This Pentecost triptych from 1587 was made as an altarpiece for the Church of St Martin and now hangs in the Winter Chapel or Saint Anne’s Chapel. On the right, we see Jesus’ baptism (with the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove) and on the left God breathing the breath of life into Adam. The central panel, then, shows the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, its symmetrical composition putting Mary at the centre with folded hands and a book open on her knees. Bernard de Rijckere, a successful Renaissance painter born in Kortrijk, lived and worked mainly in Antwerp. He was evidently well-regarded as even Rubens himself had a painting by him!
The current three-aisle hall church was built between 1390 and 1466 as a replacement for the first gothic St Martin’s church which had been destroyed. Part of it was rebuilt in neo-gothic style after a fire in 1862. The 83m tower in Brabantine gothic with a complete 49-bell carillon in its wooden top definitely catches the eye in the Kortrijk skyline. The church also contains a number of remarkable art pieces, including a Tabernacle tower of 6.5 m high.