Belgian Countryside

We took the train from Antwerp back to Brussels where we boarded the EuroStar to St Pancras in London. Then a couple of tube rides later we caught the train from Waterloo back home to Farnham. (click images to see them larger.)

KMSKA

Our final morning in Antwerp was spent at the KMSKA (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen), which underwent a massive refurbishment for many years. It’s a stunning museum and as you can see I continue to be interested in capturing the spaces, the geometry, the whiteness (and blackness), the symmetry and awe of this cathedral to the beauty of the capitalist art world. Please do click into the images below to see them all full-sized (you may need to click on the post title above first if you’re seeing this in email).

Beguinage: Begijnhof, Antwerp

We had visited the Begijnhof in Bruges which was still operating as a beguinage. Antwerp’s is no longer has any beguines but remains a lovely and peaceful place. Click any image to see them larger (you may have to click the post title first if you’re seeing this in email)

Sint-Jacob Antwerpen

Saint James Church Antwerp

Evidently James is an English version of Jacob, via Latin and Old French. A monumental, lavishly decorated Gothic church, home to the tomb of artist Peter Paul Rubens which, alas, was closed with a lot of the church for renovation when we were there. The rear wall you see in the first picture with window light falling on it from the right is actually a painting on a barrier. Click any of the pictures to see them enlarged (unless you’re seeing this in email, in which case you may need to click the post title above first).

Future Skate-park

Study in abstract blacks and grays at this brand new skate park near the river that seems to be open even as builders continue working around it. The neighboring playground was modelled in chrome yellows and brown. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them (you may need to click the post title above first if you’re seeing this in email).

Magritte in Antwerp?

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FOMU, FOto MUseum, Antwerp

Once again, I’m struck by the architecture, the geometry, and the use (or absence) of colour in contemporary museums, almost more than by the photography I went to see.

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Grote Markt and the River

After the cathedral we walked to the Grote Markt (the central market square or “big market”) and on to the riverside, walking up to the Lange Wapper a statue of a character from local folklore who appears to be urinating on some of his supplicants. Click pictures to see them larger (click the post title, above, if you’re seeing this in email and clicking pictures doesn’t seem to work).

Cathedral of Our Lady

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal

Some touristy postcard snaps of this magnificent cathedral, famous for its Pieter Paul Rubens paintings. You can see his Descent from the Cross in the 5th picture above and next to it an homage by Sam Dillemans. The accompanying brochure explains that the very realism of the Rubens fails to perturb the contemporary viewer as it ought, where the brutal impasto of the homage succeeds (it’s difficult to write sensibly about art). Click any of the pictures to see them all big (you may have to click the post title, above, first if you’re seeing this in an email).

Streets of Antwerp

Just some street shots from our first wander around Antwerp. I spotted the older fellow in the shot on the right and bottom left while we were stopping for a sandwich and he looked so forlorn and hungry I planned to go talk to him when I was done and see if he needed some help (or food) but when I next noticed him he was walking past with a tray piled with food, so I guess my initial prejudices were wrong. Click any of the pictures to see them all bigger (if you’re seeing this in email you may need to click the post title, above, first).

A first stroll, Antwerp

Meir, a long, broad shopping street puts Fifth Avenue to shame. All of the global luxury and high fashion brands were featured here and, as we moved further West, some less upscale brands like Primark and the ubiquitous MacDonalds. Needless to say, it was chock-a-block with tourists and shoppers. Click any picture to see them all bigger (if seeing this in email you may need to click the post title, above, first).