Fritz, who had been fascinated by Bruegel since an early age, set out systematically to find work by the then little-known and mysterious painter. He purchased a first print after Bruegel as early as 1890, followed three years later by no fewer than twenty-two more. But the best was yet to come: in October 1894, Mayer van den Bergh picked up Dulle Griet for just 488 Belgian francs – an absolute bargain when you consider that a work by Rubens changed hands that same year for 45,000 francs. In 1899, five years later, Fritz bought a second painting by Bruegel: Twelve Proverbs on Plates.

During his short life, Mayer van den Bergh rekindled interest in Bruegel who, thanks to Fritz’s enthusiasm, has now been studied and coveted for over 100 years. The Mayer van den Bergh Museum is the place in Flanders to discover Bruegel. It has two paintings by him and several works by his sons, and testifies to Fritz’s fascination for this mysterious artist.

 

Practical information

  • Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: Mayer van den Bergh Museum