The Bruegel Experience Pieter Bruegel The Elder at the RMFAB


Pieter Bruegel The Elder, "Fall of the Rebel Angels" (detail)

On the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium celebrate the great Renaissance master through various projects.

The permanent Collection

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the most famous painters from the Renaissance period. Yet only about forty paintings from his short career (he died in 1569, around the age of 40) have been preserved, making them rare and extremely valuable. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium house the second largest ensemble of Bruegel the Elder paintings in the world. At the Old Masters Museum, you can admire several of his paintings: The Fall of the Rebel Angels (1562), the Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap and Skaters (1565), the Census at Bethlehem (1566) and the Adoration of the Kings. In addition, several copies by his sons and other (anonymous) followers allow you to further explore this brilliant artist's oeuvre.

Discover the Bruegel collection in gigapixel on the Google Arts & Culture platform here

Bruegel Unseen Masterpieces

Bruegel. Unseen Masterpieces allows the public to delve into the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder († Brussels, 1569). While the artist and his paintings are instantly recognisable worldwide, every composition also depicts a whole host of characters - some surprising, others familiar - and vignettes that provide the subtext of history, which are masterpieces worthy of exploration in their own right.

Drawing on a wide spectrum of virtual and on-site experiences, this unique initiative offers everyone the chance to immerse themselves in Bruegel’s works by honing in on the details of each painting and accessing expert knowledge. By delving deeper into the artist’s world, the viewer will discover the unexpected elements in Bruegel’s works which constitute the pinnacle of the master’s craft. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium launched this project jointly with Google Arts & Culture in anticipation of the 450th anniversary of Bruegel’s death, in 2019. 

Bruegel box

The Bruegel Box lets you live inside Bruegel's work: three immersive videos - each dedicated to one painting - are projected on three walls, floor to ceiling. We invite you to get shoulder-to-shoulder with the villagers of Bruegel’s Proverbs (1559), face to
face with the palm reader of the Sermon of Saint John the Baptist (1566) or have The Fall of the Rebel Angels (1562) at your fingertips.

Virtual exhibitions

You can explore Bruegel's masterpieces, his life, influences and legacy through 12 virtual exhibitions offered on interactive screens throughout the Old Masters Museum. Each one brings together paintings, texts, archival documents, as well as audio and video clips, so you can gain in-depth knowledge about Pieter Bruegel the Elder and experience the real-life artworks in a new way. These exhibitions, as well as 7 additional ones, can also be accessed on the Google Arts & Culture website. 

Discover the virtual exhibitions in the Old Masters Museum or on the Google Arts & Culture platform

Cardboard experience

The Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer provides another cutting-edge experience centred around The Fall of the Rebel Angels, using a smartphone to plunge the viewer into a 360 degree universe. This virtual reality experience is available on the YouTube channel of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The painting comes to life in front of your eyes: you too become one of Bruegel’s creatures.

Find the virtual reality experience here
For optimal experience, a "cardboard viewer" can be purchased at the Museum Shop (€10).
During official Bruegel Guided Tours, cardboard viewers can be loaned from the museum.

Cultural and Educational Offer

FOR individual visitors

Wander around the Old Masters Museum and discover the Bruegel collection with one of our visitor guides

  • Bruegel visitor guide
  • Audio guide Old Masters Museum, with additional Bruegel tour (French, Dutch, English, German)
  • Bruegel family trail

For Groups

Book a private tour for your group and let one of our guides immerse you into the world of Bruegel. We offer tours for primary and secondary schools, as well as adult (cultural) groups. 

Group reservations
Mail | +32 (0)2 508 33 33


The RMFAB offer a wide range of activities for individual visitors and groups in the context of the Bruegel Year. Join a guided tour, lecture, workshop,... and discover Bruegel from a new angle!


The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium aim to make their rooms and collections accessible to each visitor. Made to Measure offers guided tours, creative courses, workshops and themed activities tailored to specific audiences. In this way everyone has the opportunity to visit the museum in a personal and adapted way, regardless of disability, culture, language or any other restriction.


Bruegel’s Winter Scenes: Historians and Art Historians in Dialogue
Tine Luk Meganck & Sabine van Sprang 
248p. - 300ill.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is today best known for his peasant paintings and winter scenes. Of these, Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap (1565) and the Cens us at Bethlehem (1566) – belong to the RMFAB. The former is Bruegel's most-copied work. This focused volume presents a deep exploration and new interpretations of the winter scenes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569), in particular the Brussels panels. The book offers an enhanced understanding of the painter’s relationship to his time and the extent to which his winter scenes were meant to reflect real-life situations.
[More info]


Bruegel the Elder, Fall of the Rebel Angels
Art, Knowledge and Politics on the Eve of the Dutch Revolt

Tine Luk Meganck

This sixteenth number of the Cahiers of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium was made after several years of research on the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. This book reveals some long kept secrets about The Fall of the Rebel Angels, in particular its rendering of fantastic creatures and enigmatic objects and traces unexpected links between art, knowledge and politics in Bruegel’s time.
[More info]


Practical informations


Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Musée Old Masters Museum
Rue de la Régence / Regentschapsstraat 3
1000 Brussels
Mail  / +32 (0)2 508 32 11


Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 - 17:00
Weekends: 11:00 - 18:00

The ticket offices close half an hour before closing time.
Any person entitled to a free ticket (e.g. ICOM/journalist), is to go directly to our ticketing desk.



Mondays + 01.01, 01.05, 01.11, 11.11, 25.12


Discover all our admission prices here

In Partnership with

 Bruegel BrusselsVisit Brussels
Google Arts & CultureENGIE