It really is a group of museums including the Museum of Ancient Art (Old Masters Museum), the Museum of Modern Art, the Wiertz Museum, the Meunier Museum, the Magritte Museum and the Fin-de-Siècle Museum. However, to make things clear, when we speak of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts we usually refer to the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of Modern Art, located next to the Place Royale. They house a collection of works from the 15th century (Flemish Primitives) to contemporary art of the 21st century.
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
The origins of this museum, which holds painting, sculpture and design, date back to its founding by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801. However, it was not until the independence of Belgium in 1830 that the museum became more important. The building that houses the current museum is a big palace built by Alphonse Balat between 1885 and 1890, next to the central Place Royale. It had been originally conceived as the Palace of Fine Arts to accommodate all types of exhibitions in Brussels.
AN ESSENTIAL GALLERY
The gallery dedicated to the ancient art, also known as the Old Masters, has a collection showing a rich artistic past, from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. The key pieces of this gallery are the oldest paintings of Southern Netherlands, together with with masterpieces of the fifteenth century, among which Hans Memling and Gerard David are notable examples. Also, some great works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder are leading exponents of the sixteenth centuries, while the Flemish school of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries is represented by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck.
CONTEMPORARY ART IN BRUSSELS
There is a part of the museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, which includes works datingfrom the late eighteenth century up to the present. They range from the famous painting by Jacques-Louis David,"The Death of Marat" to works of the Belgian neoclassicism and other works referring to the revolution and the independence of the country. However, this collection is now presented to the public on a rotating basis through temporary exhibitions, as there are major reinstallation works to be done.
The city of Brussels is planning to open a new museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in the coming years.
Discover the Royal Museum of fine arts with the Free Tour in Brussels.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00
Closed on Mondays, on January 1st and on the second Thursday of January, May 1,November 1 and 11 and December 25. OnDecember 24 and 31 the closing time is 16.00.
Ticket office closes at 16.30.
- Normal: 8 euros, combined (Old Masters, Modern, Magritte and Fin-de-siècle) 13 euros
- Reduced: over 65 and adult groups with at least 15 people, 6 euros. Combined 9 euros.
- Children and young people between 6 and 25, 2 euros. Combined 3 euros.
Free: Brussels Card, children up to 5 years and the first Wednesday of each month from 13.00.
Rue de la Regence, 3, Brussels
HOW TO GET TO THE MUSEUM
- Train: Gare Centrale
- Metro: 1 and 5, Parc / Gare Centrale
- Tram: lines 92 and 94, Royale
- Bus: lines 27, 38, 71, 95, Royale. Lines 29, 63, 65, 66, Parc / Gare Centrale
- Parking: Albertine / Parking 2 Portes / Parking Poelaert
- Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM)
- BELvue Museum
- Coudenberg Palace
- Magritte Museum
- Fin-de-Siècle Museum