Ghent as I’ve said has a lively art scene and not as “local” as the art we saw in Bruges. We spent one full day exploring the city and found some unexpected inspiration. We started at the city museum and then the Museum of Fine Arts in the Ghent equivalent of Golden Gate Park. The rest of the day was spent wandering the squares and alleys of the historic district.
City Museum close to the university. The large screen is a slide show of historical images and personalities in the city’s long history. The museum is located in a converted 14th century abbey.
Outside the city museum we found this environmental work titled “The Cocoon”
Another view of “The Cocoon”
Next stop was the Museum of Fine Arts in the Citadelpark, a beautiful oasis in the middle of the newer city otherwise a fairly nondescript place. This gazebo looks like it’s probably the site for summer concerts and gatherings.
This manmade grotto reminds me of some of the ones you find in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and even at Versailles.
The Fine Arts Museum itself is a Neoclassical style building that contains a good collection of Northern European art including artists from countries outside of Belgium as well.
View of St. Bavo’st, Pierre Noter, Dommerson, 19th century
A View of Ghent by Pieter Dommerson, 19th century
Heymans (Dutch artist), “Sunset on the Heath”, 1877
Rubens, “St. Francis of Assisi”. For those of you who have looked at Rubens work this gives you an idea of the scale of his work.
“Human Passions”, Jef Lambeaux, 1877, was controversial about the way figures were portrayed and commission not accepted. Plaster cast ended up in the museum.
Paula Modersohn Becker, “Girl in Birch Forest”, 1903. An artist whose work you don’t get to see too often. A nice surprise to see this one.
James Ensor, “The Skeleton Looking at Chinoiseries”, 1885
Max Ernst, “Vegetation”, 1925
George Grosz. “The Author Walter Mehring”. Both Mehring and Grosz were socialists, dadaists, and rebels.
Art Nouveau pastel, Fernand Khnopff, “Incense”, 1898. This work was a real surprise, never heard of the artist but the work and the frame were quite beautiful.
Detail of fabric from pastel “Incense”
The most interesting work in the museum was a room dedicated to a group calling themselves Micromuseum. These two young Russian artists were in residence at the museum for 2 months and repurposed old and simple materials into works of art. These are painted bullet casings.
Repurposing the stems from a cluster of grapes using twined fabric.
The community was invited in to create from lots of materials made available to them- here shards of glass and pottery.
My favorite- the gunshell forest