Exposition : « Face to face with Death. Hugo van der Goes, old masters and new interpretations », Musea Brugge, du 28 octobre 2022 au 5 février 2023

The Death of the Virgin by Hugo van der Goes is one of the most important works in Musea Brugge’s world famous collection of Flemish Primitive art. Between 2018 and 2022, the painting was subjected to an extensive and intensive process of restoration, the results of which are truly magnificent. From autumn 2022, this masterpiece will feature both literally and figuratively as the central point in this outstanding exhibition in the Sint-Janshospitaal.

The Death of the Virgin has been part of our glorious cultural heritage for 550 years, but why does this painting continue to intrigue and inspire us, even today? How is it possible that after five centuries it still evokes universal and relevant topics that people wish to discuss?

By exploring six different themes, this exhibition will take a deeper look at ‘The Death of the Virgin’. Each theme will be developed with reference to other great masterpieces, some of which belong to the Musea Brugge collection, while others have been brought to Bruges from all over Europe. These works include paintings by Hans Memling, Jan Provoost and Albrecht Bouts, but sculptures, manuscripts and pieces of music will also be used to bring visitors face to face with death in its different forms. In total, more than seventy works of art will be displayed.

‘Face to face with Death’ will cause us to pause and reflect on a number of timeless and current subjects, such as saying a last farewell to loved ones, meaning and spirituality. The exhibition also examines the life and the iconic significance of the Virgin and sheds new light on the virtuosity of the master himself: Hugo van der Goes.


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