Between Heaven and Earth | from March 2020

Discover 'The Last Supper' by Dirk Bouts in the new visitors centre Saint Peter's Church

Starting spring 2020, the restored St Peter’s Church will be the setting for an experience that touches all the senses. Immerse yourself in the fascinating story of this Gothic church and renew your acquaintance with its art treasures: outstanding works by Flemish Masters in their authentic context.

Outstandig artworks in their authentic setting

Sint-Pieterskerk interieur

The Grote Markt is the historic heart of Leuven, with the city hall and Saint Peter’s Church. The imposing Gothic church will be completely restored by the spring of 2020, after more thens 20 year of restauration works. This enables M – Museum Leuven to exhibit the art treasures of the church in all their glory. You will discover a unique ensemble of artworks in their original historic setting, located in the places for which they were made, with two absolute masterpieces: ‘The Last Supper’ by Dirk Bouts and the 'Edelheere Triptych' (1443), the oldest copy of the famous masterpiece 'Descent from the Cross' by Rogier van der Weyden (1438).

Dirk Bouts: Flemish Primive, city painter of Leuven

Het Laatste Avondmaal van Dirk Bouts, Leuven

Only a handful of 15th-century triptychs that match the quality of ‘The Last Supper’ by Dirk Bouts are still exhibited in their original settings. Moreover, the work is intimately linked to Leuven and its history. Dirk Bouts transposed an event in the life of Christ to his own age and his own city (1468). Jesus and his apostles sit at a table in a 15th-century patrician mansion, and they wear 15th-century clothing. Through the window, you can see Leuven’s Grote Markt during the building of the city hall. In a genious and original manner Bouts uses perspective in this paiting. Bouts is considered the odd one out among the Flemish Primitives because he consistently avoided any dramatism in his works. Due to his typical style of painting, which exudes an atmosphere of restraint, he was often called ‘the painter of silence’.
Saint Peter’s Church also features a second triptych by Bouts: 'The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus’.

Discover 14 Flemish masterpieces in one location

Sint-Pieterskerk Leuven Naaf

Ohter works will also be given prominent places in the new interior arrangements, 14 in total, such as the tomb of Henry I, the series of paintings of Proud Margaret, the design models of the church tower, the Sedes Sapientiae, the Triumphal Cross by Jan Borman and the Sacrament Tower. The ‘Edelheere Triptych’ (1443), a copy of the world-famous ‘Deposition’ by Rogier van der Weyden, will also return to its own chapel in the church.

With mixed reality M - Museum Leuven will bring artworks to life and lets you discover the vibrant Leuven of the past and present.