[ Madonna meets Mad Meg ]

Antwerp, 6 january 2021

the Mayer van den Bergh Museum

the Museum Mayer van den Bergh houses a unique collection of art from Belgium and abroad. It was assembled by Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, a 19th-century connoisseur who collected art virtually full-time.

Fritz Mayer (1858-1901) was the younger of 2  sons of Emil Mayer, a German businessman in 19th-century Antwerp. When Emil died, Fritz went to live with his mother and devoted himself to his passion: art collecting. In 1887, Fritz was elevated to the nobility, and added his mother’s surname to his own. Soon Fritz was a true authority. he was keen on unknown and less popular art, which he acquired on a huge scale, studying each work in minute detail. afterwards he would then sell some of the works. that Fritz was always ahead of his time is evident from the value of his collection. for instance, there are only forty-five paintings by Breugel anywhere in the world, two of which hang in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. one of these is the famous work Mad Meg. the entire museum, which has a very home-like feel to it, is full of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and stained glass windows.

arty-farty.fun's opinion: the museum is a genuine monument, a Pieta, a grand symbol for ultimate love from his mother Henriëtte for her too soon departed son Fritz, a (full time) genius art collector in Antwerp's 19th century.

Madonna meets Mad Meg

Madonna meets Mad Meg ~ masterpieces and their Collectors. it goes without saying that Bruegel and Fouquet are the real masters behind ‘Dulle Griet’ and the Madonna. Yet it is thanks to master collectors that we are able to enjoy these outstanding works today. Step into the world of connoisseurs Fritz and Florent and discover their relentless nose for beauty. Florent van Ertborn (1784–1840) and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858–1901) collected paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and other art objects with immense passion. their acquisitions were often bargains, sometimes investments and occasionally brilliant discoveries.

Mad Meg (Dulle Griet) : one can never tire of looking at Pieter Bruegel’s world-famous painting, Mad Meg. There’s always something new to see and experience. in general, the painting seems to be about the battle of the sexes. The relationship between men and women has been the theme of comedies and other works of art since antiquity. Bruegel let his imagination run wild and drew inspiration for this work from his predecessor, Hieronymus Bosch. In this scene, he depicts a kind of topsy-turvy world: the women wear the trousers. the painting has returned to the Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp following a two-year absence, during which it underwent a thorough restoration. The painting has been brought back to its original splendour.

arty-farty.fun's opinion on Pieter Breugel the elder : was top of the avant garde. the painting - landscape - Mad Meg - is about the war of sexes and gender equality. (see video 60' question). to be re-discovered .

arty-farty.fun's opinion on Mad Meg meets Madonna:  surrounded by seraphim and cherubim by Jean Fouquet: a masterpiece from heaven

intermezzo ~ Fritkot Max

Max is one of the oldest and best known french fries shop owners in Antwerp. Since 1842, he had his shop, along with the famous Rubens Statue at the Castle Square in Antwerp. When the straightening of the Schelde, the Castle Square disappeared, but not the Rubens statue nor Fritkot Max. Both of them moved to the Groenplaats, at the foot of the cathedral. 

arty-farty.fun's opinion: the oldest Belgian fritkot , a startup from  the 17th century,  restyled. the promise fulfilled, no nonsense. absolutely Belgian Fries... succulent. (note from the photographer on duty: the chicken wings were Burgundian!)

Gallery Tim Van Laere
Adrian Ghenie exhibition (ended)

Adrian Ghenie combines different aspects of historical painting techniques. For instance, he demonstrates an expert mastery of baroque chiaroscuro, but also of the expressive use of paint that is a feature of abstract expressionism. He combines these technical skills with a profound interest in the activation of symbolic meanings behind specific images. A conceptual component that was important for the Dada movement as well as for the Flemish primitives and Flemish baroque masters. Ghenie’s interest in Flemish art history has left several traces in his work, which contains various references to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Paul De Vos and Frans Snyders. Ghenie has a profound affinity with Antwerp, which he calls ‘the battleground of painting’.

arty-farty.fun's opinion: Adrian Ghenie's genius work references to Flemish Renaissance paintings. see Mad Meg by Pieter Breugel, before your visit the Gallery, you will understand how masterpieces from the past have an impact on contemporary painters, when you study Adrian's Volcano painting (not present in this exhibition).