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3 nights from £879

The Flemish Masters

Join art historian Gerald Deslandes to follow the history of Northern Realism back to its roots in the 14th century. At this time the artists of Ghent and Bruges developed many of the technical innovations that we now associate with the Renaissance. New techniques included the use of oil paint on smooth Baltic panels and experiments with different brushes and coloured pigments. Whilst they were increasingly able to imitate reality, they were also able to represent feelings and emotions, the hallmarks of Northern Realism, which we see most clearly in the work of Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling.

This tour will explore the medieval Burgundian court and the rise of Antwerp in the 16th century. We will compare the effect of the Reformation on the work of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and contrast it with the exuberant Counter Reformation paintings of Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. The tour also includes guided walks around three extremely beautiful city centres, which provide a fascinating insight into the medieval and early modern world.

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