Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium

Outstanding Flemish Primitives, old masters in Brugge / Bruges.

A visit with your own art historian, traveling in for you.

Re-discovery of Flemish Primitive painters. The word Primitive must be understood als “the first” as in Prime. Not a derogatory term at all.

Join me for a great visit to Groeninge Museum Brugge, Belgium.  I will be your private professore, travelling in from Amsterdam, Holland specially for you. Tour by Drs Kees Kaldenbach, a professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry. Entry best at from 9 or 10AM.

Please note, this is a high level offer. Practicalities: I live in Amsterdam, Holland and do NOT run a travel agency.  I do however provide Fabulous international museum tours. The plan is that you contract me for one or more days as your private ‘Professore’ and offer full transport to that city, plus hotel accommodation in the same place you will stay. We will spend quality time together in mornings and early afternoons.

Jan Provoost: Mr Death gets a letter.

Bruges was THE place in which the nobility from the Burgundian Empire (which included these lands) bought their most expensive cloths and objects.

Bruges used to be an important harbour until the fateful years when the estuary to the North Sea silted up, and became blocked. Commercially the city died.

How did these great collections end up here in backwater Bruges anyway? In 1794, French troops stole many works from abbeys and churches during the occupation of Northern Europe. Art works were selected by “art commissioners”. About 200 works of the Flemish Primitives were selected; some went to Paris and some stayed in a local Bruges Abbey. After the war, collections were returned to the Art Academy in Bruges and to Bruges Town Hall.

Van Eyck, Canon Van der Paele, detail of hands.

The present building dates from 1930, and proudly shows the fabulous holdings. The most outstanding work is The Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele, a large oil-on-oak panel painting by Jan van Eyck. Standing in front, it looks like a high-definition photograph which takes your breath away.


Van Eyck. Portrait.

Van Eyck, Canon Van der Paele, with Virgin Mary and Saints. This Canon Van der Paele was a Vatican apparatschik and generally a Fat Cat. He ended up against his will in this minor city, Brugge, and splurged on a Van Eyck painting.

Van Eyck, The Canon Van der Paele, detail, himself, warts and all. He succeeded in getting world fame after all.

Jan Provoost: Mr Death gets a letter. Does the Sitter want to say positive things about himself?

Jan Provoost: Story in 4 scenes, Mr Death and the Miser. The latter receives a letter.

Outside in Brugge. Nationist Glee in Guldensporenslag, when French nobility was routed by farmers with pitchforks. Cities won.

A Michelangelo still kept in a church in Brugge after having been taken by the Nazis.

City Hall in Brugge

Fairy tale scene in Brugge. The city was restored back over-enthusiastically to resemble Fantasyland.

This canal shows the un-restored beauty of Bruges.

Just outside the Groeninge Museum.



Outside, windy day in Brugge

Huge Belfort in Brugge. Flemish cities vied for greatness in many ways.



Author Kaldenbach lecturing in front of Vermeer


Business card. Lectures & Museum visits.



This trip could be ideally combined with he HUGE altarpiece in Ghent by Van Eyck.







Tour by professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.

Overview of International tours (outside Holland).