Look back on the most important exhibitions of the past five years.


Campagnebeeld The Beauty Of The Beast

The Beauty of the Beast

From 25 May 2017 until 15 October 2017 at the Castle of Hingene

Art history begins with animals. This exhibition features animals in the art of Old Masters and contemporary artists. With works by Roelant Savery, Frans Snijders & Jacob Jordaens next to works by artists like Koen Vanmechelen, Wim Delvoye & Stephan Vanfleteren.


Walter Vanbeselaere. Collector for the State 1948 - 1973

From 2 July 2017 until 1 October 2017 at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle.

Within the series “private collections and exhibitions”, MDD presents in 2017 the modern art collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) which was put together by chief curator Walther Vanbeselaere between 1948 and 1973.

The exhibition will show art by  Henri De Braekeleer, James Ensor, Rik Wouters, Jakob Smits, Constant Permeke, Gust De Smet and Jean Brusselmans.

Campagnebeeld Encounters


From 19 May 2017 until 20 August 2017 at MAS.

Great art needs no explanation in order to touch us and even change us. Some works of art leave observers bewildered; others allow them to 'see' from a different perspective. Dancers in the exhibition are guides of sensibility for the observer; they reinforce the total experience.

A collaboration between the KMSKA and the MAS.

Campagnebeeld The Sky is the limit

The Sky is the Limit. Landscape in the Low Countries

From 25 March 2017 until 2 July 2017 at the Rockox House Museum.

In the 16th century a new genre of painting arose: the landscape. Artists initially painted landscapes as backdrops for biblical or mythological scenes. Gradually, they developed infinite variations on the theme, with cityscapes, mountain views, panoramas, depictions of hell and seascapes becoming subjects in their own right. This exhibition includes works by Joachim Patinir, Pieter Bruegel I en Peter Paul Rubens. Travel by video artist David Claerbout will be featured as a contemporary counterpart.

A collaboration with the Rockox House and the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden.

Campagnebeeld Retrospectieve Rik Wouters

Rik Wouters. A Retrospective

From 10 March 2017 until 2 July 2017 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels

For the first time, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp bring together in one exhibition the most important collection of works by the illustrious Belgian artist of the early 20thcentury. A prominent figure in Brabant’s Fauvism, Rik Wouters brought us brilliant and colorful art.

The Golden Cabinet advertising image

The Golden Cabinet. Royal Museum at the Rockox House

Until 2 July 2017 at the Rockox House

A chance to immerse yourself in the world of the rich citizen of the seventeenth century.

Portret Jan Van Beers

The Van Beers Affair. Master painter or conman?

From 19 March 2016 to 25 June at the Municipal Museum of Lier.

Though Jan Van Beers (1852-1927) has gone down in history as a painter, during his lifetime this artist from Lier was best known as an ambitious society figure. Realistic details characterize his work, which sometimes looks photographic, even to the extent that Van Beers was suspected of copying photographs and also of painting over them. Van Beers took his adversaries to court and had his work examined by experts. The outcome was inconclusive.


Campagnebeeld Rik Wouters en het huiselijk utopia

Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia

From 17 September 2016 until 26 February 2017 at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp.

This exhibition brings together work by Rik Wouters from the KMSKA collection and pieces by contemporary artists and fashion designers.

Campaign image Mad Maiden

Mad Maiden

From 26 August to 11 December 2016 at Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen.

The Mad Maiden is a well-known work by Rik Wouters, whose roots lie in Mechelen, and symbolises the connection between the visual arts, movement and dance.On the occasion of the centenary of the death of Wouters in 2016, Museums & Heritage Mechelen and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp will join forces again for this unique exhibition. 

Campagnebeeld Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters. Dinner is served!

From 18 June 2016 to 2 October 2016 at the Rockox House Museum.

Clara Peeters was an outsider – one of the few female fine artists in the early seventeenth century, not to mention a pioneer in the development of still life as a genre.

This exhibition was co-organised by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, the Rockox House and the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid



Power Flower. Floral Still Lifes in the Netherlands

From 28 November 2015 to 28 March 2016

The flourishing interest in the botanical world and the burgeoning fondness for things natural prompted early 17th century artists to regard bouquets of flowers as a self-contained motif.  Jan Brueghel, Jan Davidsz. De Heem, Osias Beert, Daniël Seghers, Rachel Ruysch are just some of the many artists on proud floral display at this most sweet-scented of exhibitions.

Sint³ Campagnebeeld

Saint³. Force of habit. Jimmy Kets in Bruegel Land

From 3 April 2015 to 6 March 2016

The year-long exhibition entitled Saint³. Force of Habit looked at religious traditions such as processions, kermises and pilgrimages in works from the collections of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) and the Municipal Museums Lier (Stedelijke Musea Lier). Photographer Jimmy Kets supplemented this presentation with reportages of surviving traditions relating to saints.

Campagnebeeld Uitverkoren

The Moderns. Choice Art

From 19 September 2015 to 3 January 2016

For the last time The Moderns were the guests of the Koningin Fabiolazaal. For the final exhibition we asked 40 well-known and lesser-known Flemings to choose their favourite work of art from the KMSKA's and Province of Antwerp's nineteenth and twentieth-century collections. We also wanted to know why they chose that one particular work. The result is a varied and exciting selection, a miscellany of colourful stories.

Campagnebeeld Petrus Alamire

Petrus Alamire. Polyphony in the Picture

From 19 August 2015 to 22 november 2015

The recently restored Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady will host an exhibition where unique illuminated music manuscripts and masterpieces of Flemish primitives will converge, embedded in a digital multimedia world.

Les Modernes. Tour de France Image publicitaire

The Moderns. Tour de France. French Art from KMSKA

From 31 January 2015 to 30 August 2015 

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) possesses an attractive collection of French art. In Tour de France, the Province of Antwerp and KMSKA showcased sixty of the best and most interesting nineteenth and twentieth-century pieces from the French collection.

Campaign image Abraham Ortelius

Abraham Ortelius, under the spell of classical antiquity

From 24 April to 16 August 2015

As part of The Golden Cabinet, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the Rockox House Museum are organizing a number of small-scale exhibitions. Abraham Ortelius, under the spell of classical antiquity was the fourth such exhibition in the series. Ortelius was a geographer and a friend of Nicolaas Rockox. He is generally recognised as having created the first modern atlas. This exhibition included a range of historical maps together with some printed works showing Ortelius’s reconstructions. Visitors were able to follow how he collected his knowledge and then visualised it in map book form.



Campaign Image High Horizon

High Horizon. Bruegel Land, Early 21st Century

From 26 April 2014 to 19 March 2015

An exhibition project centred on the universal visual idiom of Pieter Bruegel, his direct followers, and contemporary artists as chroniclers of their ages. The work of such present-day artists as Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Kati Heck, Rinus Van de Velde and Ria Pacquée reactivated and contemporised the historical scenes of Bruegel and his artistic heirs.

Peter Paul Rubens, The Holy family with parrot (detail), KMSKA

The Parrot. t' Cierlijk schoon van haare veren*

From 8 November 2014 until 22 February 2015

As part of The Golden Cabinet season, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) and the Rockox House Museum are organising a number of small-scale exhibitions. The Parrot is the third such exhibition in the series. Following the stunning restoration of the painting The Holy family with parrot by Rubens (KMSKA), a work that has been given pride of place in The Golden Cabinet exhibition, we are turning our attention to the parrot in the pictorial art of the 16th and 17th centuries.

* The decorative beauty of its plumage

Advertising image Art during the Great War

The MODERNS. Art during the Great War

From 20 September 2014 until 11 January 2015

This exhibition testified to the impact of the Great War on the lives and work of six authors and artists, including Rik Wouters, Emile Verhaeren and Paul van Ostaijen.

Campaign image Sensation and Sensuality

Sensation and Sensuality. Rubens and his legacy

From 25 September 2014 until 4 January 2015

Sensation and Sensuality is an exhibition by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, BOZAR Brussels and the Royal Academy of Arts in London that explores the artistic legacy of Peter Paul Rubens.

Advertising image Rik Wouters. Highlights 

Rik Wouters. Highlights

24 September 2011 - 31 December 2014   
During the renovation of KMSKA, the Museum's extensive Rik Wouters collection was put on display in Mechelen, the town where the artist was born, for a couple of years. The venue of the exhibition Rik Wouters. Highlights is Schepenhuis Museum, was temporarily transformed into a Rik Wouters museum.

Campaign image Uncannily real

Uncannily real. Magic realism and new objectivity

From 10 May 2014 until 31 August 2014

As the 20th century progressed, there were artists who maintained that trueness to nature was the best approach to capturing the beauty of the world. This exhibition featured work by Gustave Van de Woestyne, Henry van Straten, Georg Grosz, Carel Willink, Raoul Hynkes and Pyke Koch. The selection of work from the KMSKA collection will be supplemented with loans from Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, including pieces by Charley Toorop, Gino Severini and Wim Schuhmacher.

Campaign image The MODERNS. Duos 2

The MODERNS. Duos 2

From February 1 until 20 April 2014

The KMSKA exhibition The MODERNS. Duos ran in the latter part of 2013 at Koningin Fabiolazaal in Antwerp. The displays had been arranged by curators from KMSKA and the Province of Antwerp. However, this was just one way of showing the items to the public. The museum’s youth crew Jongbloed! presented its take on the original exhibition.

Campagnebeeld Bruegelland. Focus romantiek. Joseph Lies 

Bruegel Land. Focus on Romanticism. Joseph Lies

From 28 March 2013 to 14 April 2014

For a whole year, the special focus in the Bruegel Land exhibition is on a selection of ten Romantic paintings by Joseph Lies (1821 – 1865).

Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Saint Jerome, Collection Museum Rockoxhuis

From Patinir to Ribera. St Jerome in Words and Images

From 18 January 2014 until 13 April 2014

Jan Sanders van Hemessen’s picture of Saint Jerome occupied a place of honour in Rockox’s art gallery or groote saleth and is currently the only work from Rockox’s original collection that is in situ in the museum that was his house. This second small-scale exhibition within the context of The Golden Cabinet attempts to determine St. Jerome’s place in the pictorial art of the Renaissance and the Baroque in Western Europe.



Advertising image Happy Birthday Dear Academie 

Happy Birthday Dear Academie 

From 8 September 2013 until 26 January 2014 at the MAS.

Fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck and museum curator Paul Huvenne are preparing an exhibition in MAS | Museum aan de Stroom in which they will review some of the artistic highlights of the amazing history of Antwerp's Academy.   

Advertising image The MODERNS. Duos


From 21 September 2013 until 26 April 2014 at Koningin Fabiolazaal

For this 5th edition in the series of The MODERNS, we have made a selection of the finest pieces in the art collection of the Province, which for most of the time remains hidden to the public. In this show, the selected pieces enter into a dialogue with paintings, sculptures, drawings and collages from KMSKA’s own holdings.

Advertising image focus exhibition Friends' books

The Golden Cabinet. Bound in Friendship

From 28 September 2013 until 15 December 2013 at Rockox House Museum

The first focus exhibition within the context of The Golden Cabinet displays friends' books owned by 16th century students. 

Campaign image The MODERNS. Avant-garde 

The MODERNS. Avant-garde

16 March 2013 - 1 September 2013

The fourth exhibition in the series on the modern art collection of KMSKA showed a selection of works that marked a radical change of direction in artistic production and in the museum’s collection policy.

Breugelland. Vertier en trammelant campagnebeeld 

Breugel Land. Fun and Fracas

29 March 2012 - 28 March 2013

Nine months into Bruegel Land, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the Municipal Museums of Lier are presenting the first in a series of focus exhibitions. Fun and Fracas shows a selection of paintings that runs the gamut of leisure behaviour: from merrymaking and playing to drinking and brawling.

The MODERNS advertising image   

The MODERNS. Permeke & Friends 

15 September 2012 - 24 February 2013

The third exhibition in the series on KMSKA’s collection of modern art focuses on the Flemish pioneers of Expressionism. 


Advertising poster Masterpieces in the MAS 

Masterpieces in the MAS. Five centuries of images in Antwerp

17 May 2011 – 30 December 2012 
Masterpieces in the MAS. Five centuries of images in Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition of the new Museum aan de Stroom. It shows masterpieces from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA),
M HKA and Museum Plantin-Moretus/Prints Room.

  Advertising image The MODERNS. Art from the Netherlands

The MODERNS. Art from the Netherlands

28 January 2012 - 26 August 2012  

The second exhibition in the series highlighting KMSKA’s collection of modern art focused on Dutch art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Once again, the venue is Koningin Fabiolazaal in the centre of Antwerp.  

Rubens revealed advertising image 

Rubens revealed. Victory on a Roll. Oil Sketch for the Triumphal Chariot of Kallo

11 February 2012 - 13 May 2012
In the spring of 2012, the Rubens project team is presenting its latest research results at the Rockox House Museum in Antwerp.


Advertising poster The Moderns. Highlights from the Royal Museum 

The MODERNS. Highlights from the Royal Museum

29 April 2011 - 8 January 2012
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp had not even closed its doors for renovation yet, when it opened a new exhibition in the Koningin Fabiolazaal.

Museums of the 21st Century advertising poster 

Museums in the 21st Century: Concepts Projects Buildings

29 January 2011 - 30 April 2011
An exhibition that highlighted the most significant trends in contemporary museum architecture in the empty building of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.


Anselm Kiefer advertising poster 

Anselm Kiefer

23 October 2010 - 23 January 2010
The exhibition has been extended until 27 March 2011.
The Antwerp City Museums, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) and the Antwerp Museum of Modern Art (M HKA) worked together on a unique exhibition featuring contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer.

  Ensor revealed advertising poster

Ensor revealed

7 October 2010 - 13 February 2011
Following the 150th anniversary of Belgian artist James Ensor, ING Belgium, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) and the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR) joined forces to shed new light on the work of the Ostend painter at the espace culturel ING in Brussels.

Closing Time advertising poster

Closing Time

24 April 2010 - 3 October 2010
Contemporary artist Jan Vanriet set out a course in the permanent collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Wereldbeeld advertising poster


28 April 2010 - 25 July 2010
Levanto, a social enterprise located in Antwerp, asked three photographers, Lieve Blancquaert, Koen Broos and Zaza Bertrand, to portray its employees.

Rubens Revealed: La Furia del pennello advertising poster

Rubens Revealed: La Furia del Pennello

13 February 2010 - 4 April 2010
During the third edition of Rubens Revealed the researchers of the Rubens project focused on Rubens'fury of the brush.

Preview. Koen van den Broek advertising poster

Preview: Work on Paper (2009) by Koen van den Broek

22 January 2010 - 28 February 2010
Contemporary artist Koen van den Broek presented his work on paper for the very first time.



Jef Geys. Villa Wintermans advertising poster

Jef Geys: Villa Wintermans

4 December 2009 - 17 January 2010
In 2008 Jef Geys was awarded the Provincial Prize of Plastic Arts to celebrate his career. A good reason for the Province of Antwerp, M HKA and the KMSKA to organise an exhibition that focused on Geys' work.

Lajos Vajda and Hungarian Surrealism advertising poster

In the footsteps of Bartók. Lajos Vajda and Hungarian Surrealism

17 October 2009 - 17 January 2010
An exhibition of the works of the Hungarian artist Lajos Vajda.

Marcel Maeyer advertising poster

Marcel Maeyer

3 October 2009 - 29 November 2009
Former conservator Marcel Maeyer presented his more recent work in the permanent collection of the KMSKA.

Goya, Redon, Ensor advertising poster

Goya, Redon, Ensor. Grotesque Paintings and Drawings

14 March 2009 - 14 June 2009
A unique exhibition on the grotesque works in the oeuvres of Francisco de Goya, Odilon Redon and James Ensor.



Adoration of the Magi advertising poster

Rubens Revealed: Adoration of the Magi

29 November 2008 - 1 March 2009
During this second edition of Rubens Revealed the staff members of the Rubens project conducted a thorough study on The Adoration of the Magi, one of the museum's showpieces.

Heads on Shoulders advertising poster

Heads on Shoulders. Portrait Busts in the Low Countries 1600 1800

12 September 2008 - 14 December 2008
In the autumn of 2008 the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp was under the spell of portrait busts.

Jan Cox. Living One's Art advertising poster

Jan Cox: Living One's Art

15 March 2008 - 15 June 2008
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp sketched a profile of Belgian artist Jan Cox.



Rubens Revealed. The Prodigal Son advertising poster 

Rubens Revealed: The Prodigal Son

1 December 2007 - 2 March 2008
During the first edition of Rubens Revealed the researchers focused on the different stages of the genesis of Rubens' painting The Prodigal Son.

Early-Netherlandish Painters, the Finest Diptychs advertising poster

Early-Netherlandish Painters, the Finest Diptychs

3 March 2007 - 27 May 2007
A unique exhibition that travelled form the National Gallery of Art in Washington to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.



Gorge(l) advertising poster


7 October 2006 - 7 January 2007
An exhibition on the oppressive and relieving intensity of art.

Homo Faber. Jan Fabre in the Royal Museum advertising poster

Jan Fabre at the Royal Museum

12 May 2006 - 3 September 2006
Jan Fabre placed some of his recent sculptures, installations and films next to the icons of the KMSKA.



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