Past exhibition
30 September 2023 to 7 January 2024


The Family Reunion

For many years, those who wanted to admire the world-famous works of the Brueghel family of painters had no choice but to travel to the world’s greatest museums in Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Boston. Now, for the first time in history, the Het Noordbrabants Museum is bringing together the best of five generations of Brueghel in a unique, ambitious, and game-changing collection of eighty paintings and prints – all under one roof. It’s a family reunion in 's-Hertogenbosch!

Brueghel's secret to success

Enterprising, innovative, and world-famous, the Brueghels are the apex family in Western art history. The Brueghels produced paintings that are admired for their humorous compositions, universal messages, and exceptional skill. The subjects range from wedding celebrations, famous proverbs, and Biblical stories to awe-inspiring landscapes and studies of animals, insects, and flowers.

From generation to generation, the family business remained an international success. In the exhibition you get a look behind the scenes at three creative family businesses. The questions we cannot ask the Brueghels anymore, we ask them. Because what is it like to live and work together as a family?

Photo Jan-Kees Steenman
Photo Jan-Kees Steenman

International masterpieces

For the first time in history, all five generations of the painters' family will share the stage in an all-encompassing exhibition about their strong family ties, their innovative thinking and (of course!) their art. The works on display include The Beggars by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (from Musée du Louvre in Paris), Vase of Flowers with Jewel, Coins and Shells by Jan Brueghel the Elder (from the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan) and The Drunkard pushed into the Pigsty by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (from a private collection in New York).

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Vase of Flowers with Jewel, Coins and Shells, 1606. © VENERANDA BIBLIOTECA AMBROSIANA / MONDADORI PORTFOLIO
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Beggars, 1568. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Gérard Blot
Reading tip: unravel the secrets of the Brueghels

The anticipation starts here! Get to know the Brueghel family in the article by our curator of ancient art Nadia Baadj. And then continue browsing through our online magazine for more interesting interviews and background articles.


Bringing all the Brueghels together under one roof offers a unique opportunity to unravel the family's secret. What makes a Brueghel a Brueghel? Why did the family become such an international success? And how do the Brueghels relate to current social issues, such as gender roles, colonialism and slavery, and the relationship between humans and nature?

The Brueghel women

The exhibition also takes a fresh look at the powerful women of the Brueghel dynasty. Who were they and what was their role in the family’s success? Among others, we'll meet Mayken Verhulst: one of the most important female artists of her time as well as a shrewd businesswoman, mentor, artist's daughter, teacher, wife, mother-in-law, and grandmother. In a video, Ann DeMeester, director of Kunsthaus Zurich, and Jacqueline Grandjean, director of our museum, talk about this subject.

Order the catalogue

The exhibition will be supported by a catalogue with essays by Nadia Baadj, curator of ancient art at Het Noordbrabants Museum, and scholars Arthur DiFuria, Sarah Moran, Christine Göttler, and Marlise Rijks. The catalogue is available from the online bookstore and the museum shop. It also makes a great gift!

€ 29,95 Buy now
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, The Wedding Dance (Village scene with Wedding Dance in the Open Air), c. 1610. Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent,, Hugo Maertens
Anna Maria Janssens, A garland of flower around a medaillon with the Holy Family and a music-making angel, 1620-1668. © The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerpen

With thanks to

This exhibition was made possible thanks to: the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, which has granted an indemnity guarantee on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. Co-initiators and creators of the initial concept: Charles de Mooij and Jaco Rutgers. Curator: Nadia Baadj-Groeneveld in collaboration with the entire team of Het Noordbrabants Museum. Exhibition and graphic design: Studio Berry Slok. Production animations: Marlies van der Wel, Nijnke van Willigenburg and Sanne Kerkhof. Production videos: Mals Media. Production film: Gilles van Leeuwen and Jelle Klokman. Soundscapes: Big Orange, The Audio Agency. Catalogue: Arthur DiFuria, Sarah Moran, Christine Gottler and Marlise Rijks. With special thanks to: Ann Demeester (Kunsthaus Zürich), Family de Boer (Kunsthandel de Boer) and Family El-Hamus, Mission Museum Steyl, Natural History & Ethnological Museum Oudenbosch, Floris Jan van der Voort (Historical Instruments) and Bloom & Wolf.

We also thank our lenders: P&N de Boer Foundation - Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam, The Phoebus Foundation - Antwerp, Museum Plantin-Moretus - Antwerp, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp - Flemish Community, Private Collection - Antwerp (courtesy of Galerie Lowet de Wotrenge Antwerp), KBC Bank NV - Antwerp, Museum Snijders & Rockoxhuis, Musée des Beaux-Arts - Bordeaux, Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, Groeningemuseum - Bruges, The Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum - University of Cambridge, Hessisches Landesmuseum - Darmstadt, Rijksmuseum Twenthe - Enschede, Städel Museum - Frankfurt am Main. Museum of Fine Arts - Ghent, Museum De Lakenhal - Leiden, Stadsmuseum Lier, Bonnefantenmuseum - Maastricht, Museum Hof van Busleyden -Mechelen, Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana - Milan, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Munich - Staatsgalerie Neuburg an der Donau, Private Collection - Netherlands (courtesy Haboldt & Co), Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt - Paris, Musée du Louvre - Paris, Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, National Gallery - Prague, Mauritshuis - The Hague, Museum Catharijneconvent - Utrecht, LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections - Vaduz-Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum - Vienna, JK Art Foundation - 's-Hertogenbosch. And those who wish to remain anonymous.

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