Tucked behind a pillared, neoclassical facade on the edge of Citadelpark, the fine arts museum traces the story of Belgian art from the glowing, almost Byzantine religious art of the Middle Ages to modern day. Although it has its fair share of work by the Flemish Primitives, including the recently restored Bosch painting “Saint Jerome” (ca. 1485), plus Rubens and Van Dyck—where this museum really excels is in its later offerings. The late 19th century was a period of great artistic flowering in Ghent, and this is reflected in the works by fin de siècle artists such as James Ensor and Theo van Rysselberghe, whose work bears an uncanny resemblance to the paintings of his American contemporary John Singer Sargent. All artwork hangs evocatively highlighted against dark walls embellished with bright-white neoclassical friezes.

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