Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered

07 April 2019 - 28 July 2019

Pieter Bruegel is often seen as the embodiment of Flemish identity. Why has that been so since the revival of his work around 1900? How has he grown to become an icon, an inexhaustible source of inspiration and a huge cliché? In the exhibition "Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered" the visitor becomes acquainted with a series of key works by Flemish and international artists who ‘have a thing about Bruegel’. They latch onto his themes, reinterpret them, quote him ... and thus demonstrate that his work has lost none of its relevance.

The exhibition takes as its starting point ‘the great misunderstanding’, when Bruegel, in the last years of the Romance era, was proclaimed a painter of peasant psalms, crackling snow landscapes and eternally rustling cornfields, with his roots firmly in the Flemish clay. The exhibition inquires the way in which Flemish, and by extension Belgian and international artists, handled his artistic legacy in the period between and after the wars. Hence we focus on the following artists: James Ensor, Valerius De Saedeleer, Jules De Bruycker, Gustave Van de Woestyne, Jean Brusselmans, Constant Permeke, Anto Carte, Otto Dix and George Grosz.

At the same time, the exhibition pulls out various contemporary stops, with art, performance and music. In collaboration with curators Luk Lambrecht and Lieze Eeneman, ten artists have been invited to delve into the themes from Bruegel’s work or into the interpretation of them by the generation of rediscoverers. These creations are linked to existing works relevant within the context. Included artists are Pascale Marthine Tayou, Honoré d’O, Emanuelle Quertain, Jan Van Imschoot & Salam Atta Sabri, Dirk Braeckman/Franz West/Lisbeth Gruwez, Kasper Bosmans, Gilberto Zorio, Grazia Todori, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová, Christoph Fink, Daniel Buren, Jimmie Durham & Ricardo Brey and Bart Lodewijks.

The exhibition pathway through Gaasbeek Castle will be enhanced dramaturgically by Rimini Protokoll, with their work Global Village. After Bruegel. Rimini Protokoll will stage a contemporary portrait of rural life around the planet in the form of an immersive video installation in Gaasbeek Castle for head-mounted displays. Just like in Bruegel’s paintings the spectator will be confronted with a tableaux that depicts the crucial reality of life on the countryside, but not only in Belgium, also in a village in Burundi, East Anatolia, Utah or Punjab. And this time the spectator will be in the middle of this society model. The figures will move all around him.

The exhibition Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered is part of the ‘Flemish Masters’ project of VISITFLANDERS, which is supporting Feast of Fools. Bruegel Rediscovered.


7 April to 28 July 2019
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last visit at 5 p.m.)
Open every day except Mondays
Open on Holidays


€ 15 (incl. Museum garden)
Consessions and groups: € 14
Under 18: € 2
Under 7: free


Online ticketing as of September 2018 at
Guided visits can be booked at least two weeks in advance at 
Trade contact: Nancy Verhulst,, T +32 (0)2 531 01 44

Copyright pictures:
Constant Permeke, Kermis (1921), Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp © - Art in Flanders vzw, photo Hugo Maertens
Valerius De Saedeleer, Sneeuw in Vlaanderen (1928), Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp © - Art in Flanders vzw, photo Hugo Maertens
Gustave Van de Woestyne, De papeter (1911), Sint-Martens-Latem, Municipal Museum Gevaert-Minne, © Erwin De Keyzer

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