Belgium Beauties

by - June 16, 2015

I was invited by Singer Laren to go to the opening of their new exhibition called Belgische Schone (Belgium Beauties). I've never ever before have been to an opening of anything. Well, not entirely true, I accidently went to the opening of the new Pull & Bear shop in Amsterdam. Didn't even know it was the opening, I just thought that they were very kind by giving free stuff away...

They started of with a virtual guided tour through the exhibition by museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm. He highlighted the main master pieces that were later to be seen in real life, and gave us some background information about the 'meetings' between the Dutch artists and the Belgium artists. An important note to add here is that the exhibition exists out of about 80 works from Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent (and naturally works from Singer Laren's own collection and others, but the exhibition mainly contains works from Gent).

This year it's the 200th celebration of the Republic of the Netherlands. Although this exhibition isn't officially part of the celebrations, the works shown are naturally a good representation of the interactions between both parties. It's also the celebration of 20 years of cultural collaboration between Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands. Drinks all around!

Blouse: Primark
Skirt: Jil Sander
Hat: Primark
Shoes: H&M 
Tights: Wibra
Socks: Primark 
Belt: St Oliver
Bag: Vintage 
Necklace: Vintage
Lipstick: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Fascinante #38

After Jan Rudolph and Catherine de Zegher (the museum directress of MSK Gent) made their speeches (AND after some live music), we were released into the wild. Naturally I gave my mother -my plus one for the evening- a personalized tour through the building. And personal it was. *smirks*

Having worked on the exhibition myself, it was very interesting (and somewhat weird) to see the finishing product. Belgische Schone is a perfect example of a summer exhibition in Singer Laren. There are a lot of different artists and styles present, but together they give you the complete story of the classic modern art from Belgium. Big names as James Ensor, René Magritte, Paul Delvaux, Jan Toorop, Jan Sluijters and Carel Willink are on show. Almost all the -isms are included. From Impressionism to expressionism, pointillism, symbolism, magic realism and finally surrealism.  

Not to forget, the whole thing sets off on realistic salon paintings. A perfect example of this is the immage carrier of the exhibition, namely Portrait of Marguerite van Mons 1886 by Theo van Rysselberghe. A portrait of a girl mourning about the death of her mother. Not necessarily one of the most happiest scenes, but very intriguing. Although I don't think it resembles the exhibition very well. Naturally there's the parallel between her being a Belgium Beauty and the foundation of the other works on the walls. However the realistic salon paintings -shown solidly in the first room- are more an example for the experimentations shown in the other rooms. Where it all takes off, basically. But still, I'd recommend to go and look at it in real life. Those pastels are to die for.

A personal favourite of mine is René Magritte's Perspective II: Manet's Balcony 1950. As clearly to be seen, based on Le Balcon 1868 by Edouard Manet. However, there's something different... By making these clearly references to other artists works, Magritte makes art the subject of discussion. He almost mimics Manet's work by the detail, but coffined the well-known artistic people he's initially painted. First of all naturally because by the time of Magritte, these people were long gone. Forgotten maybe even. But what does this say about Manet's work? Well...

Anyway, Belgische Schone will be on show till 30.08.2015 in Singer Laren. Go see it when you can!


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  1. It was a lovely night out. So cozy together on the road. A beautiful exhibition with a lot of personal obtained background information. Many thanks.
    And your outfit.... Do I need to say anything......

    love, Marjan