Skip to main content

Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage

Saint Ursula crowned by the Baby Jesus
Theodoor van Loon
Begijnhofkerk Brussel

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 handing 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.

Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage

This church is pretty much a museum dedicated to the work of Theodoor van Loon who also painted for the basilica in Scherpenheuvel. In 1622, he provided a magnificent Assumption of Mary for the high altar, depicting three prominent women saints. It now hangs in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and has been recently restored. Apart from the altarpiece showing Saint Ursula being crowned by the Baby Jesus, there are a further five paintings by him to be admired in the church, while a sixth work of his entitled Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist, was sadly stolen in 1973

Begijnhof 2062
Monday closed. Tuesdag to Sunday: 11:00 - 17:30
Part of this route: