Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
art museum in Antwerp



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Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
art museum in Antwerp
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Leopold de Waelplaats 2

ssohail's picture


Bad news, guys. This museum is closed for renovation until 2017. Luckily you can check out nearby venues in Antwerp to which the collection is lent out and exhibited on a regular basis.

Thanks to the Royal Museum for not hoarding that massive collection of 7,600 artworks! The crazy vast collection’s got giants like Peter Paul Rubens, Jean Fouquet, Anthony van Dyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Auguste Rodin. Even though it’s shut down for maintenance, you might want to breeze past the building anyway to appreciate the epic neoclassical columned exterior, topped off with impressive looking sculptures.

Also, for those of you who worry about the conditions in which your most beloved artworks dwell, you ought to know that this museum is big on conservation. Not only conservation, but restoration too, for which they have quite a few major projects underway. Good lookin’ out, Antwerp!

mbaa's picture


If you haven’t heard of the Royal Museum of Fine Art in Antwerp we don’t blame you.

Every once in a while, every century or two, the museum takes a break. They call it a “renovation”. The 21st-century renovation has been underway since 2011, deferring the launch of the new, sparkly museum every year since 2017. Remember that diet you were planning to get on? What do we say to the God of Diets? Not today, next year, maybe. 

The Museum took a while to come into its own. The collection originates in 1382 from the Antwerp chapter of the Guild of St. Luke. The guild is probably the best example of an organized medieval art market run by an Artist’s Union. We’re talking memberships, shops, special government powers, the works. If it were illegal it would’ve been the most efficient mafia in the art market. 

The Museum houses a number of important artworks, including works by Jacob Joardens, James EnsorJan van Dyck, Auguste Rodin, and more.

The collection grew through donations by artists and patrons alike. Peter Paul Rubens was one of the guild’s platinum level members. He even got a room to himself in the museum. When they said you can’t buy your way to fame, Rubens was already a few million down. He didn’t need it, to be honest. He spent his last few years in the arms of his first wife’s 16-year old niece. 400 years later, he has his own room in the most sacred place for Belgian art. Look who bought fame, bitches.

The old Museum was torched in a fire, sometime before 1875. This renovation led to Jan Jacob Winders completing the current building for the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1894. Before the idea of the Museum was floated, the collection was housed at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.




  1. "Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp." Visual Arts Cork. Accessed June 25, 2019.
  2. "History." KMSKA. Accessed June 25, 2019.
  3. Kalck, Michele Van, Sabine Van Sprang, Michel Draguet, and Arnout Balis. Rubens: A Genius at Work: The Works of Peter Paul Rubens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Reconsidered. Tielt: Ed. Lannoo, 2007.
  4. Ermengem, Kristiaan Van. "Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp." A View On Cities. Accessed June 25, 2019.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (Dutch: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen) is a museum in Antwerp, Belgium, founded in 1810, houses a collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. This collection is representative of the artistic production and the taste of art enthusiasts in Antwerp, Belgium and the Northern and Southern Netherlands since the 15th century. The museum is closed for renovation until 2022.

The neoclassical building housing the collection is one of the primary landmarks of the Zuid district of Antwerp. The majestic building was designed by Jacob Winders (1849–1936) and Frans van Dijk (1853-1939), built beginning in 1884, opened in 1890, and completed in 1894. Sculpture on the building includes two bronze figures of Fame with horse-drawn chariots by sculptor Thomas Vincotte, and seven rondel medallions of artists that include Boetius à Bolswert, Frans Floris, Jan van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Quentin Matsys, Erasmus Quellinus II, and Appelmans, separated by four monumental sculptures representing Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics.

The building stands in gardens bounded by the Leopold de Waalplaats, the Schildersstraat, the Plaatsnijdersstraat, and the Beeldhouwersstraat, formerly the site of the Antwerp Citadel.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.