European decorative arts

  • Madonnas with the Child, finely carved ivory panels and sumptuous, religious gold- and silverwork stand together in a great treasure chamber. The top attractions in this exceptional display are the reliquary of Pope Alexander and the portable altar of Stavelot abbey, both dating from the mid-twelfth century.
  • The fifteen galleries of this circuit offer a remarkable survey of sculpture and the decorative arts in the Low Countries from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. One outstanding ensemble consists of the biggest collection of wooden retables in the world. A second exceptional display is one of tapestries; these are regularly alternated and there are always twenty-five on view at any one time. Typical items from the Baroque are the costly cabinets.
  • This circuit introduces the visitor to the various styles that set their stamp on Europe during the period from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.
  • For the moment, just one gallery – named the Magasin Wolfers – is reserved for this collection, which focuses on a part of the production of these two art movements.
  • This particular museum houses the unique collection of the late cardiologist Noubar Boyadjian, which consists of objects in the form of a heart or decorated with a heart motif.
  • There are works of stone sculpture on display in the Cloister, and among the most remarkable of them are the stone baptismal fonts.
  • A gallery is devoted to these instruments in the left wing of the Cloister. The majority of them are the astronomical instruments, surveying instruments and clocks that were manufactured in the earlier Belgian provinces from the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th.
  • The display of metalwork is spread over three rooms, one of which is a special attraction in itself, as it is an exact copy of the Chapel of St. George of Nassau (ca. 1500) in the Albert I Royal Library complex.
  • Exceptionnal collection of old glassware in a gallery near the Cloister. Part of the museum’s collection of this is also displayed in the ‘Magasin Wolfers’, a gallery devoted to displaying Art Nouveau and Art Deco items.
  • The gallery European ceramics is closed.
  • The gallery Carriages is temporarily closed. The collection of carriages, consisting of a hundred or so wheeled carriages and thirty-five sledges, was largely assembled during the 1930s and 1940s, a period that saw many upper-class families in Belgium exchanging their carriages for automobiles.