replaced by the
    Palais de Justice; while the chapel by its side developed into
    the first cathedral of Bruges, St. Donatian, now wholly
    demolished. A bridge hard by crossed the little river Reye; and
    from this bridge the town ultimately derives its name. The
    _burg_ was built as a _tête-du-pont_ to protect the passage. A
    town of traders gradually sprang up under the protection of the
    castle, and developed at last into the great trading port of
    Bruges. To this centre, then, we will first direct ourselves.]

Go from your hotel, down the Rue St. Amand, or the Rue St. Jacques, to
the =Grand’ Place= or market-place of Bruges, noticing on your way the
numerous handsome old houses, with high-pitched roofs and gable-ends
arranged like steps, mostly of the 16th and 17th centuries. (Bruges is a
Flemish-speaking town: note the true names of the streets in Flemish.)

The very tall square tower which faces you as you enter the Grand’ Place
is the =*Belfry=, the centre and visible embodiment of the town of
Bruges. The Grand' Place itself was the forum and meeting-place of the
soldier-citizens, who were called to arms by the chimes in the Belfry.
The centre of the Place is therefore appropriately occupied by a
colossal =statue group= (modern) of Pieter de Coninck and Jan Breidel,
the leaders of the citizens of Bruges at the Battle of the Spurs before
the walls of Courtrai in 1302, a conflict which secured the freedom of
Flanders from the interference of the Kings of France. The group is by
Devigne. The _reliefs_ on the pedestal represent scenes from the battle
and its antecedents.

The majestic =Belfry= itself represents the first beginnings of freedom
in Bruges. Leave to erect such a bell-tower, both as a mark of
independence and to summon the citizens to arms, was one of the first
privileges which every Teutonic trading town desired to wring from its
feudal lord. This (brick) tower, the pledge of municipal rights, was
begun in 1291 (to replace an earlier one of wood), and finished about a
hundred years later, the octagon (in stone) at the summit (which holds
the bells) having been erected in 1393-96. It consists of three stories,
the two lower of which are square and flanked by balconies with turrets;
the windows below are of the simple Early Gothic style, but show a later
type of architecture in the octagon. The _niche_ in the centre contains
the Virgin and Child (restored, after being destroyed by the French
revolutionists). Below it on either side are smaller figures holding
escutcheons. From the balcony between these last, the laws and the
rescripts of the Counts were read aloud to the people assembled in the

The Belfry can be =ascended= by steps. Apply to the _concierge_; 25 c.
per person. Owing to the force of the wind, it leans slightly to the
S.E. The =*view= from the top is very extensive and striking; it
embraces the greater part of the Plain of Flanders, with its towns and
villages: the country, though quite flat, looks beautiful when thus
seen. In early times, however, the look-out from the summit was of
practical use for purposes of observation, military or maritime. It
commanded the river, the Zwin, and the sea approach by Sluys and Damme;
the course of the various canals; and the roads to Ghent, Antwerp,
Tournai, and Courtrai. The Belfry contains a famous set of =chimes=, the
mechanism of which may be inspected by the visitor. He will have
frequent opportunities of hearing the beautiful and mellow carillon,
perhaps to excess. The existing bells date only from 1680: the mechanism
from 1784.

The square building on either side of the Belfry, known as =Les Halles=,
was erected in or about 1248, and is a fine but sombre specimen of Early
Gothic civic architecture. The wing to the left was originally the
=Cloth Hall=, for the display and sale of the woollen manufactures of
Ghent and Bruges. It is now used as municipal offices. A door to the L.
gives access to a small Museum of Antiquities on the ground floor, which
may be safely neglected by all save specialist archæologists. (Admission
50 c.) The wing to the right is the meat market.

Now, stand with your back to the Belfry to survey the =Square=. The
brick building on your right is the Post Office (modern); the stone one
beyond it (also modern) is the Palace of the Provincial Government of
Flanders. Both have been erected in a style suitable to the town. In the
Middle Ages, ships could come up to this part of the Grand’ Place to
discharge their cargo. The quaint houses that face you, with
high-pitched gable-ends, are partly modern, but mostly old, though
restored. On the left (W.) side of the Place, at the corner of the Rue
St. Amand, stands the square castle-like building known as _Au Lion de
Flandre_ and marked by its gold lion. It is one of the best brick
mediæval buildings in Bruges. According to a doubtful tradition, it was
occupied by Charles II. of England during his exile, when he was created
by the Brugeois King of the Crossbowmen of St. Sebastian (see later). In
the house beside it, known as the Craenenburg, the citizens of Bruges
imprisoned Maximilian, King of the Romans, from the 5th to the 17th of
February, 1488, because he would not grant the care of his son Philip,
heir to the crown of the Netherlands, to the King of France. They only
released him after he had sworn before an altar erected at the spot, on
the Host, the true Cross, and the Relics of St. Donatian, to renounce
his claim to the guardianship of his son, and to grant a general
amnesty. However, he was treacherously released from his oath by a
congress of Princes convened a little later by his father, the Emperor
Frederic IV.

                 *        *        *        *        *

From the corner of the Post Office, take the short Rue Breydel to the
=Place du Bourg=, the still more intimate centre and focus of the early
life of Bruges. This Place contained the old Palace of the Counts of
Flanders, and the original Cathedral, both now destroyed, as well as the
Town Hall and other important buildings still preserved for us.

The tallest of the three handsome edifices on the S. side of the Square
(profusely adorned with sculpture) is the =**Hôtel de Ville=, a
beautiful gem of Middle Gothic architecture, begun about 1376, and
finished about 1387. This is one of the finest pieces of civic
architecture in Belgium. The _façade_, though over-restored, and the six
beautiful turrets and chimneys, are in the main of the original design.
The sculpture in the niches, destroyed during the French Revolution, has
been only tolerably replaced by modern Belgian sculptors in our own day.
The lower tier contains the Annunciation, R. and L. of the doorway, with
figures of various saints and prophets. In the tiers above this are
statues of the Counts of Flanders of various ages. The _reliefs_ just
below the windows of the first floor represent episodes from Biblical
history:—David before Saul, David dancing before the Ark, the Judgment
of Solomon, the Building of Solomon’s Temple, and other scenes which the
visitor can easily identify. The Great Hall in the interior is
interesting only for its fine pendant Gothic wooden roof.

The somewhat lower building, to the right of the Hôtel de Ville, is the
=**Chapelle du Saint Sang=. The decorated portal round the corner also
forms part of the same building.

    [In the 12th and 13th centuries (age of the Crusades) the
    chivalrous and credulous knights of the North and West who
    repaired to the Holy Land, whether as pilgrims or as soldiers of
    the Faith, were anxious to bring back with them relics of the
    saints or of still more holy personages. The astute Greeks and
    Syrians with whom they had to deal rose to the occasion, and
    sold the simple Westerns various sacred objects of more or less
    doubtful authenticity at fabulous prices. Over these treasured
    deposits stately churches were often raised; for example, St.
    Louis of France constructed the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, to
    contain the Crown of Thorns and part of the True Cross, which he
    had purchased at an immense cost from Baldwin, Emperor of
    Constantinople. Among the earlier visitors to the Holy Land who
    thus signalised their journey was Theodoric of Alsace, elected
    Count of Flanders in 1128; he brought back with him in 1149 some
    drops of the =Holy Blood= of the Saviour, said to have been
    preserved by Joseph of Arimathea, which he presented to his
    faithful city of Bruges. Fitly to enshrine them, Theodoric
    erected a chapel in the succeeding year, 1150; and this early
    church forms the lower floor of the existing building. Above it,
    in the 15th century, when Bruges grew richer, was raised a
    second and more gorgeous chapel (as at the Sainte Chapelle), in
    which the holy relic is now preserved. Almost all the works of
    art in the dainty little oratory accordingly bear special
    reference to the Holy Blood, its preservation, and its transport
    to Bruges. The dedication is to =St. Basil=, the founder of
    eastern monasticism—a Greek Father little known in the West,
    whose fame Theodoric must have learned in Syria. The nobles of
    Flanders, it must be remembered, were particularly active in
    organising the Crusades.]

The =exterior= has a fine figure of St. Leonard (holding the fetters
which are his symbol) under a Gothic niche. He was the patron of
Christian slaves held in duress by the Saracens. The beautiful
flamboyant =portal= and =staircase=, round the corner, erected in
1529-1533, in the ornate decorative style of the period, have (restored)
figures of Crusaders and their Queens in niches, with incongruous
Renaissance busts below.

To visit the =interior=, ring the bell in the corner: admission, 50 c.
per person.

The =Museum= of the Brotherhood of the Holy Blood, on the first floor,
which we first visit, contains by the =left wall= the handsome
silver-gilt Reliquary (of 1617), studded with jewels, which encloses the
drops of the Holy Blood. The figures on it represent Christ (the source
of the Blood), the Blessed Virgin, St. Basil (patron of the church), and
St. Donatian (patron of the town). The Blood is exhibited in a simpler
_châsse_ in the chapel every Friday; that is to say, on the day of the
Crucifixion. The great Reliquary itself is carried in procession only,
on the Monday after the 3rd of May. Right and left of the _châsse_ are
portraits of the members of the Confraternity of the Holy Blood by P.
Pourbus, 1556: unusually good works of this painter. A triptych to the
right, by an unknown master of the early 16th century, figures the
Crucifixion, with special reference to the Holy Blood, representing St.
Longinus in the act of piercing the side of Christ (thus drawing the
Blood), with the Holy Women and St. John in attendance; on the wings,
the Way to Calvary, and the Resurrection.

=Between the windows= is a curious chronological picture of the late
15th century, representing the History of Our Lady in the usual stages,
with other episodes. To the R. of it, a painting of the 15th century
shows Count Theodoric receiving the Holy Blood from his brother-in-law,
Baldwin, King of Jerusalem, and the bringing of the Holy Blood to

On the =right wall= there is a famous =*triptych= by Gerard David (the
finest work here), representing the Deposition in the Tomb, with the
Maries, St. John, Nicodemus, and an attendant holding a dish to contain
the Holy Blood, which is also seen conspicuously flowing from the
wounds; the left wing shows the Magdalen with Cleophas; the right wing,
the preservation of the Crown of Thorns by Joseph of Arimathea. The
portrait character of the faces is admirable: stand long and study this
fine work.

The original designs for the windows of the Chapel are preserved in a
=glass case= by the window; behind which are fragments of early coloured
glass; conspicuous among them, St. Barbara with her tower.

On the =exit wall= is a fine piece of late Flemish tapestry,
representing the bringing of the body of St. Augustine to Pavia, with
side figures of San Frediano of Lucca and Sant’ Ercolano of
Perugia—executed, no doubt, for an Italian patron.

The =Chapel= itself, which we next enter, is gorgeously decorated in
polychrome, recently restored. The stained glass windows, containing
portraits of the Burgundian Princes from the beginning of the dynasty
down to Maria Theresa and Francis I., were executed in 1845 from earlier
designs. The large window facing the High Altar is modern. It represents
appropriately the history of the Passion, the origin of the Sacred
Blood, its Transference to Bruges, and the figures of the Flemish
Crusaders engaged in its transport. At the summit of the window, notice
the frequent and fitting symbol of the pelican feeding its young with
its own blood.

In the little =side chapel= to the R., separated from the main building
by an arcade of three arches, is the _tabernacle_ or canopy from which
the Sacred Blood is exhibited weekly. To the right is hung a Crown of
Thorns. Notice, also, the Crown of Thorns held by the angel at the top
of the steps. The window to the L. (modern) represents St. Longinus, the
centurion who pierced the side of Christ, and St. Veronica, displaying
her napkin which she gave to the Saviour to wipe his face on the way to
Calvary, and which retained ever after the impress of the Divine
Countenance. Almost all the other objects in the chapel bear reference,
more or less direct, to the Holy Blood. Observe particularly in the main
chapel the handsome modern High Altar with its coloured reliefs of
scenes of the Passion. Such scenes as the Paschal Lamb on its base, with
the Hebrew smearing the lintel of the door, are of course symbolical.

The =Lower Chapel=, to which we are next conducted, is a fine specimen
of late Romanesque architecture. It was built by Theodoric in 1150. Its
solid short pillars and round arches contrast with the lighter and later
Gothic of the upper building. The space above the door of the eastern of
the two chapels which face the entrance, is occupied by an interesting
mediæval relief representing a baptism with a dove descending. Notice as
you pass out, from the Place outside, the two beautiful _turrets_ at the
west end of the main chapel.

                 *        *        *        *        *

To the left of the Hôtel de Ville stands the ornate and much gilded
Renaissance building known as the =*Maison de l’Ancien Greffe=,
originally the municipal record office, but now employed as a
police-court. It bears the date 1537, and has been recently restored and
profusely covered with gold decoration. Over the main doorway is the
Lion of Flanders; on the architrave of the first floor are heads of
Counts and Countesses; and the building is surmounted by a figure of
Justice, with Moses and Aaron and emblematical statues. Note the Golden
Fleece and other symbols. The interior is uninteresting.

The E. side of the square is formed by the =Palais de Justice=, which
stands on the site of an old =palace of the Counts of Flanders=,
presented by Philippe le Beau to the Liberty of Bruges, and employed by
them as their town hall of the _Buitenpoorters_, or inhabitants of the
district outside the gate, known as the _Franc de Bruges_. The
Renaissance building, erected between 1520 and 1608, was burnt down and
replaced in the 18th century by the very uninteresting existing
building. Parts of the old palace, however, were preserved, one room in
which should be visited for the sake of its magnificent
=**chimney-piece=. In order to see it, enter the quadrangle: the
porter’s room faces you as you enter; inquire there for the key;
admission, 50 c. per person. The _concierge_ conducts you to the
Court-Room, belonging to the original building. Almost the entire side
of the room is occupied by a splendid Renaissance chimney-piece,
executed in 1529, after designs by Lancelot Blondeel of Bruges (a
painter whose works are frequent in the town), and Guyot de Beaugrant of
Malines, for the Council of the Liberty of Bruges, in honour of Charles
V., as a memorial of the Treaty of Cambrai, in 1526. (This was the
treaty concluded after the battle of Pavia, by which François I^{er} of
France was compelled to acknowledge the independence of Flanders. Some
of the figures in the background are allusive to the victory.) The lower
part, or chimney-piece proper, is of black marble. The upper portion is
of carved oak. The marble part has four bas-reliefs in white alabaster
by Guyot de Beaugrant, representing the History of Susannah, a mere
excuse for the nude: (1) Susannah and the Elders at the Bath; (2)
Susannah dragged by the Elders before the Judge; (3) Daniel before the
Judge exculpating Susannah; (4) The Stoning of the Elders. The genii at
the corners are also by Beaugrant. The whole is in the pagan taste of
the Renaissance. The upper portion in oak contains in the centre a
statue of Charles V., represented in his capacity as Count of Flanders
(as shown by the arms on his cuirass): the other figures represent his
descent and the cumulation of sovereignties in his person. On the throne
behind Charles (ill seen) are busts of Philippe le Beau, his father,
through whom he inherited the Burgundian dominions, and Johanna (the
Mad) of Spain, his mother, through whom he inherited the united
Peninsula. The statues L. and R. are those of his actual royal
predecessors. The figures to the L. are his paternal grandfather, the
Emperor Maximilian, from whom he derived his German territories, and his
paternal grandmother, *Mary of Burgundy, who brought into the family
Flanders, Burgundy, etc. Mary is represented with a hawk on her wrist,
as she was killed at twenty-five by a fall from her horse while out
hawking. (We shall see her tomb later at Notre-Dame.) The figures on the
R. are those of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, the
maternal grandfather and grandmother of Charles, from whom he inherited
the two portions of his Spanish dominions. The medallions at the back
represent the personages most concerned in the Treaty of Cambrai, and
the Victory of Pavia which rendered it possible. (De Lannoy, the
conqueror, to whom François gave up his sword, and Margaret of Austria.)
The tapestry which surrounds the hall is modern; it was manufactured at
Ingelmünster after the pattern of a few old fragments found in the
cellars of the ancient building. The mediocre painting on the wall
depicts a sitting of the court of the Liberty of Bruges in this room

                 *        *        *        *        *

The N. side of the square is now occupied by a small Place planted with
trees. Originally, however, the =old cathedral= of Bruges occupied this
site. It was dedicated to St. Donatian, the patron of the city, whose
relics were preserved in it; but it was barbarously destroyed by the
French Revolutionary army in 1799, and the works of art which it
contained were dispersed or ruined. Figures of St. Donatian occur
accordingly in many paintings at Bruges. Jan van Eyck was buried in this
cathedral, and a =statue= has been erected to him under the trees in the
little Place. In order, therefore, mentally to complete the picture of
the Place du Bourg in the 16th century, we must imagine not only the
Hôtel de Ville, the Chapelle du Saint Sang, and the Ancien Greffe in
something approaching their existing condition, but also the stately
cathedral and the original Renaissance building of the _Franc de Bruges_
filling in the remainder.

An archway spans the space between the Ancien Greffe and the Hôtel de
Ville. Take the narrow street which dives beneath it, looking back as
you pass at the archway with its inscription of S.P.Q.B. (for Senatus
Populusque Brugensis). The street then leads across a bridge over the
river Reye or principal canal, and affords a good view of the back of
the earlier portion of the Palais de Justice, with its picturesque brick
turrets, and a few early arches belonging to the primitive palace. I
recommend the visitor to turn to the R. after crossing the bridge,
traverse the little square, and make his way home by the bank of the
Dyver and the church of Notre-Dame. The view towards the Hôtel de Ville
and the Belfry, from the part of the Dyver a little to the east behind
the Belfry, is one of the most picturesque and striking in Bruges.

                     _C._ THE HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN

    [The =Hospital of St. John=, one of the most ancient
    institutions in Bruges, or of its kind in Europe, was founded
    not later than 1188, and still retains, within and without, its
    mediæval arrangement. =Its Augustinian brothers and nuns= tend
    the sick in the primitive building, now largely added to. It
    derives its chief interest for the tourist, however, from its
    small =Picture Gallery=, the one object in Bruges which must
    above everything else be visited. This is the only place for
    studying in full the exquisite art of =Memling=, whose charming
    and poetical work is here more fully represented than elsewhere.
    In this respect the Hospital of St. John may be fitly compared
    with the two other famous “one-man shows” of Europe—the Fra
    Angelicos at San Marco in Florence, and the Giottos in the
    Madonna dell’ Arena at Padua. Many of the pictures were painted
    for the institution which they still adorn; so that we have here
    the opportunity of seeing works of mediæval art in the precise
    surroundings which first produced them.

    =Hans Memling=, whose name is also written _Memlinc_ and
    _Memlin_, etc. (long erroneously cited as _Hemling_; through a
    mistaken reading of the initial in his signature) is a painter
    of whom little is known, save his work; but the work is the man,
    and therefore amply sufficient. He was born about 1430, perhaps
    in Germany, and is believed to have been a pupil of Roger van
    der Weyden, the Brussels painter, whose work we shall see later
    at Antwerp and elsewhere. Mr. Weale has shown that he was a
    person of some wealth, settled at Bruges in his own house (about
    1478), and in a position to lend money to the town. He died in
    1495. His period of activity as a painter is thus coincident
    with the earlier work of Carpaccio and Perugino in Italy; and he
    died while Raphael was still a boy. In relation to the artists
    of his own country, whose works we have still to see, Memling
    was junior by more than a generation to Jan van Eyck, having
    been born about ten years before Van Eyck died; he was also
    younger by thirty years than Roger van der Weyden; and by twenty
    or thirty years than Dierick Bouts; but older by at least twenty
    than Gerard David. Memling has been called the Fra Angelico of
    Flanders; but this is only true so far as regards Fra Angelico’s
    panel works; the saintly Frate, when he worked in fresco,
    adopted a style wholly different from that which he displays in
    his miniature-like altar-pieces. It would be truer to say that
    Memling is the Benozzo Gozzoli of the North: he has the same
    love of decorative adjuncts, and the same naïve delight in the
    beauty of external nature.

    Before visiting the Hospital, it is also well to be acquainted
    in outline with =the history of St. Ursula=, whose _châsse_ or
    =shrine= forms one of its greatest treasures. The Hospital
    possessed an important relic of the saint—her holy arm—and
    about 1480-1489 commissioned Memling to paint scenes from her
    life on the shrine destined to contain this precious deposit.
    The chest or reliquary which he adorned for the purpose forms
    the very best work of Memling’s lifetime.

    =St. Ursula= was a British (or Bretonne) princess, brought up as
    a Christian by her pious parents. She was sought in marriage by
    a pagan prince, Conon, said to be the son of a king of England.
    The English king, called Agrippinus in the legend, sent
    ambassadors to the king of Britain (or Brittany) asking for the
    hand of Ursula for his heir. But Ursula made three conditions:
    first, that she should be given as companions ten noble virgins,
    and that she herself and each of the virgins should be
    accompanied by a thousand maiden attendants; second, that they
    should all together visit the shrines of the saints; and third,
    that the prince Conon and all his court should receive baptism.
    These conditions were complied with; the king of England
    collected 11,000 virgins; and Ursula, with her companions,
    sailed for Cologne, where she arrived miraculously without the
    assistance of sailors (but Memling adds them). Here, she had a
    vision of an angel bidding her to repair to Rome, the threshold
    of the apostles. From Cologne, the pilgrims went up the Rhine by
    boat, till they arrived at Basle, where they disembarked and
    continued their journey on foot over the Alps to Italy. At
    length they reached the Tiber, which they descended till they
    approached the walls of Rome. There, the Pope, St. Cyriacus,
    went forth with all his clergy in procession to meet them. He
    gave them his blessing, and lest the maidens should come to harm
    in so wicked a city, he had tents pitched for them outside the
    walls on the side towards Tivoli. Meanwhile, prince Conon had
    come on pilgrimage by a different route, and arrived at Rome on
    the same day as his betrothed. He knelt with Ursula at the feet
    of the Pope, and, being baptized, received in exchange the name
    of Ethereus.

    After a certain time spent in Rome, the holy maidens bethought
    them to return home again. Thereupon, Pope Cyriacus decided to
    accompany them, together with his cardinals, archbishops,
    bishops, patriarchs, and many others of his prelates. They
    crossed the Alps, embarked again at Basle, and made their way
    northward as far as Cologne. Now it happened that the army of
    the Huns was at that time besieging the Roman colony; and the
    pagans fell upon the 11,000 virgins, with the Pope and their
    other saintly companions. Prince Ethereus was one of the first
    to die; then Cyriacus, the bishops, and the cardinals perished.
    Last of all, the pagans turned upon the virgins, all of whom
    they slew, save only St. Ursula. Her they carried before their
    king, who, beholding her beauty, would fain have wedded her. But
    Ursula sternly refused the offer of this son of Satan; whereupon
    the king, seizing his bow, transfixed her breast with three
    arrows. Hence her symbol is an arrow; also, she is the patroness
    of young girls and of virgins, so that her shrine is
    particularly appropriate in a nunnery.

    Most of the bones of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins are
    preserved at Cologne, the city of her martyrdom, where they are
    ranged in cases round the walls of a church dedicated in her
    honour; but her arm is here, and a few other relics are
    distributed elsewhere.

    The Hospital is open daily from 9 to 6; Sundays, 3 to 6. 1 franc
    per person. If you have Conway, take it with you.]

From the Grand’ Place, turn down the Rue des Pierres, the principal
shopping street of Bruges, with several fine old _façades_, many of them
dated. At the Place Simon Stévin turn to the L., and go straight on as
far as the church of Notre-Dame. The long brick building with Gothic
arches, on your right, is the =**Hospital of St. John= the Evangelist.

First, examine the brick Gothic =exterior=. Over the outer doorway is
the figure of a bishop with a flaming heart, the emblem of St.
Augustine, this being an Augustinian hospital. Continue on to the
original main portal (now bricked up) with a broken pillar, and two 13th
century reliefs in the tympanum. That to the _right_ represents the
Death of the Virgin, with the Apostles grouped around, and the figure of
the Christ receiving her naked new-born soul as usual. Above is the
Coronation of Our Lady. That to the _left_ seems like a reversed and
altered _replica_ of the same subject, with perhaps the Last Judgment
above it. It is, however, so much dilapidated that identification is
difficult. (Perhaps the top is a Glory of St. Ursula.) Go on as far as
the little bridge over the canal, to inspect the picturesque river front
of the Hospital.

Return to the main portal and ring the inner bell. Admission, see above.
The =pictures= are collected in the former Chapter-house of the
Hospital, above the door of which is another figure of St. Augustine.

The centre of the room is occupied by the famous _châsse_ or =**shrine=
containing the arm of =St. Ursula=, a dainty little Gothic chapel in
miniature. It is painted with exquisite scenes from the legend, by
Memling, with all the charm of a fairy tale. He treats it as a poetical
romance. Begin the story on the side towards the window. (For a
penetrating criticism of these works, see Conway.)

_1st panel_, on the left: St. Ursula and her maidens, in the rich dress
of the Burgundian court of the 15th century, arrive at Cologne, the
buildings of which are seen in the background, correctly represented,
but not in their true relations. In a window in the background to the
R., the angel appears to St. Ursula in a vision.

_2nd panel_: the Virgins arrive at Basle and disembark from the ships.
In the background, they are seen preparing to make their way, one by
one, across the Alps, which rise from low hills at the base to snowy
mountains. From another ship Conon and his knights are disembarking.

**_3rd panel_: (the most beautiful:) the Maidens arrive at Rome. In the
distance they are seen entering the city through a triumphal arch; in
the foreground, St. Ursula kneels before St. Cyriacus and his bishops,
with their attendant deacons, all the faces having the character of
portraits. (Note especially the fat and jolly ecclesiastic just under
the arch.) At the same time, her betrothed, Conon, with his knights,
arrives at Rome by a different road, and is seen kneeling in a red robe
trimmed with rich fur beside St. Ursula. (Fine portrait faces of Conon
and an old courtier behind him.) The Pope and his priests are gathered
under the portals of a beautiful round-arched building, whose exquisite
architecture should be closely examined. To the extreme R., the new
converts and Conon receive baptism naked in fonts after the early
fashion. In the background of this scene, St. Ursula receives the
Sacrament. (She may be recognised throughout by her peculiar
blue-and-white dress, with its open sleeves.) To the left of her, Conon
makes confession. In this, as in the other scenes, several successive
moments of the same episode are contemporaneously represented. Look long
at it.

Now, =turn round= the shrine, which swings freely on a pivot, to see the
scenes of the return journey.

_1st panel_: (beginning again at the left:) the Pope and his bishops and
cardinals embark with St. Ursula in the boat at Basle on their way to
Cologne. Three episodes are here conjoined: the Pope cautiously stepping
into a ship; the Pope seated; the ship sailing down the Rhine. All the
faces here, and especially the timid old Pope stepping into the boat,
deserve careful examination. In the background, the return over the

_*2nd panel_: the Maidens and the Pope arrive at Cologne, where they are
instantly set upon by the armed Huns. Conon is slain by the thrust of a
sword, and falls back dying in the arms of St. Ursula. Many of the
maidens are also slaughtered.

_*3rd panel_: continuous with the last, but representing a subsequent
moment: the Martyrdom of St. Ursula. The King of the Huns, in full
armour, at the door of his tent, bends his bow to shoot the blessed
martyr, who has refused his advances. Around are grouped his knights in
admirably painted armour. (Note the reflections.) All the scenes have
the character of a mediæval romance. For their open-air tone and
make-believe martyrdom, see Conway.

At the =ends= of the shrine are two other pictures, (1) *St. Ursula with
her arrow, as the protectress of young girls, sheltering a number of
them under her cloak (not, as is commonly said, the 11,000 Virgins).
Similar protecting figures of the saint are common elsewhere (Cluny,
Bologna, etc.). At the opposite end, (2) the Madonna and Child with an
apple, and at her feet two Augustinian nuns of this Hospital, kneeling,
to represent the devotion of the order.

The =roof= of the shrine is also decorated with pictures. (1) St. Ursula
receiving the crown of martyrdom from God the Father, with the Son and
the Holy Ghost; at the sides, two angels playing the mandoline and the
regal or portable organ; (2) St. Ursula in Paradise, bearing her arrow,
and surrounded by her maidens, who shared her martyrdom, together with
the Pope and other ecclesiastics in the background. (This picture is
largely borrowed from the famous one by Stephan Lochner on the High
Altar of Cologne Cathedral, known as the _Dombild_. If you are going on
to Cologne, buy a photograph of this now, to compare with Meister
Stephan later. His altar-piece is engraved in Conway. If you have it
with you, compare them.) At the sides are two angels playing the zither
and the violin. (The angels are possibly by a pupil.)

I have given a brief description only of these pictures, but every one
of them ought to be carefully examined, and the character of the figures
and of the landscape or architectural background noted. You will see
nothing lovelier in all Flanders.

Near the window by the entrance is a =**Triptych=, also by Memling,
commissioned by Brother Jan Floreins of this Hospital. The _central
panel_ represents the =Adoration of the Magi=, which takes place, as
usual, under a ruined temple fitted up as a manger. The Eldest of the
Three Kings (according to precedent) is kneeling and has presented his
gift; Joseph, recognisable (in all three panels) by his red-and-black
robe, stands erect behind him, with the presented gift in his hands. The
Middle-aged King, arrayed in cloth of gold, with a white tippet, kneels
with his gift to the L. of the picture. The Young King, a black man, as
always, is entering with his gift to the right. The three thus typify
the Three Ages of Man, and also the three known continents, Europe,
Asia, Africa. On the L. side of this central panel are figured the
donor, Jan Floreins, and his brother Jacob. (Members of the same family
are grouped in the well-known “Duchâtel Madonna,” also by Memling, in
the Louvre.) To the right is a figure looking in at a window and wearing
the yellow cap still used by convalescents of the Hospital, (arbitrarily
said to be a portrait of Memling.) The _left panel_ represents the
Nativity, with our Lady, St. Joseph, and two adoring angels. The _right
panel_ shows the Presentation in the Temple, with Simeon and Anna, and
St. Joseph (in red and black) in the background. (The whole thus
typifies the Epiphany of Christ; left, to the Blessed Virgin; centre, to
the Gentiles; right, to the Jews.) The _outer panels_, in pursuance of
the same idea, have figures, right, of St. John Baptist with the lamb
(he pointed out Christ to the Jews), with the Baptism of Christ in the
background; and left, St. Veronica, who preserved for us the features of
our Lord, displaying his divine face on her napkin. The architectural
frame shows the First Sin and the Expulsion from Paradise. Note
everywhere the strong character in the men’s faces, and the exquisite
landscape or architectural backgrounds. Dated 1479. This is Memling’s
finest altar-piece: its glow of colour is glorious.

By the centre window, a =*triptych=, doubtfully attributed to Memling,
represents, in the centre, =the Deposition from the Cross=, with the
Holy Blood conspicuous, as might be expected in a Bruges work. In the
foreground are St. John, the Madonna, and St. Mary Magdalene; in the
background, the preparations for the Deposition in the Tomb. On the
=wings=: _left_, Brother Adrian Reins, the donor, with his patron saint,
Adrian, bearing his symbol, the anvil, on which his limbs were struck
off, and with his lion at his feet; _right_, St. Barbara with her tower,
perhaps as patroness of armourers. On the =exterior wings=, _left_, St.
Wilgefortis with her tau-shaped cross; _right_, St. Mary of Egypt, with
the three loaves which sustained her in the desert.

On the same stand is the beautiful =*diptych= by Memling, representing
=Martin van Nieuwenhoven= adoring the Madonna. The _left_ panel
represents Our Lady and the Child, with an apple, poised on a
beautifully painted cushion. A convex mirror in the background reflects
the backs of the figures (as in the Van Eyck of the National Gallery).
Through the open window is seen a charming distant prospect. The _right_
panel has the fine portrait of the donor, in a velvet dress painted with
extreme realism. Note the admirable prayer-book and joined hands. At his
back, a stained glass window shows his patron, St. Martin, dividing his
cloak for the beggar. Below, a lovely glimpse of landscape. This is
probably Memling’s most successful portrait. Dated 1487: brought here
from the _Hospice_ of St. Julian, of which Martin was Master.

In all Flemish art, observe now the =wooden face of the
Madonna=—ultimately derived, I believe, from imitation of painted
wooden figures, and then hardened into a type. As a rule, the Madonna is
the least interesting part of all Flemish painting; and after her, the
women, especially the young ones. The men’s faces are best, and better
when old: character, not beauty, is what the painter cares for. This is
most noticeable in Van Eyck, but is true in part even of Memling.

At the end of the room is the magnificent =*triptych= painted by Memling
for the =High Altar= of the Church of this Hospital. This is the largest
of his works, and it is dedicated to the honour of the two saints (John
the Evangelist and John the Baptist) who are patrons of the Hospital.
The =central panel= represents Our Lady, seated in an exquisite
cloister, on a throne backed with cloth of gold. To the right and left
are two exquisite angels, one of whom plays a regal, while the other, in
a delicious pale blue robe, holds a book for Our Lady. Two smaller
angels, poised in air, support her crown. To the left, St. Catherine of
Alexandria kneels as princess, with the broken wheel and the sword of
her martyrdom at her feet. The Child Christ places a ring on her finger;
whence the whole composition is often absurdly called “The Marriage of
St. Catherine.” It should be styled “The Altar-piece of the St. Johns.”
To the right is St. Barbara, calmly reading, with her tower behind her.
When these two saints are thus combined, they represent the meditative
and the active life (as St. Barbara was the patroness of arms:) or, more
definitely, the clergy and the knighthood. Hence their appropriateness
to an institution, half monastic, half secular. In the background stand
the two patron saints; St. John Baptist with the lamb (Memling’s
personal patron), to the left, and St. John the Evangelist with the cup
and serpent, to the right. (For these symbols, see Mrs. Jameson.) Behind
the Baptist are scenes from his life and preaching. He is led to prison,
and his body is burned by order of Julian the Apostate. Behind the
Evangelist, he is seen in the cauldron of boiling oil. The small figure
in black to the right is the chief donor, Brother Jan Floreins, who is
seen further back in his secular capacity as public gauger of wine, near
a great crane, which affords a fine picture of mercantile life in old
Bruges. The _left wing_ represents the life of St. John the Baptist. In
the distance is seen the Baptism of Christ. In a room to the left, the
daughter of Herodias dances before Herod. The foreground is occupied by
the episode of the Decollation, treated in a courtly manner, very
redolent of the Burgundian splendour. Figures and attitudes are
charming: only, the martyrdom sinks into insignificance beside the
princess’s collar. Other minor episodes may be discovered by inspection.
(The episodes on either wing overflow into the main pictures.) The
_right wing_ shows St. John the Evangelist in Patmos, writing the
Apocalypse, various scenes from which are realistically and too solidly
represented above him, without poetical insight. Memling here attempts
to transcend his powers. He has no sublimity. On the _exterior of the
wings_ are seen the four other members of the society who were donors of
the altar-piece; Anthony Zeghers, master of the Hospital, with his
patron, St. Anthony, known by his pig and tau-shaped crutch and bell:
Jacob de Cueninc, treasurer, accompanied by his patron, St. James the
Greater, with his pilgrim’s staff and scallop-shell: Agnes Casembrood,
mistress of the Hospital, with her patron, St. Agnes, known by her lamb:
and Claire van Hulsen, a sister, with her patron, St. Clara. Dated,

By the entrance door is a =Portrait of Marie Moreel=, represented as a
Sibyl. She was a daughter of Willem Moreel or Morelli, a patron of
Memling, whom we shall meet again at the Museum. This is a fine portrait
of a solid, plain body, a good deal spoiled by attempted cleaning. It
comes from the _Hospice_ of St. Julian.

As you go out, cast a glance at the fine old brick buildings, and note
the cleanliness of all the arrangements.

Return more than once: do not be satisfied with a single visit.

The other pictures and objects formerly exhibited in this Hospital have
been transferred to the Potterie and another building. They need only be
visited by those whose time is ample.

After leaving the Hospital, I do not advise an immediate visit to the
Academy. Let the Memlings first sink into your mind. But the walk may be
prolonged by crossing the canal, and taking the second turning to the
R., which leads (over a pretty bridge of three arches) to the
=Béguinage=, a lay-nunnery for ladies who take no vows, but who live in
monastic fashion under the charge of a Superior. Above the gateway is a
figure of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, (to whom the church within is
dedicated) giving alms to a beggar. She wears her crown, and carries in
her hand the crown and book which are her symbol. Remember these,—they
will recur later. Pass under the gateway and into the grass-grown
precincts for an external glimpse of the quiet old-world close, with its
calm white-washed houses. The church, dedicated to St. Elizabeth, is
uninteresting. This walk may be further prolonged by the pretty bank of
the _Lac d’amour_ or _Minnewater_ as far as the external canal,
returning by the ramparts and the picturesque =Porte de Gand=.

                       _D._ THE TOWN IN GENERAL.

    [The =town of Bruges itself= is more interesting, after all,
    than almost any one thing in it. Vary your day by giving up the
    morning to definite sight-seeing, and devoting the afternoon to
    =strolls= through the town and neighbourhood, in search of
    picturesqueness. I subjoin a few stray hints for such casual

(1) Set out from the Grand’ Place, and turn down the Rue Breydel to the
Place du Bourg. Cross the Place by the statue of Jan van Eyck; traverse
the Rue Philippe Stock; turn up the Rue des Armuriers a little to the
R., and continue on to the Place St. Jean, with a few interesting
houses. Note here and elsewhere, at every turn, the little statues of
the Virgin and Child in niches, and the old signs on the fronts or
gables. The interesting =Gothic turret= which faces you as you go
belongs to the old 14th Century building called =De Poorters Loodge=, or
the Assembly Hall of the Noble Citizens Within the Gate, as opposed to
those of the =Franc de Bruges=. Continue on in the same direction to the
Place Jan van Eyck, where you open up one of the most charming views in
Bruges over the canal and quays. The Place is “adorned” by a modern
statue of Jan van Eyck. The dilapidated building to your L. is that of
the =Académie des Beaux-Arts= which occupies the site of the Citizens’
Assembly Hall: the ancient edifice was wholly rebuilt and spoilt in
1755, with the exception of the picturesque tower, best viewed from the
base of the statue. Opposite you, as you emerge into the Place, is the
charming =Tonlieu= or Custom House, whose decorated _façade_ and portal
(restored) bear the date 1477, with the arms of Pieter van Luxemburg,
and the collar of the Golden Fleece. The dainty little neighbouring
house to the L., now practically united with it, has a coquettish
_façade_: the saints in the niches are St. George, St. John Baptist, St.
Thomas à Becket, (or Augustine?) and St. John the Evangelist.

The Tonlieu is now fitted up as the Municipal Library. (Open daily,
free, 10 to 1, and 3 to 5, Saturday and Sunday excepted.) It contains
illuminated manuscripts and examples of editions printed by Colard
Mansion. All round the Place are other picturesque mediæval or
Renaissance houses.

The little street to the R. (diagonally) of the Tonlieu leads on to the
Marché du Mercedi, now called Place de Memling, embellished by a statue
of the great painter. Cross the Place diagonally to the Quai des
Espagnoles (Madonna and Child in front of you) and continue along the
quay, to the L., to the first bridge; there cross and go along the
picturesque Quai des Augustins to the Rue Flamande. (Quaint little
window to the left, as you cross the bridge.) Follow the Rue Flamande as
far as the Theatre, just before reaching which you pass, right, a
handsome mediæval stone mansion, (formerly the Guild of the Genoese
Merchants,) with a relief over the door, representing St. George killing
the Dragon, and the Princess Cleodolind looking on. At the Theatre, turn
to the R., following the tram-line, and making your way back to the
Grand’ Place by the Rue des Tonneliers.

(2) As early as 1362, Bruges acquired its existing size, and was
surrounded by =ramparts=, which still in part remain. A continuous canal
runs round these ramparts, and beyond it again lies an outer moat. Most
of the =old gates= have unhappily been destroyed, but four still exist.
These may be made the objects of interesting rambles.

Go from your hotel, or from the Grand’ Place, by the Rue Flamande, as
far as the Rue de l’Académie. Turn along this to the R., into the Place
Jan van Eyck, noting as you pass the Bear of Bruges at the corner of the
building of the old Academy. Follow the quay straight on till you reach
a second canal, near the corner of which, by the Rue des Carmes, is an
interesting shop with good beaten brasswork. Take the long squalid Rue
des Carmes to the right, past the ugly convent of the English Ladies,
with its domed church in the most painful taste of the later Renaissance
(1736). The mediæval brick building on your right, at the end of the
street, is the late Gothic =Guild-house of the Archers of St.
Sebastian=. Its slender octagonal tower has a certain picturesqueness.
(St. Sebastian was of course the patron of archery.) Charles II. of
England (see under the Grand’ Place) was a member of this society during
his exile: his bust is preserved here. So also was the Emperor
Maximilian. Continue to the =ramparts=, and mount the first hill,
crowned by a windmill,—a scene of a type familiar to us in many later
Dutch and Flemish pictures. A picturesque view of Bruges is obtained
from this point: the octagonal Belfry, the square tower of St. Sauveur,
(the Cathedral), the tapering brick spire of Notre-Dame, with its
projecting gallery and the steeple of the new church of the Madeleine
are all conspicuous in views from this side. Follow the ramparts to the
R., to the picturesque =Porte de Ste. Croix=, and on past the barracks
and the little garden to the Quai des Dominicains, returning by the Park
and the Place du Bourg or the Dyver.

(3) Set out by the Grand’ Place and the Place du Bourg; then follow the
Rue Haute, with its interesting old houses, as far as the canal. Do not
cross it, but skirt the quay on the further side, with the towers of St.
Walburge and St. Gilles in front of you. At the bridge, diverge to the
right, round the church of St. Anne, and the quaint little =Church of
Jerusalem=, which contains an unimportant imitation of the Holy
Sepulchre at Jerusalem, founded by a burgomaster of Bruges in the 15th
century. It is just worth looking at. Return to the bridge, and follow
the quay straight on to the modern Episcopal Seminary and the
picturesque old =Hospice de la Potterie=, which now harbours the Museum
of Antiquities belonging to the Hospital of St. John. I do not advise a
visit. (It contains third-rate early Flemish pictures, inferior
tapestry, and a few pieces of carved oak furniture. Admission, 50 c.:
entrance by the door just beyond the church, No. F, 79. The church
itself is worth a minute’s visit.) This walk passes many interesting old
houses, which it is not necessary now to specify. Return by the =Porte
de Damme=, and the opposite side of the same canal, to the Pont des
Carmes, whence follow the pretty canal on the right to the Rue Flamande.

(4) Take the Rue St. Jacques, and go straight out to the =Porte d’
Ostende=, which forms an interesting picture. Cross the canal and outer
moat, and traverse the long avenue, past the gasometers, as far as the
navigable canal from Bruges to Ostend. Then retrace your steps to the
gateway, and return by the ramparts and the Railway Station to the Rue
Nord du Sablon.

These four walks will show you almost all that is externally interesting
in the streets and canals of the city.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The original Palace of the Counts of Flanders, we saw, occupied the site
of the Palais de Justice. Their later residence, the =Cour des Princes=,
in a street behind the Hôtel du Commerce, has now entirely disappeared.
Its site is filled by a large ornate modern building, belonging to the
Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who use it as a school for girls.

The water-system of Bruges is also interesting. The original river Reye
enters the town at the Minnewater, flows past the Hospital and the
Dyver, and turns northward at the Bourg, running under arches till it
emerges on the Place Jan van Eyck. This accounts for the apparently
meaningless way this branch seems to stop short close to the statue of
Van Eyck: also, for the mediæval ships unloading at the Grand’ Place.
The water is now mostly diverted along the canals and the moat by the

                           _E._ THE CHURCHES

    [The =original Cathedral= of Bruges (St. Donatian) was
    destroyed, as we saw, by the French, in 1799; but the town still
    possesses two fine =mediæval churches= of considerable
    pretensions, as well as several others of lesser importance.
    Though of very ancient foundation, the two principal churches in
    their existing form date only from the most flourishing period
    of Bruges, the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries.

    =St. Salvator= or =St. Sauveur=, the larger, was erected into
    the =Cathedral= after the destruction of St. Donatian, whose
    relics were transferred to it. To this, therefore, we will first
    direct ourselves.]

Go down the Rue des Pierres as far as

                             THE CATHEDRAL,

which replaces a very ancient church built by St. Eligius (St. Éloy) in

Externally, the edifice, which is built of brick, has rather a heavy and
cumbrous effect, its chief good features being the handsome square tower
and the large decorated windows of the N. and S. Transepts. The Choir
and its chapels have the characteristic French form of a _chevêt_. The
main portal of the N. Transept has been robbed of its sculpture. The
Choir is of the late 13th century: the Nave and Transept are mainly in
the decorated style of the 14th.

The best =entrance= is near the tower on the N. side. Walk straight on
into the body of the Nave, by the archway in the heavy tower, so as to
view the internal architecture as a whole. The =Nave= and _single_
=Aisles= are handsome and imposing, though the windows on the S. side
have been despoiled of their tracery. Notice the curious high-pointed
=Triforium= (1362), between the arches of the Nave and the windows of
the Clerestory. The =Choir= is closed by a strikingly ugly debased
Renaissance or rococo Rood-Screen, (1682), in black-and-white marble,
supporting the organ. It has a statue of God the Father by the younger
Quellin. The whole of the interior has been decorated afresh in somewhat
gaudy polychrome by Jean Béthune. The effect is on the whole not

The Cathedral contains few works of art of high merit, but a preliminary
walk round the Aisles, Transept, and Ambulatory behind the Choir will
give a good idea of its general arrangement. Then return to view the
paintings. The sacristan takes you round and unlocks the pictures. Do
not let him hurry you.

Begin with the =Left Aisle=.

The =Baptistery=, on your L., contains a handsome font. R. and L. of the
entry to it are admirable brasses. In the Baptistery itself, _L. wall_,
are two wings of a rather quaint triptych, representing St. Martin
dividing his cloak with the beggar; St. Nicholas raising to life the
three boys who had been salted for meat; St. Mary Magdalen with the pot
of ointment (in the distance, as Penitent in the Desert); and St.
Barbara with her tower; dated 1613. Also a rude Flemish picture (16th
century) of the lives of St. Joachim and St. Anna, and their daughter
the Blessed Virgin:—the main episodes are the Marriage of the Virgin,
Birth of the Virgin, and Rejection of St. Joachim from the Temple, with
other scenes in the background.

The _end wall_ of the Baptistery has Peter Pourbus’s masterpiece, a
*triptych painted for the =Guild of the Holy Sacrament=, attached to the
church of St. Sauveur, and allusive to their functions. The _outer
wings_, when closed, represent the Miracle of the Mass of St. Gregory,
when the Host, as he consecrated it, was changed into the bodily
Presence of the Saviour, to silence a doubter. It thus shows in a
visible form the tremendous mystery of Transubstantiation, in honour of
which the Guild was founded. Behind, the Brothers of the Confraternity
are represented (on the right wing) in attendance on the Pope, as
spectators of the miracle. One of them holds his triple crown. These may
rank among the finest portraits by the elder Pourbus. They show the last
stage in the evolution of native Flemish art before it was
revolutionized by Rubens. The _inner picture_ represents, in the centre,
the Last Supper, or rather, the Institution of the Eucharist, to
commemorate which fact the Guild was founded. The arrangement of the
figures is in the old conventional order, round three sides of a table,
with Judas in the foreground to the left. The _wings_ contain Old
Testament subjects of typical import, as foreshadowing the Eucharist.
_Left_, Melchisedec giving bread and wine to Abraham; _right_, Elijah
fed by the angel in the Wilderness. All the faces have still much of the
old Flemish portrait character.

On the _R. wall_ are the wings of a picture, by F. Pourbus (the son),
painted for the Guild of Shoemakers, whose chapel is adjacent. The
_inside_ contains portraits of the members. On the _outside_ are their
patrons, St. Crispinus and St. Crispianus, with their shoemakers’
knives. Also, an early Crucifixion, of the school of Cologne (about
1400), with St. Catherine holding her wheel and trampling on the tyrant
Maximin, by whose orders she was executed, and St. Barbara with her
tower. (These two also occur together in Memling’s great triptych.) The
picture is interesting as the only specimen in Bruges of the precursors
of Van Eyck on the lower Rhine. The Baptistery contains, besides, a fine
old candlestick, and a quaint ciborium (for the Holy Oil) with coloured
reliefs of the Seven Joys of Mary (1536).

The vistas from the =North Transept= are impressive. It terminates in
the =Chapel of the Shoemakers’ Guild=, with a fine carved wooden door of
about 1470, and good brasses, as well as an early crucifix. It is
dedicated to the patron saints of the craft, and bears their arms, a

The first two chapels in the =Ambulatory= (behind the Choir) have good

The =third Chapel= encloses the tomb of Archbishop Carondelet, in
alabaster, (1544,) a fine work of the Italian Renaissance. The Descent
from the Cross by Claeissens, with the Crown of Thorns and the Holy
Blood in the foreground: on the wings, St. Philip, and the donor, under
the protection of (the canonized) Charlemagne. Near this is a
=*triptych= by Dierick Bouts, (falsely ascribed to Memling)
representing, in the _centre_, St. Hippolytus torn to pieces by four
horses. (He was the jailor of St. Lawrence, who converted him: _see_
Mrs. Jameson). The faces show well the remarkable power of this
bourgeois painter of Louvain. On the _left wing_ are the donors; on the
_right wing_ Hippolytus confesses himself a Christian, and is condemned
to martyrdom. Over the =altar=, _retable_, a Tree of Jesse, in carved
woodwork, with the family of Our Lady: on the wings, (painted,) the
legend of St. Hubert and the stag, and the legend of St. Lucy.

In the =Apse= is the Chapel of the Host.

The next =chapel=, of the Seven Sorrows, has a Mater Dolorosa of 1460
(copy of one at Rome); a fine _*brass_; and the *portrait of Philippe le
Beau, known as Philippus Stok (father of Charles V), and bearing the
collar of the Golden Fleece.

The =Choir=, (admirable architecturally,) contains the *stalls and arms
of the Knights of the Golden Fleece, with good carved Misereres.

The Cathedral contains many other pictures of interest, which, however,
do not fall within the scope of these Guides.

The =Chambre des Marguilliers=, or Churchwardens’ Vestry, contains
manuscripts and church furniture, sufficiently described by the

In the =Sacristy= are still preserved the relics of St. Donatian.

Give the sacristan a franc, and then go round alone again, to inspect
the unlocked pictures at your leisure.

                 *        *        *        *        *

On leaving the Cathedral, go round the south side, which affords an
excellent view of the chapels built out from the apse. Then take the
little Rue du St. Esprit as far as the Church of


which replaces a chapel, built by St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany,
in 744, and enclosed in the town in 909.

Stand opposite it, in the small Place on the N. side, to observe the
somewhat shapeless architecture, the handsome brick tower crowned by a
tall brick steeple, and the beautiful little =*porch= or “Paradise,”
built out from the main structure in flamboyant Gothic of the 15th
century. The portal of this porch has been walled up, and the area is
now used as a chapel, approached from the interior. Notice the delicate
tracery of the windows, the fine finials and niches, and the charming

The picturesque building with turrets to the L. of the church was
originally the =mansion= of the family =Van der Gruuthuus=, one of the
principal mediæval stocks of Bruges. It had a passage communicating with
the family gallery in the church of Notre-Dame. The building, recently
restored, is now in course of being fitted up for the Town Museum of
Antiquities. A Museum of Lace is already installed in it; the entrance
is by a doorway over the bridge to the left (50 c. per person).

=Enter the church=, and walk straight into the Nave, below the great
West Window, a spot which affords a good view of the centre of the
church, the vaulted _double_ Aisles, and the angular Apse. The Choir is
shut off from the body of the church by a very ugly marble Rood-Screen
(1722), still bearing its crucifix, and with a figure of Our Lady,
patroness of the church, enshrined above its central arch. Rococo
statues of the Twelve Apostles, with their well-known symbols (1618),
are attached to the pillars. (Note these symbols: they recur in similar
situations everywhere.) In spite of hideous disfigurements, the main
portion of the interior is still a fine specimen of good middle Gothic
architecture, mainly of the 14th century.

Walk up the =outer left Aisle=. The last bay is formed by the
=Baptistery=, originally the =porch=, whose beautiful exterior we have
already viewed. Its interior architecture is also very charming. It
contains the Font, and the usual figure of the patron, St. John the
Baptist. This Aisle terminates in an apsidal chapel (of the Holy Cross)
containing inferior pictures of the 17th century, representing the
history of a relic of the True Cross preserved here.

The =inner left Aisle= leads to the =Ambulatory= or passage at the back
of the Choir. The Confessionals to the R. have fairly good rococo carved
woodwork, 1689. On the L. is the handsome mediæval woodwork =gallery=
(1474), belonging to the Van der Gruuthuus family, originally approached
by a passage from their mansion behind. Beneath it, is a screen of
delicate early Gothic architecture, with family escutcheons above the

The windows of the =Apse= have good modern stained glass.

On the L., at the entrance to the Apse, Pourbus’s Adoration of the
Shepherds, a winged picture, closed. The sacristan will open it. On the
wings are, _left_, the donor, Sire Josse de Damhoudere, with his patron,
St. Josse, and his four sons; _right_, his wife, Louise, with her five
daughters, and her patron St. Louis of France, wearing his crown and
robe of fleurs-de-lis, and holding the _main de justice_. He is
represented older than is usual, or indeed historical, and in features
somewhat resembles Henri IV. This is a fine picture for its master. On
the outer wings are the cognate subjects, the Circumcision and the
Adoration of the Magi, in grisaille.

The chapel in the Apse, formerly the Lady Chapel, now contains the Host.
It has a gaudy modern altar for the monstrance.

In the =South Ambulatory=, over a doorway, Foundation of the Church of
Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome, by Claeissens.

A =chapel= to the =L=., just beyond, locked, but opened by the sacristan
(1 franc; or, for a party, according to notice displayed at entrance),
contains the celebrated =**tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the
Bold=, her father. Mary was the wife of Maximilian, and died by a fall
from her horse in 1482, when only twenty-five. Her =**monument= was
designed and executed by Peter Beckere of Brussels, by order of her son
Philippe le Beau, in 1502. The sarcophagus is of black marble: the
statue of the Princess, in gilt bronze, lies recumbent upon it. The
style is intermediate between that of the later Middle Ages and of the
full Renaissance. Beside it is the *tomb of Charles the Bold, of far
less artistic value. Charles was buried at Nancy, after the fatal
battle, but his body was transported to St. Donatian in this town by his
descendant Charles V, and finally laid here beside his daughter by
Philip II, who had this tomb constructed for his ancestor in imitation
of that of Mary.

(I advise the visitor after seeing these tombs and the great
chimney-piece of the _Franc de Bruges_ to read up the history of Charles
the Bold and his descendants, down to Charles V.)

The _east wall_ of this chapel, beyond the tomb of Charles the Bold, has
a fine picture of Our Lady of Sorrows, enthroned, surrounded by smaller
subjects of the Seven Sorrows. Beginning at the left, the Circumcision,
the Flight into Egypt, Christ lost by his parents in the Temple, the Way
to Calvary, (with St. Veronica holding out her napkin,) the Crucifixion,
(with Our Lady, St. John, and Mary Magdalen,) the Descent from the
Cross, and the Deposition in the Tomb. A fine work of its sort,
attributed to Mostart (or to Maubeuge). On the _west wall_ are two wings
from a triptych by Pourbus, with tolerable portraits, (centre-piece
destroyed,) and an early Flemish painting of the Deposition from the
Cross (interesting for comparison with Roger van der Weyden and Gerard
David). In the foreground lies the vessel containing the Holy Blood. On
the wings are the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The whole is very
rudely painted. Outside are portraits of the donor and his wife and
children, with their patrons St. James (staff and scallop) and St.
Margaret (whose dragon just appears in the background).

On an =arcade=, a little further on, is a very early fresco (1350?) of a
saint (St. Louis of France?), and also a dainty small relief (about
1500) of a donor, introduced by his patron, St. Peter, adoring Our Lady.

The =end chapel= of the right aisle, that of the Holy Sacrament,
contains a celebrated and noble white marble =**Madonna and Child, by
Michael Angelo=, enshrined in a black marble niche. The pensive, grave,
and graceful face, the exquisite modelling of the dainty naked Child,
and the beautiful infantile pose of its left hand, all betray a design
of Michael Angelo, though the execution may possibly have been left to
pupils. But the modelling is softer and more feminine than is usual with
this great sculptor, except in his early period. In this respect, it
resembles most the unfinished Madonna in the Bargello at Florence.
Condivi mentions that Peter Mouscron of Bruges ordered of Michael Angelo
a Madonna and Child in bronze: he was probably mistaken as to the
material: and we have here doubtless the work in question. Apart from
its great artistic value, this exquisite group is interesting as
affording another link between Flanders and Italy.

The same chapel also contains some good 17th century pictures.

Near the confessional, as we return towards the West End of the church,
we find a good diptych of Herri met de Bles, of 1520, containing, _left
panel_, an Annunciation, with all the conventional elements; to the
left, as usual, is the angel Gabriel; to the right, Our Lady. These
relative positions are never altered. The lilies in the pot, the desk
and book, the bed with its furniture, the arcade in the background, and
the rich brocade, are all constant features in pictures of this subject.
Look out for them elsewhere. The _right panel_ has the Adoration of the
Magi, with the Old, Middle-aged, and Young Kings, the last-named a Moor.
This quaint and interesting work of a Flemish painter, with its archaic
background, and its early Italian reminiscences, also betrays the
influence of Dürer. Among the other pictures may be mentioned a triptych
in an adjacent small chapel: the _central panel_ shows the
Transfiguration, with the three apostles below, Moses, Elias, and the
Eternal Father above (perhaps by Jan Mostart). On the _wings_ (much
later, by P. Pourbus), are the portraits of the donor, his wife, and
their patron saints.

The =West Wall= of the church has several large pictures of the later
Renaissance, which can be sufficiently inspected on their merits by
those who care for them. The best of them are the Adoration of the Magi
by Seghers, and De Crayer’s Adoration of the Infant Jesus. I do not
propose to deal at length with later Flemish art till we reach Brussels
and Antwerp: at Bruges, it is best to confine oneself to the
introductory period of Flemish painting—that of the Burgundian princes.
I will therefore only call attention here to the meaningless way in
which huge pictures like B. van Orley’s Crucifixion, with subsidiary
scenes from the Passion, reproduce the form of earlier winged pictures,
which becomes absurd on this gigantic scale.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The =Church of St. Jacques= stands in the street of the same name,
conveniently near the Hôtel du Commerce. It is a good old mediæval
building (12th century, rebuilt 1457-1518), but hopelessly ruined by
alterations in the 17th century, and now, as a fabric, externally and
internally uninteresting. Its architecture is in the churchwarden style:
its decoration in the upholsterer’s. The carved wooden pulpit is a
miracle of bad taste (17th century), surpassed only by the
parti-coloured marble rood-screen. A few good pictures and decorative
objects, however, occur among the mass of paintings ranged round its
walls as in a gallery. The best is a =panel= of the old Flemish School
(by Dierick Bouts, or more probably a pupil), in the _left aisle_, just
beyond the second doorway. It tells very naïvely the History of St. Lucy
(see Mrs. Jameson). _Left_, she informs her mother that she is about to
distribute her goods to the poor, who are visibly represented in a
compact body asking alms behind her. _Centre_, she is hailed before the
consul Paschasius by her betrothed, whom she refuses to marry. She
confesses herself a Christian, and is condemned to a life of shame.
_Right_, she is dragged away to a house of ill-fame, the consul
Paschasius accompanying; but two very stumpy oxen fail to move her. The
Holy Ghost flits above her head. The details are good, but the figures
very wooden. Dated, 1480.

Beside it is an extravagant Lancelot Blondeel of St. Cosmo and St.
Damian, the doctor saints, with surgical instruments and pots of
ointment. The central picture shows their martyrdom.

Further on hangs a good Flemish triptych (according to Waagen, by Jan
Mostart), representing, the prophecies of Christ’s coming: _centre_, the
Madonna and Child; with King Solomon below, from whom a genealogical
tree rises to bear St. Joachim and St. Anna, parents of Our Lady. R. and
L. of him, Balaam and Isaiah, who prophesied of the Virgin and Christ:
with two Sibyls, universally believed in the Middle Ages to have also
foretold the advent of the Saviour. The stem ends in the Virgin and
Child. _Left_, the Tiburtine Sibyl showing the Emperor Augustus the
vision of the glorious Virgin in the sky: _right_, St. John the
Evangelist in Patmos beholding the Apocalyptic vision of the Woman
clothed with the Sun. This is a fine work of its kind, and full of the
prophetic ideas of the Middle Ages.

Pass round the =Ambulatory= and =Choir= to the _first chapel_ at the
_east end_ of the _right Aisle_. It contains an altar with the Madonna
and Child in Della Robbia ware, probably by Luca. Also, a fine tomb of
Ferry de Gros and his two wives, the first of whom reposes by his side
and the second beneath him. This is a good piece of early Renaissance
workmanship (about 1530). The church also contains a few excellent later
works by Pourbus and others, which need not be specified. This was the
church of the Florentine merchants at Bruges (whence perhaps the Della
Robbia) and particularly of the Portinari, who commissioned the great
altar-piece by Van der Goes now in the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova at

The other churches of Bruges need not detain the tourist, though all
contain a few objects of interest for the visitor who has a week or two
at his disposition.

                            _F._ THE ACADEMY

    [The =Académie des Beaux-Arts=, which formerly occupied the
    _Poorters Loodge_ (or Guild Hall of the citizens within the
    gates) has a small but valuable =collection of pictures=,
    removed from the destroyed cathedral of St. Donatian and other
    churches of Bruges, which well repays a visit. You will here
    have an excellent opportunity for studying _Jan van Eyck_, whose
    work I shall more particularly notice when we arrive at Ghent.
    It is interesting, however, here to compare him with his great
    successor, _Memling_, who is represented at the Academy by a
    fine triptych. The little gallery also contains some admirable
    works by _Gerard David_, one of the latest of the old School of
    Flemish painters, whose work may thus be observed here side by
    side with those of his two chief predecessors. Owing to the
    ruinous state of the original building the collection has been
    transferred to a temporary apartment, beyond the Hospital
    bridge, near the Church of Notre-Dame. No tourist should leave
    Bruges without visiting this interesting collection.]

The =Museum= is situated (at present) in a house on the right-hand side
of the Rue Ste. Catherine, nearly opposite a new church. Go to it past
the Hospital of St. John. Admission daily, 50 c. per person.

Begin in the centre of the =wall opposite the entrance=.

(1.) Jan van Eyck. =**Altar-piece=, ordered by George van der Palen, for
the High Altar of the original Cathedral of =St. Donatian=, of which he
was a canon. The centre of the picture is occupied by the Madonna and
Child, the face of Our Lady somewhat recalling German models. She sits
in the apse of a church, probably St. Donatian. The Child, whom it is
the fashion to describe as “aged-looking,” fondles a parrot and grasps a
bunch of flowers. To the left stands St. Donatian the Archbishop, patron
saint of the church for which this altar-piece was painted. He bears his
usual symbol, the wheel with five lighted candles (as in the beautiful
panel by Gerard David in the National Gallery at London). This is a fine
and finely-painted figure. To the right, St. George, in full armour,
admirably represented, but in an affected attitude, lifts his casque
somewhat jauntily as he presents his namesake the Canon George to Our
Lady. In all this we get a touch of Burgundian courtliness: the event is
represented as a state ceremonial. With his left hand the Saint supports
his Red Cross banner. The portrait of the kneeling Canon
himself,—asthmatic, pudding-faced—is very admirable and life-like, but
by no means flattered. He grips his prayer-book with an old man’s
tremulous hand. (For a profound criticism of this fine picture, see
Conway.) The insipid Madonna, the rather foolish St. George, the fine
portrait of the Canon, are all typical of Van Eyck’s manner. The
accessories of architecture, decoration, and background, should also be
carefully noted. The capitals of the columns and the knobs of glass in
the window, as well as St. George’s costume, are elaborated in Van
Eyck’s finest fashion.

(2.) Jan van Eyck. *Portrait of his wife, painted for presentation to
the Bruges Guild of Painters, together with one of the artist himself,
now undiscoverable. This is a fine though evidently unflattered portrait
of a capable housewife, very stiffly arrayed in her best church-going
costume. It deserves close inspection.

Above it, (3.) Head of Christ, ascribed to Jan van Eyck, but in reality
a poor and reduced copy of the picture at Berlin.

(4.) Memling. **Triptych painted for =Willem Moreel= or =Morelli=, a
member of a wealthy Savoyard family settled at Bruges. Like Jan van
Eyck’s portrait of the two Arnolfini in London, and Hugo van der Goes’s
triptych of the Portinari at Florence, this picture marks well the
cosmopolitan character of old Bruges. In the _central panel_, St.
Christopher (whose altar in the church of St. Jacques it adorned) wades
with his staff through the water, feeling as he goes the increasing
burden of the Christ-Child on his shoulder. (For the legend, see Mrs.
Jameson.) To the left, above, is the diminutive figure of the hermit
with his lantern, which always accompanies St. Christopher. The left
foreground of the picture is occupied by St. Maurus, in his Benedictine
costume; to the right is St. Giles (St. Egidius) the hermit, with the
wounded doe, the arrow piercing the arm of the saint. The _left wing_
represents the donor, Willem Moreel, under the care of his patron, St.
William, who wears a hermit’s dress above his coat of armour. (When a
saint places his hand on a votary’s shoulder it usually implies that the
votary is a namesake.) Behind are Moreel’s five sons. All these
portraits, but particularly that of the donor and his eldest son, who
closely resembles him, are admirable. The _right wing_ represents the
donor’s wife, Barbara, under the protection of her patron, St. Barbara,
with her tower, showing as usual three windows (emblematic of the Holy
Trinity). Behind the lady are her two daughters, one of whom is habited
as a Benedictine nun, whence, doubtless, the introduction of St. Maurus
into the main altar-piece. This fine triptych originally decorated an
altar of St. Christopher in Moreel’s private chapel in the church of St.
Jacques. One of his daughters is the “Sibylla Sambetha” represented at
the Hospital. The =wings= at the =back= represent in grisaille St. John
the Baptist with the lamb, and St. George with the dragon. It was usual
to paint the outer wings in grisaille or in low tones of colour, so that
the splendour of the interior hues might burst upon the spectator as the
triptych was opened.

(12) Attributed to Schoreel: really, by a master of the Brabant School.
Death of the Virgin. Our Lady is represented on her deathbed,
surrounded, as always, by the surviving apostles, who were miraculously
collected together to her chamber. The faces are those of Flemish
peasants or artisans. Above, Christ appears in glory, surrounded by a
halo of cherubs, to receive her new-born soul. Two angels support his
outer garment. This picture well shows the beginning of the later
Flemish tendency.

Now return to No. 5, by Gerard David, on the other side of the great Van
Eyck. This is a *triptych, painted for Jean des Trompes, for the High
Altar of the lower chapel of the Holy Blood. The _central panel_
represents the =Baptism of Christ=. In the middle, the Saviour wades in
the water of a diminutive Jordan, where the concentric circles show the
increased careful study of nature. On the right-hand side of the
picture, St. John-Baptist, patron saint of the donor, pours water on his
head. The relative positions of these two figures, and of the angel to
the left holding a robe, are conventional: they have descended from a
very early period of art. (In the Ravenna mosaics, the place of the
angel is filled by the river-god of the Jordan with his urn, afterwards
transformed and Christianized into an angel with a towel. Look out in
future for similar arrangements.) The central figures are weak; but the
robe of the angel is painted with Flemish minuteness. So are the flowers
and leaves of the foreground. Above, the dove descends upon the head of
the Saviour, while the Eternal Father pronounces from the skies the
words, “Behold my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

In the background are two other episodes: L., the preaching of St.
John-Baptist (where Oriental costumes indicate the heathen); R., St.
John-Baptist pointing out Christ to his disciples with the words,
“Behold the Lamb of God.” The distance shows two towns and a fine
landscape. Observe the admirable painting of the trees, with their good
shadows; also the ivy climbing up the trunk of one to the right. This
picture is among the earliest in which the gloom of a wood is accurately
represented: in many other respects it well illustrates =the rise of
landscape-painting=. (For an exhaustive criticism, see Conway.) The
_left wing_ has a portrait of the donor, with his other patron, St. John
the Evangelist, holding the cup. Beside the donor kneels his little son
Philip. This portrait, the face and foot of the Evangelist, the fur of
the donor’s robe, the crane in the background, and many other
accessories deserve close attention. Two figures in the background dimly
foreshadow Teniers. The _right wing_ has a portrait of the donor’s wife,
Elizabeth, with her four daughters. Behind her stands her patroness, St.
Elizabeth of Hungary, in Franciscan robes, with the crown on her head
and the double crown and book in her hands, as on the statuette at the
door of the Béguinage. The painting of a rosary here is excellent. The
_outer wings_ (turn them back) show, on the _left_, the Madonna and
Child with a bunch of grapes; on the _right_, the donor’s second wife
Madeleine, introduced by her patroness, St. Mary Madeleine, who holds
the alabaster pot of ointment. By the lady’s side kneels her daughter.
The background consists of a view, probably in the Bruges of that
period. Painted about 1507.

6 and 7. Gerard David. =*The Punishment of the Unjust Judge.= These two
panels are of a type commonly set up in courts of justice as a warning
to evil-doers. They were ordered by the Bruges magistracy. You will see
a similar pair by Dierick Bouts in Brussels. The story, a horrid one, is
taken from Herodotus. Sisamnes was a judge in Persia whom King Cambyses
detected receiving a bribe and ordered to be flayed alive. The king then
stretched his skin on the seat of judgment, and appointed the son of
Sisamnes to sit in his father’s place, that he might remember to avoid a
like fate. The _first picture_ represents, in the background, the
bribery. In the foreground, King Cambyses, in a rich embroidered robe,
demonstrates on his fingers the guilt of the unjust judge. Sisamnes is
seized on his tribunal by a man of the people; courtiers, lawyers, and
burgesses looking on. The expression on his face and the painting of all
the accessories is admirable. In the _second picture_ we have the
flaying of the unjust judge, a horrible scene, powerfully rendered.
Cambyses stands by, holding his sceptre, surrounded by courtiers who
recall the last age of the Burgundian dominion. In the background (as a
subsequent episode) the son of Sisamnes is seen sitting in his father’s
place: behind him hangs the skin of the father. Architecture, landscape,
ropes, and all other accessories of this painful picture should be
carefully noted.

15. J. Prévost. Last Judgment. Below, the dead are rising, half naked,
from the tomb, girt only with their shrouds; the good receiving garments
from angels, and the bad hurried away to a very Flemish and unimpressive
Hell. Above, Christ as Judge holds the sword. Two angels blow out the
words of blessing or malediction. On the spectator’s left, Our Lady
shows the breast that suckled the Redeemer. Behind her are St. Peter
with the key, St. Paul with the sword, St. Bartholomew with the knife,
and other saints. On the right are St. John-Baptist with the lamb, King
David with the harp, Moses, horned (as always), with the tables of the
law, and a confused group of saints. This picture is rather curious than
beautiful. Above it is a later treatment of the same subject by Van
Coornhuuse, interesting for comparison as showing the usual persistence
of types and the conventional grouping of the individual figures.
Compare especially the corresponding personages in the lower left-hand

A few other pictures skied on this wall deserve passing notice. 29 is a
Death and the Miser, of the School of Quentin Matsys. 17, by Lancelot
Blondeel, the architect of the great chimney-piece of the _Franc de
Bruges_, represents St. Luke painting Our Lady, in one of the fantastic
frames in which this painter delighted. 18, by the same, has a St.
George and the Dragon, with the Princess Cleodolind looking on. Around
it are four smaller scenes of his martyrdom: (he was boiled, burnt with
torches, dragged by a horse, and finally decapitated). 11, is a good
diptych of the Flemish school, by an unknown contemporary of Gerard
David. It represents, left, a donor, with his patron St. John the
Almoner, holding his symbol, a sheaf of corn. On the right, his wife
with her patroness, St. Godeliva. 28, is an Adoration of the Magi, where
the Three Kings again illustrate the three ages of man and the three
continents. Beside it is a Nativity which exhibits all the traditional
features already noted.

The =end wall= has in its centre a tolerably good Adoration of the Magi,
of the German School, 15th century. Note once more the Three Kings, of
whom the youngest is a Moor. Left of this, a *drawing, by Jan van Eyck,
of St. Barbara, which should be closely inspected. She holds a palm of
martyrdom. In the background, workmen build her tower. It is interesting
as a scene of real life at this period. This is a replica of the
well-known picture at Antwerp. To the right, two coloured drawings by
Gerard David from the life of St. John-Baptist. Above these hangs a
tolerable P. Pourbus of the Last Judgment, valuable for comparison with
the two previous treatments of the same subject on the principal wall.
Go from one to the other once or twice. Later painters of the
Renaissance use this solemn theme as a mere excuse for obtruding the
nude—and often the vulgar nude—into churches. On the same wall are a
good triptych in grisaille by P. Pourbus (Way to Calvary, Descent from
the Cross, Resurrection: from Notre-Dame at Damme), and other pictures.

The remaining walls have portraits and other works, from the 17th
century downwards, most of which need no explanation. A few of them,
indeed, are not without merit. But, as I have before observed, it is
best in mediæval Bruges to confine oneself to the 13th, 14th, 15th, and
early 16th centuries, leaving the rise of the Renaissance, and the later
Flemish School of painting, to occupy us at Antwerp, where they can be
studied to far greater advantage.


                         _A._ ORIGINS OF GHENT

FLANDERS owes everything to its water communications. At the junction
of the =Schelde= with the =Lys= or Lei, there grew up in the very early
Middle Ages a trading town, named =Gent= in Flemish, and =Gand= in
French, but commonly Anglicised as =Ghent=. It lay on a close network of
rivers and canals, formed partly by these two main streams, and partly
by the minor channels of the Lieve and the Moere, which together
intersect it into several islands. Such a tangle of inland waterways,
giving access both to the sea and to Bruges, Courtrai, and Tournai, as
well as less directly to Antwerp and Brussels, ensured the rising town
in early times considerable importance. It formed the centre of a
radiating commerce. Westward, its main relations were with London and
the English wool ports; eastward with Cologne, Maastricht, the Rhine
towns, and Italy. Ghent was always =the capital of East Flanders=, as
Bruges or Ypres were of the Western province; and after the Counts lost
possession of Arras and Artois, it became in the 13th century their
principal residence and the metropolis of the country. The trade in
=weaving= grew rapidly in importance, and the Ghenters received from
their Count a charter of liberties of the usual mediæval burgher type.
As time went on, and the city advanced in wealth, its subjection to its
sovereigns became purely nominal. Ghent equipped large bodies of citizen
soldiers, and repulsed a considerable English army under Edward I. The
Ghenters were also determined opponents of the claims of the French
kings to interfere in the internal affairs of Flanders; thus they were
mainly instrumental in winning the famous =Battle of the Spurs= in 1302,
when the citizens of Bruges and Ghent put to flight the army of France
under the Count of Artois before the walls of Tournai, and dedicated as
trophies 700 golden spurs, worn by the French knights whom they had
routed. This battle, memorable as one of the chief triumphs of nascent
industrial freedom over the chivalry and royalty of mediævalism, secured
the liberties of the Flemish towns against French aggression.

Early in the 14th century, the burghers of Ghent, under their democratic
chief, Jacob or =Jacques Van Artevelde=, attained =practical
independence=. Till 1322, the Counts and people of Flanders had been
united in their resistance to the claims of France; but with the
accession of Count Louis of Nevers, the aspect of affairs changed. Louis
was French by education, sympathies, and interests, and aristocratic by
nature; he sought to curtail the liberties of the Flemish towns, and to
make himself despotic. The wealthy and populous burgher republics
resisted, and in 1337 Van Artevelde was appointed =Captain of Ghent=.
Louis fled to France, and asked the aid of Philip of Valois. Thereupon,
Van Artevelde made himself the =ally of Edward III. of England=, then
beginning his war with France; but as the Flemings did not like entirely
to cast off their allegiance—a thing repugnant to mediæval
sentiment—Van Artevelde persuaded Edward to put forward his trumped-up
claim to the crown of France, and thus induced the towns to transfer
their fealty from Philip to his English rival. It was therefore in his
character as King of France that Edward came to Flanders. The alliance
thus formed between the great producer of raw wool, England, and the
great manufacturer of woollen goods, Ghent, proved of immense commercial
importance to both parties. But as Count Louis sided with Philip of
Valois, the breach between the democracy of Ghent and its nominal
sovereign now became impassable. Van Artevelde held supreme power in
Ghent and Flanders for nine years—the golden age of Flemish
commerce—and was treated on equal terms by Edward, who stopped at Ghent
as his guest for considerable periods. But he was opposed by a portion
of the citizens, and his suggestion that the Black Prince, son of Edward
III., should be elected Count of Flanders, proved so unpopular with his
enemies that he was assassinated by one of them, Gerard Denys. The town
and states immediately repudiated the murder; and the alliance which Van
Artevelde had brought about still continued. It had far-reaching
results; the woollen industry was introduced by Edward into the Eastern
Counties of England, and Ghent had risen meanwhile to be the =chief
manufacturing city of Europe=.

The quarrel between the democratic weavers and their exiled Counts was
still carried on by =Philip van Artevelde=, the son of Jacques, and
godson of Queen Philippa of England, herself a Hainaulter. Under his
rule, the town continued to increase in wealth and population. But the
general tendency of later mediæval Europe towards centralised despotisms
as against urban republics was too strong in the end for free Ghent. In
1381, Philip was appointed dictator by the democratic party, in the war
against the Count, son of his father’s old opponent, whom he repelled
with great slaughter in a battle near Bruges. He then made himself
Regent of Flanders. But Count Louis obtained the aid of Charles VI. of
France, and defeated and killed Philip Van Artevelde at the disastrous
battle of Roosebeke in 1382. That was practically the end of local
freedom in Flanders. Though the cities continued to revolt against their
sovereigns from time to time, they were obliged to submit for the most
part to their Count and to the Burgundian princes who inherited from him
by marriage.

The subsequent history of Ghent is that of the =capital of the
Burgundian Dukes=, and of the House of Austria. Here the German king,
Maximilian, afterwards Emperor, married Mary of Burgundy, the heiress of
the Netherlands; and here Charles V. was born in the palace of the
Counts. It was his principal residence, and he was essentially a
Fleming. Other historical reminiscences will be pointed out in the
course of our peregrinations.

The =old waterways=, partially artificial, between Ghent and the sea,
other than the circuitous route by the shallow Schelde, had silted up by
1827, when a ship canal was constructed to Terneuzen. This canal has
since been widened and deepened so as to admit vessels of 1,700 tons; it
has thus helped to some small degree to save the town from the fate of
Bruges. But as its mouth lies in what is now Dutch territory, and as
heavy tolls are levied, it is comparatively little used. Another and
somewhat frequented canal leads to Bruges; but Ghent owes most of its
existing prosperity to its =manufactures= (cotton, linen, engines,
leather) and to its central position on the =railway system=.

The important points for the tourist to bear in mind are these, however.
Ghent during the Middle Ages was =a merchant republic=, practically
independent, with its guilds and its belfry, the last of which was used
to summon the citizens to arms in case of danger. It was also =the chief
manufacturing town in Europe=, as Bruges was the chief commercial
centre. By treaty with Edward III., Bruges was made the “staple” or sole
port of entry for English wool: and this wool was woven into cloth for
the most part at Ghent.

Further details of the vicissitudes of Ghent can be found in Van Duyse,
_Gand, Monumental et Pittoresque_.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The chief objects of interest at Ghent are the Cathedral, with its great
=Van Eyck=; and the =Town Hall= and =Belfry=. These can be tolerably
seen in one day: but a stay of three or four days will not be too much
to explore the curious nooks of the early city.

                         _B._ THE CORE OF GHENT

    [The =old town= of Ghent lies on the island formed by the
    junction of the Lys and the Schelde, with their various
    backwaters (all now largely artificial). Near this point, but
    beyond the Lys, the Counts of Flanders early erected a strong
    =castle=, the _Gravensteen_ or _Oudeburg_, beneath whose
    protection, aided by the two navigable rivers, merchants and
    weavers gradually settled. As at Bruges, the heart of the town,
    however, is purely =municipal and mercantile= in its
    architecture. The _Town Hall_, which was the meeting-place of
    the citizens, and the _Belfry_, which summoned them to arms or
    council, are the chief points of interest in the city. The
    Schelde is still tidal to its very centre.

    As most visitors will probably stop in one of the hotels on the
    =Place d’Armes=, near the S. end of older Ghent, I shall frankly
    take that square as our starting-point. It may facilitate
    recognition at first sight to add that the large square tower,
    visible to the R. from the Place d’Armes, is that of the
    Cathedral, while the tapering spire, crowned by a gilt dragon,
    belongs to the Belfry.]

Go first on a =tour of orientation= through early Ghent. If you follow
these directions implicitly, you can see everything important in one
short walk. Cross the Place d’Armes diagonally to the N.E. corner, and
follow the small and narrow streets which run due N. to the front of the
=Cathedral=. Walk round the S. side of this, to form a first general
impression, but do not enter it at present.

Then, from the West Front of the Cathedral, take the Rue St. Jean
straight before you. The tower with the gilded dragon which faces you as
you walk is that of the =Belfry=. It was designed in 1183, about a
century earlier than that of Bruges, but only erected between 1321 and
1339; it is a fine work in the Early Gothic style. Its windows have been
walled up. The tapering turret which crowns the tower is unfortunately
modern, and of iron. On the very summit stands a huge gilded =dragon=,
which universal tradition represents as having been brought from St.
Sophia at Constantinople to Bruges by the Crusader Baldwin of Flanders,
(1204), and removed as a trophy by the people of Ghent (under Philip van
Artevelde) in 1382. It certainly appears to be of Oriental origin, but
is stated on documentary evidence (discovered by M. Vuylsteke) to have
been made in Ghent itself in 1380. If so, it would seem at least to be
based on an Oriental model.

The small building at the foot of the Belfry, now in course of (over)
restoration, is the =Cloth Hall=, erected in 1424, a graceful but not
very important Gothic edifice (of the Decorated period), with niches
vacant of their statues. The _concierge_ of the Belfry now has a room in
it. Application must be made here to mount to the summit. (1 franc, or 2
for a party.) Dark and steep.

The =view= is extensive and beautiful, but not quite so striking as that
at Bruges. The principal buildings of the city lie just below you:
beyond, all Flanders. The =chimes= are celebrated. The chief bell is
known as Roelandt.

Now turn round into the _Botermarkt_ or _Marché au Beurre_ to the right,
and inspect the =Belfry= again from the little bay in the corner
opposite. This is the best near view of the tower. The portal to the R.
was formerly the entry to the =town prison=, beneath the Belfry, now in
course of complete restoration. In its gable is a too-famous 18th
century relief (the _Mammelokker_) representing the Roman daughter
feeding her father from her breast at the window of a prison, and
doubtless intended to excite the charity of passers-by. It certainly
serves no other function, for it is neither beautiful nor decorative.

Cross over to the R. side of the Butter-market. The building on the L.,
in two totally distinct portions, is the =Hôtel-de-Ville=. The part at
which you first arrive, (latest in point of time,) was rebuilt in the
early Renaissance style in 1595-1628. It is one of the earliest and in
many ways the best example of Renaissance architecture in Belgium, in
part because it retains certain good features of local domestic
building, such as the pointed gable-ends (round the corner to the L.)
and the projecting windows with dormers on the main _façade_. (Look out
for their origin elsewhere.) It has three storeys, with projecting half
colonnades, the columns being Doric on the ground floor, Ionic on the
first floor, and Corinthian on the second. Recollect the gable-ends and
dormers for comparison with others in old houses in Ghent hereafter.

Now, continue on to the corner, where we arrive at the earlier =Gothic
portion= of the Hôtel-de-Ville, erected in 1518-1535 by Dominic de
Waghemakere, who also built in part the cathedral at Antwerp. The
projecting polygonal corner, with its handsome balcony, is very
noticeable. The work is of the latest and most florid Gothic, somewhat
lacking in grace and dignity, but ornate in its splendour. Observe the
depressed arches, the noble cornice, the rich decoration of garlands. A
few of the niches have now been filled with modern statues of saints.
From the corner opposite, a good view is obtained of both parts of the
Hôtel-de-Ville and also of the Belfry.

Turn to the left into the Rue Haut-Port, to observe the =main front= of
this earlier Gothic building, with its fine projecting windows above,
its empty niches, its handsome entrance staircase and main portal, its
beautiful little balcony for addressing the people below, and the large
projecting window of its ancient chapel near the centre. Note how well
the _façade_ is thus broken up and diversified. This is the finest
specimen of florid Gothic in Belgium. Beyond it comes another
Renaissance portion, and then a handsome Renaissance dwelling-house. The
street also contains several fine early houses, the best of which (a
Gothic guildhall, known as the Cour St. Georges) stands at the corner to
the left, facing the Hôtel-de-Ville.

The =interior= of the Hôtel-de-Ville need not be visited, though it has
a handsome Gothic staircase (demolished, sold, built into a private
house, re-erected) and some fine halls and internal courts, interesting
to those who have plenty of time at their disposal.

Now, return to the Belfry and continue straight down the left-hand side
of the Rue de la Catalogne. The church on the right, round the base of
which houses have been allowed to cluster, is =St. Nicolas=—the oldest
in the town. This is one of the most solid pieces of architecture at
Ghent. It has a fine decorated tower, which has happily escaped
restoration, besides small turrets to the Transepts, and two, rather
larger, to the gable of the Nave. Go on into the _Koornmarkt_ or _Marché
aux Blés_, to the R.; stand there for a moment, at the end of the Rue de
la Catalogne, to observe the fine _coup d’œil_, which takes in St.
Nicolas, the Belfry, and the tower of the Cathedral. The main _façade_
of St. Nicolas faces the Koornmarkt. Over the door is a modern figure of
the Saint himself, raising the three boys who were salted down for meat.
Nicolas was the popular saint, the patron of the merchants and
burgesses; and the prominent position of his church on the Corn Market
is very characteristic of the burgher spirit of Ghent.

A hasty glance will suffice for the =interior=, which is a
characteristic specimen of the unrestored Belgian church, with figures
of the Twelve Apostles (as always) against the pillars of the Nave; an
ugly carved pulpit; short Transepts; an Apse with bad glass; and the
vaulting of Nave, Aisles, and Choir concealed by plaster. The tawdry
decorations render what might be a fine interior wholly unimpressive.
The High Altar has an altar-piece by Liemakere, representing, in the
confused style of the School of Rubens, the election of St. Nicholas as
Bishop of Myra. Above is an 18th century figure of the Saint, raising
the three boys from the tub. The early pillars of the Choir are really

On emerging from the front of the church, continue straight on to the
bridge which crosses the Lys, affording a good view to the L. of the
Apse of =St. Michel=. Then, go along the side of this handsome church,
with late Gothic windows resembling English Perpendicular. It has a
solid but unfinished tower, and a good West Portal, robbed of its
sculpture and cruelly mutilated. A glimpse at the =interior=, which has
been scraped and renovated, will show at once the fine architecture. The
Nave has impressive round pillars, windows in the clerestory, and
excellent brick vaulting. The vaulted Aisles are surrounded by chapels.
The Choir is very handsome. In the N. Transept is a famous but overrated
*Crucifixion by Van Dyck, not without beauty of conception and
composition, but spoiled by restorations. Walk round the Transepts and
Ambulatory. There are some good works of the School of Rubens.

Now, continue along the =quay=, on the same side as St. Michel,
(observing as you go that the early town extended to _both_ banks of the
river), in order to view the _façade_ of the handsome =Maison des
Bateliers=, or Guild House of the Skippers, erected in 1531 for the
masters of the shipping of Ghent, in somewhat the same florid
late-Gothic style as the Hôtel-de-Ville. This is the finest existing
specimen of old Flemish houses. Over the doorway is an appropriate
relief of a ship, somewhat antiquated and heraldic in character. By the
side of this Guild-house are two others, less interesting: the first,
the Guild House of the Grain Measurers; the next, very old and
dilapidated, the Staple House of Corn, Romanesque, said to be the
earliest civil building in Belgium. Several fine gable-ends are seen to
the L., including one with Renaissance architecture, on this side of the
Lys. At the moment of writing, the houses next to the Skippers’ Guild
are in course of demolition, exposing a bare side of the old Hall most

Now, retrace your steps over the Bridge, and through the Corn Market,
almost wholly modernized, with the exception of a few gabled houses.

The next little square at which we arrive is the =Marché aux Herbes=.
Its W. side is occupied by the ancient but uninteresting Grande
Boucherie. Turn to the L. by the corner of the Boucherie, with Our Lady
and Child in a niche, and cross the bridge to the other side of the Lys.
On the left are two handsome old houses. In front rise the gateway and
bastions of the OUDEBURG, or Castle of the Princes. This was the
primitive palace of the Counts of Flanders in Ghent. The irregular
little square in front of it is known as the =Place Ste. Pharailde=. The
=castle= has recently been cleared from the numerous modern houses which
encumbered and hid it. The first stronghold on this site was erected in
868. The existing ruins of the =gateway=, with round Romanesque arches,
date back to 1180; the square =keep= behind is of the 10th century. In
this palace Jacob van Artevelde entertained Edward III. When Edward
returned to England, he left Queen Philippa here, and during his absence
she bore (in the Monastery of St. Bavon) her third son, John of Gaunt,
who took his well-known surname from the place of his birth. It was on
Edward’s return to Flanders, accompanied by the ladies of Philippa’s
suite, that he found the French fleet drawn up near Sluys to prevent his
entry into the port of Bruges, on which occasion he gained the first
great English naval victory. The Castle, which is now in course of
partial restoration, is closely bound up with the greatness of Van
Artevelde and the heroic period in the history of Ghent.

Walk round it to note its extent and its commanding position at the
point where the bridge crosses the Lys to the main part of the town.

The opposite corner of the Place Ste. Pharailde has a _Renaissance
gateway_, re-erected in imitation of the original by Arthus Quellin, and
adorned with sculptures of Neptune, the Schelde, and the Lys, the
sources of Ghent’s greatness. It leads to the Fish-market. Around are
several good old houses.

Continue along the quay on the same side of the river as the Oudeburg,
as far as the Pont du Laitage, just before reaching which you pass on
your left two 17th century houses with reliefs, (the Works of Charity, a
Flying Hart, etc.). Cross the bridge and turn to the R. as far as the
=big cannon=, known as _Dulle Griete_ or Mad Margaret, dating back to
the 14th century. By the touch-hole are the Cross of St. Andrew and the
Arms of Phillipe le Bon of Burgundy.

Turn into the large square in front of you. The building which faces you
at the end of the street as you advance (with a tower at the corner and
high gables) is one of the best old mediæval houses in Ghent, the
Collacie-Zolder, or Municipal Council-Room, of the 13th or 14th century.
It has an interesting little pulpit or balcony at its corner, with a
bell, from which addresses could be made to the people. The towers that
face you a little to the L. are those of St. Jacques, to be visited

Continue into the square, at the corner of which is the Municipal
Council-Room. This is the _Vrydagmarkt_ or =Marché du Vendredi=, in
which a strikingly picturesque market is still held every Friday
morning. If possible, visit it. The square was the forum of old Ghent
and the meeting-place of the citizens. A few fine old buildings in the
native local style still surround it. The centre is appropriately
occupied by a modern colossal statue of Jacob van Artevelde, addressing
the citizens in his famous speech when he excited them to opposition to
the Count of Flanders with his Gallicising policy. At the base are
allegorical figures of Flanders, and of the Belgian towns, wearing mural
crowns. The reliefs represent Van Artevelde’s three chief diplomatic
triumphs,—the League of Ghent with Bruges and Ypres; the League of
Flanders and England; the League of Flanders, Brabant, and Hainault. In
this square the most important events in the history of early Flanders
took place. Here the citizens of Ghent took the oath of allegiance to
each new Count on his accession, after they had compelled him to swear
in good old Teutonic style “to uphold and see upheld all the standing
wits (laws), fore-rights (regulations), freehoods, and wonts of the
Countship and town of Ghent.” The guilds which had their halls around
met here to oppose arbitrary action on the part of their sovereign.
Here, too, the parties within the town itself frequently joined issue in
civil contest. In later times, the Duke of Alva perpetrated most of his
shameful executions on this spot. The site of the statue of Van
Artevelde was originally occupied by one of Charles V., who was born in
Ghent, in a palace now destroyed, and whose history (see later) is
intimately connected with this town, always one of his principal
residences. The statue was destroyed in 1794 by the French invaders:
(picture in the Museum).

Turn up at the corner by the Municipal Council-Room and take the first
street to the L., which leads you into the Place St. Jacques, occupied
by the Church of =St. Jacques=. The _façade_, with the two towers, was
Romanesque, but has been restored in such a wholesale way as to destroy
its interest. The remainder of the church is Gothic. Walk round it so as
to observe its features, noticing in particular the quaint stone spire
of the right-hand tower. The =interior= might be good, were it not
spoiled by tawdry decorations. The pulpit has a marble figure of the
patron, St. James, with the pilgrim’s staff and gourd, emblematic of his
connection with the great place of pilgrimage of Santiago de
Compostella. The vaulting has been freed from excrescences, and is
excellent of its kind. The High Altar has a figure of St. James above,
and a painting of his martyrdom beneath.

This walk will have led you through the principal part of early Ghent.
Hence you may return either by the Cathedral, or by the chief line of
business streets which runs direct from the Pont du Laitage to the
modern Palais de Justice and the Place d’Armes.

                           _C._ THE CATHEDRAL

    [The local =patron saint= of Ghent is =St. Bavon=, a somewhat
    dubious personage, belonging to the first age of Christianity in
    Flanders, of whom little is known. Legend describes him as a
    “Duke of Brabant” in the 7th century (of course an anachronism).
    He seems to have been a nobleman of Hesbaie who spent his life
    as a soldier “and in worldly pleasures”; but when he was 50, his
    wife died, and, overwhelmed with grief, he gave up all his
    possessions to be distributed among the poor, and entered a cell
    or monastery in Ghent, of which St. Amand (see later) was the
    founder. Of this he became abbot. At last, finding the monastic
    life not sufficiently austere, the new saint took refuge in a
    hollow tree in a forest, and there spent the remainder of his
    days. His emblem is a falcon. The =monastery of St. Bavon= long
    existed at Ghent; some of its ruins still remain, and will be
    described hereafter. To this local saint, accordingly, it might
    seem fitting that the Cathedral of Ghent should be dedicated.
    But in reality the building was at first a parish church under
    the invocation of =St. John the Baptist=, and only received the
    relics and name of St. Bavon after 1540, when Charles V.
    destroyed the monastery, as will be described hereafter.

    The real interest of the Cathedral centres, however, not in St.
    Bavon, nor in his picture by Rubens, but in the great polyptych
    of =the Adoration of the Lamb=, the masterpiece of =Jan van
    Eyck= and his brother =Hubert=, which forms in a certain sense
    the point of departure for the native art of the Netherlands.
    This is therefore a convenient place in which to consider the
    position of these two great painters. They were born at Maaseyck
    or Eyck-sur-Meuse near Maastricht; Hubert, the elder, about 1360
    or 1370; Jan, the younger, about 1390. The only undoubted work
    of Hubert is the altar-piece in St. Bavon, and even this is only
    his in part, having been completed after his death by his
    brother Jan. =Hubert= probably derived his teaching from the
    School of the Lower Rhine, which first in the North attained any
    importance, and which had its chief exponents at Maastricht and
    Cologne. Of this School, he was the final flower. Though not, as
    commonly said, the inventor of =oil-painting=, he was the first
    artist who employed the process in its developed form, and he
    also made immense advances in naturalness of drawing and truth
    of spirit. =Jan= was probably a pupil of Hubert; he lived at
    Ghent while the great picture of the Adoration of the Lamb was
    still being completed; later, he was painter by appointment to
    the court of the Dukes of Burgundy, and had a house at Bruges,
    where he died in 1440. He was also employed on various missions
    abroad, accompanying embassies as far as to Portugal. His
    painting, though less ideal and beautiful than that of his great
    successor Memling, is marvellous in its truth: it has an
    extraordinary charm of purity of colour, vividness of
    delineation, and fine portrayal of character. Indeed, all the
    early Flemish artists were essentially =portrait painters=; they
    copied with fidelity whatever was set before them, whether it
    were fabrics, furniture, jewellery, flowers, or the literal
    faces and figures of men and women.

    Hubert and Jan van Eyck, however, were not so much in strictness
    the _founders_ of a school as the culminating point of early
    German art, to which they gave a new Flemish direction. Their
    work was almost perfect in its own kind. Their successors did
    not surpass them: in some respects they even fell short of them.

    The Adoration of the Lamb is =by far the most important thing=
    to be seen at Ghent. But it is viewed at some disadvantage in
    the church, and is so full of figures and meaning that it cannot
    be taken in without long study. I strongly advise you,
    therefore, to buy a =photograph= of the _entire composition_
    =beforehand=, and try to understand as much as possible of the
    picture by comparing it with the account here given, the
    =evening before= you visit the picture. You will then be able
    more readily to grasp the actual work, in form and colour, when
    you see it.

    The Cathedral is open daily (for viewing the pictures, etc.)
    from 5 to 12, and from 3.30 to 6. Between 12 and 3.30 you can
    also get in by knocking loudly on the door in the West Front.]

Go straight from your hotel to the Cathedral,—built as the parish
church of St. John about 1250-1300; re-dedicated to St. Bavon, 1540;
erected into a Bishop’s see, 1599. Stand before the =West Front= at a
little distance, to examine the simple but massive architecture of the
tower and _façade_.

The =great portal= has been robbed of the statues which once adorned its
niches. Three have been “restored”: they represent, centre, the Saviour;
L., the patron, St. Bavon, recognisable by his falcon, his sword as
duke, and his book as monk; he wears armour, with a ducal robe and cap
above it; R., St. John the Baptist, the earlier patron.

Then, walk, to the right, round the south side, to observe the external
architecture of the Nave, Aisles, and Choir. The latter has the
characteristic rounded or apsidal termination of Continental Gothic,
whereas English Gothic has usually a square end. Enter by the S. portal.

The =interior=, with single Aisles and short Transepts, (Early Gothic)
is striking for its simple dignity, its massive pillars, and its high
arches, though the undeniably noble effect of the whole is somewhat
marred to English eyes by the unusual appearance of the unadorned brick
walls and vaulting. The _pulpit_, by Delvaux (1745), partly in oak,
partly in marble, represents Truth revealing the Christian Faith to
astonished Paganism (figured as an old and outworn man:) it is a model
of all that should be avoided in plastic or religious art. The _screen_
which separates the Choir from the Transepts is equally unfortunate. The
apsidal end of the Choir, however, with its fine modern stained glass,
forms a very pleasing feature in the general _coup d’œil_.

Begin the examination in detail with the left or =N. Aisle=. The _1st
chapel_, that of the Holy Cross, contains a Pietà by Janssens and a
Descent from the Cross by Rombouts, good works of the school of Rubens.
The _3rd chapel_, that of St. Macarius or St. Macaire (an object of
local worship whom we shall meet again elsewhere at Ghent), has a modern
statue of the saint, and a pleasing decoration in polychrome. The right
or =S. Aisle= has nothing of importance.

A short flight of steps leads to the =Ambulatory=, whose black-and-white
marble screen, on the side toward the Choir, is not without dignity.

The =sacristan= opens the locked =Chapels in the Ambulatory=
(flamboyant), beginning at the steps on the R. or S. side of the Choir.
You will find him in the Sacristy, in the N. Transept. Do not let him
hurry you.

The _1st chapel_ contains a tolerable triptych by F. Pourbus (son of
Peter), with the Finding of Christ in the Temple for its central
subject, and the Circumcision and Baptism on the inner wings. Notice in
the last the conventional attitudes of the Baptist, the Saviour, and the
angel with the towel, as in the Gerard David and all old examples of
this subject: but the semi-nude figure undressing in the foreground is
an unhappy innovation of the Renaissance. Many of the heads in the
central picture are portraits: Alva, Charles V., Philip II., and Pourbus
himself. On the outer wings is a good *portrait of the donor (Viglius)
adoring the Saviour (1571).

_3rd chapel._ Crucifixion, by Gerard van der Meire, of Ghent. On the
left wing, Moses striking the Rock, symbolical of the fountain of living
water, Christ. On the right wing, the Elevation of the Brazen Serpent,
symbolical of the Crucifixion. This is a mystic “typical” picture,
interesting only for its symbolism. Note the Flemish love of such

The _4th chapel_ contains a good tomb of Cornelius Jansen and Willem
Lindau, the two first bishops of Ghent (bishopric founded only in 1599)
with fair recumbent figures of the early 17th century.

_5th chapel._ Coxcie. Lazarus and Dives: a mediocre picture.

Mount the steps to the =Upper Ambulatory=.

The _6th chapel_ (of the Vydts family) contains the famous altar-piece
of the =**Adoration of the Lamb=, by HUBERT and JAN VAN EYCK, to study
which is the chief object of a visit to Ghent. See it more than once,
and examine it carefully. Ask the Sacristan to let you sit before it for
some time in quiet, or he will hurry you on. You must observe it in
close detail.

As a whole, the work before you is _not_ entirely by the two Van Eycks.
The Adam and Eve on the outer upper shutters of the interior (originally
by Hubert) have been altogether removed, and are now in the Museum at
Brussels, where we shall see them in due course. Their place has been
filled, not by copies (for the originals were nude), but by skin-clad
representations of the same figures, whose nudity seemed to the Emperor
Joseph II. unsuitable for a church. The lower wings, which were
principally (it is believed) by Jan van Eyck, have also been removed,
and sold to Berlin. They are replaced by very tolerable copies, made in
the early 16th century by Michael Coxcie. Thus, to form an idea of the
_detail_ of the original in its full totality it is necessary to visit,
not only Ghent, but also Brussels and Berlin. Nevertheless, I describe
the whole picture here _as it stands_, as this is the best place to
observe its general composition. I shall say a few words later as to
variations of this work from the original. There is a good copy of the
whole picture in the Museum at Antwerp, where you will be able to
inspect it at greater length and under easier conditions. The remaining
portions of the original still left here are believed to be for the most
part the work of Hubert van Eyck. Jan must rather be studied in many
scattered places,—Bruges, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, and London.

The altar-piece was commissioned from Hubert van Eyck by Josse Vydts
(Latinised as Jodocus), a gentleman of Ghent, and his wife, Isabella,
about the year 1420. Hubert died while the polyptych was still
unfinished, and Jan completed it in 1432. Too much importance has been
attached by critics, I fancy, to the rhyming hexameter inscribed upon
it, (with the words “De Eyck” unmetrically introduced:) “Pictor Hubertus
major quo nemo repertus,” etc. They have been twisted into a deliberate
expression of belief on the part of Jan that Hubert was a greater
painter than himself. If so, it seems to me, Jan was a worse critic than
painter. They are probably due, however, to a somewhat affected modesty,
or more probably still, to a priestly poet who was in straits to find a
rhyme for Hubertus.

I proceed to a =detailed explanation= of the picture.

The =subject=, in its entirety, is the Adoration of the Lamb that was
Slain, and it is mainly based on the passage in the Apocalypse: “I
looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with Him an hundred
and forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their
foreheads. . . . And I heard the voice of harpers harping with their
harps.” Elsewhere we read: “I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which
no man could number, clothed with white robes, and palms in their
hands. . . . These are they which came out of great tribulation, and
have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God; and He shall feed them, and
shall lead them to living fountains of waters, and shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes.” Much of the imagery, however, I believe, is also
taken from the Te Deum.

=Lower Tier.=

The _central panel_ (original: attributed to Hubert) represents in its
middle the altar, hung with red damask, and covered with a white cloth,
on which the Lamb of God is standing. His blood flows into a crystal
chalice. (This part is clearly symbolical of the Eucharist.) Upon Him,
from above, descends the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, sent out by
the Eternal Father, who occupies the central panel on top. Around the
altar are grouped adoring angels, with many-coloured wings, holding the
instruments of the Passion—the Cross, the Spear, the Sponge, and the
Column to which Christ was fastened for flagellation. In front of it,
two angels swing censers. The flowery foreground is occupied by the
Fountain of Life, from which pure water flows limpid, to irrigate the
smiling fields of Paradise. Four bands of worshippers converge towards
this centre. On the left-hand side, stand, kneel, or ride, a group of
worshippers representing, as a whole, the _secular aspect_ of the
Christian Church—the laity. The foreground of this group is occupied by
the precursors of Christ. Conspicuous among them are the Jewish prophets
in front, and then the Greek poets and philosophers,—Homer, Plato,
Aristotle—whom mediæval charity regarded as inspired in a secondary
degree by the Spirit of Wisdom. Homer, in white, is crowned with laurel.
The group also includes kings and other important secular personages.
The right-hand side, opposite, is occupied by representatives of the
Church, showing the religious as opposed to the secular half of the
Christian world. In the front rank kneel 14 persons, the Twelve Apostles
(with Paul and Matthias) in simple robes, barefooted; behind them are
ranged all the orders of the hierarchy—canonized popes, with their
attendant deacons; archbishops, bishops, and other dignitaries.

The background shows two other groups, one of which (to the L.) consists
of the Martyrs, bearing their palms of martyrdom, and including in their
number popes, cardinals, bishops, and other ecclesiastics. The inner
meaning of this group is further emphasized by the symbolical presence
of a palm tree behind them. To balance them on the R. advance the
Virgins conspicuous among whom are St. Agnes with her lamb, St. Barbara
with her tower, St. Catherine, and St. Dorothy with her roses: many of
them carry palms of martyrdom. These various groups thus illustrate the
words of the Te Deum, representing “the glorious company of the
apostles,” “the goodly fellowship of the prophets,” “the noble army of
martyrs,” “the Holy Church throughout all the world,” etc., in adoration
of the Lamb that was Slain. (A chorus of Apostles, of Prophets, of
Martyrs, of Virgins is common in art.)

The more distant background is occupied by towered cities, typifying
perhaps the New Jerusalem, but adorned with Flemish or Rhenish turrets
and domes, and painted with Flemish minuteness and exactitude.

On the front of the altar are written in Latin the words, “Behold the
Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.”

The _Left Wings_ (inferior copy by Coxcie: originals, probably by Jan,
now at Berlin) form a continuation of the scene of the Prophets and the
secular side of Christendom in the central panel, and represent, in the
First or Inner Half, the Orders of Chivalry and the mediæval knighthood
riding, as on a crusade or pilgrimage, towards the Lamb that was Slain.
At their head go the soldier saints, St. George, St. Adrian, St.
Maurice, and St. Charlemagne (for the great emperor Karl is also a
canonized person). The action of the horses throughout is admirable. The
Second or Outer Half (ill described as “the Just Judges”) represents the
Merchants and Burgesses, among whom two portraits in the foreground are
pointed out by tradition as those of Hubert and Jan van Eyck: (Hubert in
front, on a white horse: Jan behind, in a dark brown dress, trimmed with
fur). But this detail is unimportant: what matters is the colour and
composition on one hand, the idea on the other. These two panels,
therefore, with the group in front of them, are to be taken as
representing the Secular World—learned, noble, knightly, or
mercantile—in adoration of the central truth of Christianity as
manifested in the Holy Eucharist.

The corresponding _Right Wings_ (copy by Coxcie: originals, probably by
Jan, at Berlin) show respectively the Hermits and Pilgrims—the
contemplative and ascetic complement of the ecclesiastical group in
front of them: the monastic as opposed to the beneficed clerics. The
First or Inner Half shows the Eremites, amongst whom are notable St.
Anthony with his crutch, and, in the background, St. Mary Magdalen with
her box of ointment, emerging from her cave, (the Sainte Baume) in
Provence, in her character as the Penitent in the Desert. On the Second
or Outer Half, the body of Pilgrims is led by the gigantic form of St.
Christopher, with his staff and bare legs for wading; behind whom is a
pilgrim with a scallop-shell, and many other figures, not all of them
(to me) identifiable. Here again the presence of palms in the background
marks the esoteric idea of martyrdom.

I need not call attention throughout to the limpid sky, the fleecy
clouds, the lovely trees, the exquisite detail of architecture and

=Upper Tier.=

The _three Central Panels_ (original) are attributed to Hubert. That in
the _middle_ represents, not (I feel sure) as is commonly said, Christ,
but God the Father (“Therefore they are before the throne of God”)
wearing the triple crown (like the Pope), holding the sceptre, and with
his right hand raised in the attitude of benediction. His face is
majestic, grave, passionless: his dress kingly: a gorgeous morse fastens
his jewelled robe of regal red. At his feet lies the crown of earthly
sovereignty. He seems to discharge the Holy Ghost on the Lamb beneath
him. The word Sabaoth, embroidered on his garments, marks him, I think,
as the Father: indeed, the Son could hardly preside at the sacrifice of
the Lamb, even in the Eucharist.

On the right of the Father, in the _panel to the_ (spectator’s) _left_
(Hubert: original), Our Lady, crowned, as Queen of Heaven, sits reading
in her blue robe. Her face is far more graceful than is usual in Flemish
art: indeed, she is the most charming of Flemish Madonnas. Behind her is
stretched a hanging of fine brocade.

The _panel to the right_ (Hubert: original) shows St. John the Baptist,
with his camel-hair garment, covered by a flowing green mantle. The
folds of all these draperies in Hubert’s three figures, though simple,
have great grandeur.

The _Outer Wing to the left_ (substituted clothed figure, not a copy:
original, by Hubert, at Brussels) has Adam, as typical (with Eve) of
unregenerate humanity: a sense further marked by the Offerings of Cain
and Abel above it.

The _Outer Wing to the right_ has an Eve with the apple, (similarly
clad, not copied from the original, by Hubert, now at Brussels:) above
it, the First Murder.

The _Inner Left Wing_ (copy: the original, attributed to Jan, is at
Berlin) has a beautiful group of singing angels.

The _Inner Right Wing_ (copy: the original, likewise attributed to Jan,
is also at Berlin) has an angel (_not_ St. Cecilia) playing an organ,
with other angels accompanying on various musical instruments.

Taking it in its entirety, then, the altar-piece, when opened, is a
great =mystical poem= of the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Lamb,
with the Christian folk, both Church and World, adoring. It was in order
to prepare your mind for recognition of this marked strain of mysticism
in the otherwise prosaic and practical Flemish temperament, that I
called your attention at Bruges to several mystic or type-emphasising
pictures, in themselves of comparatively small æsthetic value.

The composition contains over 200 figures. Many of them, which I have
not here identified, can be detected by a closer inspection, which,
however, I will leave to the reader.

Now, ask the sacristan to =shut the wings=. They are painted on the
_outer side_ (all a copy) mainly in grisaille, or in very low tones of
colour, as is usual in such cases, so as to allow the jewel-like
brilliancy of the internal picture to burst upon the observer the moment
the altar-piece is opened.

The _lower wings_ have (in this copy) representations of the Four
Evangelists, in niches, in imitation of statuary. Observe the
half-classical pose and costume of Luke, the Beloved Physician. These
figures, however, were not so arranged in the original, as I shall
afterwards explain.

The _upper wings_ represent on their first or lowest tier, the
Annunciation, a frequent subject for such divided shutters. In the
centre is the usual arcade, giving a glimpse of the town of Ghent where
Hubert painted it. (The scene is said to be Hubert’s own studio, which
stood on the site of the Café des Arcades in the Place d’Armes: the view
is that which he saw from his own windows.) To the L., as always, is the
angel Gabriel, with the Annunciation lily; to the R. is Our Lady,
reading. The Dove descends upon her head. The ordinary accessories of
furniture are present—prie-dieu, curtain, bed-chamber, etc. Note this
arrangement of the personages of the Annunciation, with the empty space
between Our Lady and the angel: it will recur in many other pictures.
Observe also the Flemish realism of the painter, who places the scene in
his own town at his own period: and contrast it with the mysticism of
the entire conception.

The _uppermost tier_ of all is occupied by figures of two Sibyls
(universally believed in the Middle Ages to have prophesied of Christ)
as well as two half-length figures of the prophets Zachariah and Micah,
(also as foretellers of the Virgin birth).

In several details the outer shutters in this copy =differ markedly from
the originals= at Berlin. Jan’s picture had, below, outer panels (when
shut), portraits of Josse Vydts and his wife: inner panels, imitated
statues (in grisaille) of St. John the Baptist and St. John the
Evangelist, patrons at that time of this church. If you are going on to
Berlin, you will see them: if back to London, then go to the Basement
Floor of the National Gallery, where you will find the water-colour copy
done for the Arundel Society, which will give you an excellent idea of
the work in its original condition.

A few words must be given to the =external history= of this great
altar-piece. It was begun by Hubert about 1420. His death in 1426
interrupted the work. Jan probably continued to paint at it till 1428,
when he went to Portugal. On his return, he must have carried it to
Bruges, where he next lived, and there completed it in 1432. It was then
placed in this the family chapel of Josse Vydts. During the troubles of
the Reformation it was carried to the Hôtel-de-Ville, but after the
capitulation to the Duke of Parma it was restored to the chapel of the
Vydts family. Philip II. wished to carry it off, but had to content
himself with a copy by Coxcie, the wings of which are now in this
chapel. The panels with Adam and Eve were removed in 1784, after Joseph
II. had disapproved of them, and hidden in the sacristy. In 1794, the
remaining panels were carried to Paris: after the peace, they were
returned, but _only the central portions_ were replaced in the chapel.
The wings, save Adam and Eve, were sold to a Brussels dealer, and
finally bought by the King of Prussia, which accounts for their presence
at Berlin. As for Adam and Eve, the church exchanged them with the
Brussels Museum for the wings of Coxcie’s copy. These various
vicissitudes will explain the existing condition of the compound

Do not be content with seeing it once. Go home, re-read this
description, and come again to study it afresh to-morrow.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The _chapel of the Holy Sacrament_, in the Apse, has very ugly rococo
monuments to bishops of the 18th century, in the worst style of the
debased Renaissance, and other monstrosities.

The _10th chapel_ has a famous *altar-piece by Rubens, St. Bavon
renouncing his worldly goods to embrace the monastic life. The Saint is
seen, attired as a Duke of Brabant of the 17th century, in his armour
and ducal robes, attended by his pages, making his profession at the
door of a stately Renaissance church, such as certainly did not exist in
the North in his time, and received with acclamation by a dignified body
of nobly-robed ecclesiastics, including St. Amand (see later, under the
Monastery of St. Bavon). The features of the patron saint are said to be
those of Rubens; they certainly resemble his portrait of himself at
Florence. The foreground is occupied by a group of poor, to whom St.
Bavon’s worldly goods are being profusely scattered. On the L. are two
ladies, in somewhat extravagant courtly costumes, who are apparently
moved to follow the Saint’s example. They are said to be the painter’s
two wives, but the resemblance to their known portraits is feeble. This
is a fine specimen of Rubens’s grandiose and princely manner, of his
feeling for space, and of his large sense of colour; but it is certainly
_not_ a sacred picture. It was appropriately painted for the High Altar
in the Choir (1624), after the church was dedicated to St. Bavon and
erected into a cathedral, but was removed from that place of honour in
the 18th century to make room for a vulgar abomination by Verbruggen. (I
defer consideration of Rubens and his school till we reach Brussels and
Antwerp.) Fair monument of a 17th century bishop.

Descend the steps again. Enter the =Choir=, a very fine piece of
architecture, cleared of the monstrosities of the last century: it has
beautiful grey stone arches (about 1300), a handsome Triforium, and
excellent brick vaulting. The lower portion, however, is still
disfigured by black-and-white marble screens and several incongruous
rococo tombs, some of which have individual merit. (That to the left,
Bishop Triest by Duquesnoy, is excellent in its own _genre_.) Over the
_High Altar_ flutters a peculiarly annoying and flyaway 17th century
figure of the Apotheosis of St. Bavon, the patron saint of the
Cathedral, who of course thus occupies the place of honour. It is by
Verbruggen. The huge copper candlesticks, bearing the royal arms of
England, as used by Charles I, belonged to his private oratory in Old
St. Paul’s in London, and were sold by order of Cromwell. Impressive
view down the Nave from this point.

=Tip the Sacristan= at the rate of 1 franc per head of your party.

                           _D._ THE OUTSKIRTS

=Old Ghent= occupied for the most part the island which extends from the
Palais de Justice on one side to the Botanical Gardens on the other.
This island, bounded by the Lys, the Schelde, and an ancient canal,
includes almost all the principal buildings of the town, such as the
Cathedral, St. Nicolas, the Hôtel-de-Ville, the Belfry, and St. Jacques,
as well as the chief Places, such as the Marché aux Grains, the Marché
aux Herbes, and the Marché du Vendredi. It also extended beyond the Lys
to the little island on which is situated the church of St. Michel, and
again to the islet formed between the Lieve and the Lys, which contains
the _château_ of the Counts and the Place Ste. Pharailde.

In the later middle ages, however, the town had spread to nearly its
existing extreme dimensions, and was probably more populous than at the
present moment. But its ancient =fortifications= have been destroyed,
and their place has been taken by boulevards and canals. The line may
still be traced on the map, or walked round through a series of shipping
suburbs; but it is uninteresting to follow, a great part of its course
lying through the more squalid portions of the town. The only remaining
=gate= is that known as the =Rabot= (1489), a very interesting and
picturesque object, situated in a particularly slummy quarter. It can
best be reached by crossing the bridge near the church of St. Michel,
and continuing along the Rue Haute to the Boulevard du Béguinage, (where
stood originally the Grand Béguinage, whose place is now occupied by
modern streets.) Turn there along the boulevard to the R., till you
reach the gate, which consists of two curious round towers, enclosing a
high and picturesque gable-end. Owing to the unpleasant nature of the
walk, I do _not_ recommend this excursion.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The =S. quarter= of the town, beyond the Cathedral and St. Nicolas, has
been much modernized during the last two centuries. Its only interesting
points are the recent =Palais de Justice= and the =Kouter= or =Place
d’Armes=, (once the archery ground) in which a pretty flower-market is
held on Friday and Sunday mornings. The Café des Arcades, at its E. end,
occupies the site of Hubert van Eyck’s studio.

The rest of the inner town contains little that throws light on its
origin or history.

                 *        *        *        *        *

There is, however, one small excursion which it would be well for those
to take who have a morning to spare, and who desire to understand the
development of Ghent—I mean to the =Monastery of St. Bavon=, which
alone recalls the first age of the city. Every early mediæval town had
outside its walls a ring of abbeys and monasteries, and Ghent was
particularly rich in this respect.

    [=St. Amand= was the =apostle of Flanders= and the surrounding
    countries. He was sent by the pious king Dagobert to convert the
    Flemings _en bloc_, and is said to have built, about 630, a
    little cell by the bank of the Lys, N.E. of the modern city. In
    651, =St. Bavon= entered this infant monastery, which henceforth
    took his name. The =abbey= grew to be one of the most important
    in Flanders, and occupied a large area on the N.E. of the town,
    near the Antwerp Gate. Eginhard, the biographer and son-in-law
    of Charlemagne, was abbot in the 9th century. The Counts of
    Flanders had rights of hospitality at St. Bavon’s; hence it was
    here, and not in the Oudeburg as usually stated, that Queen
    Philippa gave birth to John of Gaunt. In 1539, however, Charles
    V. that headstrong despot, angry at the continual resistance of
    his native town to his arbitrary wishes, dissolved the monastery
    in the high-handed fashion of the 16th century, in order to
    build a citadel on the spot. As compensation for disturbance to
    the injured saint, he transported the relics of St. Bavon to
    what was then the parish church of St. John, which has ever
    since borne the name of the local patron. Around the dismantled
    ruins, the Emperor erected a great fort, afterwards known as the
    Spaniards’ Castle, (_Château des Espagnols_, or Het Spanjaards
    Kasteel.) This gigantic citadel occupied a vast square space,
    still traceable in the shape of the modern streets; but no other
    relic of it now remains. The =ruins of the Abbey= are in
    themselves inconsiderable, but they are certainly picturesque
    and well worth a visit from those who are spending some days in
    Ghent. The hurried tourist may safely neglect them.]

The direct route from the Place d’Armes to the =Abbey= is by the Quai du
Bas Escaut, and the Rue Van Eyck. A pleasanter route, however, is by the
Rue de Brabant and the Rue Digue de Brabant to the Place d’Artevelde,
passing through the handsomest part of the modern town. (In the Place
itself stands the fine modern Romanesque Church of St. Anne, the
interior of which is sumptuously decorated in imitation of mosaic.)
Thence, follow the Quai Porte aux Vaches to the Place Van Eyck. Cross
the bridges over the Upper and Lower Schelde, and the Abbey lies
straight in front of you.

Walk past the ivy-clad outer wall of the =ruins= to the white house at
the corner of the street beyond it, where you will find the _concierge_
(notice above the door). One franc is sufficient tip for a party. The
_concierge_ conducts you over the building, which has a picturesque
cloister, partly Romanesque, but mainly 15th century. The centre of the
quadrangle is occupied by a pretty and neatly-kept garden of the old
sweet-scented peasant flowers of Flanders. The most interesting part of
the ruins, however, is the octagonal Romanesque =Baptistery= or “Chapel
of St. Macaire,” a fine piece of early vaulting, with round arches, very
Byzantine in aspect. The chapel rests on massive piers, and its
Romanesque arches contrast prettily with the transitional Gothic work of
the cloister in the neighbourhood. Within are several fragments of
Romanesque sculpture, particularly some *capitals of columns, with
grotesque and naïve representations of Adam and Eve with the Lord in the
Garden, and other similar biblical subjects. (Examine closely.) There is
likewise an interesting relief of St. Amand preaching the Gospel in
Flanders, and a man-at-arms in stone, of Artevelde’s period, removed
from the old coping of the Belfry.

We next go on to the Crypt, the tombs of the monks, the monastery
cellars, etc., where are collected many pieces of ancient sculpture,
some found in the ruins and others brought from elsewhere. The Refectory
at the end, which for some time served as the Church of St. Macaire, is
now in course of transformation into a local Museum of Monumental Art.
It contains some good old tombs, and an early fresco (of St. Louis?)
almost obliterated. But the garden and cloister are the best of the
place, and make together a very pretty picture. You can return by the
Quai and the Rue St. Georges, or by the Place St. Bavon and the
Archiepiscopal Palace. (The castellated building to the L., much
restored, near the Cathedral, known as the =Steen of Gérard le Diable=,
is the sole remaining example of the mediæval fortified houses in

                 *        *        *        *        *

Another monastery, a visit to which will lead you through the extensive
southern portion of the city, is the (wholly modernized) Benedictine
=Abbey of St. Pierre= (I do not recommend it). To reach it, you take the
Rue Courte du Jour and the Rue Neuve St. Pierre, to the large square
known as the Plaine St. Pierre, partly obtained by demolition of the
monastery buildings. It is situated on rising ground, which may pass for
a hill in Flanders. This is, in its origin, the oldest monastery in
Ghent, having been founded, according to tradition, by St. Amand
himself, in 630, on the site of an ancient temple of Mercury. The
existing buildings, however, hardly date in any part beyond the 17th
century. =The Church of Notre-Dame de St. Pierre= was erected between
1629 and 1720, in the grandiose style of the period. It is vast, and not
unimposing. The interior has a certain cold dignity. The pictures are
mostly of the school of Rubens, many of them dealing with St. Peter and
St. Benedict; among them are good specimens. The best, by De Crayer,
shows the favourite Benedictine subject of St. Benedict recognising the
envoy of King Totila, who personated the king.

The =Plaine de St. Pierre= is used for the amusing yearly =fair=, from
Mi-Carême to Easter.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The =Museum of Painting= (a small and unimportant gallery) is situated
in part of an old _Augustinian monastery_, which is reached by the
Oudeburg and the Rue Ste. Marguerite. (Church by the side, full of
Augustinian symbols.) Open daily from 9 to 12, and 2 to 5, free. (I do
not advise a visit, unless you have plenty of time to spare.) The
Picture Gallery is on the second floor.

The _Rooms to the L._ contain modern Belgian and French pictures, many
of them possessing considerable merit, but not of a sort which enters
into the scheme of these Guide-books.

The _Rooms to the R._ of the staircase contain the early pictures.

=1st Room=. F. Pourbus: A votive triptych for recovery from sickness. In
the centre, Isaiah prophesying to Hezekiah his recovery. On the wings,
the Crucifixion, and the donor with his patron St. James. Outside the
wings, in grisaille, the Raising of Lazarus (in two panels), giving a
symbolical meaning to this votive offering. On the wall beside it,
several tolerable pictures of the old Flemish School: a good Ex Voto of
a donor, with the Madonna and Child, by an unknown artist; a writhing
Calvary, by Van Heemskerk; a Holy Family, by De Vos; and a quaint
triptych of St. Anne and her family, with her daughter, the Madonna, and
her grand-child, the Saviour, at her feet. Around are grouped Joseph,
Mary Cleophas, Zebedee, Alpheus, Joachim, the husband of Anna, and Mary
Salome, with her children, James and John. This queer old work, by an
unknown artist, is interesting for comparison with the great Quentin
Matsys, which you will see at Brussels. St. Joseph holds in his hand the
rod that has flowered. (See _Legends of the Madonna_.)

Beneath this triptych are three interesting portrait groups of husbands
and wives, 16th century. On the wings, a “Noli Me Tangere”—Christ and
the Magdalen in the garden.

The _2nd Room_ has Dutch and Flemish works of the 17th century, mostly
self-explanatory. The Last Judgment, by R. Coxcie, shows a late stage of
a subject which we have already seen at Bruges, now reduced to an
opportunity for the display of exaggerated anatomical knowledge. There
are also several tolerable works of the School of Rubens, many of which
are interesting mainly as showing the superiority of the Master to all
his followers. Rombouts, The Five Senses, is, however, an excellent work
of its own class. The centre of the further wall is occupied by a
worthless picture of Duchastel’s, representing the Inauguration of
Charles II. of Spain as Count of Flanders, in 1666, interesting mainly
as a view of old Ghent. The action takes place in the Marché du
Vendredi, the centre of which is occupied by the statue of Charles V.,
destroyed at the French Revolution. All round are the original
picturesque houses, with their high Flemish gable-ends. On the R. is the
Church of St. Jacques, much as at the present day. In front of the
Municipal Council Chamber a platform is erected for the inauguration.
The picture gives a good idea of the splendour of Ghent, even at the
period of the Spanish domination.

Near it, Rubens’s St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, where the
conventional elements of the crucified six-winged seraph, the rays
proceeding from the five wounds to the saint’s hands, feet, and side,
and the astonished brother, Leo, in the distance, are all preserved,
though enormously transfigured. The colour is unpleasing. This is almost
a replica of the work in the Cologne Museum. Rombouts—tolerable Holy
Family. Close by, some of Hondekoeter’s favourite birds, and Zeghers’s
flowers. Over the door, a fine De Crayer. In the centre of the room are
a series of pictures from the Gospel History, by F. Pourbus, with the
Last Supper and donor at the back of one, formerly a triptych.

The _3rd Room_ has pictures of the School of Rubens, many of them of
considerable merit, particularly De Crayer’s Coronation of St. Rosalie
and Vision of St. Augustine, in both of which he approaches within a
measureable distance of the great master. His Judgment of Solomon is
also excellent. Some other pictures in the room, however, exhibit the
theatrical tendency of the 17th century in its worst form.

                 *        *        *        *        *

On the way back from the Picture Gallery, you pass on your L. the Rue
Longue des Pierres, down which, a little way on the R., is a small
=Museum of Antiquities=. I do not advise a visit to this. It contains
one good brass, and some silver badges worn by ambassadors of Ghent, but
otherwise consists, for the most part, of third-rate _bric-à-brac_.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Most visitors to Ghent go to see the =Grand Béguinage=. This was
originally situated in a little district by itself, close to the gate of
the Rabot, where its church, uninteresting, (dedicated, like that of
Bruges, to St. Elizabeth of Hungary), still stands; but the site has
been occupied by the town for new streets. The present Grand Béguinage
lies on the road to Antwerp. It is a little town in miniature, enclosed
by wall and moat, with streets and houses all very neat and clean, but
of no archæological interest. Yet it forms a pleasant enough end for a
short drive. And you can buy lace there. The description in Baedeker is
amply sufficient.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Bruges is full of memories of the Burgundian Princes. At Ghent it is the
personality of =Charles V.=, the great emperor who cumulated in his own
person the sovereignties of Germany, the Low Countries, Spain and
Burgundy, that meets us afresh at every turn. He was born here in 1500,
and baptized in a font (otherwise uninteresting) which still stands in
the N. Transept of the Cathedral. Ghent was really, for the greater part
of his life, his practical capital, and he never ceased to be at heart a
Ghenter. That did not prevent the citizens from justly rebelling against
him in 1540, after the suppression of which revolt Charles is said to
have ascended the Cathedral tower, while the executioner was putting to
death the ringleaders in the rebellion, in order to choose with his
brother Ferdinand the site for the citadel he intended to erect, to
overawe the freedom-loving city. He chose the Monastery of St. Bavon as
its site, and, as we have seen, built there his colossal fortress, now
wholly demolished. The Palace in which he was born and which he
inhabited frequently during life, was known as the Cour du Prince. It
stood near the Ancien Grand Béguinage, but only its name now survives in
that of a street.

The Spaniard’s Castle was long the standing menace to freedom in the Low
Countries. Within its precincts Egmont and Hoorn were imprisoned in 1568
for several months before their execution.

During the early Middle Ages, the Oudeburg was the residence of the
Counts of Flanders in Ghent. Later on, that castellated building grew
out of keeping with the splendour of the Burgundian Princes, and its
place as a royal residence was taken by the Cour du Prince, already
mentioned, which was inhabited by Maximilian and his wife, Mary of
Burgundy, as well as by Philippe le Beau and Johanna of Spain, the
parents of Charles V. No direct memorials of the great Emperor now exist
in Ghent, his statue in the Marché du Vendredi having been destroyed;
but a modern street commemorates his name, and mementoes of him crop up
at every point in the city.

Though the Ghenters were rebellious subjects, Charles V. was proud of
his capital, and several of his very bad _bon mots_, punning on the
words _Gand_ and _gant_, have been preserved for us. As Baedeker repeats
these imperial jests, however, I need not detail them.


                        _A._ ORIGINS OF BRUSSELS

B=RUSSELS= was in a certain sense the ancient =capital= of =Brabant=,
as Bruges and Ghent were the ancient capitals of West and East Flanders.
It grew up (as early as the 8th century) on the banks of the little
river =Senne=, whose course through its midst is now masked by the
modern Inner Boulevards, built on arches above the unseen stream. The
Senne is one of the numerous rivers which flow into the Schelde, and the
original town clustered close round its banks, its centre being marked
by the Grand’ Place and the church of St. Nicolas. Unlike Bruges and
Ghent, however, Brussels has always been rather an administrative than a
commercial centre. It is true, it had considerable trade in the Middle
Ages, as its fine Hôtel-de-Ville and Guild Houses still attest; but it
seems to have sprung up round a villa of the Frankish kings, and it owed
at least as much to its later feudal lords, the Counts of Louvain,
afterwards Dukes of Brabant, and to their Burgundian successors, as to
its mercantile position.

The Senne was never a very important river for navigation, though, like
most of the Belgian waterways, it was ascended by light craft, while a
canal connected the town with the Schelde and Antwerp: but the situation
of Brussels on the =great inland trade route= between Bruges or Ghent
and Cologne gave it a certain mercantile value. Bruges, Ghent, Brussels,
Louvain, Maastricht, and Aix-la-Chapelle all formed stations on this
important route, and all owed to it a portion of their commercial

The burgher town which was thus engaged in trade and manufactures was
Flemish in speech and feeling, and lay in the hollow by the river and
the Grand’ Place. But =a lordly suburb= began to arise at an early date
on the hill to eastward, where the Counts of Louvain built themselves a
mansion, surrounded by those of the lesser nobility. After 1380, the
Counts migrated here from too democratic Louvain. Later on, in the
fifteenth century, the Dukes of Burgundy (who united the sovereignty of
Brabant with that of Flanders) often held their court here, as the
population was less turbulent and less set upon freedom than that of
purely commercial and industrial Bruges and Ghent. Thus the distinctive
position of Brussels as the aristocratic centre and the =seat of the
court= grew fixed. Again, the Dukes of Burgundy were French in speech,
and surrounded themselves with French knights and courtiers; to suit the
sovereigns, the local nobility also acquired the habit of speaking
French, which has gradually become the language of one-half of Belgium.
But the people of the Old Town in the valley were, and are still,
largely Flemish in tongue, in customs, in sympathies, and in aspect;
while the inhabitants of the Montagne de la Cour and the court quarter
generally are French in speech, in taste, and in manners. We will trace
in the sequel the gradual growth of Brussels from its nucleus by the
river (the Lower Town), up the side of the eastern hill to the Palace
district (the Upper Town), and thence through the new Quartier Léopold
and the surrounding region to its modern extension far beyond the limits
of the mediæval ramparts.

Choose an hotel in the airy and wholesome Upper Town, as near as
possible to the =Park= or the Place Royale.

=St. Michael the Archangel= is the =patron saint= of Brussels: he will
meet you everywhere, even on the lampposts. For the patroness, St.
Gudula, see under the Cathedral.

                       _B._ THE HEART OF BRUSSELS

    [The =nucleus of Brussels=, as of Paris, was formed by =an
    island=, now no longer existing. Round this islet ran two
    branches of the little =river Senne=, at present obliterated by
    the Inner Boulevards. Brussels, in short, has denied its
    parentage; the Senne, which is visible N. and S. of the Outer
    Boulevards, being covered over by arches within the whole of the
    Inner City.

    The =centre of the island= is marked by the little _Place St.
    Géry_, which the reader need not trouble to visit. Here, at the
    end of the 6th century, St. Géry, Bishop of Cambrai and apostle
    of Brabant, built a small chapel, succeeded by a church, now
    demolished. The true centre of Brussels, however, may be
    conveniently taken as the existing Bourse. Close by, as the town
    grew, the =Grand’ Place= or market-place was surrounded by noble
    mediæval and Renaissance buildings. To this centre then, the
    real heart of Brussels in the Middle Ages, we first direct

Go from your hotel to the =Grand’ Place=. It may be reached by either of
two convenient roads; from the _Place Royale_ by the Montagne de la Cour
and the Rue de la Madeleine, or from the _Park_ by the Montagne du Parc
(which takes various names as it descends), and the Galérie St. Hubert.
Either route brings you out at the end of the Galérie, whence a short
street to the L. will land you at once in the Grand’ Place, undoubtedly
the finest square in Europe, and the only one which now enables us to
reconstruct in imagination the other Grand’s Places of Belgium and the
Rhine country.

The most conspicuous building in the Place, with the tall tower and open
spire, is the HÔTEL-DE-VILLE, with one possible exception (Louvain) the
handsomest in Belgium. It consists of a tapering central tower, flanked
by two wings, their high-pitched roof covered with projecting windows.
The ground floor is arcaded. The first and second floors have Gothic
windows, altered into square frames in a portion of the building. The
edifice is of different dates. The original Hôtel-de-Ville consisted
only of the wing to your L., as you face it, erected in 1402. The R.
wing, shorter in façade, and architecturally somewhat different, was
added in 1443. The style of the whole, save where altered, is Middle
Gothic “Decorated”). The beautiful open =spire= should be specially
noticed. On its summit stands a colossal gilt metal figure (1454) of the
Archangel Michael, patron of the city. The _statues_ in the niches are
modern, and not quite in keeping with the character of the building.
Observe, over the main portal, St. Michael, patron saint of the town,
with St. Sebastian, St. Christopher, St. George, and St. Géry. Below are
the Cardinal Virtues. The figures above are Dukes of Brabant. Inspect
the whole _façade_ carefully. You will hardly find a nobler piece of
civic architecture in Europe. The carved wooden door has also a figure
of St. Michael. The gargoyles and the bosses near the staircase entrance
to the L. are likewise interesting.

Now, go round the corners to the L. and R., to inspect the equally fine
_façades_, facing the Rues de l’Hôtel-de-Ville and de la Tête-d’Or. The
_back_ of the building is 18th century and uninteresting. You may also
pass rapidly through the _courtyard_, which however has very little
character. But you need not trouble to inspect the _interior_, unless
you are an abandoned sight-seer.

The other important and beautiful building which faces the
Hôtel-de-Ville is the MAISON DU ROI, formerly used as the HALLE AU PAIN
or _Broodhuis_. It is of late florid Gothic, verging towards Renaissance
(1514, restored:) and is in three storeys, two of them arcaded. The
first floor has an open gallery, like the loggia of a Venetian palace,
whence ladies could view processions and ceremonies in the square below.
The building terminates in a high roof, with projecting windows, and a
handsome open tower and lantern. The whole has been recently rebuilt and
profusely gilded. Within, is a small Communal Museum (open free daily,
10 to 4). Come again often to view these two noble halls.

The third principal building (on the E. side of the Square) known as the
MAISON DES DUCS was the Public Weighing House, constructed in a debased
Renaissance style, and also profusely gilded. It bears the date 1698,
but is now unworthily occupied by sale rooms and shops.

The whole of the remaining space in this glorious square is surrounded
by magnificent =Guild Halls= of the various corporations.

Beginning on the =S. side= (that occupied by the Hôtel-de-Ville), we
have, first, L., two high-gabled houses of good 17th century domestic
architecture. Next to them, R., comes the =Hôtel des Brasseurs=, dated
1752, and lately surmounted by a bronze equestrian statue of Charles of
Lorraine. This was originally the _Guild Hall of the Brewers_. After
that, again, rises the house known as “The Swan,” belonging to the
_Corporation of Butchers_. The small building at the corner, next the
Hôtel-de-Ville, with an open _loggia_, now in course of restoration, is
known as the Maison de l’Étoile: a gilt star surmounts its gable.

The finest group of houses, however, is that to the =W. side= of the
Square (R. of the Hôtel-de-Ville), unoccupied by any one prominent
building. Beginning on the L., we have, first, the house known as “The
Fox” (=Le Renard=), dated 1699: it is surmounted by a figure of St.
Nicholas resuscitating the three boys, and is adorned with statues of
Justice and the Four Continents on its first floor. Then comes the
=Guild Hall of the Skippers=, or _Maison des Bateliers_, its gable
constructed somewhat like the poop of a ship. The symbolism here is all
marine—sailors above; then Neptune and his horses, etc. R. of this, we
see the house known as “=La Louve=,” bearing as a sign Romulus and Remus
with the wolf. This was originally the =Guild Hall of the Archers=. It
shows an inscription stating that it was restored, after being burnt
down, by the _Confraternity of St. Sebastian_ (patron of archers). Its
relief of the Saint with a bow is appropriate. The two remaining houses
are “_La Brouette_,” dated 1697, and “_Le Sac_,” bearing on its gable a
medallion with three faces.

The houses on the =N. side=, (that occupied by the Maison du Roi,) are
less interesting, except those on the extreme R. Next to the Maison du
Roi itself come two pretty little decorated houses, beyond which is the
=Guild Hall of the Painters=, known as “The Pigeon,” and that called “La
Taupe,” the =Hall of the Tailors=. The two last at the corner of the
street have been recently restored. Several other fine houses of the
same period close the vista of the streets round the corner.

This imposing group of Guild Halls dates, however, only from the end of
the 17th century, mostly about 1697. The reason is that in 1695 the
greater part of the Grand’ Place was destroyed by Marshal de Villeroi
during the siege. Two years later, the Guild Houses were rebuilt in the
ornate and somewhat debased style of the Louis XIV. period. Fortunately,
the two great mediæval buildings, which stood almost isolated, did not
share the general destruction.

Continue your stroll through the =Lower Town=.

From the Grand’ Place, take the Rue au Beurre, which leads W. towards
the Bourse. On your R. you will pass the now uninteresting and entirely
modernized =Church of St. Nicolas=. In its origin, however, this is one
of the oldest churches in Brussels, and though it has long lost almost
every mark of antiquity, it is instructive to recognise here again (as
at Ghent) the democratic patron saint of the merchants and burgesses in
close proximity to their Town Hall and their Guild Houses. The =Bourse=
itself, which faces you, is a handsome and imposing modern building. Go
past its side till you reach the line of the =Inner Boulevards=, which
lead N. and S. between the Gare du Nord and the Gare du Midi.

This superb line of streets, one of the finest set of modern boulevards
in Europe, has been driven straight through the heart of the =Old Town=,
and the authorities offered large money prizes for the best _façades_
erected along the route. Content yourself for the moment with a glance
up and down, to observe the general effect, and then continue on to your
L. along the Boulevard, where the first street on the R. will lead you
to the little =Place St. Géry=, now occupied by a market, but originally
the centre of Old Brussels. A stroll through the neighbouring streets is
interesting, past the =Halles Centrales=, and the modern Church of =St.
Catherine=, close by which stands the old Tower of St. Catherine, built
into a modern block of houses. A little further on is the picturesque
=Tour Noire=, the only remaining relic of the first fortifications of
the city. You may prolong this walk to the Place du Béguinage, with a
tolerable church. The quarter has no special interest, but it will serve
to give you a passing idea of the primitive nucleus of mediæval

I will interpolate here a few remarks about the more modern portion of
the Old Town. The best way to see it is to take the tram along the Inner
Boulevards from the Gare du Midi to the Gare du Nord. You will then
pass, first, the Outer Boulevards (see later): next, R., the _Palais du
Midi_; L., the _Place d’Anneessens_, with a statue of Anneessens, the
intrepid and public-spirited magistrate of Brussels who was put to death
in 1719 for venturing to defend the privileges of the city against the
Austrian authorities. Just opposite this, you get a glimpse, R., of the
_Place Rouppe_, to be noticed later. Passing the _Place Fontainas_,
where many streets radiate, you arrive at the _Bourse_, already noticed.
The handsome corner building (with dome) in front of you, which forms so
conspicuous an element in the prospect as you approach, is the _Hôtel
Continental_. Just in front of it expands a small new square (_Place de
Brouckere_) still unfinished, on which a monument is now being erected
to a late burgomaster (De Brouckere.) At this point, the Boulevard
divides, the western branch following the course of the Senne (which
emerges to light just beyond the Outer Boulevards,) while the eastern
branch goes straight on to the Gare du Nord, passing at the first corner
a handsome narrow house with gilt summit, which won the first prize in
the competition instituted by the Municipality for the best _façades_ on
the new line of streets.

After reaching the Gare du Nord, you can return to the Gare du Midi by
an alternative line of main streets, which also cuts through the heart
of the Old Town, a little to the E. of the Inner Boulevards. It begins
with the _Rue Neuve_, where a short street to the L. conducts you
straight to the =Place des Martyrs=, a white and somewhat desolate
square of the 18th century, (1775) adorned later with a Monument to the
Belgians who were killed during the War of Independence in 1830. Shortly
after this (continuing the main line) you pass two covered galleries, R.
and L., and then arrive at the =Place de la Monnaie=. On your R. is the
handsome building of the new =Post Office=; on your L., the white
Ionic-pillared =Grand Théâtre= or =Théâtre de la Monnaie=, (opera,
etc.). You then pass between _St. Nicolas_ on the L., and the _Bourse_
on the R., and continue on to the =Place Rouppe=, (ornamented with a
fountain and a statue of Brussels personified): whence the Avenue du
Midi leads you straight to the _Place de la Constitution_, in front of
the South Station.

The remainder of the =Western Half of the town= is, for the most part,
poor and devoid of interest, though it contains the principal markets,
hospitals, and barracks, as well as the basins for the canals which have
superseded the Senne.

                        _C._ THE PICTURE GALLERY

    [I interpolate here the account of the =Brussels Picture
    Gallery=, because it is the most important object to be seen in
    the town, after the Grand’ Place and its neighbourhood. You must
    pay it several visits—three at the very least—and you may as
    well begin early. Follow the roughly chronological order here
    indicated, and you will understand it very much better. Begin
    again next time where you left off last: but also, revisit the
    rooms you have already seen, to let the pictures sink into your
    memory. Intersperse these visits with general sight-seeing in
    the town and neighbourhood.

    The Brussels Gallery forms an excellent continuation to the
    works of art we have already studied at Bruges and Ghent. In the
    _first place_, it gives us some further examples of the =Old
    Flemish masters=, of the Van Eycks and of Memling, as well as
    several altar-pieces belonging to the mystical religious School
    of the Brussels town-painter, =Roger Van der Weyden=, who was
    Memling’s master. These have been removed from churches at
    various times, and gradually collected by the present
    Government. It also affords us an admirable opportunity of
    becoming well acquainted with the masterpieces of =Dierick
    Bouts=, or Dierick of Haarlem, an early painter, Dutch by birth
    but Flemish by training, who was town painter in democratic
    Louvain, (which town may afterwards be made the object of an
    excursion from Brussels).

    But, in the _second place_, besides these painters of the early
    school, the Brussels Gallery is rich in works of the
    =transitional period=, and possesses in particular a magnificent
    altar-piece by =Quentin Matsys=, the last of the old Flemish
    School, and the first great precursor of the Renaissance in the
    Low Countries. He was practically an Antwerp man (though born at
    Louvain), and his place in art may more fitly be considered in
    the Antwerp Museum.

    From his time on we are enabled to trace, in this Gallery, the
    evolution of Flemish art to its =third period=, the time of
    =Rubens= (also better seen at Antwerp) and his successors, the
    great =Dutch painters=, here fairly represented by Rembrandt,
    Frans Hals, Van der Helst, Gerard Dou, and Teniers.

    In the following list of the most noteworthy works of each
    School, I have adhered, roughly speaking, to a chronological
    order, but without compelling the reader unnecessarily to dance
    up and down the various rooms of the collection from one work to
    another. The Gallery itself is one of the most splendid in
    Europe, and it has been recently re-arranged in a most
    satisfactory manner.]

The national collection of pictures by Old Masters occupies the very
handsome modern building known as the =Palais des Beaux-Arts= in the Rue
de la Régence, immediately after passing through the Place Royale. (Four
large granite columns in front: bronze sculpture groups to R. and L.)
See plan on p. 108.

Enter by the big door with the four large granite columns. In the
vestibule, turn to the R., and mount the staircase. Then pass through
Room III. and Corridor A, to Room V. on the right, and on into

                                ROOM I.
                   =Hall of the Old Flemish Masters.=

This contains the most interesting works in the Gallery.

(You may also, if you like, pass through the collection of Sculpture in
the Hall below, entering by Corridor D; in which case, turn to the L.
into Rooms VIII. and II., and then to the R. into Room I., as above.
This is the handsomer entrance. Much of the sculpture has great merit:
but being purely modern, it does not fall within the scope of these
Historical Guides.)

Begin in the middle of the wall, with No. 170, =**Hubert van Eyck=: the
two outer upper shutters from the =Adoration of the Lamb= at Ghent,
representing Adam and Eve, whose nudity so shocked Joseph II. that he
objected to their presence in a church. These fine examples of the
unidealized northern nude are highly characteristic of the Van Eycks’
craftsmanship. The Adam is an extremely conscientious and able rendering
of an ordinary and ill-chosen model, surprisingly and almost painfully
true in its fidelity to nature. The foreshortening of the foot, the
minute rendering of the separate small hairs on the legs, the
large-veined, every-day hands, the frank exhibition of the bones and
sinews of the neck, all show the extreme northern love of realism, and
the singular northern inattention to beauty. Compare this figure with
the large German panels on a gold ground in the corners diagonally
opposite (No. 624), if you wish to see how great an advance in truth of
portraiture was made by the Van Eycks. The Eve is an equally faithful
rendering of an uninteresting model, with protruding body and spindle
legs. Above, in the lunettes, are the Offerings of Cain and Abel, and
the Death of Abel, in grisaille. The _backs of the shutters_ will be
opened for you by the attendant. They exhibit, above, two Sibyls, with
scrolls from their prophecies; below, the central portion of the
Annunciation in the total picture, with a view through the window over
the town of Ghent, and the last words of the angelic message, truncated
from their context. This portion of the picture is, of course, only
comprehensible by a study of the original altar-piece at Ghent.


Continue now along this wall to the R. of the Adam and Eve.

24. J. Gossart, called Mabuse (1470-1541), triptych with a
=Glorification of the Magdalen=, given by a special votary. The _central
panel_ contains the chief event in her history—the Supper at the House
of Simon the Pharisee. The host and one guest are admirably represented
by Flemish portraits, exquisitely robed, and reproduced in marvellous
detail. The figure of the Christ is, as usual, insipid. Beneath the
table, the Magdalen, as central figure, with her alabaster box of
ointment, kisses the feet of Christ. To the right, Judas, with his
traditional red hair, and bearing the purse, asks, with a contemptuous
gesture, Why this was not sold and given to the poor? In the background
are the Apostles. Conspicuous amongst them is the conventional round
face of St. Peter. The whole scene takes place in a richly decorated
interior, with charming colouring and a finely rendered clock, curtain,
and other accessories. Gossart visited Italy, and was one of the
earliest Flemings to be influenced by the Italian Renaissance. You will
not overlook the half-Gothic, half-Renaissance architecture, nor the
chained squirrel, nor the semi-grotesque episodes in the background,
very domestic and Flemish. (Moses above the Pharisee’s head marks his

The _left panel_ has another principal event in the Magdalen’s life, the
Resurrection of Lazarus. Here also the Christ is insipid, but the Peter
behind him, in a green robe, is finely characterized; and the John,
affected. Beside are the Magdalen (same dress as before) and Martha,
with a group of women and bystanders in singular head-dresses. In the
background rises a very ideal Bethany. The _right panel_ represents the
kneeling donor (an unknown Premonstratensian abbot); on his book is
written, “Mary Magdalen, pray for us.” Above him is seen the floating
figure of the Magdalen, clad only in her own luxuriant hair, and raised
aloft by angels from her cave, the Sainte Baume, in Provence, to behold
the Beatific Vision. The background has Stations of the Cross, actually
copied (with the rest of the landscape) from those at the Sainte Baume,
which Gossart must have visited at his patron’s instance. On the _backs
of the wings_, yet another scene in the life of the Saint, Christ and
the Magdalen in the Garden. All this triptych is finely modelled and

552. Three panels attributed to =Roger van der Weyden=, of Tournai, town
painter of Brussels, and teacher of Memling—a highly symbolical and
religious master. Scenes from the Life of the Virgin. In the _centre_,
the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. The foreground is occupied
by St. Joachim and St. Anna, parents of the little Virgin, who is seen
mounting the regulation fifteen steps of the Temple, assisted by a
somewhat unusual angel. At the head of the steps stands the High Priest.
Within, the Virgins of the Lord are seen reading. To the right, still in
the same panel, is the Annunciation, with the usual features, angel L.,
Madonna R., _prie-dieu_, bed, Annunciation lily, and arcade in the
foreground. The _left panel_ has the Circumcision; and the _right_,
Christ among the Doctors in the Temple, with some excellent portraits in
the background. (For Van der Weyden’s place in art, see Conway; for the
Madonna ascending the steps, _Legends of the Madonna_.)

554. Also attributed to =Roger van der Weyden=: parts of the same
series, Way to Calvary and the Crucifixion. The _first_ has the usual
brutal soldiers and a suffering but not very dignified Christ. (Study
for comparison with others.) Beside the Virgin kneels the donor. The
_second_ has the conventional figures of the fainting Madonna, St. John,
the Magdalen, and the other Maries: sun and moon darkened. In the
distance of both, Flemish towns. (Good trees and landscape.)

105A. Fine Madonna with Child, and an apple by Van Clìve.

159. A crowded Calvary of the German School (late 15th century) with an
emaciated Saviour, writhing and distorted thieves, and rather wooden
spectators. Observe the St. Longinus in armour on the bay horse,
piercing the side of Christ, for comparison hereafter with such later
conceptions as Rubens’s at Antwerp. To the L. is the group of the
Madonna, St. John, and the two Maries. The red eyes of St. John are
characteristic of this scene, and descend to Van Dyck. The Maries are
unmitigated German housewives. The Magdalen embraces the foot of the
Cross. On the right are spectators and a brawl between soldiers. The
background is full of characteristic German devils and horrors: also St.
Veronica, Peter and Malchus, Judas hanging himself, etc.

Above it, 523, German School, attributed to Wolgemut, Christ and the
Apostles: gold background. Very flavourless: shows the tendencies from
which the Van Eycks revolted.

517. Roger van der Weyden: head of a Woman Weeping. Perhaps a portion of
a large composition, or a study for one. More likely, a copy by a pupil.
Much damaged.

Now, return along the same wall, beyond the great Van Eyck in the

335. =Bernard van Orley= (transitional). Triptych (sawn in two), with
the Patience of Job inside, and Lazarus and Dives outside. In the
_centre panel_, the house falling upon the sons of Job. In the
background, Job and his comforters: his house in flames, etc. _Left
panel_, the flocks and herds of Job driven off by the Sabeans, with
Satan before the Almighty at the summit. _Right panel_, Job in his last
state more blessed than formerly: his comforters ask him to intercede
for them. Beyond this again, the outer shutters (the panels having been
sawn through): _extreme left_, Lazarus at the Rich Man’s gate; above,
his new-born soul borne aloft to Heaven. Below, cooks, servants, etc.
_Extreme right_, the Rich Man dying, attended by his physician (compare
the Dropsical Woman by Gerard Dou in the Louvre). Below, Dives in
Torments (in a very Flemish Hell) calling to Lazarus. Above, Lazarus in
Abraham’s bosom. This is a good characteristic example of the
=transitional period= between the early and later Flemish art, greatly
influenced by the Italian Renaissance. Van Orley travelled in Italy, and
imitated Raphael in composition and drawing.

Beyond it, attributed to Roger van der Weyden, 553 (3 panels arbitrarily
placed together). In the _centre panel_, two subjects. Left, the
Nativity, elements all conventional: ruined temple, shed, ox and ass
(extremely wooden), and St. Joseph in background. (He frequently bears a
candle in this scene in order to indicate that the time is night.)
Right, the Adoration of the Three Kings, old, middle-aged, young, the
last a Moor. St. Joseph examines, as often, the Old King’s gift. Note
his costume; it recurs in Flemish art. _Left panel_, Joseph of Arimathea
with the Crown of Thorns, Nicodemus with the three nails, St. John, and
the three Maries at the sepulchre. _Right panel_, Entombment, with the
same figures: the Crown of Thorns and nails in the foreground. Great
importance is always attached to these relics, preserved in the Sainte
Chapelle, and at Monza, near Milan.

350. =Patinier.= Repose on the Flight into Egypt, with fine landscape

122. =Cranach= the Elder. Hard portrait of a very Scotch looking and
Calvinistic Elder.

10. Amberger; German School, 16th century; excellent portrait of a
gentleman; good beard.

569. Fine portrait of a man, by unknown artist. Flemish School, 16th

Above these, 618, Flagellation and Ascension, German School, with gilt

The _skied pictures_ on this wall are only interesting as specimens of
the later transitional period; when Flemish Art was aiming ill at
effects unnatural to it.

Continue along the wall in the same direction.

By the door, 557, *portrait of Johanna of Spain (the Mad), mother of
Charles V.: fine 15th century work.

531 and 532. Excellent old Flemish portraits.

Above these, 541, Scenes from the Life of the Virgin, with a donor. L.,
Nativity. Note the conventional elements. R., Circumcision. Above, Angel
and patron saints.

557. *Portrait of Philippe le Beau, father of Charles V., companion to
his wife opposite. Observe the collar of the Golden Fleece, and the
united arms of Spain, Burgundy, etc., on his doublet. These portraits
were originally the wings of a triptych.

544. A Holy Family and St. Anne, with the donor, a Franciscan monk, by a
feeble imitator of Memling.

334. Tolerable portrait of a doctor, by Bernard Van Orley.

Next it, unnumbered, *Virgin and child. Gérard David. Our Lady feeds
Christ with a characteristic Flemish wooden spoon.

348. Patinier, a painter chiefly memorable for his landscapes (of which
this is a poor example). St. Jerome in the Desert, beating his breast
with a stone before a crucifix. Beside him, his cardinal’s hat and lion.
Not a good example of the master.

641. Holbein the Younger. Portrait of *Sir Thomas More.

Above, 575. Triptych, Flemish School, early 16th century. _Centre
panel_, Miracle of St. Anthony of Padua and the Mule. (The Saint,
carrying the Host, met a scoffer’s mule, which knelt till it passed.)
Above, St. Bonaventura, attired as bishop, praying. These must be the
chief objects of the donor’s devotion: they are also represented on the
outer wings. _Right_ and _left_, the donor (whose name was Tobias), with
his personal patron, St. Raphael the Archangel (accompanying the young
Tobias), and his wife, with St. Margaret and the Dragon. (For Tobias and
the Fish, see Book of Tobit.)

174, skied, is a Last Judgment by Floris, also transitional and useful
for comparison with others elsewhere. To R. and L., the Fall of the
Damned and the Just Ascending recall early examples at Bruges.

534. Triptych of the Flemish School (Hugo van der Goes?); _Centre
panel_, Assumption of Our Lady. Round the empty tomb are gathered the
apostles; conspicuous among them, St. Peter with a censer, and St.
James. Above, Our Lady taken up in a glory by Christ and the Holy Ghost,
represented as like Him. In the background, her Funeral, St. Peter, as
Pope, accompanying. Note the papal dress of St. Peter; St. James holds
the cross as Bishop of Jerusalem. _Left wing_, the chief donor,
accompanied by his guardian angel and two of the apostles, one of whom
holds St. Peter’s tiara, as if part of the main picture. In the
background, St. Thomas receiving the Holy Girdle from an Angel, a common
treatment in Flemish art, though Italians make him receive it from Our
Lady in person. (See my _Guide to Florence_.) _Right wing_, donor’s son
and wife, with guardian angel. This triptych closely resembles No. 535
(which see later), except that that picture is in one panel, instead of
three. I think 535 must have been painted first, and this taken from it,
but made into a triptych; which would account for the unusual flowing
over of the main subject into the wings.

419. Martin Schongauer (of Colmar, a German largely influenced by Roger
van der Weyden), *Ecce Homo, painted like a miniature.

349. Patinier: another Repose on the Flight into Egypt. Observe
persistence of the main elements. Notice in particular, as compared with
the similar picture (350) close by, the staff, basket, etc., in the R.

546. School of Memling, perhaps by the master: a Bishop preaching: M.
Fétis thinks, exhorting the Crusade in which Pope Nicholas V. wished to
interest the princes of Europe after the fall of Constantinople.

621. School of Dürer: Fine and thoughtful portrait of a man, perhaps

Above it, 577, Flemish triptych (school of Van der Weyden) of the
Adoration of the Magi, the elements in which will by this time be
familiar to you. Right and left, Adoration of the Shepherds and
Circumcision. The exceptional frequency of the subject of the Adoration
of the Magi in the Low Countries and the Rhine district is to be
accounted for by the fact that the relics of the Three Kings are
preserved in Cologne Cathedral, and are there the chief object of local

At the corner,

84 and 255, two good portraits by the German de Bruyn (early 16th
cent.). Transitional: show Italian influence.

Between them, 619, unknown German, Wedding Feast at Cana. That you may
have no doubt as to the reality of the miracle, a servant is pouring
water into the jars in the foreground. He is much the best portion of
the picture. Behind are Christ, St. John, and Our Lady. Next to them,
the bride and bridegroom. (Compare the Gerard David in the Louvre.)

Above it, 624, a very quaint St. George and St. Catherine, early German
School, with gold background. St. George is stiffly clad in armour, and
painfully conscious of his spindle legs, with a transfixed dragon and
broken lance at his feet. St. Catherine looks extremely peevish, with a
Byzantine down-drawn mouth: she holds the sword of her martyrdom, and
has a fragment of her wheel showing behind her. Her face is highly
characteristic of the severity and austerity of early German art.
Companion piece (624) at opposite corner.

Now proceed to the next wall.

539. Fine portraits of a donor and his wife, with their patron saints,
Peter and Paul. The tops of both have been sawn off.

549 and 643. Two Madonnas. Not very important.

545. Between them, **unknown German Master (Lafenestre says, Flemish).
Panel with Our Lady and Virgin Saints, what is called a “=Paradise
Picture=,” apparently painted for a church or nunnery in Cologne, and
with the chief patronesses of the city churches or chapels grouped
around in adoration. Our Lady, with her typical German features, sits in
front, in a robe of blue, before a crimson damask curtain upheld by
angels. Her face is sweetly and insipidly charming. She holds a regal
court among her ladies. In front of her kneels the Magdalen, with her
long hair and pot of ointment. To the L., St. Catherine of Alexandria,
crowned as princess, and with her wheel embroidered in pearls on her red
robe as a symbol. The Infant Christ places the ring on her finger.
Further L., St. Cecilia with a bell, substituted in northern art (where
the chimes in the belfry were so important) for the organ which she
holds in Italy. Then, St. Lucy, with her eyes in a dish, and St.
Apollonia, holding her tooth in a pair of pincers. In front of these
two, in a richly brocaded dress, and beautiful crown, St. Ursula, the
great martyr of Cologne, with the arrows of her martyrdom lying at her
feet. To Our Lady’s right, St. Barbara, in a purple robe trimmed with
ermine and embroidered with her tower (of three windows), offers a rose
to the Infant. Her necklet is of towers. As usual in northern art, she
balances St. Catherine. Beside her kneels St. Agnes, in red, with her
lamb, and her ruby ring: beyond whom are St. Helena with the cross
(wearing a simple Roman circlet), St. Agatha, holding her own severed
breast in the pincers, and St. Cunera with the cradle and arrow, one of
the martyred companions of St. Ursula. In the background, the True Vine
on a trellis, the garden of roses (“is my sister, my spouse”), and a
landscape of the Rhine, in which St. George kills the dragon. This is a
particularly fine composition of the old German School.

65 and 66. **Dierick Bouts: Two companion panels, life-size figures,
known as =the Justice of the Emperor Otho=, and painted for the
Council-Room of the Hôtel-de-Ville at Louvain, as a warning to
evil-doers, perjurers, or unjust magistrates. (Compare the Gerard David
of the Flaying of Sisamnes in the Academy at Bruges.) It is first
necessary to understand _the story_. During the absence of the Emperor
Otho in Italy (according to tradition), his empress made advances to a
gentleman of the court, who rejected her offers. Piqued by this rebuff,
the empress denounced him to Otho on his return as having attempted to
betray her honour. Otho, without further testimony, had the nobleman
beheaded. His widow appeared before the Emperor’s judgment-seat, bearing
her husband’s head in her hands, and offered to prove his innocence by
the ordeal of fire. She therefore held a red-hot iron in her hand
unhurt. Otho, convinced of his wife’s treachery by this miraculous
evidence, had the perjured empress burned alive. The _first panel_, to
the R., represents the scene in two separate moments. Behind, the
nobleman, in his shirt and with his hands tied, walks towards the place
of execution, accompanied by his wife in a red dress and black hood, as
well as by a Franciscan friar. In the foreground, the executioner
(looking grimly stern) has just decapitated the victim, and is giving
the head to the wife in a towel. The headless corpse lies on the ground
before him. The neck originally spurted blood; flowers have been painted
in to conceal this painful element. All round stand spectators, probably
portraits of the Louvain magistrates, admirably rendered in Bouts’s dry
and stiff but life-like manner. Behind them, within a walled garden
belonging to a castle in the background, stand the Emperor with his
sceptre and crown, and the faithless Empress. Good town and landscape to
the L. The _second panel_, to the L., separated from this by a large
triptych, represents the nobleman’s wife appearing before the enthroned
Otho. In her right hand she holds her husband’s head; with her left she
grasps the red-hot iron, unmoved. The brazier of charcoal in which it
has been heated stands on the parti-coloured marble floor in the
foreground. Around are several portraits of courtiers. Behind is
represented the scene of the empress burning, which closes the episode.
I need not call attention to the admirable painting of the fur, the
green coat, Otho’s flowered red robe, the dog, the throne, and all the
other accessories. This is considered Dierick Bouts’s masterpiece. (Go
later to Louvain to complete your idea of him.)

Between these two pictures are arranged =five of the finest works= in
the collection.

292 and 293. =Memling=: **Portraits of William Moreel (or Morelli),
Burgomaster of Bruges, and his wife Barbara, the same persons
(Savoyards) who are represented in the St. Christopher triptych in the
Academy at Bruges. Their daughter is the Sibyl Sambetha of the St.
John’s Hospital. Both portraits, but especially the Burgomaster’s, are
good, hard, dry pictures.

515. Memling: **Triptych: perhaps painted in Italy (if I permitted
myself an opinion, I would say, doubtfully by Memling). At any rate, it
is for the Sforza family of Milan. _Central panel_, the Crucifixion,
with Our Lady and St. John. Beautiful background of a fanciful
Jerusalem. Sun and moon darkened. In the foreground kneel Francesco
Sforza in armour, his wife Bianca Visconti, and his son Galeazzo-Maria.
Behind the duke, his coat of arms. _Left panel_: the Nativity. In the
foreground St. Francis with the Stigmata, as patron saint of Francesco,
and St. Bavon with his falcon. _Right panel_: St. John the Baptist, as
patron saint of Giovanni Galeazzo. Below, St. Catherine with her sword
and wheel, and St. Barbara with her tower, two charming figures. I do
not know the reason of their introduction, but they are common pendants
of one another in northern art. You can get an attendant to unfasten the
_outer wings_ of the triptych for you, but they are not important. They
contain, in grisaille, L., St. Jerome and the lion; R., St. George and
the dragon. (The presence of St. Bavon in this enigmatic picture leads
me to suppose it was painted for a church at Ghent. But what were the
Sforza family doing there? Perhaps it has reference to some local
business of the Sforzas in Flanders.)

190. =**Roger van der Weyden=: Portrait of Charles the Bold of Burgundy,
wearing the Golden Fleece. An excellent and characteristic piece of
workmanship. The arrow has a meaning: it is the symbol of St. Sebastian,
to whom (as plague-saint) Charles made a vow in illness, and whom ever
after he specially reverenced.

294. Memling: **Portrait of an unknown man, which may be contrasted for
its comparative softness of execution with the harder work of his master
beside it. Above these:—

211. Triptych, by Heemskerck (early Dutch School), representing,
_Centre_, the Entombment, Christ borne, as usual, by Nicodemus and
Joseph of Arimathea. In front, the crown of thorns. Behind, the
Magdalen; then the Madonna and St. John, the two Maries, and an unknown
man holding a vase of ointment. _L. and R._ the donor and his wife, with
their patron saints Peter and Mary Magdalen (keys, box of ointment).

542. =*Dierick Bouts= of Louvain: The Last Supper. A fine and
characteristic example of the town painter of Louvain. The faces are
those of peasants or small bourgeois. To the right are the donors,
entering as spectators: their faces are excellent. Judas sits in front
of the table. The Christ is insipid. Note the admirable work of the
pavement and background. The servant is a good feature. If you have
Conway with you, compare this picture with the engraving of the very
similar one by Bouts at Louvain, (p. 277:) only, the architecture there
is Gothic, here Renaissance.

139. *Descent from the Cross (Van der Weyden or his school). Notice the
white sheet on which the body is laid, as later in the great Rubens.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea support the body, St. John and one of
the Maries holds the fainting Madonna. Left, the Magdalen, with her long
hair. By her feet, her box of ointment. Close beside it, the nails,
hammer and pincers. (M. Lafenestre, following Bode, attributes this
picture to Petrus Christus, but with a query.)

29. Pleasing transitional Madonna, School of Van Orley, somewhat Italian
in feeling, in a pretty arcade, with nice landscape background.

Above these, 109, a triptych, by Coninxloo. _Centre_, Family of St.
Anne. Interesting for comparison with the great Quentin Matsys in the
centre of the room. L., Joachim’s offering rejected in the Temple (small
episodes behind). R., the death of St. Anne. Come back to the central
panel after you have viewed the Quentin Matsys. (The component
personages are explained there.)

543. Tolerable triptych, Flemish school, representing the events of the
Infancy. _Centre_, Adoration of the Shepherds, with the usual
conventional features (ruined temple, shed, ox and ass, etc.), and St.
Joseph holding his candle, as often, to indicate night time. _Left_,
Annunciation, with the usual position of the angel reversed. Otherwise,
the portico and other features persist. Compare the great Van Eyck at
Ghent, from which some elements here are borrowed. _Right_, the
Circumcision. Symbolical figure of Moses on altar, full of the symbolism
of Van der Weyden’s school. (Outer shutters, uninteresting, SS.
Catharine and Barbara.)

585. Above it, good family group of a donor and his sons, with St.
George; and his wife and daughters, with St. Barbara. (The crucifixes
mark monks and nuns.)

At the corner, 624, German school. St. Mary Magdalen and St. Thomas, on
gold background. Companion piece to 624. At opposite end.

626. School of Martin Schongauer: Christ and the Magdalen in the house
of the Pharisee. Very contorted. Compare with the Gossart.

Above it, 106, Flemish school. Mass of St. Gregory, with the Crucified
Christ appearing on the altar. (Recall the Pourbus at Bruges.) A most
unpleasant picture. Behind, are the elements of the Passion. L., the
donors; R., Souls in Purgatory, relieved by masses. Many minor episodes
occupy the area.

On either side of it, *27, 28, beautiful soft-toned German portraits
(? by Beham) of two children, Maximilian II. and his sister Anne of

563. Lombard: Unimportant picture, meaninglessly described as Human
Misfortunes. It seems to commemorate an escape from shipwreck and from
plagues by the same person. _L. panel_: A ship sinking; a man saved on
the shore. In the background, under divine direction of an angel, he
finds his lost gold in a fish’s body. _R. panel_, He lies ill of plague,
while above is seen the miracle of St. Gregory and the Angel of the
Plague (Michael) sheathing his sword on the Castle of St. Angelo.

540. Virgin and Child. Attributed without much certainty to Petrus

535. Good unknown Flemish picture of the *Assumption of Our Lady
(closely resembling No. 534, which see again). The empty tomb stands in
the midst, with lilies; around, St. Peter and St. James, and the other
apostles; above, Our Lady ascending, borne by a duplicated figure of
Christ (one standing for the Holy Ghost), in an almond-shaped glory. R.,
Her Funeral, with St. Peter wearing the triple crown; L., St. Thomas
receiving the girdle from an angel. Compare with 534, which Lafenestre
judges to be the work of a different artist.

567. Good portrait attributed to Bernard Van Orley.

596. Six panels: Flemish School. Ornate, but not interesting. (1) The
Lord creating Eve; in the background the Temptation. (2) Abraham, Sarah,
and Isaac; in the background in three successive scenes, Abraham’s
Sacrifice. (3) Noah and his Family with the Ark. (4) Esau asks the
Blessing of Isaac. (5) Meeting of Jacob and Esau. Note the grotesquely
urban conception of the Semitic nomads. (6) The Nativity.

559. Attributed to Van Orley. Pietà, with the usual group, and family of
donors. Interesting as a work of transition.

Above it, 580. Triptych, with Descent from the Cross, Flemish school.
Usual figures; identify them. On the wings, L., Agony in the Garden,
Kiss of Judas, Peter and Malchus: R., The Resurrection. Noli Me Tangere,
Disciples at Emmaus, etc.

107. P. Coecke, 16th century: A Last Supper. Only interesting as showing
transition. Compare with Dierick Bouts.

Above it, 300. Patinier: Dead Christ on the knees of the Virgin (Our
Lady of the Seven Sorrows), painfully emaciated. A sword pierces Our
Lady’s breast (and will recur often). Around it, the rest of the Seven
Sorrows. Note the landscape, characteristic of the painter.

12. (Old number; no new number.) Coninxloo: Joachim and Anna, with the
rejected offering. From them, a genealogical tree bears the Madonna and
Child. L. and R., the Angel appearing to Joachim, and Joachim and Anna
at the Golden Gate. (Read up the legend.) Curious architectural setting.

301. Good portrait by an unknown (transitional) Fleming (Van Orley?),
probably of a lawyer; the charters seem to indicate a secretary of
Maximilian and Charles V.

The place of honour in the centre of the room is occupied by 299, a
magnificent =**triptych= by =Quentin Matsys=, one of the noblest works
of the _transitional school_, strangely luminous, with very
characteristic and curious colouring. It represents the favourite
Flemish subject of =the Family of St. Anne=. (It was painted for the
Confraternity of St. Anne at Louvain, and stood as an altar-piece in the
church of St. Pierre.) _Central panel_: An arcade, in the middle arch of
which appears St. Anne, in red and purple (throughout), offering grapes
to the Divine Child, who holds a bullfinch, and is seated on the lap of
Our Lady. R., Mary Salome, with her two sons James and John. L., Mary
Cleophas, with her sons James the Less, Simon, Thaddæus, and Joseph the
Just. Behind the parapet, beside St. Anne, her husband Joachim; and
beside Mary Salome, her husband Zebedee. Beside Our Lady, her husband
Joseph; beside Mary Cleophas, her husband Alphæus. Beautiful blue
mountain landscape. _L. panel_: The angel appearing to Joachim, in a
magnificent blue landscape. Joachim’s dress is constant. The angel’s
robe is most delicious in colour. _R. panel_: The Death of St. Anne,
with Our Lady and the other Maries in attendance. Behind, their
husbands. The young Christ gives the benediction.

Now, go round to the _back of the picture_, to observe the _outer
wings_. L., St. Joachim driven from the Temple by the High Priest R.
(chronologically the first), Joachim and Anna (much younger), making
their offerings (on marriage) to the High Priest in the Temple. (Same
High Priest, younger; same dresses.) The portrait behind recalls the
earlier Flemish manner; otherwise, the work is full of incipient
transition to the Renaissance. Little episode of Joachim and Anna
distributing alms in the background. (When the triptych is closed, this
wing comes in its proper place as first of the series.)

191. =Jan van Eyck=: (attribution doubtful; probably a later artist,
perhaps Gerard David): The Adoration of the Magi. Another good example
of this favourite Flemish subject. In the foreground, the Madonna and
Child: one of Van Eyck’s most pleasing faces (if his). Then, the Old
King, kneeling; the Middle-aged King, half-kneeling; and the Young King,
a Moor, with his gift, behind. (The Old King in such pictures has almost
always deposited his gift.) In the background, Joseph, and the retinue
of the Magi. Ruined temple, shed, ox, ass, etc., as usual.

291. Dierick Bouts: *Martyrdom of St. Sebastian. Characteristic peasant
face; admirable cloak and background.

Now go into the next hall, marked

                                ROOM II.

on the plan. This contains mainly German and Flemish pictures of the

Right of the door, 338. Very Raphaelesque Holy Family by Bernard Van
Orley, showing in the highest degree the Italian influence on this
originally quite Flemish painter.

Above it, 92 and 92A. Portraits of the Micaul family.

105. J. Joest: St. Anne enthroned, Joseph, Our Lady, the Infant. Early

193. Jean Gossaert, Adam and Eve. Good later Flemish nude.

50. J. Bosch: Appalling Flemish Temptation of St. Anthony, with perhaps
the silliest and most grotesquely repulsive devils ever painted.

2. Aertsen: *The Dutch Cook. A famous picture, showing well the earlier
stages of Dutch _genre_ development.

217. Van Hemessen: _Genre_ piece, absurdly given the name of The
Prodigal Son, by a sort of prescription, but really a Flemish tavern
scene of the sort which afterwards appealed to Dutch artists. A
characteristic work: transitional, but with good humorous faces,
especially to the right. Painters still thought all pictures must
pretend to be sacred.

591. German Adoration of the Magi. A fragment only.

603. Herri met de Bles: The Temptation of St. Anthony. Figures and
landscape show Italian influence.

336. Transitional Adoration of the Shepherds. Observe the growing
Renaissance feeling and Italian influence.

247, 248. Excellent portraits by Adrien Key.

41. Lancelot Blondeel: St. Peter enthroned as Pope: in one of his usual
extravagant architectural frameworks. In circles above, his Imprisonment
and Crucifixion.

Close by, unnumbered, two excellent portraits.

81. P. Brueghel the Younger: absurdly called The Census at Bethlehem. In
reality a Flemish winter scene.

318. Sir Anthony More: *Portrait of the =Duke of Alva=, with the firm
lips and cruel eyes of the ruthless Spaniard. One understands him.

359. Good portrait by Pourbus of a plump and well-fed Flemish gentleman.

80. P. Brueghel the Younger: Described as the Massacre of the Innocents.
Flemish winter. The beginning of _genre_ painting.

Most of the pictures skied above these are of some interest for
comparison with earlier examples of the same subjects.

565. Unknown French portrait of Edward VI. of England. Hard and dry and
of little artistic value.

566. Tolerable Flemish portrait of Guillaume de Croy (Golden Fleece).

573. Good Flemish portrait of a woman, dated 1504.

555. Flemish school: Annunciation. Chiefly interesting for its
conventional features, and its very quaint figure of St. Mary of Egypt,
with her three loaves, in the R. panel.

124B. (Old number; no new number given.) Unusual combined picture of St.
Jerome, uniting the subjects usually known as St. Jerome in the Desert
and St. Jerome in his Study.

622. Fine German portrait of the early 17th century.

316. Good strong portrait, by Sir Anthony More, of Hubert Goltzius.

123. =Cranach= the Elder (German 16th cent.): *Adam and Eve. Fine
specimens of the later northern nude of the early Renaissance,
interesting for comparison with the cruder realism of Van Eyck. As yet,
however, even the figure of Eve has relatively little idealism or
beauty. Excellent stag in the background.

361. A good Pourbus. Beyond the door, 536, Flemish school: (Hugo Van der
Goes?). Donor, a lady in a nun’s dress (?), with her name-saint, St.
Barbara, bearing her palm as a martyr: in the background, her tower with
the three windows. To balance it, 536, Her brother (?) or husband, with
his patron, St. James. (Staff and scallop-shell.)

Above, 84, Triptych by Jan Coninxloo of the History of St. Nicholas.
(The wings are misplaced.) _R. wing_ (it should be L.), St. Nicholas,
three days old, stands up in his bath to thank God for having brought
him into the world. _Central panel_, the young St. Nicholas enthroned as
Bishop of Myra. _L. wing_ (should be R.), The Death of St. Nicholas,
with angels standing by to convey his soul to Heaven. A good
transitional Flemish picture. Beneath, tolerable portraits.

361A. A late Flemish Virgin, with portrait of the donor and St. Francis
receiving the stigmata.

572. Sir Anthony More. Portrait. Above it, 595, an Entombment, where
note again the conventional grouping.

337. Wings of a triptych by Bernard van Orley. The centre is missing.
L., Martyrdom of St. Matthias. R., The Doubting Thomas. In the
background, Lazarus and Dives, and other episodes. Renaissance

4. Van Alsloot: The Procession of the Body of St. Gudula at Brussels: of
the Spanish period, with the guilds named. Interest purely
archæological. Each guild carries its mace and symbol. (The second part
comes later.)

586. Above this, skied, are four good female saints, transitional, named
on labels.

574. Portrait, of the school of Van Orley: lady with a pink, pleasing.
Italian influence is obvious.

505. Portrait of a lady, by M. De Vos. Early 17th century, marking the
latest transitional period. It belongs to a destroyed triptych.

79. Breughel the Elder: St. Michael the Archangel conquering the devils.
A hideous nightmare of a morbid and disordered imagination.

627. Crucifixion, by an unknown German, with small figures of donors,
and Rhine background.

597. German school. Tree of Jesse, of purely symbolical interest.

504. *Portrait by M. De Vos. Probably husband of (and pendant to) the
previous one. It was the other wing of the same triptych.

5. Van Alsloot: Remainder of the Procession of St. Gudula, with a quaint
dragon, and the Maison du Roi in the background. Observe, near the
centre, the personification of the patron, St. Michael: elsewhere are
St. Christopher, Ste. Gudule, etc.

561. Two panels from a triptych attributed to Van Orley. Centre,
missing. L., The Birth of the Virgin. Note this for the conventional
features: St. Anne in bed; attendant feeding her: bath for infant. In
the background presentation of the Virgin in the Temple: Joachim and
Anna below: the Virgin ascending: the High Priest welcoming her: the
Virgins of the Lord by the side. R., Joachim’s offering rejected. In the
background, the meeting of Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate, and the
angel foretelling the Birth of the Virgin. Compare this with the great
Quentin Matsys, observing especially the money falling from the table.

76. Another example of a later Last Judgment.

584. Mostart: Two stories from the life of St. Benedict. (1) The miracle
of his dinner. (2) As a youth, he mends by prayer the dish broken by his
nurse. (See Mrs. Jameson’s _Monastic Orders_.)

Now pass through Room [VIII.], containing chiefly late Italian and
French pictures (which neglect for the present) and go on into

                              CORRIDOR A,

to the L., overlooking the Sculpture Gallery. This takes us at once into
the =Later Flemish school= of Rubens and his followers, whose works fill
all these large corridors, which are admirably adapted for them. Begin
to the R. of the door. (Remember that I do not attempt criticism, but
confine myself to historical indications.)

230. Jordaens: Fine landscape, with city to the right. As yet, however,
landscape dare not stand entirely on its own merits. Therefore, we have
here in the foreground figures of Eleazar and Rebecca at the well, which
retain the tradition that pictures must have some sort of sacred

194A. Unknown. Interior of a picture-gallery, with well-known pictures.

L. of the door. 465. Van Thulden: Flemish Wedding Feast. Landscape is
beginning to triumph now; it gets rid of all pretence of sacredness, but
still retains small figures in the foreground. Landscape for landscape’s
sake is hardly yet dreamed of.

135. De Crayer, one of the best imitators of Rubens: *Adoration of the
Shepherds, in the master’s manner.

179A. Good Still Life by Fyt.

379. =Rubens=: **Coronation of the Virgin by God the Father and the Son,
the Holy Ghost hovering above in a glory. This altar-piece, for an altar
of Our Lady, is a magnificent specimen of the master’s rich and luminous
colouring. The crimson robe of the Christ, the blue and lilac harmony on
the Madonna, and the faint yellow of the Father’s robe, are admirably
contrasted. So are the darkness of the lower clouds and the luminosity
of the upper region, recalling Titian’s famous Assumption at Venice. The
little boy angels are sweet and characteristic. Here you may begin to
appreciate the force, the dash, the lavish wealth of Rubens. (According
to Rooses, however, the work of a pupil, touched up by the master.)

Then, unnumbered, Jordaens: *Susannah and the Elders: a very Flemish and
matronly Susannah. The nude of Rubens, without the glorious touch of the
master: but a good picture.

392. Study by the same for the ceiling in Whitehall.

386. Fine *portrait by Rubens of a fair man (J. C. de Cordes). “Inferior
work.” (Fromentin.)

390. Rubens: **Charming little Madonna and Child (called “Our Lady of
the Forget-me-not”), in a garden of roses (the landscape by J.
Brueghel). One of his best small pictures, in a careful style.

387. Rubens: *Portrait: Wife of the last: in his finest and richest
portrait manner, which contrasts in many ways with his larger and freer
allegorical style. (Fromentin thinks poorly of it.)

389. In the corner, four Fine *Heads of Negroes, a study for the Magi,
by Rubens. Not caricatured, but full of genuine negro character.

Above it, 219. An Adoration of the Magi by Herreyns: Interesting only as
showing the persistence of the school into the 18th century.

235. Jordaens: *An Allegory of Abundance. Studies from the nude in the
style of the school: meritorious.

Pass the door of the Dutch school. Beyond it, more Still Life,
excellently painted.

240. Next door, Jordaens: *Nymph and Satyr. (This corridor is largely
given up to works by Jordaens, who was a Protestant, and preferred
heathen mythological subjects to Catholic Christian ones.

434. Snyders: 17th century: *Still Life, which now begins to be painted
on its own merits. This last is by the great animal painter of the
Flemish school.

238. Jordaens: Very Flemish *family group, with a somewhat superfluous
satyr. (Subject nominally taken from the fable of the Satyr and the

302. Vandermeulen: View of Tournai and landscape, with the siege by
Louis XIV. introduced for the sake of figures in the foreground.

Above it, 240 (? old number). De Crayer: St. Anthony and St. Paul the
Hermit. Interesting for persistence of the typical figures.

The other pictures in this corridor are, I think, self-explanatory.

Now enter

                               ROOM III.

Right hand, further corner from door, Still Life by Snyders.

100. Good portrait by Philippe de Champaigne.

387A. Splendid *portrait by Rubens (according to Rooses, by Van Dyck).

This room also contains several fine pictures by Teniers (father or son)
and other late Flemish painters, deserving of attention, but needing no
explanation. (Portraits, etc.) Do not imagine because I pass them by
that you need not look at them.

Now enter

                              CORRIDOR B.

L. of the door, good works by De Crayer and others.

166. =Van Dyck= (the greatest pupil of Rubens, leading us on to the
later Dutch school). *St. Francis in ecstasy before the Crucifix. From
the Franciscan Capuchin Church in Brussels.

288. P. Meert, good portraits.

165. Companion to 166. Another Franciscan picture by Van Dyck. *St.
Anthony of Padua holding the Infant Jesus. (In neither is he seen to
great advantage.)

In the centre, 378, Rubens: **Assumption, high altar-piece from the
Carmelite Church in Brussels. A fine picture, of Ruben’s early period,
smooth of surface and relatively careful, with the apostles looking into
the empty tomb, whence women are picking roses (See _Legends of the
Madonna_). To the R., the youthful figure of St. Thomas, stretching his
hands. Observe the fine contrast of colour between the lower and upper
portions. This is a noble specimen of the master’s bold and dramatic
treatment, but without his later ease of execution.

503. *Good portraits, by C. De Vos, of himself and his family.

127. De Crayer: St. Anthony, with his pig and staff, and St. Paul the
Hermit, in his robe of palm-leaves, fed by a raven. In the background,
the Death of St. Paul; two lions dig his grave. R., below, late figure
of donor, seldom so introduced at this period. Jay in the background.
Good landscape.



with landscapes and still life of the later period. Left of the door,
381, Rubens: The Woman Taken in Adultery. 605. Good *family group of the
Van Vilsteren household, attributed to Van Dyck.

466. Interior of a picture-gallery, Teniers.

The room also contains several pictures worthy of note, but too modern
in tone to need explanation. Observe that landscape has now almost
vindicated its right to be heard alone, though figures in the foreground
are still considered more or less necessary.

Now enter

                              CORRIDOR C.

which contains good pictures of the =later Flemish school=. R. of door,
435, A. Van Utrecht: one of the favourite Dutch kitchen scenes, well

L. of the door.

95. Philippe de Champaigne: Presentation in the Temple, with
characteristic crude French colouring.

437. Stag Hunt by Snyders.

375. Rubens: *Martyrdom of the local Bishop, St. Lieven. His tongue is
torn out and given to dogs. Very savage pagans; rearing horse; and
characteristic angels, with celestial scene. In Rubens’ less pleasing
“allegorical” manner. Plenty of force, but too fiercely bustling.

383. Rubens: Fine portrait of the Archduke Albert.

384. Rubens: companion portrait of the Infanta Isabella, wife of 383.

376. Rubens: *Painfully un-Christian subject: mainly by a pupil,
re-touched by the master: The Saviour about to destroy the World, which
is protected by St. Francis and Our Lady. A strange method by which a
votary seeks to impress his devotion to his own patrons. Behind, burning
towns, murder, etc.

374. Rubens: *The Way to Calvary. (Almost all these large Rubenses are
from High Altars.) In the foreground, the two thieves; then Christ
falling, and a very Flemish and high-born St. Veronica unconcernedly
wiping his forehead. Our Lady faints close by, supported by St. John.
St. Longinus mounted, and Roman soldiers. The composition somewhat
sketchy, but immensely vigorous. A gorgeous pageant, it wholly lacks

377. Rubens: **Adoration of the Magi (Altar-piece of the Capuchin Church
at Tournai). One of his noblest works, magnificently and opulently
coloured. The subject was one he often painted. Note still the Three
Kings, representing the three ages and continents, but, oh, how
transfigured! In their suite are Moors and other Orientals. Behind, St.
Joseph with flambeaux, representing the earlier candle. This is a
painting in Rubens’s best Grand Seigneur manner—vast, throbbing,
concentrated. He thinks of a Nativity as taking place with all the pomp
and ceremony of the courts which he frequented. Charming pages in the

382. Rubens: Venus in the Forge of Vulcan. A made-up picture. Splendid
studies of the exuberant nude by Rubens; with effects of light and shade
in a smithy, added in the late 17th century to make up for a lost

380. Rubens (much restored): *Christ on the knees of Our Lady. A noble
composition, greatly injured. In the foreground kneels the Magdalen (her
hair falling ungracefully), with the nails and Crown of Thorns. Notice
always her abundant locks. To the R., St. Francis, with the Stigmata,
bends over in adoration (a Franciscan picture). To the L., very fleshy
angels (Antwerp models) hold the instruments of the Passion. White sheet
and dead flesh in their usual strong combination. (Painted for the
Franciscan Capuchins of Brussels.)

The De Crayers, close by, contrast in the comparative crudity of their
colour with the splendid harmonies of the master.

507. Paul de Vos: Horse and Wolves. Full of spirit.

129. De Crayer. The Martyrdom of St. Blaise. Shows him combed with a

Then flowers, hunting scenes, etc., requiring no comment.

Now pass through Room VII. (with Italian pictures to be considered
later) and enter

                              CORRIDOR D.

Right of door, nothing that requires comment.

Left of door, 231, Janssens: Our Lady appearing to St. Bruno.

125. De Crayer: *Assumption of St. Catherine, with her wheel and sword.
A fine picture, in which De Crayer approaches very near Rubens. In the
foreground are St. Augustine with the flaming heart; St. Gregory,
habited as Pope; St. Ambrose, and St. Jerome,—the four Doctors of the
Church, with other saints, contemplating devoutly the glory of St.

R. and L. of central door, 136, 137, good saints, by De Crayer. Beneath
them, excellent landscapes.

The remaining pictures in this room can be inspected by the visitor
without need for explanation.

It is interesting to stand by the =balustrade=, here, above the
sculpture gallery, not only for the general outlook upon the handsome
hall, but also to note how the colour of the Rubenses stands out at a
distance among the other pictures.

Now, go on through Room VIII. to Corridor A., reaching on the L.,

                                ROOM V.

containing the =Dutch Masters=. On these, for the most part, I shall
have little to say. Their landscapes, flower-pieces, and portraits are
admirable, indeed, but they are of the sort which explain themselves at
sight, and need rather for their appreciation critical faculty than
external knowledge. Begin on the L. =of the door=.

282. Nicolas Maes: Good portrait of a 17th century lady.

263. Leerman’s Crucifixion, finely executed.

Near it, good landscape or flower-pieces, etc., by Cuyp, De Heem, and
Isaac van Ostade.

448. St. Pierre at Louvain.

525. Good hunting scene by Wouwerman.

279. **Admirable figure of an old woman fallen asleep over her reading,
by Nicolas Maes.

Above it, 284. *Good portrait by Nicolas Maes.

278. *Fine portrait by Luttichuys.

304. Van Mieris: Susannah and the Elders. Frankly anachronistic.

233 is a fine *landscape with cattle, by Karel du Jardin.

147. Van Delen: Excellent architectural piece, with good *portraits in
the foreground, painted in later by Emmanuel Biset.

=End Wall.=

44. Admirable *portrait by Bol.

45. Bol: *Portrait of a lady, probably wife of the last. On either side
310, 311, characteristic tavern scenes by Molinaer.

=Right Wall.=

398. One of Jacob Ruysdael’s finest landscapes, with ruined tower.

399. Excellent *sea piece by Jacob Ruysdael, representing the Lake of
Haarlem in a storm. Good foam.

I pass by, on the same wall, many meritorious Dutch works which cannot
fail to strike the observer.

141. Albert Cuyp: *Cows. Excellent.

232. *Delicately luminous piece by Karel du Jardin, “L’Avant-garde du

153. Gerard Dou: **The artist drawing a Cupid by lamplight. One of his
finest studies in light and shade. It should be looked at long and

On either side of it, delicate small pieces by Steen, A. van Ostade and

47. *Good portrait by Bol.

281. *Portrait by Maes. Fine and audacious in colouring. Above it, 403,
good Ruysdael.

Do not imagine because I give little space to the pictures in this room
that they are not therefore important. As works of art, many of them are
of the first value; but they do not require that kind of explanation
which it is the particular province of these Guides to afford.

Now, pass through the small passage to

                                ROOM VI.

containing works also by the =Dutch masters=, the finest of which are
here exhibited.

=Left of the door.=

364. Van Ravestein, capital portrait.

280. Maes: **Old woman reading.

206. Fruit piece by De Heem. One of his finest.

490. Van der Velde, junior: Shipping on the Zuyder Zee. The Dutch
interest in the sea begins to make itself felt.

345. Portraits by Palamedes, arranged as a musical party.

352 (old number, no new number given). Molyn the Elder: Town fête by
night. Good effect of light.

333. Admirable *portrait by Nicolas Maes.

251 and 250. De Keyser: Two fine portraits of women.

46. Bol: **Excellent portrait of Saskia, wife of Rembrandt.

463. **Exquisite miniature portrait by Ter Burg, which should be
inspected closely.

328. Van der Neer: The Burning of Dordrecht. A lurid small piece.

501. A. de Voys: The Jolly Drinker. Highly characteristic of Dutch

528. Landscape by Wynants.

The other still life and fruit or flower pieces on this wall need no

=End wall.=

616. Weenix: Dutch lady dressing, with good effects of light and colour.

203. Frans Hals: **Portrait of W. van Heythuysen. One of his finest
works. Broadly executed, and full of dash and bravado.

496. Excellent still life by Jan Weenix.

522. De Witte: Fine architectural church interior.

222. Above it, *peacock and other birds by Hondecoeter, who painted
almost exclusively similar subjects. The solitary feather in the
foreground recalls his famous masterpiece at the Hague.

On each side of this, tolerable portraits by Van der Helst.

36. Fruit and still life by Van Beyeren.

444. *One of Jan Steen’s most characteristic pieces of Batavian humour.
A Dutch lover offering affection’s gift, in the shape of a herring and
two leeks, to a lady no longer in her first youth. Behind, her
unconscious husband. The painting of every detail is full of the best
Dutch merits, and the tone of the whole frankly repulsive.

=Right wall.=

221. Hobbema: *The Wood at Haarlem. Characteristic Dutch landscape.

202. Frans Hals: **Splendid portrait of Professor Hoornebeck of Leyden.
Extremely vivacious and rapidly handled.

220. *One of Hobbema’s most famous mills.

Above this, 19, Storm at Sea, by Backhuysen.

368. Excellent **portrait by Rembrandt.

216. Portrait by Van der Helst. Not in his best manner.

445. A very characteristic and excellent Jan Steen, known as *The
Rhetoricians—that is to say, members of a Literary Club or Debating
Society, one of whom is engaged in reading his prize verses to a not too
appreciative audience outside. Even here, however, Jan cannot omit his
favourite touch of coarse Dutch love-making, with a tavern-girl
introduced out of pure perversity.

357. Paul Potter: *Pigs. Admirably piggy.

=End wall.=

223. More of Hondecoeter’s unimpeachable *poultry.

48. Bol: *Portrait of a Mathematician and Anatomist. One of the
painter’s masterpieces.

367. **Splendid portrait by Rembrandt (“L’Homme au grand chapeau”). An
excellent and characteristic example of his art. The light and shade,
the painting of the hair, and the masterly handling of the robe are all
in the great painter’s noblest manner.

402. Capital *water scene by S. van Ruysdael: a ferry on the Meuse.

224. Hondecoeter. More poultry, this time dead, with realistic nails,
and other little tricks to catch the great public.

=Left wall= (R. of door).

88. Van der Capelle: Calm sea, with excellent fishing boats.

Now, return through Corridors A. and D. to

                               ROOM VII.

containing the =early Italian pictures=. Few of these are of much value,
and as they are not connected with Flanders or Brabant, I will not
enlarge upon them. Right of door,

631. An early Italian Adoration of the Magi, where you may compare the
Three Kings, Joseph with the gift, the ox and ass, etc., with Flemish

631 (left) is a characteristic example of St. Francis receiving the
stigmata. Study it for comparison with the Rubens at Ghent, and others.

628. Above is a set of panels containing events in the History of Our
Lady. I give the subjects, running along the top row first, with
necessary brevity: Joachim expelled from the Temple: Warned by the
Angel: Anna warned by the Angel: Meeting of Joachim and Anna at the
Golden Gate: Birth of the Virgin: Presentation of the Virgin in the
Temple: The Nativity: Adoration of the Magi: Christ found in the Temple:
Miracle at Cana: Raising of Lazarus: Death of the Virgin, with Christ
receiving her soul as a new-born baby. All these may be studied as early
examples of the subjects they represent. Above them, 629 and 630: two
Crucifixions of various ages.

140. Good characteristic Carlo Crivelli of *St. Francis with the

3. Adam and Eve. Albani.

Above it, a tolerable Veronese of *Juno scattering wealth into the lap
of Venice, St. Mark’s lion beside her.

140. Beautiful Carlo Crivelli of *Our Lady and Child. This picture and
the corresponding one opposite are parts of a large altar-piece, the
main portion of which, a Pietà, is in the National Gallery in London.

415. Vannuchi (_not_ Perugino): Leda and the Swan.

412 is a good portrait of Mary of Austria.

634. A tolerable Marriage of the Virgin.

473. Tintoretto: Portrait of a Venetian gentleman.

474. Another by the same.

                               ROOM VIII.

opposite, also contains later =Italian= pictures, with a few French.

472 is a Martyrdom of St. Mark, by Tintoretto.

497 is a Holy Family by Paolo Veronese, with St. Theresa and St.

The other works in the room do not call for notice.

                     PASSAGE leading into ROOM VI.

Skied. 477. Perugino: Madonna and Child, with the infant St. John of
Florence, in a frame of Delia Robbia work. This is one of the best
Italian pictures in this Gallery, but not a good example. Near it,
School of Mantegna, Christ and St. Thomas with St. John the Baptist.

If you want further information about the pictures in the Brussels
Gallery, you will find it in Lafenestre and Richtenberger’s _La
Belgique_, in the series of _La Peinture en Europe_.


                           _D_. THE CATHEDRAL

    [The =Cathedral= of Brussels is dedicated to St. Gudula or Ste.
    Gudule, and to St. Michael the Archangel. Ste. Gudule is a holy
    person who takes us back to the earlier ages of Christianity
    among the Middle Franks. She was a member of the family of Pepin
    d’Heristal, the kinsman of Charlemagne, and she died about 712.
    She became a nun at Nivelles under her aunt, St. Gertrude. The
    only fact of importance known as to her life is that she used to
    rise early, in order to pay her devotions at a distant church,
    whither she guided her steps by the aid of a lantern. Satan
    frequently extinguished this light, desiring to lead her feet
    astray, but the prayers of the saint as often rekindled it.
    Hence she is usually represented carrying a lantern, with the
    devil beside her, who endeavours to blow it out.

    In the 10th century, the body of Ste. Gudule was brought to
    Brussels from Morseel; and in the 11th (1047), Lambert, Count of
    Louvain, built a church on this site above it: but the existing
    building, still containing the body of the saint, was not begun
    till 1220.

    More important, however, than Ste. Gudule, in the later history
    of Brussels Cathedral, is the painful mediæval incident of the
    =Stolen Hosts=. The Jew-baiting of the 14th century led to a
    story that on Good Friday, 1370, certain impious Jews had stolen
    16 consecrated Hosts from the Cathedral, and sacrilegiously
    transfixed them with knives in their synagogue. The Hosts
    miraculously bled, which so alarmed the Jews that they restored
    them to the altar. Their sacrilege was discovered by the aid of
    an accomplice, and on this evidence several Jews were burned
    alive, and the rest banished from Brabant for ever. A chapel on
    the site of the synagogue still commemorates the event, and the
    Miracle of the Hosts (as it is called) gives rise to several
    works of art now remaining in the Cathedral. An annual ceremony
    (on the Sunday after the 15th of July) keeps green the memory of
    the miraculous bleeding: the identical wafers are then
    exhibited. Visit the =interior= between 12 and 4, when the doors
    are closed, but will be opened for you by a sacristan in the
    South Portal, at a charge of 50 c. per head. You will then be
    able to inspect the whole place peaceably at your leisure. Take
    your opera-glasses.]

Approach the =Cathedral=, if possible, from the direction of the Grand’
Place. It is built so as to be first seen from this side, and naturally
turns its main West Front towards the older city. Go to it, therefore,
by the street known as the Rue de la Montagne and the short (modern) Rue
Ste. Gudule, which lead straight up to the handsome (recent) staircase
and platform. The building loses much by being approached sideways, as
is usually the case, from the Upper Town, which did not exist at all in
this direction when the Cathedral was built. Consider it in relation to
the nucleus in the valley.

First examine the =exterior=. The accompanying rough plan will
sufficiently explain its various portions.

The =façade= has two tall towers, and a rather low gable-end, with large
West Window. In style, it approaches rather to German than to French
Gothic. Over the _Principal Entrance_ are (restored) figures of the
Trinity, surrounded by angels, with the Twelve Apostles, each bearing
his symbol or the instruments of his martyrdom. Below, on the central
pillar, the Three Magi, the middle one a Moor. High up on the gable-end
is the figure of Ste. Gudule, the human patron, with the Devil
endeavouring to extinguish her lantern. Above her is the other and
angelic patron, St. Michael. (These two figures also occur on the middle
of the carved wooden doors.) At the sides, two bishops, probably St.
Géry and St. Amand. Though the sculpture is modern, it is of interest
from the point of view of symbolism. The _left portal_ has St. Joachim,
St. Anne, and the education of the Virgin. The _right portal_ has St.
Joseph and Our Lady with the Divine Infant.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Now, =go round the building= to the R., to observe its arrangement. You
pass first the _chapels_ or _bays_ of the =S. Aisle=, with
weather-beaten sculpture, and then reach the slightly projecting =South
Transept=. Beyond the South Portal, the =Choir= is hidden by the
addition of a large projecting =chapel= (that of
Notre-Dame-de-Délivrance), whose architecture will be better understood
from the interior. At the East End, you get a good view of the Gothic
=Choir= and =Apse=, with its external chapels and flying buttresses. The
extreme East point is occupied by the ugly little hexagonal rococo
_Chapel of the Magdalen_, a hideous addition of the 18th century. Still
passing round in the same direction, you arrive at a second projecting
=Chapel= (du Saint Sacremént), which balances the first. The best
=general view= is obtained from the North Side, taking in the beautiful
porch of the =North Transept=. (The handsome Louis XVI. building
opposite is the _Banque Nationale_.)

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Cathedral as an interior is disappointing. It contains no pictures
of any importance, and its architecture is less striking within than
without. =The stained glass=, indeed, is famous; none of it, however, is
mediæval. The best windows date only from the High Renaissance; the
remainder are 17th century or modern.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Walk first into the =centre of the Church=, where you can gain a good
idea of the high Choir, with its Apse and Triforium of graceful Early
Gothic architecture, as well as of the short Transepts, the two
additional chapels, R. and L., the Nave and single Aisles, and the great
west window.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Now, begin the tour of the church with the =South Aisle=, to the L. as
you enter. The glass here is modern. It represents the story of the
Stolen Hosts, some of the subjects being difficult to decipher. We see
the Jew bribing a Christian, who removes the Hosts in a monstrance: then
the Christian departing from the Jewish Synagogue with his ill-gotten
gains. The third window I do not understand. After that, we see the Jews
betrayed by one of their number; the Miracle of the Blood, with their
horror and astonishment; the Recovery of the Hosts; and in the =North
Aisle=, their Return to the Church in procession, and the various
miracles afterward wrought by them. I cannot pretend to have deciphered
all these accurately. The =Nave= has the usual Flemish figures of the
Twelve Apostles set against the piers, most of them of the 17th century.
The great =west window= has the Last Judgment, by Floris, a poor
composition, overcrowded with indistinguishable figures.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The =pulpit=, by Verbruggen, is one of the usual unspeakable
abominations of seventeenth century wood-carving. Below are Adam and Eve
driven from Paradise: above, on the canopy, the Virgin and Infant
Saviour wound the serpent’s head with the cross: the Tree of Life,
supporting the actual platform, gives shelter to incredible birds and
animals. This ugly object was made for the Jesuits’ Church at Louvain,
and given to the Cathedral by Maria Theresa on the suppression of the
Society of Jesus.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Return to the =Transepts=. The window in the _North Transept_ represents
Charles V., kneeling, attended by his patron, Charlemagne, who was a
canonized saint, but who bears the sword and orb of empire. Behind him,
Charles’s wife Isabella, with her patroness, St. Elizabeth of Hungary,
holding the crown. This window, erected in 1538, from designs by Bernard
van Orley, was the gift of the Emperor. That in the _South Transept_
represents the Holy Trinity, with King Louis of Hungary kneeling in
adoration, attended by his patron, St. Louis of France. Behind him is
his Queen, Marie (sister of Charles V.), with her patron, the Blessed
Virgin. This window also is by Van Orley.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Now, enter the =Chapel= by the North Transept, that of =the Holy
Sacrament=, erected in 1535-39, in honour of the Miraculous (Stolen)
Hosts, which are still preserved here, and which are carried in
procession annually on the Sunday following the 15th of July. The
windows in this chapel, each of which bears its date above, were placed
in it immediately after its erection, and are the best in the Cathedral.
They exhibit the style of the Transitional Renaissance. Each window
shows, above, the story of the Stolen Hosts, with, below, the various
donors and their patrons. _First window_ as you enter: Above, the
Bribery: below, King John III. of Portugal with his patron, St.
John-Baptist; and Queen Catherine, his wife (sister of Charles V.), with
her patron, St. Catherine, holding her sword of martyrdom and trampling
on the tyrant Maximin: (all by Michael Coxcie). _Second window_: above,
the Hosts insulted in the Synagogue: below, Louis of Hungary, with his
patron, St. Louis; and Marie, his wife (sister of Charles V.), with her
patroness, Our Lady (Coxcie). _Third window_: above, same subject as in
the 3rd of the S. Aisle—perhaps the attack on the Jews: below, Francis
I. of France, with his patron, St. Francis, receiving the Stigmata;
behind him, Eleonora, his wife (sister of Charles V.), with her
patroness, St. Helena (Bernard van Orley). _Fourth window_: above,
Denunciation of the Jews: below, Ferdinand, brother of Charles V., with
his patron, St. Ferdinand; and his wife, Anne, with her patron, St. Anna
(Bernard van Orley). The _end window_ represents the Adoration of the
Holy Sacrament, and of the Lamb that was slain, in a composition
suggested by the Van Eyck at Ghent. Below, to the L. are an Emperor and
Empress (Charles V. and Isabella), a king and queen, and other
representatives of the world secular: to the R. are a pope, a cardinal,
bishops, prophets, and other representatives of the church or the world

                 *        *        *        *        *

Now, proceed to the =opposite chapel=, by the S. Transept, that of =Our
Lady of Deliverance= (Notre-Dame de Délivrance). This chapel was erected
in 1649-53, to balance that in the N. Transept. Its windows, made after
designs by Van Thulden, in 1656, represent the continued decadence of
the art of glass-painting. The subjects are taken from the History of
Our Lady, above, with the donors and their patrons, princes of the House
of Austria, below. Unlike the last, the subjects here begin at the
_inner end_, near the altar. _First window_: the Presentation of Our
Lady in the Temple. She mounts the steps to the High Priest: below are
St. Joachim and St. Anna. _Second window_: The Marriage of the Virgin.
_Third window_: The Annunciation, with the Angel Gabriel and the Dove
descending in a glory. _Fourth window_: The Visitation of Mary to
Elizabeth: the figure of Mary, in its odd hat, taken from the Rubens in
Antwerp Cathedral. The Austrian Princes and Princesses below, in the
insipid taste of the 17th century, have commemorated their own names so
legibly on the bases that I need not enumerate them.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Now, return to the N. Transept, to make the tour of the =Ambulatory=. At
the entrance to the Apse, L., is a colossal statue of the patroness,
Ste. Gudule, with the Devil under her feet. The stained glass of the
Apse is good modern. Notice the fine pillars to your right. The
hexagonal rococo =Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen=, at the end of the Apse,
has modern windows of, L. and R., the two patrons, St. Michael and Ste.
Gudule, the latter with the lantern and Devil: and, Centre, the Trinity.
Exit from the Apse: L., gilded statue of the other patron, St. Michael,
to balance the Ste. Gudule. Beside it, curious wooden Easter Sepulchre,
with Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, the Mater Dolorosa, and the Maries.
Above it, the Risen Christ, with Roman soldiers on the pediment. Fine
view from near this point of the Choir and Transepts.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The high =Choir= has in its Apse stained-glass windows (use your
opera-glass), representing Our Lady, and the patron saints, with various
kings and queens in adoration (middle of the 16th century). The
portraits are (1) Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy: (2) Philippe le Beau,
their son, with his wife, Johanna the Mad, of Castille: (3) Charles V.
and his brother Ferdinand, sons of Philippe: (4) Philip II. of Spain,
son of Charles V., with his second wife. The architecture here is Early
Gothic and interesting.

                          _E_. THE UPPER TOWN

From the Grand’ Place, two main lines of streets lead towards the =Upper
Town=. The first, which we have already followed, runs straight to the
Cathedral; the second, known as the Rue de la Madeleine and then as the
=Montagne de la Cour=, mounts the hill to the =Place Royale=.

The city of the merchants lay about the Hôtel-de-Ville, the Senne, and
the old navigation. The town and court of the =Counts of Louvain= and
=Dukes of Brabant= clustered about the Castle on the high ground
overlooking the Lower City. On this hill, the =Caudenberg=, the Counts
of Louvain built their first palace, close to what is now the Place
Royale. Their castle was burnt down in 1731, but the neighbourhood has
ever since been the seat of the Belgian court for the time
being—Burgundian, Austrian, Dutch, or Coburger. All this quarter,
however, has been so greatly altered by modern “improvements” that
scarcely a relic of antiquity is now left in it, with the exception of a
few mediæval churches.

In spite of the competition of the Central or Inner Boulevards, the
=Montagne de la Cour=, which mounts directly from the Grand’ Place to
the Cour (the residence of the Dukes or afterwards of the Emperors and
the Austrian Viceroys), still remains the principal street for shopping
in Brussels. It takes one straight into the =Place Royale=, one of the
finest modern squares in Europe, occupying in part the site of the old
Castle. Its centre is filled by the famous *statue of =Godfrey de
Bouillon= by Simonis: the great Crusader is represented on horseback,
waving his banner, and crying his celebrated cry of “Dieu le veut!” The
unimpressive =Church=, with Corinthian pillars, a crude fresco in the
pediment, and a green cupola, which faces you as you enter, is =St.
Jacques sur Caudenberg=. To R. and L. you open up vistas of the =Rue de
la Régence= and the =Rue Royale=. The former is closed by the huge mass
of the new =Palais de Justice=. The latter ends in the great domed
church of =Ste. Marie de Schaerbeck=.

In order to gain a proper conception of the Upper Town, one of the
best-arranged in Europe, you must take the Place Royale and the Ancienne
Cour (just below it) as your starting-point. The Place, the Park, and
the streets about them were all laid out, under Austrian rule, at the
end of the 18th century (1774) by the architect Guimard, who thus made
Brussels into the handsome town we now see it. Turning to the R. from
the Place Royale, towards the Rue de la Régence, you come first to the
gateway of a courtyard, guarded by sentinels. Disregarding these, push
past them into the court as if the place belonged to you. The quadrangle
you have entered is the site of the old Palace of the Dukes of Brabant,
for which the present building, known as the =Ancienne Cour=, was
substituted by the Austrian Stadtholders in 1731 after the great fire.
The first building to your L. is occupied by the Royal Museum and
Library. The portion of the building at the end of the court, in a
semi-circular recess, contains the MODERN PICTURE GALLERY (open daily
from 10 to 4, free). In this gallery are collected the chief works of
the modern Belgian School of Painters, which the tourist should not omit
to study, but a full description of which lies wholly outside the scope
of these Guide Books.

    [This =modern Belgian School= was started in Antwerp, after the
    Revolution of 1830. It answered at first to the romantic
    movement in France (headed by Delaroche, Géricault, and others:)
    but the Belgian painters dealt mainly in historical pictures
    drawn from the struggles for liberty in their own country. The
    most distinguished of these “romantic” Belgian artists were
    Louis Gallait and Edouard de Bièfve, whose chief national works
    are to be seen in this gallery. Though they belong to a type
    which now strikes us as mannered and artificial, not to say
    insipid, they may help to impress historical facts on the
    spectator’s memory. A very different side of the national
    movement will meet us at Antwerp. The later Belgian School has
    been gradually swamped by Parisian tendencies.]

Returning to the Place Royale, and continuing along the =Rue de la
Régence=, the first building on the L. closed with a grille, is the
Palace of the Comté de Flandre. Nearly opposite it (with four granite
pillars) is the Palais des Beaux-Arts, containing the Ancient Pictures
(already noticed). Further on to the R. we arrive at the church of
=Notre-Dame-des-Victoires= (“Église du Sablon”), to be described in
detail hereafter. The pretty and coquettish little garden on the L. is
the =Square= or =Place du Petit Sablon=. It contains a modern monument
to Counts Egmont and Hoorn, the martyrs of Belgian freedom, by Fraikin,
and is worth a visit. The little statuettes on the parapet of the square
represent artisans of the old Guilds of Brussels. The building at the
back of the Place is the Palace of the Duke d’Arenberg: its central part
was Count Egmont’s mansion (erected 1548). Further on, to the L., come
the handsome building of the Conservatoire de Musique and then the
Jewish Synagogue. The end of the street is blocked by the gigantic and
massive _façade_ of the new =Palais de Justice=, one of the hugest
buildings of our period, imposing by its mere colossal size and its
almost Egyptian solidity, but not architecturally pleasing. The interior
need not trouble you.

                 *        *        *        *        *

=Northward= from the Place Royale, again, stretches the =Rue Royale=,
along which, as we walk, we have ever before us the immense gilt dome of
=Ste. Marie de Schaerbeck=. This fine street was admirably laid out in
1774 by the architect Guimard, who was the founder of the modern plan of
Brussels. It is a fine promenade, along the very edge of the hill,
beautifully varied, and affording several attractive glimpses over the
earlier town by means of breaks in the line of houses, left on purpose
by Guimard, some of which have, however, been unfortunately built up.
Starting from the Place Royale, we have first, on our R., the Hôtel
Bellevue; beyond which, round the corner, facing the Park, extends the
unprepossessing white _façade_ of the =King’s Palace= (18th century,
rebuilt). Then, again on the R., we arrive at the pretty little =Park=,
laid out by Guimard in 1774, on the site of the old garden of the Dukes
of Brabant. This is a pleasant lounging-place, animated in the
afternoon, when the band plays. It contains ponds, sculpture,
nursemaids, children, and one of the principal theatres.

Continuing still northward, we pass the Statue of Belliard, in the first
break, and then the Montagne du Parc, L., leading direct to the Lower
Town. At the end of the Park, the Rue de la Loi runs R., eastward,
towards the Exhibition Buildings. The great block of public offices in
this street, facing the Park, includes the Chamber of Representatives
(=Palais de la Nation=) and the principal Ministries. Beyond these we
get, on the L., a glimpse of the Cathedral, and on the R. a number of
radiating streets which open out towards the fashionable =Quartier
Léopold=. Then, on the L., we arrive at the =Place du Congrès= with its
Doric =column=, commemorating the Congress which ratified the
Independence in 1831. It can be ascended (193 steps, spiral) for the
sake of its admirable =*view=, the best general outlook to be obtained
over Brussels. (A few sous should be given to the guardian.) The
prospect from the summit (morning light best) will enable you to
identify every principal building in the city (good map by Kiessling,
72, Montagne de la Cour).

Continuing our route, the street to the R. leads to the little Place de
la Liberté. Beyond this, the Rue Royale goes on to the Outer Boulevards,
and finally ends at =Ste. Marie de Schaerbeck=, a gigantic modern
Byzantine church, more splendid than beautiful, but a good termination
for an afternoon ramble.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The =Outer Boulevards= of Brussels, which ring round the original 14th
century city, have now been converted into magnificent =promenades=,
planted with trees, and supplied with special lanes for riders. These
Boulevards, perhaps the handsomest in the world, replace the =ancient
walls=, erected in 1357-1379, when the town had already reached such
considerable limits. Most of what is interesting or important in
Brussels is still to be found within the irregular pentagonal ring of
the Boulevards. A pleasant way of seeing the whole round is to take the
=electric tram=, from the Gare du Nord, by the =Upper Boulevards=, to
the Gare du Midi. You first mount the steep hill, with the Botanical
Gardens on your L., backed by the extensive hot-houses. The line then
crosses the Rue Royale, looking L. towards Ste. Marie de Schaerbeck, and
R. towards the Place Royale. As you turn the corner, you have on your L.
a small triangular garden, and on your R. the circular Place des
Barricades, with a statue of the great anatomist Vesalius, physician to
Charles V., and an indirect victim of the Inquisition. The rail then
bends round the Boulevard du Régent, with glimpses (to the R.) of the
Park, and (to the L.) of the Squares in the Quartier Léopold. You next
pass, R., the =Palais des Académies=, in its neatly kept garden, beyond
which you arrive at the private gardens of the Royal Palace and the
Place du Trône. Hence you continue to the Place de Namur and the
Fontaine de Brouckere, and continue on to the Place Louise, at which
point the open =Avenue Louise= leads direct to the pleasant =Bois de la
Cambre=. The Boulevard de Waterloo carries you on to the =Porte de Hal=,
the only one of the old gateways still standing. This is a massive
fortress of irregular shape, built in 1381, and it was used by the
Spanish authorities in the time of Alva as the Bastille of Brussels. The
=interior= (open free, daily) contains a fine winding staircase and a
small =collection of arms= and armour, with a little Ethnographical
Museum, which is worth ten minutes’ visit in passing. Hence, the
Boulevard du Midi conducts you straight to the Gare du Midi, from which
point you can return, on foot or by tram, through the Inner Boulevards
or diagonally through the old town, to your hôtel.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The remainder of the =Outer Boulevards=, leading from the Gare du Midi
to the Gare du Nord by the _western_ half of the town, is commonly known
as the =Lower Boulevards=, (Note the distinction of Upper, Lower, and
Inner.) It passes through a comparatively poor quarter, and is much less
interesting than the other half. The only objects of note on its circuit
are the slaughter houses and the basins of the canal. Nevertheless, a
complete tour of the Boulevards, Upper, Lower, and Inner, will serve to
give you a better general conception of Brussels within the old walls
than you can otherwise obtain.

                 *        *        *        *        *

I cannot pretend in this Guide to point out all the objects of interest
in Modern Brussels, within this great ring. Speaking generally, the
reader will find pleasant walks for spare moments in the quarter between
the Rue Royale or the Rue de la Régence and the Upper Boulevards. This
district is high, healthy, and airy, and is chiefly given over to
official buildings. On the other hand, the quarter between these two
streets and the Inner Boulevards, especially southward about the Place
St. Jean and the Rue de l’Étuve, leads through some interesting portions
of 17th century and 18th century Brussels, with occasional good domestic
architecture. The district lying W. of the Inner Boulevards is of little
interest, save in its central portion already indicated. It is the
quarter of docks, entrepôts, and the more squalid side of wholesale

                 *        *        *        *        *

The immense area of Brussels =outside the Outer Boulevards= I cannot
pretend to deal with. Pleasant walks may be taken at the E. end of the
town about the Chaussée de Louvain, the Square Marie-Louise, the
Exhibition Grounds, the Parc Léopold (near which is the too famous Musée
Wiertz), and the elevated land in the eastern quarter generally. The
=Bois de la Cambre=, the true park of Brussels, makes a delightful place
to walk or drive in the afternoon, especially on Sundays. It somewhat
resembles the Bois de Boulogne, but is wilder and prettier. Perhaps the
most satisfactory way of visiting it is to take the tram to the gate of
the wood, and then walk through it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

There are =three other churches=, beside the Cathedral, in the
neighbourhood of the Place Royale, which you may go to see, _if_ you
have plenty of time left, but which you need not otherwise trouble
about. The three can be easily combined in a single short round.

Go down the Montagne du Parc, and take the first turning to the L., Rue
des Douze Apôtres, which will bring you direct to the little =Chapelle
de l’Expiation=, erected in 1436, on the site of the synagogue where the
Stolen Hosts were profaned, and in expiation of the supposed crime. The
exterior of the building has been modernized, and indeed the whole is of
little interest, save in connection with the Cathedral and the Stolen
Hosts; but a glance inside is not undesirable. The interior, flamboyant
Gothic, is thoroughly well decorated throughout, in modern polychrome,
with scenes from the Gospel History. The Apse has good modern
stained-glass windows, and frescoes of angels holding the instruments of
the Passion. It is separated from the Nave by a high Rood-Loft, without
a screen. Modern taste has here almost entirely ignored the painful and
malicious story of the Stolen Wafers.

Now, continue down the Rue des Sols as far as the Rue de l’Impératrice
(where a slight _détour_ to the R. takes you in front of the Université
Libre, a large and somewhat imposing, but uninteresting building).
Continue rather to the L. down the Rue de l’Impératrice, crossing the
Montagne de la Cour, into the Rue de l’Empereur and the Rue d’Or, till
you arrive at the Place de la Chapelle, containing the church of
=Notre-Dame de la Chapelle=—after the Cathedral, the finest mediæval
church of Brussels. The =exterior= has lately (alas!) been quite too
much restored. It shows a fine Nave and Aisles of the 15th century, and
a much lower and very beautiful Choir of the 13th century, with some
Romanesque details of an earlier building (10th century?) Walk once
round the church, to observe the exterior architecture. The West Front
is massive rather than beautiful. The sculpture over the door (the
Trinity with angels, and Our Lady) is modern. Over the southern portal
is a modern relief, in a Romanesque tympanum, representing the
Coronation of Our Lady by God the Father and the Son. The Romanesque and
transitional work of the beautiful low Choir and Apse has unfortunately
been over-restored.

The =interior=, with its fine Nave and Aisles, is impressive, especially
as you look from the centre down towards the West end. The round pillars
of the Nave are handsome, and have the usual figures of the Twelve
Apostles. The _pulpit_ is one of the familiar 17th century
monstrosities, with palms, and Elijah in the Wilderness. The interior of
the pretty little Apse has been so completely modernized as to leave it
little interest. There are a few good pictures of the School of Rubens
(De Crayer, Van Thulden, etc.).

On emerging from the church, follow the tramway line up the hill to the
market-place of the =Grand Sablon=. Good views in every direction as you
enter the Place. The square is animated on Fridays and Sundays, when
markets are held here. Pass through the market-place, which contains an
absurd 18th century monument, erected by a Marquis of Ailesbury of the
period, in gratitude for the hospitality he had received from the
citizens of Brussels, and continue on to the Rue de la Régence, passing
on your R. the beautiful Apse of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires,
now unhappily in course of restoration. The entrance is in the Rue de la
Régence, and the church is _not_ oriented.

=Notre-Dame-des-Victoires=, or Notre-Dame du Sablon, was founded in 1304
by the Guild of Crossbowmen; but the existing late-Gothic building is
almost entirely of the 15th and 16th centuries. It has been
over-restored in parts, and the beautiful crumbling exterior of the Apse
is now threatened with disfigurement.

The =interior= is pleasing. Over the Main Entrance, within, is a curious
_ex voto_ of a ship, in commemoration of the arrival of a sacred image,
said to have floated miraculously by sea.

The _first chapel_ to your L. as you enter has a *tomb of Count Flaminio
Gamier, secretary to the Duke of Parma, partly restored, but with fine
original alabaster reliefs of the early Renaissance, representing the
History of the Virgin. The series begins below: (1) Meeting of Joachim
and Anna at the Golden Gate; (2) The Birth of the Virgin; (3) The
Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. Then, above: (4) Annunciation;
note the relative positions of the angel and Our Lady, the lily, the
_prie-dieu_, and the loggia in the background; (5) the Visitation, with
the usual arch; and (6) the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

The =Apse= has restored figures of saints (named) in imitation of those
which were discovered in ruined fresco during the restoration. They are
a good typical collection of the saints most venerated in the Low
Countries in the Middle Ages.

The =Nave= has the usual figures of Apostles, named, and a small open
Triforium just below the Clerestory. The Pulpit has on its face a
medallion of Our Lady; R. and L., Moses and St. Augustine. Below, the
four beasts of the Evangelists.

You need not trouble about any other special building in Brussels; but
you may occupy yourself pleasantly with many walks through all parts of
the city.

                 *        *        *        *        *

You are now in a position to understand the =growth and spread of
Brussels=. From the very beginning, the merchant town occupied the
_valley_, while the capital of the Counts, Dukes, or Sovereigns spread
over the _hill_, in the neighbourhood of what are still significantly
called the Montagne de la Cour and the Place Royale. To this day the two
contrasted parts of the city are broadly distinct. The valley speaks
Flemish; the mountain, French. In the valley stand all the municipal and
mercantile buildings—the Hôtel-de-Ville, the Bourse, the Post-Office,
the markets, and the principal places of wholesale business. On the hill
stand the Royal Palace, the Government Offices, the Legislative Body,
the Ministries, the Palais de Justice, and the whole of the National
Museums and collections. From this point of view again, in our own day,
the valley is _municipal_, and the hill _national_. The contrasted
aspects of the Inner Boulevards and the Rue de la Régence well mark the
difference. In the valley, you will find, once more, the hotels of
commerce and of the passing traveller; on the hill, those frequented by
ambassadors and the wealthier class of foreign tourists. Near the Place
Royale were situated the houses of the old Brabant nobility, the Egmonts
and the Cuylenburgs; as at the present day are situated those of the
Arenbergs and the De Chimays.

=Historically=, the spread of the town from its centre began towards the
Castle of the =Counts of Louvain= and Dukes of Brabant, in the Ancienne
Cour, now occupied by the Royal Library and the Modern Picture Gallery,
as well as towards the ecclesiastical quarter of the Cathedral and the
Chancellerie. The antiquity of this portion of the Upper Town is well
marked by the continued existence of the mediæval churches of Notre-Dame
de la Chapelle, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, and the Chapelle de
l’Expiation. Under the =Burgundian princes=, Brussels ranked second to
Ghent and Bruges; but after the =Hapsburgs= obtained possession of the
Low Countries, it was made the principal residence of the sovereigns in
their western domains. Charles V. inhabited it as one of his chief
capitals. Under Philip II. of Spain, it became the official residence of
the Stadtholder of the Netherlands; and Margaret of Parma, who bore that
office, held her court in the old Palace. From that time forth Brussels
was recognised as the common capital of the southern Low Countries. The
Austrian Stadtholders habitually lived here; and when, after the
Napoleonic upheaval, Belgium and Holland were united into a single
kingdom, Brussels was made the alternative capital with Amsterdam. By
the time that Belgium asserted her independence in 1830, Brussels had
thus obtained the prescriptive right to become the seat of government of
the new nation.

The old Palace had been burnt down in 1731, and the outer wings of the
existing Palace were built by the Austrians shortly after. It was they,
too, who laid out the Rue Royale and Place Royale, with the Park and its
surroundings, as we still see them at the present day. To the Austrian
rulers are also due the Parliamentary Buildings: but the Palais des
Académies was built under Dutch rule in 1829. Since 1830 the town has
been greatly beautified and improved. The Inner Boulevards have been
opened through the labyrinth of streets in the old centre: the Palais de
Justice has been built, the Quartier Léopold has grown up, and great
edifices have been erected at Schaerbeck and elsewhere on the outskirts.

At the present day, of Brussels =within the Boulevards=, the Hill
District is _governmental and fashionable_; the Central District,
_municipal and commercial_: the Western District contains the markets,
basins, canals, and _wholesale business_ side of the city. =Without the
Boulevards=, Fashion has spread eastward towards the Bois de la Cambre
and the Parc Léopold. The poorer districts run southward and westward.
But every part of the city is amply provided with wide thoroughfares and
open breathing-spaces. In this respect, Brussels is one of the
best-arranged cities in Europe.

                           _F_. SURROUNDINGS

The only =excursion= of interest in the immediate neighbourhood of
Brussels is that to =Laeken= (recommended), which may be taken by tram
from the Inner Boulevards, the Gare du Nord, the Gare du Midi, Bourse,
etc. Cars run every 10 minutes. The modern =Church of St. Mary= at
Laeken is a handsome unfinished building. A little to the R. lie the
Park and the =Royal Château=, inaccessible and unimportant. The road
behind the church ascends the Montagne du Tonnerre, a little hill with a
=Monument to Léopold I.=, not unlike the Albert Memorial in London. A
good =*view= of Brussels is obtained from the summit of the monument,
ascended by a winding staircase. (No fee.) The easiest way to make this
excursion is by carriage _in the afternoon_.

Unless you are a military man or a student of tactics, I do not advise
you to undertake the dull and wearisome excursion to =Waterloo=. The
battle-field is hot and shade-less in summer, cold and draughty in
spring and autumn. The points of interest, such as they are, lie at
considerable distances. Waterloo is country, and ugly country—no more.
The general traveller who desires to be conducted round the various
strategic landmarks of the field will find his wants amply catered for
by Baedeker. But I advise him to forego that foregone disappointment.

The time saved by _not_ visiting Waterloo may, however, be well devoted
to a morning excursion to


    [This ancient and important town, which should be visited both
    on account of its magnificent =Hôtel-de-Ville=, and in order to
    make a better acquaintance with =Dierick Bouts=, the town
    painter, can be conveniently reached by train from the Gare du
    Nord. The best trains take little more than half an hour to do
    the journey. A single morning is sufficient for the excursion,
    especially if you start early. Wednesday is the most convenient
    day, as a quick train then returns about 1.30. (Consult
    Bradshaw.) Lunch can be obtained (good) in the large white
    building on the left-hand side of the Hôtel-de-Ville. (It is a
    private club, but contains a public restaurant, on the R.,
    within, to which, push through boldly.) If you have Conway, take
    him with you on this excursion, to compare the doubtful Roger
    van der Weyden at St. Pierre with the woodcut he gives of its
    supposed original at Madrid. Read before you start (or on the
    way) his admirable accounts of Roger van der Weyden and Dierick

    =Louvain= is, in a certain sense, =the mother city of Brussels=.
    Standing on its own little navigable river, the Dyle, it was,
    till the end of the 14th century, the capital of the Counts and
    of the Duchy of Brabant. It had a large population of weavers,
    engaged in the cloth trade. Here, as elsewhere, the weavers
    formed the chief bulwark of freedom in the population. In 1378,
    however, after a popular rising, Duke Wenseslaus besieged and
    conquered the city; and the tyrannical sway of the nobles, whom
    he re-introduced, aided by the rise of Ghent or, later, of
    Antwerp, drove away trade from the city. Many of the weavers
    emigrated to Holland and England, where they helped to establish
    the woollen industry.

    During the early Middle Ages, Louvain was also celebrated for
    its =University=, founded in 1426, and suppressed by the French
    in 1797. It was re-established by the Dutch in 1817, but
    abandoned by the Belgian Government in 1834, and then started
    afresh in the next year as a free private Roman Catholic
    University. Charles V. was educated here.

    The modern town has shrunk far away within its ancient ramparts,
    whose site is now for the most part occupied by empty
    Boulevards. It is still the stronghold of Roman Catholic
    theology in Belgium.]

As you emerge from the station, you come upon a small Place, adorned
with a statue (by Geefs) of Sylvain van de Weyer, a revolutionary of
1830, and long Belgian Minister in England. Take the long straight
street up which the statue looks. This leads direct to the Grand’ Place,
the centre of the town, whence the chief streets radiate in every
direction, the ground-plan recalling that of a Roman city.

The principal building in the Grand’ Place is the =Hôtel-de-Ville=,
standing out with three sides visible from the Place, and probably the
finest civic building in Belgium. It is of very florid late-Gothic
architecture, between 1448 and 1463. Begin first with the left _façade_,
exhibiting three main storeys, with handsome Gothic windows. Above come
a gallery and then a gable-end, flanked by octagonal turrets, and
bearing a similar turret on its summit. In the centre of the gable is a
little projecting balcony of the kind so common on Belgian civic
buildings. The architecture of the niches and turrets is of very fine
florid Gothic, in better taste than that at Ghent of nearly the same
period. The statues which fill the niches are modern. Those of the first
storey represent personages of importance in the local history of the
city: those of the second, the various mediæval guilds or trades: those
of the third, the Counts of Louvain and Dukes of Brabant of all ages.
The bosses or corbels which support the statues are carved with
scriptural scenes in high relief. I give the subjects of a few
(beginning L.): the reader must decipher the remainder for himself. The
Court of Heaven: The Fall of the Angels into the visible Jaws of Hell:
Adam and Eve in the Garden: The Expulsion from Paradise: The Death of
Abel, with quaint rabbits escaping: The Drunkenness of Noah: Abraham and
Lot: etc.

The main _façade_ has an entrance staircase, and two portals in the
centre, above which are figures of St. Peter, L., and Our Lady and
Child, R., the former in compliment to the patron of the church
opposite. This _façade_ has three storeys, decorated with Gothic
windows, and capped by a gallery parapet, above which rises the
high-pitched roof, broken by several quaint small windows. At either end
are the turrets of the gable, with steps to ascend them. The rows of
statues represent as before (in 4 tiers) persons of local distinction,
mediæval guilds, and the Princes who have ruled Brabant and Louvain.
Here again the sculptures beneath the bosses should be closely
inspected. Among the most conspicuous are the Golden Calf, the
Institution of Sacrifices in the Tabernacle, Balaam’s Ass, Susannah and
the Elders, etc.

The gable-end to the R., ill seen from the narrow street, resembles in
its features the one opposite it, but this _façade_, which was even
finer than the others, is at present in course of wholesale restoration.

The best =general view= is obtained from the door of St. Pierre, or near
either corner of the Place, diagonally opposite.

Do not trouble about the =interior=.

Opposite the Hôtel-de-Ville stands the =Church of St. Pierre=,
originally erected in 1040, but entirely rebuilt in 1430, to which date
the whole existing edifice belongs. It is a handsome late-Gothic
building, with a fine West Front, never completed, and a truncated
tower. The central West Window is imposing, but the ruined portal has a
depressing effect. Walk round the church once outside to observe its
exterior architecture, obscured towards the Grand’ Place by the usual
agglomeration of small Renaissance houses. The =main entrance= is in the
South Transept; above it stands a poor modern statue of the patron, St.
Peter. The High Choir, with its flying buttresses, would form a fine
element if the houses were cleared away, so as to afford a view of the
chapels below.

Now view the =interior=. Go at once into the body of the church. The
general effect is handsome, but the walls are cold and white-washed. The
church has a fine Nave, with single Aisles, short Transepts, high Choir,
and Ambulatory. The Nave, Transepts, and Choir, have all an exactly
similar clerestory, with an unusual Triforium of open latticework, and
tracery in the same style in the spandrils of the arches.

Go down to the W. end of the Nave. The entrance doors at this end have
good but not beautiful carved woodwork of the Renaissance.

=Left Aisle.= _First chapel._ Late Gothic copper font, with large crane,
to support a heavy iron cover, now removed. The other chapels on this
side contain nothing of interest.

=Right Aisle.= _First chapel_ (of San Carlo Borromeo), has an
altar-piece, copied from one by De Crayer, carried off by the French and
now at Nancy. It represents San Carlo ministering to the plague-stricken
at Milan. Also, a triptych, by Van de Baeren, 1594. Centre, St. Dorothea
beheaded. Her head praising God. L., Her trial before the governor,
Fabricius. R., Her torture in enduring the sight of her sister’s
martyrdom. Statue of San Carlo by Geefs.

_Second chapel_, of the Armourers, has a railing with arms and cannon,
and contains an old blackened crucifix, much venerated because it is
said to have caught a thief who had entered the church to steal the

The =pulpit= is a carved wooden monstrosity of the 18th century,
representing, behind, the Repentance of Peter, with the cock crowing, a
maladroit subject for a church dedicated to the saint. In front, the
Conversion of St. Paul, with his horse overthrown. Above are two palm

The =Choir= is separated from the Transepts and Nave by a very handsome
and elaborate *Rood-Loft, in the finest flamboyant late-Gothic style
(1450), one of the best still remaining examples in Europe. It supports
a Crucifixion, with St. John and Our Lady. Its arcade of three handsome
arches is surmounted by a sculptured balustrade, containing figures of
saints (the Saviour, Our Lady and Child, the Twelve Apostles with the
instruments of their martyrdom, the Doctors of the Church, and a few
others). Examine carefully.

Now, pass behind the Choir, into the =Ambulatory=, beginning on the N.,
or left side. The _first recess_ has a fine mediæval tomb of Mathilde de
Flandre. On your R., in the Choir, a little further on, is a beautiful
late-Gothic tabernacle or canopy of 1450, gilded, and containing scenes
from the Passion. Just behind the High Altar is a curious little 15th
century relief: _Centre_, the Crucifixion with St. John and Our Lady:
_R._, The Resurrection, with sleeping Roman soldiers: _L._, The donor,
with his patron St. John the Baptist.

The _first chapel_ beyond the High Altar contains =**The Last Supper=,
by Dierick Bouts. This picture forms the central piece of a =triptych=,
painted for the Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament. The _L. wing_ of it
is now at Munich, and the _R._ at Berlin. It represented, when entire,
the same mystical series of the Institution of the Eucharist which we
have already seen in the Pourbus of the Cathedral at Bruges. The
_central panel_ represented the Institution of the Eucharist; the L.
(Munich) has Melchizedeck offering bread and wine to Abraham; the R.
(Berlin) Elijah fed by ravens in the wilderness. On the outer sides of
the panels are two similar typical subjects: L. (Munich), the Gathering
of the Manna or food from Heaven; and R. (Berlin), the Feast of the
Passover, the Paschal Lamb being regarded as a type of the Christian
sacrifice. The picture as it stands in this chapel has of course lost
its mystical significance. It closely resembles the smaller Last Supper
in the Brussels Gallery; but the architecture here is Gothic, not
Renaissance. Study well, especially the figures of the donor (by the
door) and the servant. The floor is characteristic.

Also a =**triptych=, by Dierick Bouts, the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus,
patron against intestinal diseases: a bishop, martyred at Formia in the
persecution of Diocletian. It represents the hideous episode of the
unwinding of the saint’s bowels. The executioner on the L. is a good
specimen of Dierick Bouts’s rude artisan figures; he looks like a
cobbler. In the background is the Emperor Diocletian, richly attired,
with a courtier, whose attitude recalls more than one of those in the
Justice of Otho. The landscape is characteristic of Bouts’s manner. This
is a good, hard, dry picture. The _L. panel_ has St. Jerome, robed as
cardinal, with his lion; the R. has St. Anthony, accompanied by a
vanquished demon. This, however, is a St. Anthony as the abbot, not as
the hermit in the desert.

On the roof of the _fourth chapel_ have recently been discovered some
frescoes, from which the plaster and whitewash is now being removed.

In the chapel next it to the R. is a =triptych=, the Descent from the
Cross (covered, the Sacristan will open it: 1 franc); usually attributed
to Roger van der Weyden, but much disputed. It is probably a smaller
(altered) copy of the famous composition in the Escurial at Madrid (see
Conway). The _central picture_ has Christ supported by Joseph of
Arimathea and Nicodemus, with the fainting Madonna, St. John, and the
other Maries. The singularly unpleasing fat cook-like Magdalen, in a
rich robe, is a constant feature in the group of Descents from the Cross
by Roger and his pupils. Study this picture. The _L. panel_ has a good
portrait of the donor, with his two sons, accompanied by his patron St.
James the Greater (or St. William?). The _R. panel_ has his wife, with
her two daughters and her patroness, St. Adelaide (or St. Elizabeth of
Hungary, holding the crown which she gave up for the Franciscan

In the _sixth chapel_ is a fine Renaissance tomb, representing Adolf van
Baussede in adoration before the Trinity, introduced by his patron St.
Adolphus, with allegorical figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The work
is almost Italian in character.

Over the High Altar is a modern figure of the patron, St. Peter,
enthroned as pope, and with papal symbols behind him. Left of it is the
fine canopy we have already observed from the outside, with scenes from
the Passion. The architecture here is striking.

The great Quentin Matsys of the Family of St. Anne in the Brussels
Picture Gallery was formerly an altar-piece in this church.

There is nothing else at Louvain that need detain you. If you like, you
can stroll a little way down the Rue de Namur, just to the R. of the
Hôtel-de-Ville. It contains some good old houses. The desolate building
on your R. was originally the Halles, but is now the University. It was
built for the Guild of Clothmakers in 1317, and has been wholly
modernised; but there are some good Gothic arches on the basement floor
within (approach down the side street to the R.). Further on is the
Collège du St. Esprit on the R., and the Church of St. Michel
(uninteresting) on the L. The street which here runs off obliquely
conducts to the Collège Marie-Thérèse, and the Collège Adrien VI.,
uninteresting, and all used as hostelries for the students. The only
other objects to look at in Louvain are the =choir-stalls= in carved
wood, early Renaissance, at the Church of =St. Gertrude=, dedicated to
the Abbess of Nivelles and aunt of St. Gudula. It lies down the Rue de
Malines, in the opposite direction from the Rue de Namur. You have then
seen Louvain.

                 *        *        *        *        *

On your way from Brussels to Antwerp, you ought to visit Malines
Cathedral. The easiest way is to book your luggage through, and then
stop for an hour or two at Malines, going on by a later train.


                        _A_. ORIGINS OF ANTWERP

ANTWERP, the seaport of the Schelde estuary, is practically =the
youngest= (and the least interesting) of the great Belgian towns. It
should therefore be visited _last_ by the historically-minded tourist. A
small town, known in Flemish as =Antwerpen= (“at the Wharf”),—a name
altered in French and English into Anvers and Antwerp,—existed here, it
is true, as early as the 7th century, and suffered heavily in the 9th
from the ubiquitous Northmen. But its situation at the open mouth of the
great estuary of the Schelde, exposed to every passing piratical
invader, rendered it unfit for the purposes of early commerce. The trade
of Flanders, in its first beginnings, accordingly concentrated itself in
the more protected inland ports like Bruges and Ghent; while that of
Brabant, of which province Antwerp itself formed a part, found a safer
home in Brussels or Louvain, far up some minor internal river. Hence
=the rise of Antwerp= dates no further back than the end of the 15th and
beginning of =the 16th century=.

Its rise, that is to say, as =a great commercial port=, for from an
early period it was the capital of a petty margrave, under the Duke of
Brabant. As northern Europe grew gradually quieter during the 11th and
12th centuries, Antwerp rose somewhat in importance; and the
magnificence of its cathedral, the earliest part of which dates from
1352, sufficiently shows that the town was increasing in wealth and
population during the palmy period when Bruges and Ghent governed the
trade of the Continent. But when, in the 15th century and the beginning
of the 16th, Bruges began to decline (partly from political causes, but
more still from changes in navigation and trade routes), Antwerp rose
suddenly to the first position in the Low Countries and perhaps in
Europe. Its large, deep, and open port was better adapted to the
increasing shipping of the new epoch than were the shallow and narrow
canals or rivers of Ghent, Bruges, and Brussels. The discovery of
America, and of the route to India by the Cape of Good Hope, had
revolutionized both commerce and navigation; vessels were built larger
and of deeper draught; and the Schelde became for a time what the
Thames, the Clyde, and the Mersey have become in our own period. Antwerp
under Charles V. was probably even more prosperous and wealthier than
Venice. =The centre of traffic was shifting= from the _Mediterranean_ to
the _Atlantic seaboard_. The city reached its highest point of
prosperity about 1568, when it is said that thousands of vessels lay at
anchor in the Schelde, and that more than a hundred craft sailed and
arrived daily. Even allowing for the smaller burden of those days,
however, this is probably an exaggeration. The great =fairs= of Antwerp,
of which those of Leipzig and Nijni Novgorod are now the only modern
representatives, also drew thousands of merchants from all parts of the
world. The chief imports were wool and other agricultural produce from
England, grain from the Baltic, wines from France and Germany, spices
and sugar from Portuguese territory, and silks and Oriental luxuries
from Venice and other parts of Italy. The exports were the manufactured
goods of Flanders and Brabant, countries which still took the lead in
textile fabrics, tapestries, carpets, and many other important

It is to this late period of wealth and prosperity that Antwerp owes
most of the great buildings and works of art which still adorn it. Its
=cathedral=, indeed, varies in date in different parts from the middle
of the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century, and some portions were
not quite completed till the 17th; but the general aspect of the core of
the town is of the =Renaissance= epoch. It contains in its modern
gallery not a few Flemish paintings of the earlier period, produced by
the artists of Ghent, Bruges, and Brussels; but its own native art dates
no further back than =Quentin Matsys= (1466-1531), the last of the
painters of the Netherlands who adhered to the national type of art;
while it reached its highest point in =Rubens= (1577-1640), who
introduced into the Low Countries the developed style of the Italian
Renaissance, adapted and strained through an essentially robust Flemish
nature. It is only at Antwerp that these two great masters can be
studied to the highest advantage; they illustrate, one the rise, the
other the culmination and after-glow, of the greatness of their native
city. I say native advisedly, for though Rubens most probably was born
at Siegen (in Nassau), he was an Antwerper by descent, by blood, by
nature, and by residence.

The =decline= of the city in later times was due to a variety of
concurrent causes, some of them strangely artificial, which long
distracted trade from one of its most natural outlets in Europe. The
Spanish troops began the devastation, during the abortive attempt of the
southern provinces to shake off the yoke of Spain; in 1576, the Town
Hall and nearly a thousand noble buildings were burnt, while 8,000
people were ruthlessly massacred. In 1585, the Duke of Parma completed
the destruction of the local prosperity: the population was largely
scattered, and the trade of Antwerp completely ruined. The long and
unsuccessful rebellion, the division which it unhappily caused between
Holland and Belgium, and the rapid commercial rise, first of Amsterdam
and then of England, all contributed to annihilate the mercantile
importance of Antwerp. The Dutch erected forts on their own territory at
the mouth of the Schelde, and refused to allow shipping to proceed up
the river. Finally by the Treaty of Munster in 1648 it was agreed that
no sea-going vessel should be allowed to ascend the estuary to Antwerp,
but that all ships should unload at a Dutch port, goods being forwarded
by river craft to the former capital of European commerce. From that
date forward to the French occupation in 1794, Antwerp sank to the
position of a mere local centre, while Rotterdam and Amsterdam took its
place as commercial cities. In the latter year, however, the French
reopened the navigation of the Schelde, and destroyed the iniquitous
Dutch forts at the entrance to the river. Napoleon, in whose empire the
town was included, constructed a harbour and built new quays; but after
his fall, Antwerp was made over to Holland, and began to trade as a
Dutch seaport. The erection of Belgium into a separate kingdom in 1830
again told against it, as the Dutch maintained their unjust power of
levying tolls on the shipping; in addition to which drawback, Antwerp
had suffered heavily from siege during the War of Independence. In 1863,
however, the Dutch extortioners were bought off by a heavy money
payment, and Antwerp, the natural outlet of the Schelde, and to a great
extent of the German empire, once more regained its natural place as a
main commercial port of Europe. Since that date, its rise has been
extraordinarily rapid, in correspondence with the large development of
Belgian manufactures and still more with the new position of Germany as
a world-trading power. Indeed, nothing but the artificial restrictions
placed upon its commerce by the selfishness and injustice of the Dutch
could ever have prevented the seaport of the Schelde from ranking as one
of the chief harbours of the world, as soon as ocean-going ships
demanded ports of that size, and as commerce had no longer anything to
fear from marauding pirates.

As a consequence of these conditions, we have to expect in Antwerp
mainly =a central town of the 15th and 16th centuries=, with an immense
=modern outgrowth= of very recent origin. Save its fine Cathedral, and
its imported pictures, it has little or nothing of mediæval interest.

The =population= of Antwerp is almost entirely =Flemish=, though French
is the language of the higher commerce; and the town is the stronghold
of the old Flemish feeling in Belgium, as opposed to the Parisian tone
of Brussels.

Concurrently with the rise of its renewed commercial importance, Antwerp
has become once more =a centre of Belgian art=, and especially of the
pure Flemish school of _archaists_, who have chosen their subjects from
Flemish history, and followed to some extent the precedents of the early
Flemish painters. Examples of these will meet us later.

Choose an =hotel= on the =Place Verte=, if possible, or at least very
near it. You cannot gain a first impression of Antwerp in less than four
or five days.

Antwerp is a confused town, a maze without a plan: till you have learnt
your way about, I advise you to =follow the tram-lines=: you will thus
avoid the slummy streets which abound even in the best quarter.

                           _B_. THE CATHEDRAL

    [The first thing to see at Antwerp is the High Church of Our
    Lady, once the =Cathedral=, and still commonly so called, though
    it is not now a bishop’s see, but part of the diocese of
    Malines. It is a fine early and middle Gothic church, with a
    late Gothic or flamboyant tower; but, relatively to its fame, it
    is externally disappointing. This is partly because mean houses
    have been allowed to gather round it, but partly also because
    its somewhat meretricious spire has been unduly praised by
    earlier generations. Modern taste, which admires the simpler and
    severer early forms of Gothic, finds it fantastic and

The =Place Verte= opposite the Cathedral (once the churchyard), is
planted with trees, and has its centre occupied by a modern statue of
Rubens. This is one of the few points from which you can view (more or
less) the =exterior= of the Cathedral, the greater part of which is
obstructed by shabby shops clustered round its base. The only really
good views, however, are obtained from the second-floor windows of the
houses on the E. side of the Square, such as the Hôtel de l’Europe.
Nevertheless, it will be well to walk round the building outside, in
order to inspect as much of it as is visible.

The chief =portal= (practically), recently restored, and the =S.
Transept= are seen from the Place Verte. There is little sculpture on
them, save a small late figure of the patroness, Our Lady, with the
Child, high up between the angels of the gable-end.

Now, go round to the L., into the little triangular Place known as the
Marché aux Gants, to view the main =West Front=, best seen from the apex
of the triangle opposite. It has a fine central Portal and West Window,
flanked by two great towers, the southern incomplete. Its niches have
statues of six only out of the Twelve Apostles. The =northern tower=, up
to the first gallery, is middle Gothic of 1352-1449. The upper portion,
with the octagonal lantern of very open work, flanked by projecting
pinnacles, tied by small buttresses, is in later flamboyant Gothic, and
was erected in 1502-1518, by Dominic de Waghamakere, the architect of
the Gothic portion of the Town Hall at Ghent. This florid spire has been
excessively praised above its merits, but will hardly satisfy a modern
taste. It can be ascended (75 c.), but is dark and steep: the view,
though fine, hardly repays the trouble.

The =well= in the Marché aux Gants, near the front of the Cathedral, has
a beautiful wrought-iron canopy, to support its lid, said to have been
made by Quentin Matsys when he was a blacksmith, or rather a
metal-worker, before he took to painting. (But the legend is doubtful.)
It consists of a trellis of vine, supporting wild men and women with
clubs, and capped by a figure of Brabo, the eponymous hero of Brabant,
flinging the hand of the giant Antigonus (see later, under the

Now, continue on round the =N. Side= of the Cathedral. A few glimpses of
the =N. Transept= and Aisles, as well as of the Nave and Choir, may be
obtained as we proceed, much of it unfortunately now marred by excessive
restoration. The beautiful Choir and Apse, with their flying buttresses,
are almost entirely concealed by neighbouring houses. If these were
cleared away, a fine view would be obtained of a noble piece of
architecture, now only visible by occasional glimpses from the upper
floors of surrounding houses. This portion of the church is further
disfigured by the abrupt terminations to the roofs of the Transepts, and
by the ridiculous pepper-caster top which replaces the central spire or
_flèche_ of the original conception. Continue on through the narrow
streets till you have made a complete tour of the Cathedral and returned
to the Place Verte and the door of the =S. Transept=. The best general
view, however, is not obtainable from any of these points, but from the
Grand’ Place, and especially the upper windows of the Hôtel-de-Ville, to
be visited later.

Now, enter the Cathedral, by the door in the S. Transept. (Open, free,
from 8 to 12 on Sundays and Thursdays: or, every day, 12 to 4, on
payment of 1 franc per person. But if you wish really to inspect the
works of art it contains, pay your franc like a man, and see them at
your leisure when there are no services in progress. Fine music at High
Mass at 10 on Sundays.)

The =interior= is impressive and solemn, with its high Nave, Transepts,
and Choir, of good simple Gothic, and its _three_ rows of Aisles, the
perspective of which, with their many pillars, is extremely striking.
The Aisles, however, are unusually low in proportion to the height of
the central cruciform building. First walk down the Nave to the West
End, to form a general conception of the fine and impressive interior,
grand in its colossal simplicity, and commendably free from 18th century

Now, begin at the =R. or S. Aisle=, which contains admirable modern
Stations of the Cross by Vinck and Hendrickx, excellently painted in the
archaic spirit. I do not describe these, as they need no explanation,
but each is worthy of individual attention. Do not hurry.

The _Chapel of the Sacrament_, at the end of this Aisle, has good
polychrome decoration, and fine stained glass windows (Last Supper,
1503: St. Amand converting Antwerp; St. Norbert preaching against the
heresy of Tanquelin at Antwerp, etc.): also, a reliquary of St. Roch,
and an interesting modern statue of that great plague-saint.

The =S. Transept= has a good modern stained glass window, and affords
fine views of the central Dome and Aisles.

On the _R. wall_ are the Marriage at Cana in Galilee, appropriately
painted for the Altar of the Wine-merchants, by M. de Vos (excellent for
comparison with others of the same subject), and a Last Supper by Otto
van Veen, the master of Rubens, formerly the Altar-piece of the Chapel
of the Sacrament.

The _L. wall_ of the S. Transept is occupied by =Rubens’s= great
=triptych of St. Christopher=, commonly called (from its central
portion) =**The Descent from the Cross=. This is a splendid work,
conceived (as to idea) in the mystical spirit of old Flemish art, though
carried out, of course, in the utterly different and incongruous style
of Rubens. In order to understand it we must remember that _triptychs
were usually kept closed on the altar_, and that the picture which first
met the eye was that which occupies the outer shutters. It struck the
key-note. Now, the outer shutters of this work (seldom seen, unless you
ask the Sacristan to close it) are occupied by a figure of St.
Christopher, with the hermit who directed him to Christ, accompanied by
his lantern and owl, as in the earlier St. Christopher triptych by
Memling in the Academy at Bruges. This painting was ordered from Rubens
by the Guild of Arquebusiers, whose patron is St. Christopher. On the
outside, therefore, Rubens painted the saint himself, whose name (of
course) means the Christ-Bearer. But on the inner portion he painted
three other symbolical or allusive scenes of the Bearing of Christ:
_L._, The Visitation; the unborn Christ borne by His mother: _R._, The
Presentation in the Temple; the living Christ borne by Simeon: _Centre_,
The Descent from the Cross; the dead Christ borne by Joseph of Arimathea
and the Disciples.

The _L. wing_ shows us Our Lady, in a big Flemish hat, approaching St.
Elizabeth. Behind, Joseph and Zacharias, the two husbands, shake hands.
(This composition has been copied in the stained glass window of the
Cathedral at Antwerp.) In order to impress the mystical meaning of the
picture, the fact of Our Lady’s pregnancy has been strongly insisted

The _central panel_ shows us the Descent from the Cross. Nicodemus holds
the body by one shoulder, while St. John, below, receives it in his
arms, and the Magdalen at the feet expresses her tenderness. Joseph of
Arimathea descends the ladder. The actual corpse forms the salient point
in the picture. It is usual to say that the contrast of the dead body
and white sheet is borrowed from the famous treatment of the same
subject by Daniele da Volterra in Santa Trinità de’ Monti at Rome; and
indeed, the composition in this work has probably been suggested by the
Italian example; but a similar white sheet, with the dead body seen
against it, is found in all early Flemish art, and especially in works
of the School of Roger van der Weyden. (It is known as the Holy
Sudarium.) In this splendid and gorgeous conception, Rubens has given
the greatest importance to the body of the Saviour; but he is so
intensely occupied with the mechanical difficulties of its support, the
strain and stress of the dead weight, that he forgets feeling; in spite
of the agonised attitude of the Mater Dolorosa, the picture is sadly
lacking in pathos. He realizes the scene as to its material facts; he
fails to realize its spiritual significance. (For an opposite opinion,
see M. Max Rooses, who speaks of “the profound expression of a tender
and respectful love.”) To my mind, the man who holds the Sudarium in his
teeth is a fault of taste of the most flagrant character. We think of
the whole work rather as a wonderful piece of art than as the fitting
delineation of a sacred subject. But as art it is triumphant. The faces
of the St. John and the Magdalen are also charming.

The _R. wing_, with the Presentation, and the aged Simeon receiving
Christ in his arms, is of less interest.

Next, enter the =Ambulatory=, behind the Choir.

_1st Chapel._ Good modern stained glass window of the Pietà.

_2nd Chapel._ Tomb of =John Moretus=, the son-in-law of Plantin, the
famous printer (see after, under Musée Plantin-Moretus) erected by
Martina Plantin, his widow, and with pictures by =Rubens=. Above, in an
oval, portrait of John Moretus (by a pupil, re-touched by Rubens).
Below, triptych; _centre_, *The Resurrection, emblematic of hope for his
glorious future. _L. wing_, his patron, St. John-Baptist; _R. wing_, his
widow’s patroness, St. Martina. This triptych, too, loses by not being
first seen _closed_: on the outside are two angels, about to open a
door; as the wings unfold, you behold the luminous figure of the risen
Christ, grasping the red Resurrection banner. This figure is celebrated.
The dismay of the Roman soldiers is conceived in the thorough Rubens
spirit. Observe the arrangement of this triptych on the tomb: it will
help you to understand others in the Museum.

Opposite this, Tomb of a Premonstratensian Friar, with St. Norbert,
founder of the Order, in adoration, by Pepyn.

This chapel is also one of the best points of view for Rubens’s famous
=**Assumption=, above the High Altar. We here see one of these great
altar-pieces (of which we shall meet many examples in the Museum) placed
in the situation for which it was originally designed. This Assumption
ranks as one of Rubens’s masterpieces. Above, Our Lady is caught up into
the air by a circle of little cherubs, dimly recalling the earlier
Italian mandorla. Below, stand the Apostles, looking into the empty
tomb, with the youthful figure of St. Thomas stretching out his hands in
an attitude derived from the Italian subject of the Sacra Cintola. In
the centre of the foreground, the Holy Women, about to pick roses from
the empty tomb. (See a similar work in the Brussels Museum. This
composition can only be understood by the light of earlier Italian

On the pier between this and the next chapel, Crucifixion, with Scenes
from the Passion.

_3rd Chapel._ Master of the School of Cologne, 14th century. A Glory of
the Angels. In the centre, St. Michael the Archangel slaying a dragon,
whose double tongue divides into many heads of kings. R. and L., the
insignificant donor and donatrix. On either side, choirs of angels in
hierarchies. Above, Christ enthroned in a mandorla (almond-shaped halo)
worshipped by angels. Beneath, in the predella, St. Stephen with his
stone; St. Ursula with bow and arrow; St. Peter (keys); a Pietà; St.
John the Evangelist; St. Agnes with her ruby ring; and St. Anthony the
Abbot with his staff and bell. A good picture of the school from which
Van Eyck was a reaction. Opposite it, Tomb of Bishop Ambrosio Capello,
by Arthus Quellin, the only one remaining tomb of a bishop in the

_4th Chapel._ Good 16th century figure of Our Lady and Child. Tomb of
Plantin, with Last Judgment by De Backer.

_5th Chapel._ Beautiful modern archaic altar-piece of St. Barbara.

_6th Chapel._ Nothing of special interest, though in all these chapels
the stained-glass windows and polychromatic decorations are worthy of

Opposite it, on the back of the High Altar, painted imitations of
reliefs by Van Bree: an extraordinary illusion; Annunciation, Marriage
of the Virgin, Visitation. In front of these, Tomb of Isabella of
Bourbon, wife of Charles the Bold, and mother of Mary of Burgundy.
Altar-back, Death of the Virgin, 17th cent.

_7th Chapel._ Good modern archaic altar-piece, with a miracle of St.
John Berchman. The saints are named on it.

_8th Chapel._ Tolerable modern archaic altar-piece of Our Lady and
Child, with donors and saints.

On the pier, between this and the next chapel, School of Roger van der
Weyden, Selection of Joseph as the husband of the Virgin, and Marriage
of the Virgin; a good picture.

_9th Chapel_, of St. Joseph, patron saint of Belgium, and therefore
honoured with this larger shrine. On the Altar, modern carved and gilt
altar-piece, St. Joseph bearing the Infant Christ. Around it, Scenes
from his Life. L. (beginning below), Marriage of the Virgin and Joseph,
Nativity, Presentation in the Temple; R. (beginning above), Flight into
Egypt, Finding of Christ in the Temple, the Holy Carpenter’s Shop.
Centre, Death of St. Joseph. On the wings, R., Philip IV. dedicating
Belgium to St. Joseph; L., Pius IX., accompanied by St. Peter,
appointing Joseph patron saint of Belgium.

Now enter the =N. Transept=.

_R. wall._ Rubens’s famous *Elevation of the Cross. In form a triptych,
but with the same subject continued through its three members. _Centre_,
The Elevation: _L._, St. John, the Mater Dolorosa, and the Holy Women:
_R._, Longinus and the soldiers, with the two thieves. This is one of
Rubens’s most bustling pictures, where the mere muscular effort almost
wholly chokes the sense of pathos. The dog in the foreground is an
exceptionally unhappy later addition by the master. The tone of colour
is brown and cold; the work is mainly painted for light and shade. It
was formerly the altar-piece in the Church of St. Walburga, who appears
with other saints on the outer shutters.

This Transept also contains stained glass of the 17th century.

On the _L. wall_ is a triptych by Francken: _Centre_, Christ among the
Doctors, said to be portraits of the Reformers. _L. wing_, St. Ambrose
baptizing Augustine, with the donor, kneeling. _R. wing_, Elijah causing
the widow’s cruse of oil to be replenished.

The _Chapel_ in the N. Transept has nothing of interest.

Now, enter the =Choir=, with good modern carved stalls, and a different
but less impressive view of Rubens’s Assumption.

The =N. Aisle= has little of interest, save its stained-glass windows,
and a Head of Christ, painted on marble, ascribed to Leonardo, but
really of Flemish origin. This is affixed to the first pillar of the
_Lady Chapel_. Further on in the Aisle, confessionals with tolerable

The =Nave= has the usual overloaded 17th century _pulpit_, with Europe,
Asia, Africa, and America.

I have only briefly enumerated the principal contents; but you will find
much more that is interesting for yourself if you spend an hour or two
longer in examining the Cathedral.

                        _C_. THE PICTURE GALLERY

    [The chief object of interest at Antwerp, even more important
    than the Cathedral itself, is the =Picture Gallery=, regally
    housed in a magnificent Museum at the S. end of the town. The
    building alone might make Trafalgar Square blush, if Trafalgar
    Square had a blush left in it. To this collection you should
    devote at least two or three mornings.

 Modern Pictures in the Rooms marked with an Italic capital.]

    The Antwerp Gallery contains in its palatial rooms a large
    number of =Flemish pictures=, many of them collected from the
    suppressed Churches and Monasteries of the city. (Remember that
    they were painted for such situations, not to be seen in
    Museums.) You will here have an opportunity of observing a few
    good pictures of the =early Flemish School=, and especially of
    improving your slight acquaintance with =Roger van der Weyden=,
    one of whose loveliest works is preserved in the gallery. You
    will also see at least one admirable example of =Quentin
    Matsys=, as well as several fine works of the Transitional
    School between the early and the later Flemish periods.

    But the special glory of the Antwerp Museum is its great
    collection of =Rubenses=. It is at Antwerp alone, indeed, that
    you can begin to grasp the greatness of Rubens, as you may grasp
    it afterwards at Munich and Vienna. I do not say you will love
    him: I will not pretend to love him myself: but you may at least
    understand him. This, then, is the proper place in which to
    consider briefly the position of Rubens in Flemish Art.

    From the days of the Van Eycks to those of Gerard David,
    painting in the Low Countries had followed a strictly _national_
    line of development. Its growth was organic and internal. With
    Quentin Matsys, and still more with Bernard van Orley, Pourbus,
    and the rest, the influence of the _Italian Renaissance_ had
    begun to interfere with the native current of art in the Low
    Countries. It was Rubens who finally transformed Flemish
    painting by adopting to a certain extent the grandiose style of
    the later Italian and especially the Venetian Masters, at the
    same time that he transfused it with local feeling and with the
    private mark of his own superabundant and vigorous

    =Rubens= was =an Antwerp man=, by descent and education, though
    accidentally born at Siegen in Nassau. His father was an Antwerp
    justice of an important family, exiled for supposed Calvinistic
    leanings, and disgraced for an intrigue with a royal lady, Anna
    of Saxony, the eccentric wife of William of Orange. A gentleman
    by birth and breeding, Peter Paul Rubens painted throughout life
    in the spirit of a generous, luxurious aristocrat. His master
    was Otto van Veen, Court Painter to the Dukes of Parma, and
    himself an Italianised Flemish artist, whose work is amply
    represented in the Museum. Early in life, Rubens =travelled in
    Italy=, where he imbibed to a great extent the prevailing tone
    of Italian art, as represented by Titian, Veronese, and to a
    less extent, Tintoretto, as well as by Domenichino and the later
    Roman School of painters. To these influences we must add the
    subtler effect of the general spirit of the late 16th and early
    17th centuries, the age when voyages to America and to India,
    and the sudden opening of the Atlantic seaboard, had caused in
    men’s minds a great ferment of opinion and given rise to a new
    outburst of activity and struggle. Romance was rife. The world
    was turned upside down. It was the day of Spanish supremacy, the
    day when the gold and silver of the Indies poured in vast sums
    into Madrid and the Low Countries. The Mediterranean had given
    way to the Atlantic, Venice to Antwerp. In England, this age
    gave us the rich and varied Elizabethan literature; in the Low
    Countries, it gave us the highly analogous and profusely lavish
    art of the School of Rubens.

    Rubens lived his life throughout on =a big scale=. He travelled
    much. He was statesman and diplomatist as well as painter. He
    moved from Paris to London, from Madrid to Mantua. All these
    things give a tone to his art. He is large, spacious, airy,
    voluptuous. He has a bold self-confidence, a prodigal freedom,
    an easy opulence. He delights in colossal figures, in regal
    costume, in court dresses and feathers,—the romance and
    pageantry of the royal world he lived in. Space seems to swell
    and soar on his canvas. Vast marble halls with huge pillars and
    lofty steps are the architectural background in which his soul
    delights. His outlines are too flowing to be curbed into stiff
    correctness. His sturdy Flemish nature, again, comes out in the
    full and fleshy figures, the florid cheeks, and the abundant
    fair hair of his female characters. All scenes alike, however
    sacred, are for him just opportunities for the display of
    sensuous personal charm, enlivened by rich costume or wealthy
    accessories. Yet in his large romantic way he is doing for
    cosmopolitan mercantile Antwerp in the 17th century what Van
    Eyck and Memling did for cosmopolitan Ghent and Bruges in the

    One more peculiarity of his art must be mentioned. The early
    painters, as we saw in the St. Ursula casket, had little sense
    of real dramatic life and movement. Rubens had learned to admire
    this quality in his Venetian masters, and he bettered their
    instruction with Flemish force and with the =stir and bustle= of
    a big seaport town in an epoch of development. His pictures are
    full, not merely of life, but of strain, stress, turmoil. It is
    more than animation—it is noise, it is tumult. He often forgets
    the sacredness of a scene by emphasizing too much the muscular
    action and the violent movement of those who participate in it.
    This is particularly noticeable in the Descent from the Cross in
    the Cathedral, and still more in the famous Coup de Lance at the

    The astonishing number of pictures which Rubens has left may be
    accounted for in part by his incredible rapidity of
    execution—he dashed off a huge picture in a fortnight,—but in
    part also by the fact that he was largely assisted by a numerous
    body of pupils. Of these, =Van Dyck= was by far the most
    individual, the tenderest, the most refined: and not a few of
    his stately and touching masterpieces may here be studied.

    The =Dutch School= is also represented by several excellent
    small pictures.

    Of alien art, there are a few fine pieces by =Early Italian=

The =entrance door= is under the great portico on the west front, facing
the river. Open daily, 9 or 10 to 4 or 5, 1 fr. per person: free on
Sundays. (Inquire hours of hotel porter.)

You pass from the Vestibule (sticks and umbrellas left) into a Hall and
Staircase of palatial dimensions, admirably decorated with fine modern
paintings by N. De Keyser, of Antwerp, representing the Arts and Artists
of the city, the influence upon them of Italian masters, and the
recognition extended to their work in London, Paris, Rome, Bologna,
Amsterdam, and Vienna. I do not describe these excellent pictures, as
the inscriptions upon them sufficiently indicate their meaning, but they
are well worth your careful attention.

The =rooms= are lettered (A. B. C. etc.) over the doorways. On reaching
the top of the staircase, pass at once through Rooms J. and I., and go
straight into

                                ROOM C.

=Hall of the Ancient Masters=, Flemish or foreign.

=Right of the door=,

224. Justus of Ghent: a bland old pope, probably St. Gregory, holding a
monstrance, between two angels. In the background, a curious
altar-piece, with the Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi,
Flight into Egypt, Presentation in the Temple, and Finding of Christ in
the Temple. Above it, two female saints (or figures of Our Lady?). A
good work, in an early dry manner.

Above it, 463. Madonna and Child, by Van Orley: the landscape by
Patinier. From a tomb in the Cathedral.

383. Van der Meire. Triptych from an altar; Centre, Way to Calvary, with
St. Veronica offering her napkin, and brutal, stolid Flemish soldiers
bearing the hammer, etc. In the background, the Flight into Egypt. The
_wings_ have been transposed. _L._, (should be R.), the Finding of
Christ in the Temple. _R._ (should be L.), the Presentation in the

Above it, 380. Van den Broeck (1530-1601): a Last Judgment. Interesting
for comparison with previous examples. Renaissance nude.

557. Unknown. Dutch School of the early 16th century. The Tiburtine
Sibyl showing the Emperor Augustus the apparition of the Virgin and
Child on the Aventine. A page, his robe embroidered with his master’s
initial A., holds the Emperor’s crown. Very Dutch architecture. (The
Catalogue, I think erroneously, makes it the Madonna appearing to

560. Good hard early Dutch portrait.

527. Unknown. Resurrection, the Saviour, bearing the white pennant, with
red cross, and sleeping Roman soldiers.

42. An Adam and Eve, attributed to Cranach the Elder. Harsh northern

341. Good portrait by Susterman, _alias_ Lambert Lombard.

Above these, Madonna, in the Byzantine style, with the usual Greek

521. School of Albert Dürer: Mater Dolorosa, with the Seven Sorrows
around her.

549. Good Flemish portrait of William I., Prince of Orange.

Above, 387, Van der Meire: an Entombment, with the usual figures,
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea; the Magdalen in the foreground with
the box of ointment; the Mater Dolorosa supported by St. John (in red);
and, behind, the two Maries. In the background, a _Pietà_—that is to
say, the same group mourning over the Dead Saviour.

425. Van Hemessen: The Calling of Matthew from the receipt of custom.
Harsh and uninteresting.

568. School of Quentin Matsys: Christ and St. Veronica. Probably part
only of a Way to Calvary. The spiked club is frequent.

241. Quentin Matsys: a fine and celebrated *Head of the Saviour
Blessing, with more expression than is usual in the Flemish type of this
subject. Notice even here, however, close adhesion to the original
typical features.

242. Quentin Matsys: Companion *Head of Our Lady, as Queen of Heaven.
Full of charm and simplicity.

Between these, 4, =*Antonello da Messina= (an Italian profoundly
influenced by the School of Van Eyck, and the first to introduce the
Flemish improvements in oil-painting into Italy). Crucifixion, with St.
John and Our Lady. This work should be carefully studied, as a
connecting link between the art of Flanders and Italy. It is painted
with the greatest precision and care, and bears marks everywhere of its
double origin—Flemish minuteness, Italian nobility.

254. Memling: **admirable cold-toned portrait of a member of the De Croy
family. The hands, face, and robe, are all exquisitely painted.

Centre of the wall, 412, good early copy of Jan van Eyck’s altar-piece
for Canon George van der Paelen, in the Academy at Bruges. If you have
not been there, see page 59 for particulars. Better preserved than the
original: perhaps a replica by the master himself.

519. Crucifixion, with Our Lady and St. John, on a gold background.
Interesting only as a specimen of the very wooden Dutch painting of the
14th century. Contrast it with the Van Eyck beneath it, if you wish to
see the strides which that great painter took in his art.

397. Good hard *portrait of Philippe le Bon of Burgundy, an
uninteresting, narrow-souled personage, wearing the collar of the Golden
Fleece, by Roger van der Weyden.

43. Cranach the Elder: Charity. A study of the nude, somewhat more
graceful than is the wont of this painter.

264. Mostaert (Jan, the Dutchman), tolerable hard portrait: same person
reappears in 262.

179. Gossaert: *a beautiful panel representing the Return from Calvary.
The Mater Dolorosa is supported by St. John. On the L., the Magdalen
with her pot of ointment; R., the other Maries. Very touching. Notice
the Flemish love for these scenes of the Passion and Entombment.

198. Hans Holbein the Younger: **admirable portrait of Erasmus. It
lives. Full of vivacity and scholarly keenness, with the quick face of a
bright intelligence, and the expressive hands of a thinker. The fur is

180. Gossaert: group of figures somewhat strangely known as “The Just
Judges.” Probably a single surviving panel from an extensive work of the
same character as the Adoration of the Lamb at Ghent.

263. Jan Mostaert: *very fine portrait of a man in a large black hat and
yellow doublet. Pendant to 264.

558. Holy Family. Dutch School. Early 16th century.

202. Lucas van Leyden: *portraits. Characteristic, and well thrown out
against the background.

566. School of Quentin Matsys: a genre piece; an unpleasant
representation of a young girl attempting to cut the purse strings of an
old man. Probably a companion picture to one now in the possession of
the Countess of Pourtalés, Paris.

Above these, 168, Triptych by Fyol, German School. _Centre_, the
Adoration of the Magi. The Old King has removed his crown, as usual, and
presented his gift. He is evidently a portrait: he wears a collar of the
Golden Fleece, and is probably Philippe le Bon. Behind him, the
Middle-aged King, kneeling; then the Young King, a Moor, with his
offering. (The story of the Three Kings—Gaspar, Melchior,
Balthasar—was largely evolved in the Cologne district, where their
relics formed the main object of pious pilgrimage.) To the R., an
undignified Joseph, with his staff, and the peculiar robe with which you
are now, I hope, familiar. In the background, the family of the donor,
looking in through a window. The _wings_ have, I think, been misplaced.
L., The Circumcision; R., Nativity: notice the ox and ass, and the
costume of Joseph.

325. Schoreel: Crucifixion, with Our Lady, St. John, the Magdalen, and
angels catching the Holy Blood. (A frequent episode.)

Above it, 570, School of Gossaert: Our Lady.

262. Jan Mostaert: The Prophecies of Our Lady. Above, she is represented
as Queen of Heaven, in an oval glory of angels, recalling the Italian
mandorla. Below, those who have prophesied of her: in the centre,
Isaiah, with scroll, “Behold, a Virgin shall conceive,” etc.: R. and L.,
Micah and Zechariah. Further R. and L., two Sibyls. The one to the R. is
the same person as 264.

567. School of Quentin Matsys: Favourite subject of the Miser.

25. More monstrosities by Bosch.

=Beyond the door=,

534. Unknown: Flemish School: Assumption of Our Lady. Above, the Trinity
waiting to crown her.

123. Dunwege: German School. The Family of St. Anne, resembling in
subject the Quentin Matsys at Brussels. Centre, St. Anne enthroned.
Below her, Our Lady and the Divine Child. (Often Our Lady sits on St.
Anne’s lap.) L., Joachim offers St. Anne and Our Lady cherries. (See
_Legends of the Madonna_.) R., St. Joseph, with his staff and robe. On
either side, the Maries, with their children, here legibly named, and
their husbands. (From a church at Calcar.)

Above this, 523. Triptych: Madonna and Child, with donors and patron
saints (Sebastian and Mary Magdalen). Note their symbols. On either

Van der Meire: 388: Mater Dolorosa; her breast pierced with a sword: and
on the other side of the triptych 389 (attribution doubtful, according
to Lafenestre), a donatrix with St. Catherine, holding the sword of her

569. School of Gossaert, Way to Calvary, with the usual brutal soldiers.

47. Herri Met de Bles: Repose on the Flight into Egypt. Notice the
sleeping St. Joseph, and the staff, basket, and gourd, which mark this

539. Good unknown Flemish portrait.

Beyond this, a frame containing five excellent small pictures.

243. Quentin Matsys: *St. Mary Magdalen with her alabaster box. Sweet
and simple. In reality, portrait of an amiable round-faced Flemish young
lady, in the character of her patron saint. Her home forms the

526 and 538. Fine unknown portraits.

199. *Exquisite and delicate miniature by Hans Holbein the Younger.
(Lafenestre doubts the attribution.)

132. Fouquet, the old French painter, 1415-1485. Hard old French picture
of a Madonna and Child, of the regal French type, with solid-looking red
and blue cherubs. Said to be a portrait of Agnes Sorel, mistress of
Charles VII. From the Cathedral of Melun.

Then, another case, containing six delicate works of the first

396. *Roger van der Weyden (more probably, School of Van Eyck):
Annunciation. The angel Gabriel, in an exquisitely painted bluish-white
robe, has just entered. Our Lady kneels at her prie-dieu with her book.
In the foreground, the Annunciation lily; behind, the bed-chamber. The
Dove descends upon her head. This is one of the loveliest works in the

253. Memling: **Exquisite portrait of a Premonstratensian Canon.

28. Dierick Bouts: The Madonna and Child. An excellent specimen of his
hard, careful manner.

203. Lucas of Leyden: David playing before Saul.

30. Bril, 1556-1626. Fine miniature specimen of later Flemish landscape,
with the Prodigal Son in the foreground.

559. Unknown but admirable portrait of a man.

223. Justus van Ghent: Nativity, with Adoration of the Shepherds. A good
picture, full of interesting episodes.

Beyond these, another case, containing fine small works. A beautiful
little *Madonna with the Fountain of Life (411) by Jan van Eyck, closely
resembling a large one by Meister Wilhelm, in the Museum at Cologne. Two
good unknown portraits. A splendid **portrait of a medallist (5) by
Antonello da Messina (sometimes attributed to Memling). A portrait (33)
of François II. of France as a child, by Clouet, of the old French
School. A characteristic *Albert Dürer (124), portrait of Frederick III.
of Saxony: and a good Gossaert (182). These do not need description, but
should be closely studied.

The place of honour on this wall is occupied by 393, a magnificent
=**Seven Sacraments=, usually attributed to =Roger van der Weyden=,
though believed by some to be a work of his master, Robert Campin of
Tournai. At any rate, it is a work full of Roger’s mystic spirit. In
form, it is a triptych, but the main subjects are continued through on
to the wings. The _central panel_ represents the Sacrament of the Mass,
typified in the foreground by a Crucifixion, taking place in the nave of
an unknown Gothic church. At the foot of the cross are the fainting
Madonna, supported by St. John (in red as usual) and a touching group of
the three Maries. The robe of one to the left overflows into the next
panel. In the background, the actual Mass is represented as being
celebrated at the High Altar. The architecture of the church (with its
triforium, clerestory, and apse, and its fine reredos and screen) is
well worth notice. So are the figures of Our Lady, St. Peter and St.
John, on the decorative work of the screen and reredos. I believe the
kneeling figure behind the officiating priest to be a portrait of the
donor. The _side panels_ represent the other sacraments, taking place in
the aisles and lateral chapels of the same church. L., Baptism,
Confirmation, Confession: in the Confirmation, the children go away
wearing the sacred bandage. R., Holy Orders, Matrimony, Extreme Unction.
Each of these groups should be carefully noted. The _colours_ of the
angels above are all symbolical:—white (innocence) for Baptism: yellow
(initiation) for Confirmation: red (love or sin) for confession and
absolution: green (hope) for the Eucharist: purple (self-sacrifice) for
Holy Orders: blue (fidelity) for Marriage: violet, almost black, (death)
for Extreme Unction. The picture is full of other episodes and mystical
touches. In all this beautiful and touching composition, the Mary to the
right of the Cross is perhaps the most lovely portion. For a fine
criticism, see Conway.

Beyond this, another frame with exquisite small works.

250. Quentin Matsys: Head of Christ, with the Crown of Thorns and Holy
Blood; painful.

540. Admirable unknown miniature portrait.

544. Excellent little St. Helena.

542. A little donor, with his patron, St. John.

204, 205, 206. Good Lucas of Leyden, of the Four Evangelists (John
missing). Luke, with the bull, painting; Matthew, with the angel, and
Mark, with the lion, writing.

537. Admirable unknown portrait. These little works again need no
description, but close study.

Above them, 244. Quentin Matsys (?). The Misers, one of the best known
of this favourite subject.

Then, another frame of miniatures.

517, 518. Unknown Flemish 14th century Madonna and Child, with donor and

541, 522. Tolerable portraits.

545. Fine portrait, of the Spanish period.

410. =**Van Eyck’s= celebrated unfinished =St. Barbara=, holding her
palm of martyrdom, and with her tower in the background. It should be
closely studied, both as an indication of the master’s method, and as a
contemporary drawing illustrating the modes of mediæval building. For a
careful criticism, see Conway.

Above these, Engelbrechtsen, 130. St. Hubert, attired as bishop, bearing
his crozier and hunting horn, and with the stag beside him, with the
crucifix between its horns.

127. The same. St. Leonard releasing prisoners.

Then, another case of good small pictures.

3. A Fra Angelico. Interesting in the midst of these Flemish pictures.
St. Romuald reproaching the Emperor Otho III. for the murder of

32. Petrus Christus (?). A donor and his patron, St. Jerome.

64. A landscape by Patinir.

536. A Baptism of Christ, where note the conventional arrangement and
the angel with the robe.

561. Triptych. Madonna and Child. St. Christopher, and St. George. Harsh
and angular.

548. Mater Dolorosa, transpierced by the sword.

535. Good Flemish Madonna with angels.

207. Lucas of Leyden: Adoration of the Magi. You can now note for
yourself the ox, ass, Joseph, position, age, and complexion of Kings,

29. Attributed (doubtfully) to Dierick Bouts: St. Christopher wading,
with the Infant Christ. In the background, the hermit and lantern. (See
Mrs. Jameson.)

176. Giotto: A St. Paul with the sword. Characteristic of early
Florentine work.

257, 258, 259, 260. Simone Martini of Siena: Four panels. _Extreme
ends_, **Annunciation, closely resembling the figures in the Ufizzi at
Florence: Annunciations are often thus divided into two portions.
_Centre_, Crucifixion and Descent from the Cross. These exquisitely
finished little works are full of the tender and delicate spirit of the
early Sienese School. In the Crucifixion, notice particularly the
Magdalen, and St. Longinus piercing the side of Christ. Our Lady in the
Annunciation has the fretful down-drawn mouth inherited by early Italian
art from its Byzantine teachers.

177. Giotto: St. Nicolas of Myra with the three golden balls, protecting
a donor.

Above are three good portraits by Van Orley, and other works which need
no description.

On easels at the end, 255. =Attributed to Memling=: **Exquisite =Madonna
and Child= in a church. Our Lady, arrayed as Queen of Heaven, with a pot
of lilies before her, stands in the nave of a lovely early Gothic
cathedral, with a later Decorated apse, and admirable rood-screen. Every
detail of the tiles, the crown, the screen, and the robe, as well as Our
Lady’s hair and hands, should be closely looked into. This is one of the
loveliest pictures here. It is a very reduced copy from one by Jan van
Eyck at Berlin: the church is that of the Abbey of the Dunes near
Furnes. Its attribution to Memling has been disputed: Conway believes it
to be by a follower. In any case, it is lovely.

256. **Companion panel, of the donor, a Cistercian Abbot of the Dunes,
in a sumptuous room, half bed-chamber, half study, with a beautiful
fireplace and fire. He kneels at his prayers, having deposited his mitre
on a cushion beside him, and laid his crozier comfortably by the
fireplace. Creature comforts are not neglected on the side-board. Here
also every decorative detail should be closely examined. These are two
of the very finest works of the School of Memling. Probably the Abbot
admired Jan van Eyck’s Madonna, painted for a predecessor, and asked for
a copy, with himself in adoration on the other wing of the diptych.

At the back, on a revolving pivot,

530, 531. Christ blessing, and a Cistercian Canon in adoration. As
usual, the outer panels are less brilliant in colouring than the inner.
Notice the Alpha and Omega and the P. and F. (for Pater and Filius) on
the curtain behind the Saviour. These works are by an inferior hand.

The other easel has a fine (208, 209, 210) *Lucas van Leyden: Adoration
of the Magi, with fantastic elongated figures. Note the ruined temple.
The other features will now be familiar. Lucas’s treatment is peculiar.
_L._, St. George and the Dragon. The saint has broken his lance and
attacks the fearsome beast with his sword. In the background, the
Princess Cleodolind and landscape. _R._, The donor, in a rich furred
robe, and behind him, St. Margaret with her dragon. At the back, 181,
_wings_, by the same, with a peculiar Annunciation (the wings being
open, reversed in order). Between them has been unwisely inserted an
Ecce Homo by Gossaert.

Now, go straight through Rooms H, F, and E, to three rooms _en suite_,
the last of which is

                                ROOM A,

containing the Transitional Pictures. (It is usual to skip these insipid
works of the intermediate age, and to jump at once from the School of
Van Eyck to the School of Rubens—I think unwisely—for Rubens himself
can only properly be appreciated as _the product of an evolution_, by
the light of the two main influences which affected him—his Flemish
masters, and his Italian models, Veronese and Giulio Romano.) Begin at
the =far end=, near the lettered doorway, and note throughout the effort
to imitate Italian art; the endeavour at classical knowledge; and the
curious jumble of Flemish and Tuscan ideas. But the Flemish skill in
portraiture still continues.

698. Good portrait of Giles van Schoonbeke, by P. Pourbus.

Next to it, 103, Martin De Vos, the Elder: St. Anthony the Abbot,
accompanied by his pig and bell, and his usual tempters, burying the
body of St. Paul the Hermit, whose grave two lions are digging. To the
R., hideous Flemish devils, grotesquely horrible. Above, phases of the
Temptation of St. Anthony.

372. Michael Coxcie: Martyrdom of St. George—one of his tortures. Good
transitional work, inspired by Italian feeling.

72. M. De Vos: Triptych, painted for the altar of the Guild of
Crossbowmen in the Cathedral. _Centre_, Triumph of the risen Christ. In
the foreground, St. Peter (keys), and St. Paul (sword), with open pages
of their writings. L., St. George, patron of the Crossbowmen, with his
banner and armour; R., St. Agnes with her lamb. _Left panel_, Baptism of
Constantine by St. Sylvester. _Right panel_, Constantine ordering the
erection of the Church of St. George at Constantinople. In the sky, the
apparition of Our Lady to the Emperor. A gigantic work, recalling the
later Italian Renaissance, especially the Schools of Bronzino and Giulio

374. Michael Coxcie: Martyrdom of St. George; the other wing of the same
triptych in honour of St. George as 372; central portion lost.

89. M. De Vos: St. Conrad of Ascoli, a Franciscan friar, in devout
contemplation of the founder of his Order, St. Francis, receiving the
Stigmata. Around it, small scenes from the life of St. Conrad,
unimportant. Below, Devotion at the tomb of St. Conrad: royal personages
praying, offerings of rich images, and the sick healed by his relics. A
curious picture of frank corpse-worship.

699. Good portrait by Pourbus.

576. Triptych, unknown. St. Eligius of Noyon (St. Éloy), one of the
apostles of Brabant, preaching to a congregation really composed of good
local portraits. (A pious way of having oneself painted.) R. and L., St.
Eligius feeding prisoners, and St. Eligius healing the sick.

741. Another of Bernard van Orley’s General Resurrections, the type of
which will now be familiar to you. In the centre, strangely introduced
group of portraits of the donors, engaged in burying a friend, whose
memory this triptych was doubtless intended to commemorate. On either
wing, the six works of Mercy (the seventh, burial, is in the main

77. Good transitional triptych, by M. De Vos, for the Guild of
Leather-dressers. _Centre_, The Incredulity of St. Thomas. On the
_wings_, Scenes from the life of the Baptist. L., Baptism of Christ;
where note the persistence of the little symbolical Jordan, with angels
almost inconspicuous. R., The Decollation of St. John. Salome receiving
his head in a charger. In the background, Herodias.

371. Coxcie the Younger: Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, patron saint of
Bowmen, from their altar in the Cathedral. An attempt to be very
Italian. The _wings_ of this triptych are by Francken. L., St. Sebastian
exhorting Marcus and Marcellinus to go to martyrdom. R., St. Sebastian
miraculously healing the dumb woman, with portrait spectators, in dress
of the period, deeply interested.

Now go on into

                                ROOM B,

(unlettered, the centre of the three). It contains works of an earlier

The =left wall= is entirely occupied by three large panels of a fine old
Flemish 15th century picture, attributed to Memling (and apparently
accepted as his by Lafenestre), representing *Christ Enthroned, with orb
and cross, surrounded by choirs of angels; those in the central panel
singing; the others, playing various musical instruments. This is a
beautiful work, but less pleasing than those of the same school on a
smaller scale. It has been recently bought from the monastery of Najera
in Spain. It was intended, I think, to be seen at a height, probably on
an organ-loft, and loses by being placed so near the eye of the

The opposite wall, R., is occupied by 245, =Quentin Matsys’s
masterpiece=, the triptych of =**the Entombment=, painted for the altar
of the Guild of Cabinet-makers. The colouring is much more pleasing than
in the Family of St. Anne at Brussels. _Central panel_, The Entombment.
Nicodemus supports the emaciated body of the dead Saviour, while Joseph
of Arimathea wipes the marks of the crown of thorns from his head. The
worn body itself, with a face of pathetic suffering, lies on the usual
white sheet in the foreground. At the foot, Mary Magdalen, with her pot
of ointment and long fair hair, strokes the body tenderly. In the centre
is the fainting Madonna, supported, as always, by St. John, in his red
robe. Behind are the three Maries. The usual attendant (a ruffianly
Fleming, in a queer turban-like cap) holds the crown of thorns. At the
back, preparations for the actual placing in the sepulchre. In the
background, Calvary.

The _wings_ have scenes from the lives of the two St. Johns. L., The
daughter of Herodias, a very mincing young lady, in a gorgeous dress,
brings the head of St. John the Baptist on a charger to her mother and a
fiercely-bearded Herod. The queen appears to be about to carve it.
Above, a gallery of minstrels. Admirable drapery and accessories. The R.
wing has the so-called Martyrdom of St. John the Evangelist, in the
cauldron of boiling oil, with a delightful boy spectator looking on in a
tree. The Emperor Domitian (older than history), on a white horse,
behind. Flemish varlets stir the fire lustily. This noble work
originally decorated the altar in the Chapel of the _Menuisiers_ of
Antwerp in the Cathedral.

On easels, 649, Claeissens: Triptych of the Crucifixion, with the Way to
Calvary and the Resurrection. Elongated, attenuated figures.

680. Giles Mostaert (the elder): Singular complex picture, painted for
the Hospital of Antwerp; representing, above, The General Resurrection:
Christ enthroned between Our Lady and St. John-Baptist. Beneath, naked
souls rising from the tomb. To the L., St. Peter welcomes the just at
the gate of the Celestial City. To the R., devils drive the wicked into
the gaping jaws of Hell. Beneath, the courses that lead to either end:
the Seven Works of Mercy, inspired by the Redeemer, and the Seven Deadly
Sins, suggested by devils. I will leave you to identify them (it is

Go on into

                                ROOM D,

containing more works of the Transition. These large altar-pieces of the
early 17th century, the period of the greatest wealth in Antwerp, though
often frigid, as works of art, are at least interesting as showing the
opulence and the tastes of the Antwerp guilds during the epoch of the
Spanish domination. They are adapted to the huge Renaissance churches
then erected, as the smaller triptychs of the 15th century were adapted
to the smaller Gothic altars.

529. Feast of Archers, with the King of the Archers enthroned in the

696, 697. Tolerable portraits by Pourbus.

183. A Madonna by Gossaert.

114. Frans Floris: St. Luke painting, with his bull most realistically
assisting, and his workman grinding his colours. From the old Academy of
Painters, whose patron was St. Luke. Italian influence.

135. Ambrose Francken: Loaves and fishes.

148. The same. Decollation of St. Cosmo and St. Damian: painted for the
Guild of Physicians, of whom these were the patron saints.

357. A splendid and luminous =Titian=, in the curious courtly ceremonial
manner of the Venetian painters. **Pope Alexander VI. (Borgia), in a
beautiful green dalmatic, introducing to the enthroned St. Peter his
friend, Giovanni Sforza da Pesaro, Bishop of Paphos, and admiral of the
Pope’s fleet. At the bishop’s feet lies his helmet, to show his double
character as priest and warrior. He grasps the banner of the Borgias and
of the Holy Church. In the background (to show who he is), the sea and
fleet. St. Peter’s red robe is splendid. The Venetians frequently paint
similar subjects,—“Allow me to introduce to your Sainthood,” etc. This
is a fine work in Titian’s early harder manner, still somewhat
reminiscent of the School of Bellini. Its glorious but delicate colour
comes out all the better for the crudity of the works around it.

146. Ambrose Francken: St. Cosmo and St. Damian, the Doctor Saints,
amputating an injured leg, and replacing it by the leg of a dead Moor.
In the background, other episodes of their profession. (Wing of the
triptych for the Guild of Physicians.)

83. M. De Vos: Triptych, painted for the Guild of the Mint, and allusive
to their functions. _Centre_, The Tribute Money. “Render unto Cæsar,”
etc., with tempting Pharisees and Sadducees, and Roman soldiers. In the
foreground, St. Peter in blue and yellow, with his daughter Petronilla.
_Left wing_: Peter, similarly habited, finds the tribute money in the
fish’s mouth. _Right wing_: The Widow’s Mite. (The French titles, “Le
Denier de César,” “Le Denier du Tribut,” “Le Denier de la Veuve,” bring
out the allusion better.)

88. M. De Vos: St. Luke painting Our Lady, with his bull, as ever, in
attendance. The wings by others. L., St. Luke preaching. R., St. Paul
before Felix. From the altar of the (painters’) Confraternity of St.
Luke in the Cathedral.

113. Frans Floris: Adoration of the Shepherds. Note persistence of
formal elements from old School, with complete transformation of spirit.

663. Floris: Judgement of Solomon.

112. Frans Floris’s horrible St. Michael conquering the devils; the most
repulsive picture by this repulsive and exaggerated master.

Right and left of it, good late Flemish portraits of donors.

483. Portrait by Van Veen, Rubens’s master.

                                 ROOM E

contains chiefly works of the school of Rubens, most of which can now be
satisfactorily comprehended by the reader without much explanation. I
will therefore treat them briefly.

=Left of the door=,

82. A Nativity, by De Vos. Can be instructively compared with earlier

57. Good 17th century landscape.

646. Attributed to Brueghel: Paying tithes.

644. P. Brueghel the Younger: A village merry-making (“Kermesse
Flamande”). With more than the usual vulgarity of episode.

722 and 724. Capital portraits.

Good Still life, etc.

                                 ROOM F

contains nothing which the reader cannot adequately understand for
himself. Omit Room G for the present (it contains the Dutch Masters),
and turn instead into

                                ROOM H,

mostly devoted to works of the =School of Rubens=.

_End Wall_, 305. =Rubens=: *The Last Communion of the dying St. Francis
of Assisi. A famous work, in unusually low tones of colour—scarcely
more than chiaroscuro. St. Francis, almost nude, is supported by his
friars. Above, angels, now reduced to cherubs, wait to convey his soul
to Heaven. Painted for the altar of St. Francis in the Franciscan Church
of the Récollets. See it from the far end of the room, where it becomes
much more luminous.

On either side, 662, good portrait by S. De Vos (himself, dashing and
vigorous: every inch an artist): and

104. C. De Vos: Admirable and life-like **portrait of the messenger or
porter of the Guild of St. Luke, the Society of Painters of Antwerp,
exhibiting the plate belonging to his confraternity. He is covered with
medals, which are the property of the Society, and has the air of a
shrewd and faithful servant. This living presentment of a real man is
deservedly popular.

661. Tolerable portrait by C. De Vos.

403. Van Dyck’s *Entombment (or Pietà), often called Descent from the
Cross. This is one of his noblest pictures, but badly restored.

335. Angry swans disturbed by dogs. Snyders.

215. Jordaens: Last Supper. The effect of gloom somewhat foreshadows

401. Van Dyck: **A Dominican picture (Guiffrey calls it “cold and
empty”), painted at his father’s dying wish for the Dominican Nunnery at
Antwerp. The two great saints of the Order, St. Dominic, the founder,
and St. Catherine of Assisi, the originator of the female branch, stand
at the foot of the Cross, which is itself a secondary object in the
picture. St. Dominic looks up in adoration; St. Catherine, wearing the
crown of thorns, fervently embraces the feet of the Saviour. On the
base, a child angel, in a high unearthly light, with a half extinguished
torch, points with hope to the figure of the crucified Lord. The whole
is emblematic of belief in a glorious Resurrection, through the aid of
the Dominican prayers. Interesting inscription on the rock: “Lest earth
should weigh too heavily on his father’s soul, A. van Dyck rolled this
stone to the foot of the Cross, and placed it in this spot.”

381. Van Hoeck: Madonna and Child, with St. Francis, from the Franciscan
Church of the Récollets.

660. Tolerable portrait by C. De Vos.

406. Van Dyck’s noble **Crucifixion, with the sun and moon darkened. One
of his most admirable pictures.

677. Jordaens: **Charming family scene, known by the title of “As sing
the Old, so pipe the Young.” Three generations—grandparents, parents,
and children—engaged in music together. Very catching: a most popular

734. Good *portrait of a priest, by Van Dyck.

402. Fine *portrait of a bishop of Antwerp, by Van Dyck.

404. Van Dyck: **Pietà, altar-piece for a chapel of Our Lady of the
Seven Sorrows. Our Lady holds on her lap the dead Christ, while St. John
points out with his finger the wound in His hand to pitying angels. All
the formal elements in this scene—Our Lady, St. John, the angels,
etc.—belong to the earlier conception of the Pietà, but all have been
entirely transfigured by Van Dyck in accordance partly with the
conceptions of the School of Rubens, though still more with his own
peculiar imagination. It is interesting, however, to note in this
touching and beautiful picture, full of deep feeling, how far the type
of the St. John has been inherited, remotely, from the School of Van der
Weyden. Even the red robe and long hair persist. The features, too, are
those with which we are familiar. This is one of the gems of the
collection. It shows the direct influence of Italian travel modifying
Van Dyck’s style, acquired from Rubens.

This room also contains several other excellent works of the School of
Rubens or his more or less remote followers, which I need not

Now continue into

                                ROOM I,

containing what are considered to be the =gems= among the =Rubenses= and
the =later pictures=.

Right of the door, Rubens and Brueghel, 319: Small copy of the Dead
Christ. Schut, 327: The Beheading of St. George. A pagan priest, behind,
endeavours to make him worship an image of Apollo. Above, angels wait to
convey his soul to Heaven. This is a somewhat confused picture, with a
spacious composition and a fine luminous foreground: it is considered
its painter’s masterpiece. Intended for the altar of the Archers (whose
patron was St. George), in Antwerp Cathedral.

673. Good still life by Gysels.

669. F. Francken: Portraits of a wealthy family in their own picture

107. C. De Vos: *Portraits of the Snoek family, in devotion to St.
Norbert. This picture requires a little explanation. St. Norbert was the
Catholic antagonist of the heretic Tankelin at Antwerp in the 12th
century. In this frankly anachronistic picture the Snoek family of the
17th century, portly, well-fed burghers, are represented restoring to
the mediæval saint the monstrance and other church vessels removed from
his church during the Calvinist troubles. The Snoeks are _living
personages_; the Saint is envisaged as a _heavenly character_. It is, in
short, a highly allegorical picture of the family showing their devotion
to true Catholicism, and their detestation of current heresy. In the
background stands the town of Antwerp, with the Cathedral and St.
Michael. (From the burial chapel of the Snoek family at St. Michael.)
There is a Brueghel in Brussels Museum, representing St. Norbert
preaching against Tankelin.

307. Beyond the door, Rubens: **Triptych, to adorn a tomb, for the
funerary chapel of his friend Rockox. Compare, for size and purpose, the
Moretus tomb in the Cathedral. It shows the painter’s early careful
manner, and represents in its _central piece_ the Incredulity of St.
Thomas. On the _wings_, the Burgomaster Nicolas Rockox, and his wife,
for whose tomb it was painted. The wings are finer than the central
portion. This early work, still recalling Van Veen’s academic tone,
should be compared with the Van Veens and also with Rubens’s fine
portrait of himself and his brother, with Lipsius and Grotius, in the
Pitti at Florence. It marks the earliest age, when he was still content
with comparatively small sizes, and gave greater elaboration to his
work, but without his later dash and vigour. M. Rooses thinks ill of it.

781. *Fine farmyard scene by Rubens, with the story of the Prodigal Son
in the foreground. One of the many signs of his extraordinary

Beyond, on either side of the great Rubens, to be noticed presently, are
two pictures by his master, Otto van Veen: 480, The Calling of Matthew,
and 479, Zacchæus in the Fig-Tree. These two careful works recall the
later Italian Schools, more particularly Titian, and are good examples
of that careful academic transitional Flemish art which Rubens was to
transform and revivify by the strength of his own exuberant and powerful
personality. They are admirably placed here for comparison with

297. Rubens’s famous altar-piece of the Crucifixion, for the Church of
the Franciscans, commonly known as the =**Coup de Lance=. In this
splendid work Rubens is seen in one of his finest embodiments. The
figure of Christ has fine virility. St. Longinus, to the L., on a white
horse, is in the very act of piercing his side. The Magdalen, embracing
the foot of the Cross, as ever, throws up her arms with supplicating
gesture. To the R. is the Madonna. Behind, a soldier is engaged in
breaking the limbs of the Impenitent Thief (always on Christ’s L.) who
writhes in his torture. The whole work is full of Rubens’s life and
bustle, well contrasted with the academic calm of the Van Veens beside
it. Even those who do not love Rubens (and I confess I am of them) must
see in such a work as this how his great powers _succeeded_ in effects
at which his contemporaries aimed ineffectually. Boldly dramatic, but
not sacred.

300. **Triptych by Rubens, commonly known as the =Christ à la Paille=,
painted for a tomb in the Cathedral (compare the Moretus one). In the
centre is a Pietà: Joseph of Arimathea supporting the dead body of the
Christ on the edge of a stone covered with straw. Behind, Our Lady and
another Mary, with the face of St. John just appearing in the
background. This “too famous” work is rather a study of the dead nude
than a really sacred picture. Some of its details overstep the
justifiable limits of horror. The _wings_ are occupied by, L., a
so-called Madonna and Child, really a portrait of a lady and boy—(his
wife and son?): R., St. John the Evangelist (patron of the person for
whose tomb it was painted), accompanied by his eagle.

706. Admirable *portrait by Rubens of Gaspard Groaerts, town secretary.
The bust is Marcus Aurelius.

171. J. Fyt: Excellent screaming eagles, with a dead duck. One of the
earliest and best presentations of wild life at home.

315. Rubens: Small copy (with variations) of the Descent from the Cross
in the Cathedral (by a pupil).

708. One of the best *portraits by Rubens in the Gallery, subject
unknown: lacks personal dignity, but Rubens has made the most of him.

The rest of this wall is occupied by some tolerable gigantic
altar-pieces and other good works of the School of Rubens. Most of them
derive their chief interest from their evident inferiority in design and
colour to the handicraft of the Master. They are the very same
thing—with the genius omitted.

_End wall_, 314, Rubens: called the =*Holy Trinity=. The Almighty
supports on His knees the figure of the dead Christ. Behind, hovers the
Holy Ghost. On either side, boy angels hold the crown of thorns, the
three nails, and the other implements of the Passion. This is really a
study in the science of foreshortening, and in the painting of the dead
nude, largely suggested, I believe, by a still more unpleasing Mantegna
in the Brera at Milan.

719. Above. Excellent fishmongery by Snyders.

212. Janssens: The Schelde bringing wealth to Antwerp, in the
allegorical taste of the period.

712. Rubens: St. Dominic.

172. Fyt: Excellent dogs and game.

299. Rubens: An **allegorical picture to enforce the efficacy of the
prayers of =St. Theresa=. The foundress of the Scalzi, dressed in the
sober robe of her Carmelite Order, is interceding with Christ for the
soul of Bernardino de Mendoza, the founder of a Carmelite convent at
Valladolid. Below, souls in Purgatory. In the left-hand corner stands
Bernardino, whom, at St. Theresa’s prayer, angels are helping to escape
from torment. A fine luminous picture of a most unpleasing subject.
Painted for the altar of St. Theresa in the church of her own barefooted

405. Van Dyck: Magnificent portrait of Cesare Alessandro Scaglia, in
black ecclesiastical robes, with lace cuffs and collar, and the almost
womanish delicate hands of a diplomatic, astute, courtier-like
ecclesiastic. The thoughtful eyes and resolute face might belong to a

306. Rubens: =**The Education of the Virgin=, painted for a chapel of
St. Anne. A charming domestic picture of a wealthy young lady of
Flanders, pretending to be Our Lady, in a beautifully painted white silk
gown. Beside her, her mother, a well-preserved St. Anne, of aristocratic
matronly dignity. Behind is St. Joachim, and above, two light little
baby angels. The feeling of the whole is graceful courtly-domestic.

481, 482. Two scenes from the life of St. Nicholas, by Van Veen, the
master of Rubens. R., he throws through a window three purses of gold as
dowries for the three starving daughters of a poor nobleman. (This
ornate treatment contrasts wonderfully with the simpler early Italian
pictures of the same subject.) L., he brings corn for the starving poor
of Myra. Both pictures represent the _bourgeois_ saint in his favourite
character of the benefactor of the poor. They are here well placed for
contrast with

298. Rubens: =**Adoration of the Magi=, considered to be his finest
embodiment of this favourite subject, and one of his masterpieces. R.,
Our Lady and Child, with the ox in the foreground, and St. Joseph behind
her. L., two kings make their offerings. Behind them, the third, a Moor,
in an Algerian costume, leering horribly. Above, the ruined temple, the
shed, and the camels. M. Max Rooses calls this work “the _chef d’œuvre_
by which Rubens inaugurated his third manner,” and other critics praise
loudly its gorgeous colouring, its audacious composition, its marvellous
certainty. To me, the great canvas, with its hideous ogling Moor, is
simply unendurable; but I give the gist of authoritative opinion.

312. Rubens: *The Holy Family, known as =La Vierge au Perroquet=. It is
chiefly remarkable as a rich and gorgeous piece of colouring, with a
charming nude boy of delicious innocence.

313. Rubens: *Crucifixion. One of his best embodiments of this subject.

Opposite wall.

709. Rubens, partly made-up: Jupiter and Antiope. A mythological
subject, treated in a somewhat Italian style, with a quaint little
huddling Cupid in the foreground.

Beyond this, three designs by Rubens for Triumphal Cars and Arches, on
the occasion of the entry of Ferdinand of Austria in 1635.

The whole of this room contains several other excellent altar-pieces,
many of which are Franciscan.

                                ROOM J.

R. and L. of the door, 105, C. De Vos: Portraits of a husband and wife,
with their sons and daughters.

370. Van Cortbemde: The Good Samaritan, pouring in oil and wine in a
most literal sense. In the background, the priest and the Levite.

109. Fine portrait of a well-fed Flemish merchant, William Van Meerbeck,
by C. De Vos. Behind him his patron, St. William.

748. Van Thulden: Continence of Scipio.

265. Murillo (Spanish School). St. Francis. A reminiscence of the older
subject of his receiving the Stigmata. It has the showy and affected
pietism of the Spaniards. A mere study.

214. Jordaens: Pharaoh in the Red Sea.

=Room N= contains several good portraits and views of the town and other
places, of the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them excellent as
studies of Old Antwerp, enabling us to appreciate the greatness of the
architectural losses which the city has sustained. These, however, are
essentially works for the visitor to inspect at his leisure. They need
little or no explanation. Notice especially 728, 348, 726.

775. Good unknown Flemish portrait.

22. Portraits by Boeyermans.

Room O, beyond, is filled for the most part with canvases of the school
of Rubens, mainly interesting for comparison with the works of the
master, and needing little comment.

Now return to

                                ROOM G,

containing the =Dutch Pictures=. Many of these are masterpieces of their
sort, but need here little save enumeration. The Reformation turned
Dutch art entirely upon portraiture, landscape, and domestic scenes.
Dutch art is =frankly modern=.

338. Jan Steen: Samson and the Philistines, as Jan Steen imaged it.

767. Admirable calm sea-piece, by Van der Capelle.

752. Weenix poaching on Hondecoeter’s preserves.

502. A beautiful little Wynants.

399. W. van de Velde the younger: Calm sea, with ships.

398. Admirable cows, by A. van de Velde.

293. =Rembrandt=: **Admirable portrait of his wife, Saskia; almost a
replica of the one at Cassel, perhaps either painted by a pupil, or else
from memory after her death, and badly restored. It breathes Dutch

349. Terburg: *Girl playing a mandoline.

705. Excellent *portrait of a Burgomaster, by Rembrandt.

324. A charming Schalken.

628. Unknown: perhaps =Frans Hals=: Excellent portrait of a calm old

668. Karel du Jardin: Admirable landscape, with cows.

188. Celebrated and vigorous **Fisher-boy of Haarlem, with a basket, by
=Frans Hals=, rapidly touched with the hand of a master.

339. One of Jan Steen’s village merry-makings.

26. Delicate soft landscape, by J. and A. Both.

675. A mill, by Hobbema.

768. Van der Velde: Fine landscape, with cows.

427. Flowers by Van Huysum.

674. Admirable *portrait, by Frans Hals, of a round-faced, full-blooded,
sensuous Dutch gentleman. Full of dash and vigour.

738. Venus and Cupid, by W. van Mieris.

437. Excellent fishmonger, by W. van Mieris.

466. *The Smoker, by A. van Ostade.

682. Arch and charming portrait, by Mytens.

773. A fine Wynants.

382. B. van der Helst: Child with a dog.

679. Some of Molenaer’s peasant folk.

713. Ruysdael: *Waterfall in Norway.

The room is full of other fine and delicately-finished pictures of the
Dutch School, of which I say nothing, only because they are of the kind
which are to be appreciated by careful examination, and which do not
need explanation or description.

Room K. contains Flemish works of the later School of Rubens and the
beginning of the decadence.

The remaining rooms of the Gallery have =modern pictures=, belonging to
the _historical_ and to the _archaic_ Schools of Antwerp. These works
lie without the scope of the present Guides, but many of them are of the
highest order of merit, and they well deserve attention both for their
own intrinsic excellence and for comparison with the works of the 15th
and early 16th centuries on which they are based. The paintings of Leys
and his followers, mainly in Room T, are especially worth consideration
in this connection. These painters have faithfully endeavoured to revert
to the principles and methods of the great early Flemish Masters, and
though their work has often the almost inevitable faults and failings of
a revival, it cannot fail to interest those who have drunk in the spirit
of Van Eyck and Memling.

On the _ground floor_, a good copy, 413, etc., of the Adoration of the
Lamb at Ghent, useful for filling up the gaps in your knowledge, and
more readily inspected at leisure and from a nearer point of view than
the original. The _portraits_ and _battle scenes_ on the remaining walls
need little comment.

                        _D_. THE TOWN IN GENERAL

    [=Mediæval Antwerp=, now no more, lay within a narrow ring of
    walls in the neighbourhood of the Cathedral. Its circumference
    formed a rough semi-circle, whose base-line was the Schelde,
    while its outer walls may still be traced on a good map about
    the Rempart Ste. Catherine and the Rempart du Lombard. This
    oldest district still remains on the whole an intricate tangle
    of narrow and tortuous streets, with a few ancient buildings.
    Later =Renaissance Antwerp= stretched to the limit of the
    existing Avenues in their _northern_ part, though the _southern_
    portion (from the Place Léopold on) extends beyond the boundary
    of the 17th century city, and occupies the site of the huge
    demolished Old Citadel, built by Alva. Antwerp, however, has
    undergone so many changes, and so few relics of the mediæval age
    now survive, that I can hardly apply to its growth the
    historical method I have employed in other Belgian towns. It
    will be necessary here merely to point out the principal
    existing objects of interest, without connecting them into
    definite excursions.]

The =centre of mediæval Antwerp= was the =Grand’ Place=, which may be
reached from the Place Verte, through the little triangular Marché aux
Gants, in front of the main _façade_ of the Cathedral. It was, however,
so entirely modernized under the Spanish _régime_ that it now possesses
very little interest. The W. side of the square is entirely occupied by
the =Hôtel-de-Ville=, a poor Renaissance building, which looks very weak
after the magnificent Gothic Town Halls of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, and
Louvain. The _façade_ is extremely plain, not to say domestic. The
ground floor has an arcade in imitation of Italian _rustica_ work, above
which come two stories with Doric and Ionic columns (and Corinthian in
the centre); the top floor being occupied by an open _loggia_,
supporting the roof. In the centre, where we might expect a spire, rises
a false gable-end, architecturally meaningless. The niche in the gable
is occupied by a statue of Our Lady with the Child (1585), the patroness
of the city, flanked by allegorical figures of Wisdom and Justice.

The =interior= has been modernized: but it contains one fine hall, the
_Salle Leys_, decorated with noble archaistic paintings by Baron Leys.
It may be visited before 9, or after 4 in the evening (1 franc to the
_concierge_). In the Burgomaster’s Room is also a good Renaissance
chimney-piece, from the Abbey of Tongerloo, with reliefs of the Marriage
at Cana, the Brazen Serpent, and Abraham’s Sacrifice.

The square contains a few =Guild Houses= of the 17th century, the best
of which is the _Hall of the Archers_, to the R. of the Hôtel-de-Ville,
a handsome and conspicuous building, lately surmounted by a gilt figure
of St. George slaying the Dragon, in honour of the patron saint of the
Archers. The older Guild Houses, however, were mostly destroyed by the
Spaniards. The square, as it stands, being Renaissance or modern, cannot
compare with the Grand’ Place in most other Belgian cities.

The centre of the Place is occupied by a bronze =fountain=, with a
statue of Silvius Brabo, a mythical hero of mediæval invention, intended
to account for the name Brabant. He is said to have cut off the hand of
the giant Antigonus, who exacted a toll from all vessels entering the
Schelde, under penalty of cutting off the hand of the skipper,—a myth
equally suggested by a false etymology of Antwerp from _Hand Werpen_
(Hand throwing). The Hand of Antwerp, indeed, forms part of the city
arms, and will meet you on the lamp-posts and elsewhere. It is, however,
the ordinary Hand of Authority (Main de Justice), or of good luck, so
common in the East, and recurring all over Europe, as on the shields of
our own baronets. Such a hand, as an emblem of authority, was erected
over the gate of many mediæval Teutonic cities.

                 *        *        *        *        *

One of the objects best worth visiting in Antwerp, after the Cathedral
and the Picture Gallery, is the =Plantin-Moretus Museum= containing many
memorials of a famous family of =Renaissance printers=, whose monuments
we have already seen in the Cathedral. To reach it you turn from the
Place Verte into the Rue des Peignes, almost opposite the S. door of the
Cathedral. The second turning to the R. will lead you into the small
_Place du Vendredi_, the most conspicuous building in which is the

Beyond advising a visit, it is difficult to say much about this
interesting old house and its contents. Those who are lovers of
_typography_ or of _old engravings_ will find enough in it to occupy
them for more than one morning. Such had better buy the admirable work,
_Le Musée Plantin-Moretus_, by M. Max Rooses, the conservator. On the
other hand, the general sight-seer will at least be pleased with the
picturesque courtyard, draped in summer by the mantling foliage and
abundant clusters of a magnificent old vine, as well as with the
spacious rooms, the carved oak doorways, balustrades, and staircases,
the delicious galleries, the tiles and fireplaces, and the many
admirable portraits by Rubens or others. Were it merely as a striking
example of a =Flemish domestic interior= of the upper class during the
Spanish period, this Museum would well deserve attention. Read the
following notes before starting.

The =house of Plantin= was established by Christopher Plantin of Tours
(born 1514), who came to Antwerp in 1549, and established himself as a
printer in 1555. He was made Archetypographer to the King by Philip II.,
and the business was carried on in this building by himself, his
son-in-law, Moretus, and his descendants, from 1579 till 1875. It was
Plantin’s daughter, Martina, who married John Moretus (see the
Cathedral), and under the name of Plantin-Moretus the business was
continued through many generations to our own day. The firm were
essentially =learned printers=, setting up works in Latin, Greek, and
Hebrew, or even in Oriental types, and issuing editions of many
important classical authors. I will not describe the various rooms,
about which the reader can wander for himself at his own sweet will, but
will merely mention that they contain admirable portraits of the Plantin
and Moretus families, and of their famous editor, Justus Lipsius, by
Rubens, and others. (The Lipsius is particularly interesting for
comparison with the one at Florence in the Pitti.) The dwelling-rooms
and reception-rooms, of the family, with their fine early furniture, are
now open to the visitor. So is the quaint little =shop=, facing the
street, the composing room and proof-readers’ room, the =study= occupied
by Lipsius, and the =library=, with examples of many of the books
printed by the firm. The original =blocks= of their woodcuts and of
their capital letters, with the plates of their engravings, are likewise
shown, together with old and modern impressions. Do not suppose from
this, however, that the place is only interesting to book-hunters or
lovers of engravings. The =pictures and decorations= alone,—nay, the
house itself—will amply repay a visit.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A walk should be taken from the Place Verte, by the Vieux Marché au Blé,
or through the Marché aux Gants, to the river front and =Port= of the
Schelde. (Follow the tram-line.) Here two handsome raised =promenoirs=
or esplanades, open to the public, afford an excellent *view over the
river, the old town, and the shipping in the harbour.

The _southernmost_ (and pleasantest) of these _promenoirs_ ends (S.)
near the =Porte de l’Escaut=, a somewhat insignificant gateway, designed
by Rubens, and adorned with feeble sculpture by Arthus Quellin. It stood
originally a little lower down the river, but has been removed, stone by
stone, to its present situation. The quaint red building, with hexagonal
turrets at the angles, visible from both esplanades, is the _Vieille
Boucherie_, or Butchers’ Guild Hall, of 1503. It stands in a squalid
quarter, but was once a fine edifice. Near the N. end of this
_promenoir_, a =ferry-boat= runs at frequent intervals to the
=Tête-de-Flandre= on the opposite shore of the river. Here there is a
Kursaal and a strong fort. It is worth while crossing on a fine day in
order to gain a general view of the quays and the town. The
_northernmost promenoir_ is approached by an archway under the
castellated building known as the =Steen=. This is a portion of the old
Castle of Antwerp, originally belonging to the Margraves and the Dukes
of Brabant, but made over by Charles V. to the burghers of Antwerp. The
Inquisition held its sittings in this castle. It is now, though much
restored and quite modern-looking (except the portal), almost the only
remaining relic of Mediæval Antwerp, outside the Cathedral. It contains
a small Museum of Antiquities (unimportant; open daily, 10 to 4: 1 fr.:
Sunday and Thursday free). Unless you have plenty of time you need not
visit it.

A little way beyond the N. end of the _northern promenoir_ a tangled
street leads to the =Church of St. Paul=, which will be described
hereafter. Continuing along the _Quays_ in this direction you arrive at
last at the =Docks=. The large modern castellated building in front of
you is the =Pilotage=, round which sea-captains congregate in clusters.
Turning along the dirty quay to the R., you reach shortly on the L. the
site of the =Maison Hanséatique=, which was the _entrepôt_ in Antwerp of
the Hanseatic League. But it was burnt down a few years since, and its
place is now occupied by mean sheds and warehouses. All this quarter is
given over to the most unsightly and malodorous realities of modern
seafaring life and commerce.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Antwerp is somewhat ill provided with =drives= or country walks. The
prettiest of its =public gardens= is the little =Park=, which may be
reached from the Avenue des Arts by either of the three main Avenues
eastward, adorned respectively with statues of Quentin Matsys, Leys, and
Jordaens. The Park is a small but ingeniously laid out triangular area,
occupying the site of an old bastion, with a pleasing sheet of
ornamental water (originally the moat), crossed by a bridge, and backed
up by the twin spires of the modern Church of St. Joseph. Around it lies
the chief residential quarter of 19th century Antwerp. This is a cool
stroll in the afternoon, for one tired of sight-seeing. (Ask your hotel
porter when and where the band plays daily.) Further on in the same
direction is the pretty little public garden known as the =Pépinière=,
and lying in a pleasant open quarter. (Band here also.)

The =Zoological Garden=, just behind the Gare de l’Est, (admission 1
fr.) is well worth a visit if you are making a stay. It is particularly
well stocked with birds and animals, and has a rather pretty alpine
rock-garden. On Sunday afternoons, a good band plays here from 3 to 6,
and all Antwerp goes to listen to it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A round of the =Avenues= may best be made in an open tram. The northern
portion, leading from the _Entrepôt_ and the _Goods Station_ as far as
the Place de la Commune, has few objects of interest. In the Place de la
Commune you pass, R., the handsome and ornate _Flemish Theatre_; while,
L., the Rue Carnot leads to the Zoological Garden, and to the
uninteresting industrial suburb of Borgerhout. Beyond this comes a
_Covered Market_, L., and then the Place Teniers, with a statue of
Teniers. Here the Avenue de Keyser leads, L., to the main Railway
Station (Gare de l’Est). Further on, L., the Avenue Marie-Thérèse, with
a statue of Matsys, runs to the Park. So, a little later, do the Avenue
Louise-Marie, with a statue of Leys, and the Avenue Marie-Henriette,
with a statue of Jordaens. The handsome building, with domed and rounded
turrets, on your R., just beyond the last-named Avenue, is the _Banque
Nationiale_, intended to contain the public treasure of Belgium in case
of war. Here the Chaussée de Malines leads off, S.E., to the
uninteresting suburb of Berchem. The heavy new building on the L., a
little further S., looking like a French mediæval _château_, is the
_Palais de Justice_. From this point the Avenue du Sud runs through an
unfinished district, occupying the site of the old _Citadel_ (Alva’s)
past the _Museum_ and the _Palais de l’Industrie_, to the desolate Place
du Sud, with the _South Railway Station_. You can return by tram along
the Quays to the Hôtel-de-Ville and the Cathedral.

If you have plenty of time to spare, you may devote a day to

                          THE ROCOCO CHURCHES.

Most of the Antwerp churches, other than the Cathedral, are late Gothic
or Renaissance buildings, disfigured by all the flyaway marble
decorations so strangely admired during the 17th and 18th centuries. Few
of them deserve a visit, save for a picture or two of Rubens still
preserved on their altars. There are one or two, however, usually gone
through by tourists, and of these I shall give some brief account, for
the benefit of those who care for such things, though I do not think you
need trouble about them, unless you have plenty of time, and are
specially attracted by the later School of Antwerp.

The most important of these rococo churches is =St. Jacques=, the
principal doorway of which opens into the Longue Rue Neuve. The
pleasantest way to reach it, however, is to go from the Place Verte
through the Marché aux Souliers, following the tramway to the Place de
Meir. This broad street (one of the few open ones in Antwerp), lined by
baroque Renaissance mansions of some pretensions, has been formed by
filling up an old canal. The most imposing building on the R., marked by
two angels holding an oval with the letter L. (the king’s initial), is
the =Royal Palace=. A little further on, upon the same side of the
street, is the =House of Rubens’s Parents=, with his bust above, and an
inscription on its pediment signifying the fact in the Latin tongue. To
reach St. Jacques you need not go quite as far down the street as these
two buildings. Turn to your L. at the =Bourse=, a handsome modern
edifice, standing at the end of what looks like a blind alley. The road
runs through it, and it is practically used as a public thoroughfare.
The building itself is recent—1869-72—but it occupies the site of a
late-Gothic Exchange of 1531, erected by Dominic van Waghemakere. The
present Bourse resembles its predecessor somewhat in style, but is much
larger, has an incongruous Moorish tinge, and is provided with a
nondescript glass-and-iron roof. Turn to the R. at the end of the lane,
and continue down the Longue Rue Neuve, which leads you towards St.
Jacques, a late-Gothic church, never quite completed. The entrance is
not by the _façade_, but on the S. side, in the Longue Rue Neuve.
(Visitors admitted from 12 till 4 p.m., 1 fr. per person. Knock at the
door, and the sacristan will open.)

The =interior= is of good late-Gothic architecture, terribly over-loaded
with Renaissance tombs and sprawling baroque marble decorations. The
church was used as the Pantheon (or Westminster Abbey) for burials of
distinguished Antwerp families under the Spanish domination; and they
have left in every part of it their ugly and tasteless memorials.

Begin in the =S. Aisle=.

_1st chapel._ Van Dyck: St. George and the Dragon: mediocre. Above,
statue of St. George, to whom angels offer crowns of martyrdom. Good
modern marble reliefs of Scenes from the Passion, continued in
subsequent chapels.

At the end, Baptistery, with good font.

_2nd chapel_, of St. Antony. Temptation of St. Antony, by M. De Vos.
Italian 17th century Madonna.

_3rd chapel_, of St. Roch, the great plague-saint. It contains an
altar-piece by E. Quellin, angels tending St. Roch when stricken with
the plague. Above, the saint with his staff and gourd, in marble,
accompanied by the angel who visited him in the desert. On the window
wall, relics of St. Roch, patron against the plague. Round this chapel
and the succeeding ones are a series of pictures from the Life of St.
Roch, by an unknown Flemish master, dated 1517. They represent St. Roch
in prison; relieved by the dog; resting in the forest; visited by the
angel; etc. (See Mrs. Jameson.) A tomb here has a good Virgin and Child.

_4th chapel._ Fine old tomb; also, continuation of the History of St.

_5th chapel._ More History of St. Roch. On the wall, relics of St.
Catherine, who stands on the altar-piece with her sword and wheel;
balanced, as usual, by St. Barbara. The chapel is dedicated to St. Anna,
who is seen above the altar, with Our Lady and the Infant.

_6th chapel._ Baptism of Christ, by Michael Coxcie, on the altar. Window
wall, M. De Vos: Triptych: Centre, Martyrdom of St. James; L., the
daughter of the Canaanite; R., the daughter of Jairus. (The wings are by

The =S. Transept= has Renaissance figures of the Apostles (continued in
the N. transept).

The =Choir= is separated from the Nave and Transepts by an ugly
Renaissance _rood-screen_.

The =Chapel of the Host=, in the S. transept, is full of twisting and
twirling Renaissance marble-work, well seconded by equally obtrusive
modern works in the same spirit.

The =Ambulatory= has a marble screen, separating it from the Choir, in
the worst taste of the Renaissance, with many rococo tombs and
sculptures of that period plastered against it.

_1st chapel_, of the Trinity, has a Holy Trinity for altar-piece, by Van

The door to the L. gives access to the =Choir=, with an atrocious
sculptured High Altar, and carved choir-stalls.

_2nd_ and _3rd_ chapels, uninteresting.

The _end chapel_, behind the High Altar, is the =burial chapel of the
Rubens family=. The =altar-piece=, painted by Rubens for his family
chapel, represents the Madonna and Child adored by St. Bonaventura;
close by stands the Magdalen; to the L. a hurrying St. George
(reminiscent of the St. Sebastian by Veronese at Venice), and to the R.,
a very brown St. Jerome. The calm of the central picture, with its group
of women, is interfered with by these two incongruous male figures. It
is like parts of two compositions, joined meaninglessly together. Above
are infant cherubs scattering flowers. One would say, Rubens had here
thrown together a number of separate studies for which he had no
particular use elsewhere. But the colour is most mellow.

_5th chapel_, of San Carlo Borromeo (who practically replaced St. Roch
in later cosmopolitan Catholicism as the chief plague-saint). The
altar-piece, by Jordaens, represents the saint invoking the protection
of Christ and Our Lady for the plague-stricken in the foreground.
Painted for the town almoner.

_6th chapel._ Three good portraits.

_7th chapel._ Visitation, by Victor Wolfvoet.

The =N. Transept= has the continuation of the Twelve Apostles, with two
of the four Latin Fathers by the portal (the other two being at the
opposite doorway). The =Chapel= (=of Our Lady=) resembles that in the S.
Transept, and is equally terrible.

=N. Aisle=: The _2nd chapel_ has a fine triptych by M. De Vos, of the
Glory of Our Lady. _Centre_, the Court of Heaven, where the prominent
position of Our Lady is unusual, and marks an advanced phase of her
cult. In the assemblage of saints below, St. Peter, St. John-Baptist,
and many others, may be recognised by their symbols. The _L. wing_ has
the Calling of Matthew; the _R. wing_, St. Hubert, with the apparition
of the crucifix between the horns of the stag. Beneath are good
portraits of donors. The fine _stained glass window_ of this chapel is
noteworthy. It represents the Last Supper, with donors (1538).

The _3rd chapel_, of the Rockox family, has a good triptych, by Van
Orley, of the Last Judgment. On the _wings_ are portraits of the donor
and family. L., Adrian Rockox and sons, with his patron St. Adrian
(sword, anvil). R., his wife, Catherine, with her daughters, and her
patroness, St. Catherine.

_4th chapel._ Good triptych by Balen. Centre, Adoration of the Magi; R.
and L., Annunciation and Visitation. On a tomb opposite, good portraits
by Ryckaert.

_5th chapel._ Triptych, by M. De Vos: Presentation of Our Lady in the
Temple. L., The Pagans attempt in vain to burn the body of St. Mark; R.,
Martyrdom of St. Lucy.

Another church frequently visited by tourists is =St. Paul=, formerly
belonging to a Dominican Monastery by its side, and situated in a dirty
and malodorous district. Do not attempt to go to it direct. Reach it by
the Quays, turning to the R. near the end of the Northern Promenoir.
Over the outer doorway of the court is a rococo relief of St. Dominic
receiving the rosary from Our Lady. To the R., as you enter, is an
astonishing and tawdry Calvary, built up with rock and slag against the
wall of the Transept. It has, above, a Crucifixion; below, Entombment
and Holy Sepulchre. All round are subsidiary scenes: St. Peter, with the
crowing cock; Christ and the Magdalen in the Garden; Angels to lead the
way, etc. The church itself is an imposing late-Gothic building,
uglified by unspeakable rococo additions. (Admission, from 12 till 4.
Knock at the door: 1 fr. per person. But unless you are a great admirer
of Rubens, the sum is ill-bestowed for seeing one or two of his less
important pictures.) In the N. Transept is Rubens’s *Scourging of
Christ, covered: the only thing here really worth seeing. In the N.
Aisle, one of his weakest Adorations of the Magi. On the altar of the
Sacrament, a so-called “Dispute on the Sacrament,” by Rubens: really,
the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, especially the Dominicans,
represented by St. Thomas Aquinas, in devout contemplation of the
Mystery of the Eucharist. The other pictures in the church are
relatively uninteresting works of the School of Rubens; the best is a
Way to Calvary by Van Dyck.

If you want more Rubenses, you will find a Madonna, with a great group
of Augustinian and primitive saints, in the Church of =St. Augustine=
(Rue des Peignes), where there is also a good Ecstasy of St. Augustine
by Van Dyck; and in the Church of =St. Anthony of Padua= (Marché aux
Chevaux), a picture, partly by Rubens, representing St. Anthony
receiving the Child Jesus from the hands of the Virgin: but I do not
recommend either excursion.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Antwerp is strongly =fortified=, and a moat, filled with water, runs
round its existing _enceinte_. The Old Citadel to the S. has been
demolished (its site being now occupied by the Museum and the unfinished
quarter in that direction), and a New Citadel erected in the N. The
defensive works are among the finest in Europe.

If you wish to see =whither Flemish art went=, you must go on to
=Holland=. But if you wish to know =whence Flemish art came=, you must
visit the =Rhine Towns=.

If you are returning to England, _viâ_ Calais, stop on the way to see
the noble Romanesque and Transitional Cathedral at =Tournai=. You can
easily do this without loss of time by taking the _first_ boat train
from Brussels in the morning, stopping an hour or two at Tournai (break
permitted with through tickets), and going on by the _second_ train. You
can register your luggage through to London, and have no more bother
with it. You will then have seen everything of the first importance in
Belgium, except Ypres. And Ypres is so inaccessible that I advise you to
neglect it.

                            HISTORICAL NOTES

IN the separate Introductions to the various towns, dealing rather
with Origins than with History, I have laid stress chiefly on the
=industrial and municipal facts=, which in Belgium, indeed, are
all-important. I add here, however, a few =general notes= on the
=political history= of the country as a whole, chiefly =dynastic=. These
may serve for reference, or at least as reminders; and in particular
they should be useful as giving some information about the originals of
portraits in the various galleries.

The two portions of the modern kingdom of Belgium with which we are most
concerned in this Guide are the =County of Flanders= and the =Duchy of
Brabant=. The first was originally a fief of France; the second, a
component member of the Empire. They were commercially wealthier than
the other portions of the Gallo-German borderland which is now Belgium;
they were also the parts most affected by the Burgundian princes; on
both which accounts, they are still by far the richest in works of art,
alike in architecture, in painting, and in sculpture.

The vast Frankish dominions of the Merovingians and of the descendants
of Charlemagne—of the Merwings and Karlings, to be more strictly
Teutonic—showed at all times a tendency to break up into two distinct
realms, known as the =Eastern and Western Kingdoms= (Austria—not, of
course, in the modern sense—and Neustria). These kingdoms were not
artificial, but based on a real difference of race and speech. The
Eastern Kingdom (Franken or Franconia) where the Frankish and Teutonic
blood was purest, became first the Empire, in the restricted sense, and
later Germany and Austria (in part). The Western Kingdom (Neustria)
where Celtic or Gallic blood predominated, and where the speech was
Latin, or (later) French, became in time the Kingdom of France. But
between these two Francias, and especially during the period of unrest,
there existed a certain number of middle provinces, sometimes even a
middle kingdom, known from its first possessor, Lothar, son of
Charlemagne, as Lotharingia or Lorraine. Of these middle provinces, the
chief northern members were Flanders, Brabant, Hainault, and Liège.

=Flanders= in the early Middle Ages was =a fief of France=; it included
not only the modern Belgian provinces of _East_ and _West Flanders_, but
also _French Flanders_, that is to say the Department of the _Nord_ and
part of the _Pas de Calais_. As early as the Treaty of Verdun (843), the
land of Flanders was assigned to Neustria. But the county, as we know
it, really grew up from the possessions of a noble family at Bruges and
Sluys, the head of which was originally known as Forester or Ranger. In
862, the King of France, as suzerain, changed this title to that of
Count, in the person of Baldwin Bras-de-Fer (Baldwin I.). Baldwin was
also invested with the charge of the neighbouring coast of France
proper, on tenure of defending it against the Norman pirates. In 1006,
his descendant, Baldwin IV., seized the Emperor’s town of Valenciennes;
and having shown his ability to keep his booty, he was invested by the
Franconian Henry II. with this district as a fief, so that he thus
became a feudatory both of France and of the Empire. He was also
presented with Ghent and the Isles of Zealand. Baldwin V. (1036) added
to the growing principality the districts of Alost, Tournai, and
Hainault. The petty dynastic quarrels of the 11th century are far too
intricate for record here; in the end, the domains of the Counts were
approximately restricted to what we now know as Flanders proper. A bare
list of names and dates must suffice for this epoch:—Baldwin V.
(1036-1067); Baldwin VI. (1067-1070); Robert II. (1093-1111); and
Baldwin VII. (1111-1119).

After this date, the native line having become extinct, the county was
held by =foreign elective princes=, under whom the power of the towns
increased greatly. Among these alien Counts, the most distinguished was
Theodoric (in French, Thierry; in German, Dietrich; or in Dutch,
Dierick) of Alsace, who was a distinguished Crusader, and the founder of
the Chapel of the Holy Blood at Bruges (which see).

Under Baldwin of Hainault (1191-1194) Artois was ceded to France,
together with St. Omer and Hesdin. Henceforth, =Ghent= superseded Arras
as =the capital=. Baldwin IX. (1194-1206) became a mighty Crusader, and
founded the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Indeed, the Crusades were
largely manned and managed by Flemings. He was followed in Flanders by
his two daughters, Johanna and Margaret, under whose rule the cities
gained still greater privileges. Margaret’s son, Guy de Dampierre, was
the creature of Philippe IV. of France, who endeavoured to rule Flanders
through his minister, Châtillon. The Flemings answered by just revolt,
and fought the famous Battle of the Spurs near Courtrai, already
described, against the French interlopers (see Bruges). In 1322, Louis
de Nevers (Louis I.) became Count, and provoked by his Gallicising and
despotic tendencies the formidable rebellion under Van Artevelde (see
Ghent). The quarrel between the league of burghers and their lord
continued more or less during the reigns of Count Louis II. (1346) and
Louis III., who died in 1385, leaving one daughter, Margaret, married to
Philip the Bold (Philippe-le-Hardi) of Burgundy.

The political revolution caused in Flanders and Brabant by the accession
of the =Burgundian dynasty= was so deep-reaching that a few words must
be devoted to the origin and rise of this powerful family, a branch of
the royal Valois of France. The old Kingdom of Burgundy had of course
been long extinct; but its name was inherited by two distinct
principalities, the _Duchy of Burgundy_, which formed part of France,
and the _County of Burgundy_ (Franche Comté), which was a fief of the
Empire. In the 14th century, a new middle kingdom, like the earlier
Lotharingia, seemed likely to arise by the sudden growth of a
practically independent power in this debateable land between France and
Germany. In 1361, the _Duchy_ of Burgundy fell in to the crown of
France; and in order, as he thought, to secure its union with the
central authority, John the Good of France (Jean-le-Bon), during the
troublous times after the Treaty of Bretigny, conferred it as a fief
upon his son, Philippe de Valois (=Philip the Bold=, or
Philippe-le-Hardi) who married Margaret of Flanders, thus uniting two of
the greatest vassal principalities of the French crown. In 1385, on the
death of Louis III., Philip succeeded to the County of Flanders, now
practically almost an independent state. After him reigned three other
princes of his family. John the Fearless (Jean-sans-Peur, 1404-1419)
will be remembered by visitors to Paris as the builder of the Porte
Rouge at Notre-Dame de Paris. Philip the Good (Philippe-le-Bon,
1419-1467) was the patron of Van Eyck and Memling. (His portrait by
Roger van der Weyden is in the Antwerp Gallery.) Charles the Bold
(Charles-le-Téméraire, 1467-1477) raised the power of the house to its
utmost pitch, and then destroyed it. (His portrait by Memling is in the
Brussels Gallery.) Contrary, however, to the belief of John the Good,
the princes of the Valois dynasty in Burgundy, instead of remaining
loyal to the crown of France, became some of its most dangerous and
dreaded rivals.

All these Dukes, as French princes, played at the same time an important
part in the affairs of France. They also won, by marriage, by purchase,
by treaty, or by conquest, large territories within the Empire,
including most of modern Belgium and Holland, together with much that is
now part of France. They were thus, like their Flemish predecessors,
vassals at once of the Emperor and the French king; but they were really
=more powerful than either of their nominal over-lords=; for their
central position between the two jealous neighbours gave them great
advantages, while their possession of the wealthy cities of the Low
Countries made them into the richest princes in mediæval Europe. It was
at their opulent and ostentatious court that Van Eyck and Memling
painted the gorgeous pictures which still preserve for us some vague
memory of this old-world splendour. At the same time, the increased
power of the princes, who could draw upon their other dominions to
suppress risings in Flanders, told unfavourably upon the liberties of
the cities. The Burgundian dominion thus sowed the seeds of the Spanish

Jean-sans-Peur was murdered by the Dauphin, afterwards Charles VII.; and
this cousinly crime threw his son, Philippe-le-Bon, into the arms of the
English. It was the policy of Burgundy and Flanders, indeed, to weaken
the royal power by all possible means. Philip supported the English
cause in France for many years; and it was his defection, after the
Treaty of Arras in 1435, that destroyed the chances of Henry VI. on the
Continent. The reign of Philippe-le-Bon, we saw, was the Augustan age of
the Burgundian dynasty. (Fully to understand Burgundian art, however,
you must visit Dijon as well as Brabant and Flanders.) Under =Charles
the Bold=, the most ambitious prince of the Burgundian house, the power
of the Dukes was raised for a time to its highest pitch, and then began
to collapse suddenly. A constant rivalry existed between Charles and his
nominal suzerain, Louis XI. It was Charles’s dream to restore or
re-create the old Burgundian kingdom by annexing Lorraine, with its
capital, Nancy, and conquering the rising Swiss Confederacy. He would
thus have consolidated his dominions in the Netherlands with his
discontinuous Duchy and County of Burgundy. He had even designs upon
Provence, then as yet an independent county. Louis XI. met these
attempts to create a rival state by a policy of stirring up enemies
against his too powerful feudatory. In his war with the Swiss, Charles
was signally defeated in the decisive battles at Granson and Morat, in
1476. In the succeeding year, he was routed and killed at Nancy, whither
the Swiss had gone to help René, Duke of Lorraine, in his effort to win
back his Duchy from Charles. The conquered Duke was buried at Nancy, but
his body was afterwards brought to Bruges by his descendant, the Emperor
Charles V., and now reposes in the splendid tomb which we have seen at
Notre-Dame in that city.

This war had important results. It largely broke down the power of
Burgundy. Charles’s daughter, =Mary=, kept the Low Countries and the
_County_ of Burgundy (Imperial); but the _Duchy_ (French) reverted to
the crown of France, with which it was ever after associated. The scheme
of a great Middle Kingdom thus came to an end; and the destinies of the
Low Countries were entirely altered.

We have next to consider the dynastic events by which the Low Countries
passed under the rule of the =House of Hapsburg=. In 1477, Mary of
Burgundy succeeded her father Charles as Countess of Flanders, Duchess
of Brabant, etc. In the same year she was married to =Maximilian of
Austria=, King of the Romans, son of the Emperor Frederic III. (or IV.).
Maximilian was afterwards elected Emperor on his father’s death. The
children of this marriage were Philip the Handsome (Philippe-le-Beau, or
le-Bel; Philippus Stok), who died in 1506, and Margaret of Austria.
Philip, again, married Johanna (Juana) the Mad, of Castile, and thus
became King of Castile, in right of his wife. The various steps by which
these different sovereignties were cumulated in the person of Philip’s
son, Charles V., are so important to a proper comprehension of the
subject that I venture to tabulate them.

                Frederic III. (or IV.)             Charles the Bold.
                                ǁ                              ǁ
Ferdinand     = Isabella       Maximilian     =              Mary
(of Aragon)   ǁ (of Castile)   (of Austria)    ǁ             (of Burgundy)
              ǁ                                ǁ
Johanna the Mad       =              Philippe-le-Beau
   (of Spain)         ǁ          (of Burgundy and Austria)
                Charles V.

During the lifetime of Maximilian, who was afterwards Emperor, Mary, and
her son =Philippe-le-Beau=, ruled at first in the Low Countries (for the
quarrel between Maximilian and Bruges over the tutorship of Philippe,
see p. 27). After the death of Isabella of Castile, Ferdinand retired to
Aragon, and Philippe ruled Castile on behalf of his insane wife, Juana.
Philippe died in 1506, and his sister, Margaret of Austria, then ruled
as Regent in the Netherlands (for Charles) till her death in 1530.
Charles V., born at Ghent in 1500, was elected to the Empire after his
grandfather, Maximilian I., and thus became at once Emperor, King of
Spain, Duke of Austria, and ruler of the Low Countries. (In 1516 he
succeeded Ferdinand in the Kingdom of Spain, and in 1519 was elected

The same series of events carried the Netherlands, quite accidentally,
under =Spanish rule=. For Charles was an absolutist, who governed on
essentially despotic principles. His conduct towards Ghent in 1539
brought affairs to a crisis. The Emperor, in pursuance of his plans
against France, had demanded an enormous subsidy from the city, which
the burgesses constitutionally refused to grant, meeting the unjust
extortion by open rebellion. They even entered into negotiations with
François I^{er}; who, however, with the base instinct of a brother
absolutist, betrayed their secret to his enemy the Emperor. Charles
actually obtained leave from François to march a Spanish army through
France to punish the Flemings, and arrived with a powerful force before
the rebellious city. The Ghenters demanded pardon; but Charles, deeply
incensed, entered the town under arms, and took up his abode there in
triumph. Alva, his ruthless Spanish commander (portrait in the Brussels
Gallery), suggested that the town should be utterly destroyed; but the
Emperor could not afford to part with his richest and most populous
city, nor could even he endure to destroy his birth-place. He contented
himself with a terrible vengeance, beheading the ringleaders, banishing
the minor patriots, and forfeiting the goods of all suspected persons.
The city was declared guilty of _lèse-majesté_, and the town
magistrates, with the chiefs of the Guilds, were compelled to appear
before Charles with halters round their necks, and to beg for pardon.
The Emperor also ordered that no magistrate of Ghent should ever
thenceforth appear in public without a halter, a badge which became with
time a mere silken decoration. The privileges of the city were at the
same time abolished, and the famous old bell, Roland, was removed from
the Belfry.

Thenceforth Charles treated the Netherlands as =a conquered Spanish
territory=. He dissolved the monastery of St. Bavon, and erected on its
site the great Citadel, which he garrisoned with Spaniards, to repress
the native love of liberty of the Flemings (see Ghent). In subsequent
risings of the Low Countries, the Spaniards’ Castle, the stronghold of
the alien force, was the first point to be attacked; and on it depended
the issue of freedom or slavery in the Netherlands. Charles also
established the Inquisition, which is said to have put to death no fewer
than 100,000 persons.

In 1555, the Emperor abdicated in favour of his son Philip, known as
=Philip II. of Spain=. But his brother Ferdinand, to whom he had
resigned his Austrian dominions, was elected Emperor (having been
already King of the Romans) as Ferdinand I. From his time forth, the
Empire became more exclusively German, so that its connexion with Rome
was almost forgotten save as a historic myth, degenerating into the mere
legal fiction of a Holy Roman Empire, with nothing Roman in it. Thus,
the Netherlands alone of the earlier Burgundian heritage remained in the
holding of the Austrian kings of Spain, who ruled them nominally as
native sovereigns, but practically as Spaniards and aliens by means of
imported military garrisons.

Philip II.—austere, narrow, domineering, fanatical—remained only four
years in the Netherlands, and then retired to Spain, appointing his
half-sister, =Margaret of Parma= (illegitimate daughter of Charles V.),
regent of the Low Countries (1559-1567). She resided in the Ancienne
Cour at Brussels. Her minister, Granvella, Bishop of Arras, made himself
so unpopular, and the measures taken against the Protestants were so
severe, that the cities, ever the strongholds of liberty, showed signs
of revolution. They objected to the illegal maintenance of a Spanish
standing army, and also to the Inquisition. In April, 1567, as a
consequence of the discontents, the =Duke of Alva= was sent with 10,000
men as lieutenant-general to the Netherlands, to suppress what was known
as the Beggars’ League (Les Gueux), now practically headed by the Prince
of Orange (William the Silent). Alva entered Brussels with his Spanish
and Italian mercenaries and treacherously seized his two suspected
antagonists, Count Egmont and Count Hoorn. The patriotic noblemen were
imprisoned at Ghent, in the Spaniards’ Castle, were condemned to death,
and finally beheaded in the Grand’ Place at Brussels. (For fuller
details of the great revolutionary movement thus inaugurated, see
Motley’s _Rise of the Dutch Republic_, and Juste’s _Le Comté d’Egmont et
le Comté de Hornes_.) Alva also established in Brussels his infamous
“Council of Troubles,” which put to death in cold blood no less than
20,000 inoffensive burghers. His cold and impassive cruelty led to the
=Revolt of the United Provinces= in 1568—a general movement of all the
Spanish Netherlands (as they now began to be called) to throw off the
hateful yoke of Spain. Under the able leadership of William of Orange,
the Flemings besieged and reduced the Spaniards’ Castle at Ghent. In the
deadly struggle for freedom which ensued, the Northern Provinces
(Holland), aided by their great natural advantages for defence among the
flooded marshes of the Rhine delta, succeeded in casting off their
allegiance to Philip. They were then known as the United Netherlands.
The long and heroic contest of the Southern Provinces (Belgium) against
the Spanish oppressor was not equally successful. A desperate struggle
for liberty met with little result, and the Spanish sovereigns continued
to govern their Belgian dominions like a conquered country. In 1578,
Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma (son of Margaret), was sent as
Governor to the Netherlands, where he remained in power till 1596. In
the prosecution of the war against the Northern Provinces (Holland) he
besieged Antwerp, and took it after fourteen months in 1585. In the
“Spanish Fury” which followed, Antwerp was almost destroyed, and all its
noblest buildings ruined. Nevertheless, under Parma’s rule, the other
cities recovered to a certain extent their municipal freedom; though the
country as a whole was still treated as a vanquished province.

The next great landmark of Belgian history is the passage of the Spanish
Netherlands under =Austrian rule=. The first indefinite steps towards
this revolution were taken in 1598, when Philip II. ceded the country as
a fief to his daughter the Infanta Isabella (Clara Isabella Eugenia) on
her marriage with Albert, Archduke of Austria, who held the provinces as
the Spanish Governor. (Portraits of Albert and Isabella by Rubens in the
Brussels Gallery.) The new rulers made the country feel to a certain
extent that it was no longer treated as a mere disobedient Spanish
appanage. After the troubles of the Revolt, and the cruel destruction of
Antwerp by Parma, trade and manufactures began to revive. Albert and
Isabella were strongly Catholic in sentiment; and it was under their
_régime_ that the greater part of the rococo churches of Antwerp and
other cities were built, in the showy but debased taste of the period,
and decorated with large and brilliantly-coloured altar-pieces. They
also induced Rubens to settle in the Netherlands, appointed him Court
painter, and allowed him to live at Antwerp, where the trade of the Low
Countries was still largely concentrated. During their vice-royalty,
however, Brussels became more than ever the recognised capital of the
country, and the seat of the aristocracy.

After Albert’s death in 1621, the Netherlands =reverted to Spain=, and a
dull period, without either art or real local history, supervened,
though the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries were in great part fought
out over these unfortunate provinces, “the cockpit of Europe.” The
campaigns of Marlborough and Prince Eugene are too well-known as part of
English and European history to need recapitulation here. At the end of
the =War of the Spanish Succession=, the Peace of Rastadt, in 1714,
assigned the Spanish Netherlands to =Austria=, thus entailing upon the
unhappy country another hundred years of foreign domination.
Nevertheless, the =Austrian Netherlands=, as they were thenceforth
called (in contradistinction to the “United Netherlands” or Holland),
were on the whole tolerably well governed by the Austrian Stadtholders,
who held their court at Brussels, and who were usually relations of the
Imperial family. Few memorials, however, of Maria Theresa, of Joseph
II., or of Léopold II. now exist in Belgium, and those few are not
remarkable for beauty. It was during this relatively peaceful and
law-abiding time, on the other hand, that the Upper Town of Brussels was
laid out in its existing form by Guimard. As a whole, the Belgian
provinces were probably better governed under Austrian rule than under
any other _régime_ up to the period of the existing independent and
national monarchy.

The =French Revolutionists= invaded Belgium in 1794, and committed great
havoc among historical buildings at Bruges and elsewhere. Indeed, they
did more harm to the arts of the Netherlands than anybody else, except
the Spaniards and the modern “restorers.” They also divided Belgium into
nine departments; and Napoleon half sneeringly, half cynically,
justified the annexation on the ground that the Low Countries were the
alluvial deposit of French rivers. The Belgian States formed part of
Napoleon’s composite empire till 1814, when these Southern Provinces
were assigned by the Treaty of London to Holland. In 1815, during the
Hundred Days, the Allied Armies had their headquarters at Brussels, and
the decisive battle against Napoleon was fought at Waterloo. The
Congress of Vienna once more affirmed the union of Belgium with Holland;
they remained as one kingdom till the first revolutionary period in
1830. The Southern Provinces then successfully seceded from the Dutch
monarchy: indeed, the attempted fusion of semi-French and Catholic
Belgium with purely Teutonic and Protestant Holland was one of those
foredoomed failures so dear to diplomacy. A National Congress elected
Léopold of Saxe-Coburg as _King of the Belgians_ (Roi des Belges), and
the crown is now held by his son, Léopold II. For nearly seventy years
Belgium has thus enjoyed, for the first time in its history, an
independent and relatively popular government of its own choosing. The
development of its iron and coal industries during this epoch has vastly
increased its wealth and importance; while the rise of Antwerp as a
great European port has also done much to develop its resources. At the
present day Belgium ranks as one of the most thickly populated, richest,
and on the whole most liberal-minded countries of Europe. Its neutrality
is assured by the Treaty of London, and its army exists only to repel
invasion in case that neutrality should ever be violated.

                               I N D E X

Académie des Beaux-Arts, 46.
Adoration of the Lamb, The, 81-88.
Adoration of the Magi, The, 41, 201.
Alva, Duke of, 124, 225.
Antiquities, 48, 96.
Antwerp, 164-215.
Armour, Collection of, 150.
Assumption, The, 173.
Austrian Netherlands, The, 227.

Battle of the Spurs, 67.
Béguinages, 45, 32.
Belfries, 25, 70.
Bol, 134, 137.
Boulevards, 149.
Bouts, Dierick, 52, 116, 120, 161, 162.
Brabo, Legend of, 206.
Bruges, 22-64.
Brussels, 98-163.
Burgundy, Dukes of, 18, 219-222.

Cathedrals, 49-53, 77-89, 138-145, 163, 168-176.
Caxton, 214.
Charles I., of England, 89.
Charles II., of England, 27, 47.
Charles V., Emperor, 96, 97, 223.
Charles the Bold, 55, 221.
Chimney-piece, 32.
Christ à la Paille, The, 199.
Colard Mansion, 24, 46.
Cologne, School of, 17, 173.
Counts of Flanders, 17.
Coup de Lance, The, 198.
Cranach, 123.
Crucifixion, The, 202.

De Crayer, 133.
Descent from the Cross, The, 171.
De Vos, 197, 199.

Education of the Virgin, The, 200.
Edward III., of England, 67.
Egmont, Count, 147, 225.
Elevation of the Cross, The, 175.
Entombment, The, 192.
Ethnographical Museum, 150.

Flanders, History of, 217-219.
Fountain, 206.
French Revolution in Belgium, 227.

Gateways, 47, 74, 75, 150.
Gerard David, 30, 62, 63.
Gerard Dou, 134.
Ghent, 66-97.
Godfrey de Bouillon, 146.
Gossaert, 108.
Guild Halls, 47, 74, 102, 206.
Guimard, 148.

Hals, Frans, 135, 136, 203.
Hand of Antwerp, 206.
Hanseatic League, 14, 15, 22, 209.
Hobbema, 134.
Holbein the Younger, 112, 182.
Hondecoeter, 136.
Hoorn, Count, 147, 225.
Hôtels-de-Ville, 28, 71, 100, 158, 205.

Italian Pictures, 137, 138.

John of Gaunt, 75, 91.
Jordaens, 127.

Laeken, 156.
Lamb, The Adoration of the, 81-88.
Leys, 204, 206.
Louvain, 156-163.
Lucas van Leyden, 189.

Mabuse, 108, 182.
Maes, Nicolas, 133, 134.
Magi, Adoration of the, 41, 201.
Malines, 163.
Mary of Burgundy, 18, 33, 55.
Matsys, Quentin, 122, 169, 181, 184, 192.
Memling, 35, 38-44, 69, 117, 118, 182, 185, 188, 191.
Michael Angelo, 56.
Modern Belgian Pictures, 147, 204.
Moretus, 173, 207.

Orange, William of, 225.

Palais de Justice, The, 32, 148.
Parma, Duke of, 225.
Parma, Margaret of, 224.
Perugino, 138.
Philip II., 224.
Plantin-Moretus Museum, 207.
Pourbus, Peter, 50.

Rembrandt, 136, 203.
Rood-Loft, 161.
Rubens, 88, 128, 129, 131, 171, 173, 175, 177, 178, 195, 198-202, 213,
Ruysdael, 134, 204.

St. Bavon, Legend of, 77.
Ste. Gudule, Legend of, 138.
Ste. Ursula, Legend of, 36, 37.
Spaniards’ Castle, The, 91.
Spanish Rule in Flanders, 222-226.
Steen, Jan, 136, 137.

Teniers, 129.
Ter Burg, 135.
Titian, 193.
Tombs, 53, 93, 153, 173, 213.
Tournai, 216.
Town Halls, 28, 71, 100, 158, 205.

Universities, 157, 163.

Van Arteveldes, The, 67, 68, 76.
Van der Weyden, Roger, 110, 118, 160, 182, 186.
Van Dyck, 130, 196, 198, 202.
Van Eyck, Hubert, 78, 81-88, 167.
Van Eyck, Jan, 34, 59, 60, 78, 81-88, 182, 185, 187.
Van Orley, Bernard, 111, 126.
Van Ostade, 204.
Van Veen, Otto, 198, 201.
Veronese, 138.

Waghemakere, 72, 169.
Waterloo, 156.
Well, with canopy, 169.
Wiertz, 151.

Zoological Gardens, 210.

     Butler & Tanner. The Selwood Printing Works, Frome and London.

                           TRANSCRIBER NOTES

Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in punctuation have been maintained.

Some illustrations were moved to facilitate page layout.

[The end of _Cities of Belgium_, by Grant Allen.]

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