Museum Mayer van den Bergh

The Museum Mayer van den Bergh houses a unique collection of art from Belgium and abroad. This was assembled by Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, a 19th-century connoisseur who collected art virtually full-time.

Fritz who?

Fritz Mayer (1858-1901) was the son of Emil Mayer, a German and one of the wealthiest businessmen in 19th-century Antwerp. When Emil died, Fritz went to live with his mother and devoted himself to his passion: art collecting. In 1887, Fritz was elevated to the nobility, and added his mother’s surname to his own. From then on his full name was Fritz Mayer van den Bergh.


Entering the art world was no easy matter for Fritz, given his background in the business world. However, he learnt a lot in a relatively short time. Soon he was a true authority.
Fritz was keen on unknown and less popular art, which he acquired on a huge scale, studying each work in minute detail. Afterwards he would then sell some of the works. Clearly he had inherited his father’s entrepreneurial spirit.


That Fritz was always ahead of his time – although sometimes only by a few months – is evident from the value of his collection. For instance, there are only fourteen paintings by Breughel anywhere in the world, two of which hang in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. One of these is the famous work Dull Gret. 

The entire museum, which has a very home-like feel to it, is full of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and stained glass windows. It's not hard to succumb to this collector’s refined taste.

Unfortunately, the Dull Gret is currently being restored and will therefore not be up for display.

After visiting the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, stay in historical mood with a visit to the Maidens’ House Museum or the Rubens House, or carry on exploring the Theatre District

Jan Crab


Lange Gasthuisstraat 19
+32 33 38 81 88

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