Art lovers are spoiled for choice in Brussels. With a wealth of major galleries in the city, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller venues. Saturday, I was surprised to find one gallery I had so far over-looked was not so small. The Musée d’Ixelles (or Ixelles Museum) is truly a hidden Gem.
What I was expecting was a small one or two room gallery run by the commune. What I discovered was a large airy space on two levels that seemed to go on forever.
My purpose in visiting the gallery was to see an exhibition called Fading that showcases the work of forty contemporary Belgian artists. This show was located in the main hall and included a few pieces that caught my eye. It was the permanent collection however that really shocked me.
In a side corridor off the main exhibition hall, I discovered a brilliant collection of 19th and 20th century art. Belgian artists are well represented and I was pleased to see half a dozen works by René Magritte. In addition, there are several small Picassos, work by Max Ernst, Joan Miro and Gustave De Smet among many others. Two entire rooms are dedicated to posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who had lived and worked in Belgium for several years. In a final room I discovered an excellent photographing exhibition called Portraits of Asia by Christine Nilsson which consisted of beautifully colourful portraits printed on aluminium.
If you’ve already visited the major galleries in Brussels, or if you’re looking for something a little more bite sized, I highly recommend a trip to the Musée d’Ixelles. I will definitely be returning.
If you are looking for inspiration on art venues to visit in Belgium, visit the Kunstart website. It is the best database for galleries big and small across the country.