Thursday, July 28, 2016

Flashback Thursday: Fabulous Van Buuren Museum Brussels

Located in the former home of David and Alice van Buuren, this fabulous museum is one that should not be missed. The house, built in the deco style from plans drawn by David van Buuren, was constructed in the 1920s. It is a beautiful house in its own right, but the main reason to visit here is its exceptional art collection.

The museum is not located in the center of town. We took the tram to the Edith Cavell stop and then walked up Churchill to the roundabout. Go left in the roundabout to the first street, which is Ave. Leo Errera. The museum is down the street on the right-hand side. It is not well-marked and can be a little tricky to find. Go to the front door and ring the bell to be let in. This heightens the impression that you are a guest at a private home instead of a tourist. Once you have purchased your ticket, you will need to hang up your coat and put protective covers over your shoes. When you see the beautiful floors, you will understand why. 

The first room you visit is the dining room. The furniture is built from exotic woods in the deco style with definite oriental touches in the decor. A large picture window opens the room to the gardens. The walls have cases built in to display an attractive collection of china. The room has a peaceful aura, enhanced by a startling blue ceiling between sycamore beams. I kept waiting to see Joan Crawford with her big padded shoulders come strolling through the door. .

The Brazilian rosewood staircase is magnificent, with a sculpture sitting on the newel post. I really regret not being able to photograph in the house; this feature in particular is hard to do justice to and words alone are inadequate. Above the stairway hangs an unusual bright glass paste and bronze lamp.

Several of the pieces of art in the house are spectacular. The most famous is Bruegels "Fall of Icarus." It is in the reception room with three paintings by Fantin Latour. Upstairs there are some very rare paintings by Hercule Seghers, who was Rembrandt’s teacher. Only 14 known paintings are in existence and David van Buuren owned five. Impressive to say the least. Add a Joos van Cleve Madonna , some really fine furniture, and a very pretty garden and you can spend a very enjoyable hour or two here. Entrance fee is €10 for the house and garden. 

Photography is not allowed inside the house.

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