Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage

‘Bernard van Orley’

20 Feb. →
26 May'19

Brussels and the Renaissance

Bernard van Orley was one of the pivotal figures of the Renaissance in the Low Countries. BOZAR and other prominent Belgian institutions are teaming up for the first major monographic exhibition devoted to this 16th century artist. Van Orley was a painter at the court of Margaret of Austria and Mary of Hungary and was inundated with commissions. As a young man he was already at the head of one of the biggest workshops of his time. He painted religious subjects and also designed wall tapestries and stained glass windows. In this exhibition special attention is paid to his portraits that place him at the centre of an important network of political advisors, influential clergymen and humanist thinkers. His work was in constant dialogue with that of contemporaries such as Albrecht Dürer and Raphael. 

From all over the world works by Van Orley will travel back to the place where they were once created, to be reunited in one historic exhibition. A unique opportunity to (re)discover this Brussels master.


Bernardi Bruxellensi Pictori - Coudenberg Palace
Specially for the occasion we will open the underground passageway, which runs between the Centre for Fine Arts and the Coudenberg Palace, at a few choice moments. You will be able to descend directly, from the exhibition of works by court artist Bernard van Orley in BOZAR, into the ancient remains of the Coudenberg imperial palace during Thursday evening nocturnes, family discovery tours on Saturdays, the school holidays, Family Day and during the combi visit (30.03, 27.04, 25.05).
Hof van Busleyden

Margaret of Austria is also the focus of the new museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen. With the voucher with your ticket for the Bernard Van Orley exhibition, you can discover everything about the Burgundian city palace at a reduced rate.
Art & History Museum
Especially for the occasion, the Art & History Museum is setting up the remaining 8 tapestries from the series of Jacob's History and the first tapestry from the series Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. These tapestries can be viewed at group rates on presentation of your Bernard van Orley ticket. 
In the footsteps of Bernard van Orley...
With this walking guide you literally follow in the footsteps of Bernard van Orley. Be sure to take a look at the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral and discover the stained-glass windows designed by Van Orley. 
Bernard van Orley. Red Monastery and the Sonian Forest in the 16th Century
The Red Monastery arts centre puts Bernard van Orley in the spotlight. He designed cartons for the tapestry series Maximilian's Yachts, which show detailed images of Brussels buildings and hunting grounds and sketch a picture of the fauna and flora of the Sonian Forest at the time.
Brussels City Museum
In the collection of this beautiful building on the Grand-Place you will find a tapestry from the series Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon and a cardboard by Pieter Coecke that used to be attributed to Van Orley.

Practical information


BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts

Rue Ravenstein 23 1000 BRUSSELS


€ 12 for groups of 10 or more people



- Bernard van Orley

Prints in the Age of Bruegel 


Opening hours
Tue - Sun, 10 am - 6 pm
Thu, 10 am - 9 pm
Closed on Monday

Guided Tours on request

Reservation and prices: via the application form
Info: +32 2 507 83 36 -
Reservation : application form

​​​​​​​Free audioguides available via our BOZAR app


(FR · NL, 320p.)
€ 49,90

Free admission with the Museum Pass. Buy your card here!