Skip to main content

The beguinage church

Saint Ursula crowned by the Baby Jesus
Theodoor van Loon
Begijnhofkerk

Theodoor van Loon painted this lovely scene in 1626. We see the Virgin Mary seated among a host of other women saints like a queen surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting, while the Baby Jesus on her lap is giving a laurel wreath to a smiling Saint Ursula, who is depicted kneeling down to accept her reward. The fact that the scene consists of mainly women is hardly surprising, as the painting was commissioned for the beguinage church, which was, after all, the beating heart of a community of pious women.

The beguinage church

The beguinage church could practically pass for a Theodoor van Loon museum. In 1622, he painted a magnificent Assumption of Mary for the high altar, depicting three prominent women saints. The painting in question now hangs in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, which restored it to its former glory only recently. However, there are a further five paintings to be admired in the church, apart from Saint Ursula crowned by the Baby Jesus, while a sixth work of his entitled Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist, was sadly stolen in 1973.

Begijnhof 2062
Weekdays: 9 am-5 pm - Saturday from 2 pm to 6 pm - Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm