Spend the day in Brussels. The Grand Place looks magnificent, as always, now with added Christmas decorations. We head to the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts but are greeted by an enormous queue. It seems everyone is here for the separate Magritte exhibition but you still have to stay in the same queue which seems a bit stupid. After 38mins (yes, I was bored and timed it) we finally had a wander around.
Not the greatest collection of artwork I’ve ever seen I have to say. The early Flemish pre-Renaissance stuff just goes on forever. I’ve never seen so many chubby and old-looking baby Jesuses. It is interesting as an historical artefact, to compare to what came next, but if we’re being honest, most of it is utter tosh (in my humble opinion etc blah blah…). That Hieronymus Bosch must have had a screw loose. Although his paintings are rather entertaining. So much going on, at least it forces you to spend a few minutes working out exactly what. We both reckon he’s an early Dali.
There are a couple of good Van Dycks and Rembrants. I do love a good portrait I do. A couple of years ago I visited the National Portrait Gallery in London and absolutely loved it. I’d been before, several times, but only when I was young. For the first time I really enjoyed the collection. I particularly like fixating on a painting and moving around the room and watching the eyes of the person in the painting watching you wherever it is you move. Hours of fun.