Royal Museum of Fine Arts

Koninklijk Museum van Schone Kunsten
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This neoclassical temple for the arts was built between 1884 and 1890. Its collection contains paintings by numerous Flemish masters, including one of the world's largest collections of paintings by Rubens, who had his workshop built in Antwerp.


Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Museum of Fine Arts
In 1875, a plan to develop a new neighborhood south of Antwerp was approved by the city council. In 1878, a competition was organized to design a new Art Museum in the middle of this neighborhood, known as 't Zuid (Southside).

The old museum, situated in the north of Antwerp was destroyed by a fire. The competition resulted in a compromise where Jan Jacob Winders, the Antwerp architect who also designed a large monument in the new neighborhood, defined most of the exterior design.

The building

The museum, built as a temple for the Arts (similar to museums in Munich and Dresden) between 1884 and 1890 replaced an old Spanish Castle.
Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
It was one of the main attractions of the 1894 Antwerp World Exposition.

The temple is decorated with Corinthian columns and adorned by two large statues of the angel of peace leading a chariot. The statues were built in 1905 after a design from Thomas Vincotte.
Originally the museum had four open courtyards, but those were roofed in the twenties.

Museum Collection

The museum houses a large collection of paintings from the fourteenth century onwards.
Antwerp's most important painters - Rubens, Van Dijck and Jordaens - make up an important part of the museum's very rich collection but other artists such as Titian and Frans Hals are represented as well.

The museum is currently closed due to renovation work. It is expected to reopen in 2021.
Leopold De Waelplaats
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