Learn 5 Things About Belgium’s Painters

Northern European paintings have their own distinct style — blame it on the lighting, weather, or a host of cultural differences. We’re not going to take you to art history school (we’re probably not really qualified to anyway), but part of Belgium’s culture certain lies in it’s fine art, and some unusual anecdotes lie in those artists’ biographies.

Did you know …

Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel would dress up like a peasant so he could fit in and perform research amongst common people for his genre paintings.

Flemish painter Jan van Eyck, who was apparently not very confident in himself, would sign some of his works “AS I CAN” from the Flemish saying,” As I can, not as I would.”

Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch, who painted intense religious and moral narratives, developed a posthumous following by King Phillip II of Spain, who allegedly kept one of his paintings in his bedroom as a reminder to keep his morals in check.

Flemish painter Frans Floris opened a workshop in Belgium with such success it went to his head and he began drinking heavily. His students liked him so much that despite his problems, they would take care of him and help put him to bed.

Flemish painter Joachim Patinir let other artists paint the people in his landscapes. Which wasn’t terribly uncommon at the time, but look how awesome his giant landscapes are!

Bonus: Dutch photographer Hendrick Kerstens snapped his own take on the Netherlandish work of Rogier van der Weyden. Perfect. source

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