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 modern masters and creations by contemporary artists who ‘have a thing for Bruegel’. They latch onto his themes, reinterpret them, quote him ... and thus demonstrate that his work has lost none of its relevance.

Bruegel, the misunderstanding
The exhibition starts from ‘the great misunderstanding’, when Bruegel, in the last years of the Romantic 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 explores the ways 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 James Ensor, Valerius de Saedeleer, Jules De Bruycker, Gustave van de Woestyne, Frits Van den Berghe, Jean Brusselmans, Constant Permeke, Anto Carte, Otto Dix, Stijn Streuvels, August Sander, Hubert Malfait and George Grosz. Composers and filmmakers are not missing on the roll call either.

Bruegel, today
At the same time, the exhibition pulls out various contemporary stops, with art, video and music. Curators Luk Lambrecht and Lieze Eneman invited a series of artists to delve into the themes from Bruegel’s work or into the interpretation of them by the generation of rediscoverers. This resulted in creations by Lázara Rosell Albear, Kasper Bosmans, Dirk Braeckman, Ricardo Brey, Carlos Caballero, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Leo Copers, Jimmie Durham, Christoph Fink, Jan Van Imschoot, Bart Lodewijks, Hana Miletić, Yola Minatchy, Elisabeth Ida Mulyani, Honoré d’O, Ornaghi & Prestinari, Jonathan Paepens, Emmanuelle Quertain, Kurt Ryslavy, Sam Samiee, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Grazia Toderi, Yurie Umamoto, Birde Vanheerswynghels, Peter Verhelst & Anneleen Boehme and Gosie Vervloessem. These creations will be linked to relevant existing work of Marcel Broodthaers, Mario Merz, Panamarenko and Franz West.
Studio Job also created a new sculpture for this exhibition, ‘The Peasant Wedding’, a rather funky homage to the great painter.

Bruegel, worldwide
The exhibition also presents a creation by Rimini Protokoll, one of Berlin's most creative theatre companies. They developed an immersive Virtual Reality installation that focuses on our contemporary food industry, with the ironic title: ‘Feast of Food’. While Bruegel was alive, food was still produced close to the consumer, only gradually exotic products found their way to our tables. This had radically changed in the 21st century: the families of farmers, as depicted by Bruegel, have turned into high-tech agro-industries and the food we buy in supermarkets has become a highly customized product whose origins most of us ignore. Meanwhile, the world population has doubled in the last 50 years. Rimini Protokoll embarks on a search to find out what farming and food production look like today. You, as a visitor, will be submerged into a world in which people work for us, far from our own kitchens: from Rungis – near Paris, the biggest food market in the world – to a gigantic slaughterhouse in Bavaria or plantations in Almería.

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

More info


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


Feast of Fools-ticket: €15 (incl. art in Museum garden)
Consessions and groups (at least 10): €14 p.p.
Under 18: €2
Under 7: free


Online ticketing here available. 
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:

Jean Brusselmans, 'Carnival' (1952), Mu.ZEE, Ostend, photo: Steven Decroos
Grazia Toderi, Babel Red (2006), photo: Dirk Pauwels
Gustave Van de Woestyne, 'The porridge eater', 1911, Sint-Martens-Latem, Gemeentelijk Museum Gevaert-Minne, (c) Erwin De Keyzer
Ornaghi & Prestinari, Caduta (Fallen) (2018), photo: Dirk Pauwels



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Ornaghi & Prestinari, 'Fallen'