High-relief carving in the style of Grinling Gibbons
Woodcarving in limewood
Recently I paid a visit to the Jubelparkmuseum in Brussels. Not only is the Jubelparkmuseum the center of the royal galleries for art and history, it also houses the richest art collection of our country. There I had an appointment with Emile Van Binnebeke, who is conservator and the person responsible for the European decorative arts. From him I received an exclusive tour through the catacombs of the museum, a true labyrinth of hallways, storage accommodations, technical rooms …
My annual trip to Brussels
It’s for more than 40 years now that I’m a regular visitor of the Jubelparkmuseum. As a child I made an annual trip to Brussels with my parents and sisters. A visit to the museum of fine arts, the Africa museum or the Jubelparkmuseum was a must during our voyage.
Throughout the years the Jubelparkmuseum kept a certain appeal to me, that’s why it’s still my favorite museum in Brussels. Why? I don’t know exactly. Probably it has something to do with the out of date but charming character of its interior. Or maybe it’s the collection itself. After all the museum is in the possession of a very divers art collection, going from Egyptian sarcophagi to Greek art, Art Nouveau and many other decorative objects. Another reason might be the enormous labyrinth of hallways and rooms, which give you the feeling to sink into an ocean of history and art.
Every decorative style, every period and every culture is represented in the museums collection. We can therefor compare this collection to these of many other great galleries like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the V&A in London. Despite this fact, the Jubelparkmuseum remains unknown to tourists.
17th century style woodcarving
When visiting the museum I noticed that the collection of 18th century Liège style furniture and 17th century decorative art has been put back in order. Thanks to this new set up an extraordinary high-relief carving out of lime wood became the eye-catcher of the room. This beautiful piece of art reminded me of the work of the English woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (17th century), who created brilliant woodcarvings in his time.
The sculpture below might be the work of Belgian woodcarver Peter Van Dievoet (Brussels, 1661-1729). For a short period of time Van Dievoet labored in the workshop of Gibbons in London but returned to Brussels after the glorious revolution in 1688.
Observe this magnificent piece of craftsmanship
Grinling Gibbons (Rotterdam, 4th of April 1648-London, 3rd of August 1721) is considered to be one of the most influential and finest woodcarvers in the history of the United Kingdom. In spite of his recognition, very little is known about his youth, training and further life. But what we do know is that his mastership took the art of woodcarving to the next level.
The Jubelparkmuseum: for the most of us unknown but a true recommendation for everyone who loves art.
For many (incl. foreign tourists) an unknown museum, but a wonderful collection, a real must.