Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp is home to an outstanding and diverse art collection, which Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901) amassed during his lifetime. His mother, Henriëtte Mayer van den Bergh, built the house in which the collection is still exhibited (1901-1904).
Flemish and Dutch art by famous and anonymous masters is well-represented in the museum. Masterpieces from the collection include Mad Meg and The Twelve Proverbs, the two only works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in Flanders. Also on display is an important collection of paintings by Flemish Primitives and Antwerp Mannerists, such as Portraits of the Vekemans Family by Cornelis de Vos, unique portrait medallions and Christ on the Cross with Donors by Quentin Massijs, still-life’s by Roelof Koets and Cornelis Mahu, Pieter Aertsen’s Peasants by the Hearth, and Venus presenting weapons to Aeneas by Gerard de Lairesse.
Next to paintings, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh also houses drawings by Johannes Wierix and Cornelis Bega, (polychromed) sculptures made in wood and stone including several fragments of altarpieces and a unique Christmas cradle. Other important objects are an enameled hanger with a tooth- and ear pick, the ornately-illustrated Breviarium Mayer van den Bergh from the heyday of the Ghent-Bruges illumination school, and a Brussels tapestry depicting The Nativity.
Rita van Doorn, Curator (December 2021)