Experience this hidden gem of a Flemish Master for the first time

Experience this hidden gem of a Flemish Master for the first time

Flemish Masters in Situ: Gerard Seghers, The vision of Saint Gertrude (1625)

With the project Flemish Masters in Situ, 'Openbaar Kunstbezit Vlaanderen' wants to share works by Flemish Masters that are still on display in their original location with a wide audience. Thanks to the King Boudewijn Foundation and with the support of the Baillet-Latour Fund we were able to have the monumental altarpiece ‘The vision of Saint Gertrude’ by Gerard Seghers restored. This painting was painted in approximately 1625 for the Saint Gertrude's Chapel, which was erected around that time in the castle domain.

You will be able to admire the restored work in the Coach House of the castle and find out all about it through an interactive touchscreen and a personal audio story. As an added bonus, Peter de Cupere created a scented installation ‘tailored’ to the painting. 

The painting

An angel in a golden robe and a green cloak leads Saint Gertrude to Mary and the child Jesus. Commissioning churches, chapels, schools and infirmaries and caring for the poor and needy, Saint Gertrude of Nivelles was mainly known for her hospitality to pilgrims. Though she was also very knowledgeable when it came to the Holy Scripture and she was a mystic who had visions, as depicted on this canvas. Her aid was often called in against fever, lunacy and rat and mice infestations, the latter of which inspired her attribute: a staff surrounded by mice. Charming groups of angels float above Maria and Gertrudis.

The painter

Gerard Seghers (1591-1651) was born and raised in Antwerp. Between 1611 and 1620 Seghers worked in Italy, where he became enthralled by the dramatic work of Caravaggio and his pupil Manfredi. By late 1620 Seghers had relocated to Antwerp again, where he painted a great many nocturnal scenes at first. In addition to being a succesful painter, Seghers also thrived as an art merchant.

'He was very sweet and tender in all his work', reads a line of verse in an ode from 1661. 'Even in a hundred years from now, his art will inspire great devotion in many a righteous soul.' 

In Situ: Chapel of Saint Gertrude

Count René de Renesse embellished Gaasbeek Castle and its park during the first half of the seventeeth century. This was also when the chapel assumed its current Baroque appearance. In 1628 the chapel was solemnly dedicated to Saint Gertrude. At this occassion, the painting by Antwerp master Seghers was placed on the high altar. That, at least, is what we suspect.

Due to climatic conditions, however, the painting will be exhibited in the former Coach House of Gaasbeek Castle. 

The fragrance 

Peter de Cupere (Leuven, °1970) is a Flemish olfactory artist who regularly exhibits in Belgium and abroad. For Flemish Masters in Situ, he sets out to create exactly the right fragrance that would inspire visitors to experience and look at the painting before them in a completely new way. 
For his fragrance composition for The vision of Saint Gertrude, Peter de Cupere was inspired by the illustration of the white lily and the vermin underneath. In addition, the colour tonality and the original location where the painting hung also played an important role in composing the scent. 


Practical info / 1 June to 30 September 2019, open daily from 10 AM until 6 PM, closed on monday, open on holidays. Included in your visit to the castle. If you only want to visit Flemish Masters in Situ: € 1, -18 years: free. 

More information: 

Contact us
Tess Thibaut Press and Communication, Kasteel Van Gaasbeek
Tess Thibaut Press and Communication, Kasteel Van Gaasbeek
About Gaasbeek Castle

Gaasbeek Castle sits enthroned amidst the rolling hills of Pajottenland just outside Brussels. The medieval castle has had an eventful history, evolving from a strategic stronghold to a spacious country house. The Count of Egmont (1522-68) was one of its most celebrated owners, but it was the eccentric Marquise Arconati Visconti (1840-1923) who set about remodeling the building in the romantic style we see today. She turned the inside of the castle into a museum to house her huge art collection, displaying it in historical stage sets. There is still something of a time machine about the dream castle she created. Visitors wander through historicizing interiors filled with tapestries, paintings, furniture, sculptures and other valuable objects.

A visit to the castle is a feast for all the senses. We aim to give our visitors an experience that will stay with them for many years to come. Imaginative contemporary art exhibitions which creatively relate the historic heritage to the present day, make for ever-changing displays.

The park surrounding the castle with its ancient trees, its lakes, avenues, narrow winding paths, chapel, pavilion and other historic buildings is the perfect place to unwind. The estate also boasts a wonderful museum garden, where old varieties of fruit and vegetables are nurtured.

Gaasbeek Castle
Kasteelstraat 40
1750 Gaasbeek (Lennik)