Interior of the collegiate church of St. Gudula

This oil painting on canvas was painted somewhere between 1660 and 1670. The work was initially attributed to Pieter Neefs (II), a painter from the Baroque period who is mainly known for his church interiors.

The depiction of detailed interiors of religious buildings is a movement that gained popularity in the 17th century. This painting depicts the current St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. It was built during the Middle Ages in Gothic style and underwent remarkable renovations.

This work was purchased at an auction in Switzerland in 2019 thanks to a tip-off that the Museum received from an enthusiast for this type of work.

The interior of the collegiate church

We see here a rood screen, a wall that was used in a church, separating the nave from the choir. The church was built in Renaissance style at the end of the 16th century. This was later removed. Baroque statues of the twelve apostles also adorn the columns of the nave. They are by important Brussels sculptors of the 17th century, including Lucas Faydherbe and Hieronymus Duquesnoy, the Younger.

Why did we include this work in our collections?

  • This painting shows a unique detailing of the church interior.
  • It is currently the oldest known colour depiction of the interior of the collegiate church.


Would you like to know more about this acquisition? Come and visit the museum to see it with your won eyes. You can also find more details about the work itself in the inventory sheet here available.