The court of Coudenberg

This work by Lucas Gassel depicts the ducal court at Coudenberg. A beautiful residence with vast gardens, tournament grounds, several interior courtyards surrounded by a complex of buildings. It is the oldest complete representation of the former palace of Brussels.

In the background, the Court of Justice is visible. On the left, one can see the church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg where the current church of the same name is located. On the right is the tower of the court of Nassau, the current site of the Royal Library. This courtyard makes Brussels a genuine political centre of prestige. It is the stage of major political events, such as the abdication of Emperor Charles V in 1555.

However, this painting does not immediately reveal all of its secrets. Indeed, another work is hidden under the painting of the ducal court. A sketch of the work “The Copper Mine” by the same artist Lucas Gassel, archived at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

The court of Coudenberg by Gassel, 1540-1548 © Brussels City Museum