Commissioning churches, chapels, schools and infirmaries and caring for the poor and needy, St 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. Major baroque artist Gerard Seghers painted in the style of Caravaggio and Rubens.
Gaasbeek Castle lies amidst a vast park of 49 ha that was designed back in the 17th century with lots of grand avenues and smaller walking paths. In the grounds, visitors will find three large ponds as well as a number of buildings with a historic connection to the castle, like the baroque St Gertrude’s chapel, the baroque pavilion with its unique stucco ceiling, the neo-gothic barn, the octagonal pavilion or gunpowder stores, the classicist triumphal arch erected in honour of Napoleon, and the former caretaker’s residence (which now houses Brasserie Graaf van Egmond). The painting can be found in the former Coach House.