October 04, 2007


We spent our first day of vacation wandering around Brussels. Because we arrived so early, we couldn't check in yet. Our hotel was very strict about that, for reasons I still don't understand. This was tough because neither of us had slept on our 7 hour red eye flight and we both needed a nap. But we busied ourselves with a visit to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium.

We saw some amazing pieces. The first painter we saw walking into the galleries was by Heironymous Bosch. I took several pictures of his masterpiece, The Temptation of Saint Anthony. This theme is one I hadn't before seen in paintings but now I am fascinated by it. We saw another work based on this theme in a French museum later on. What's amazing about this work is the utter imagination shown by the painter to express the theme. Here are some of the parts I liked.

Here someone is getting stabbed in his face which is also a rearend.
The Temptation of St. Anthony

And these are two particularly surreal abstracts
The Temptation of St. AnthonyThe Temptation of St. Anthony

This is a painting that I found particularly appealing but unfortunately I don't remember the artist. And the museum website is no help.

I also saw for the first time paintings by both Brueghel the Elder and his son. I didn't photograph these paintings because I was intimidated by the guard sitting in the room and the sheer number of people crowding around to look at the fine details of each painting. It could also have been that I was too tired to lift my hands to take a picture.

We travelled deep into the bowels of the museum to view thier most famous piece. It was literally five floors underground. And that painting would be The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David. We had so much trouble finding the painting that I was too tired to enjoy it sadly. But Jon was happy. And now I'm happy I've seen it in hindsight.

This is a view of Brussels from the top of the hill up which we marched to visit the museum. Our hotel was near that great spire in the distance.

And this is the first shot I took of Brussels as we made our way from the train station to our hotel which we were finally allowed to check into at 2pm.

Before we spent our day in Brussels I would never have believed that two people could see and do so much in one day. After we took a little nap, we continued exploring the city. That post is forthcoming.

No comments: