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Mutsaardstraat 31

The building on Mutsaardstraat still exists, but does not house the museum collection anymore. Since 1890, the collection has been housed in the newer building of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts at Leopold de Waelplaats 2.

Van Gogh in

Musée Ancien

  1. 25 Nov. 1878 1855

After his arrival in Antwerp, Vincent visited various museums. At the Musée Ancien, which housed classical art, he saw paintings by Dutch and Flemish old masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Jacob Jordaens and Jan van Eyck. Vincent especially loved the painting The Fisher Boy by Frans Hals (c. 1630). He particularly admired it because:

“I see so many types among the people here who remind me of that age.” Read the complete letter

Vincent was a fan of Hals’s work. He admired Hals’s and Rembrandt’s quick painting style and the way they rendered shapes and forms using just a few brushstrokes. For Vincent, it was a pleasure to see paintings that had not been “painstakingly smoothed out”.

Seen here

Frans Hals, Fisher boy, ca. 1630-1632

Frans Hals, Fisher boy, ca. 1630-1632

Oil on canvas, 74 x 61 cm

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Jacob Jordaens, As the elders sing, so pipe the young, 1638

Jacob Jordaens, As the elders sing, so pipe the young, 1638

Oil on canvas, 120 x 192 cm

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Jan van Eyck, St. Barbara, 1437

Jan van Eyck, St. Barbara, 1437

Oil on panel, 34 x 18,5 cm

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Peter Paul Rubens, St Theresa of Avila through Christ's intervention rescuing Bernardinus of Mendoza from Purgatory, ca. 1630

Peter Paul Rubens, St Theresa of Avila through Christ's intervention rescuing Bernardinus of Mendoza from Purgatory, ca. 1630

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

    Relevant letters from Vincent

    Continue reading

    1. Guido Persoons

      Vincent van Gogh te Antwerpen in 1885-1886 : zijn opleiding in de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten te Antwerpen als bijdrage tot de vorming van zijn kunstenaarschap
      In: Periscoop, Vriendenkring van de Koninklijke Academie, 14-1 (1990)
    2. Mark Tralbaut

      Van Gogh te Antwerpen
      Antwerpen, 1958
    3. Louis van Tilborg en Ella Hendriks

      Vincent van Gogh schilderijen, deel 2: Antwerpen en Parijs
      Amsterdam, 2011
    4. Ella Hendriks en Louis van Tilborgh

      New views on Van Gogh’s development in Antwerp and Paris: an integrated art historical and technical study of his paintings in the Van Gogh Museum
      Universiteit van Amsterdam, proefschrift, 2006
    5. Marije Vellekoop, Sjraar van Heugten

      Vincent van Gogh tekeningen, deel 3: Antwerpen en Parijs 1885 – 1888
      Amsterdam, 2001