The strength of the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) in Ghent, one of the oldest museums in Belgium, lies in the varied nature of its collection, which is nothing short of remarkable. Never before have old masters and modernists hung side-by-side so perfectly as in this iconic museum building.

"Van Eyck. An optical revolution"

In 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent pays tribute to one of the Flemish Masters, with the largest Jan Van Eyck exhibition ever: "Van Eyck. An optical revolution". Worldwide only approximately twenty works by this artist have been preserved. On this exceptional occasion, a substantial amount of these will travel to Ghent, where they will be shown alongside works by his most talented peers. No less than 13 museum rooms are currently being redesigned for this exhibition, which is why a part of the collection is closed for its construction.

MSK: from confiscations to a huge art collection

At the end of the 18th century, Ghent was under French rule and many of the city’s art treasures were seized. Some of them can still be seen in the Louvre in Paris today. Rebellious Ghent wasn’t having any of it, and slowly began to establish a wide-ranging art collection, searching for years to find an appropriate building. The ideal location was found in the building designed by the architect Van Rysselberghe in the Citadelpark, a museum with a fantastic feeling of spaciousness and a lot of light.

Bosch and Magritte, surrounded by beauty

The collection, which ranges from Hieronymus Bosch to Rubens and Magritte, has never been shown more attractively than it is today. It covers an enormous variety of paintings, statues, drawings, etchings and tapestries, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. An auditorium, a library, a children’s workshop and a brasserie turn the MSK into a contemporary, multipurpose complex where you can spend many a pleasant hour surrounded by beauty during your weekend trip to Ghent. Why not take a virtual peek inside the MSK now?

The Mystic Lamb atones for the sins of the world

Be sure to enjoy the divine glow of the Mystic Lamb and watch—live—the restoration work being done on this masterpiece by the Van Eyck Brothers, once of the greatest works of early Flemish painting.

Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts MSK with kids

Planning a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) with kids? That’s perfect, as the museum offers an extensive range of child-friendly activities. You can go to the museum workshops or take the ‘family tour’, a route through the museum’s rooms specially for kids. A surprising experience for people of all ages, including for tiny tots!

Flemish masters, Flemish art at the MSK

On the subject of Flemish masters, works by Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Paul Rubens and James Ensor etc. can be found all over the world. But nowhere else can you gain such a complete picture of these and other world-famous Flemish artists as the place where they come from. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Groeningemuseum in Bruges and the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent tell the story of visual art in the southern Netherlands from the 15th to the 20th century. Their collections have grown in parallel through the years and complement each other perfectly. Together they form the Flemish Art Collection.