Arentshuis - More info
This neoclassical building from the last quarter of the 18th century owes its name to its last private owner, Aquilin Arents de Beerteghem. The porch, with its four palm-leaf capital columns, and various Egyptian Empire-style elements that were added later bear witness to the egyptomania that was so popular at the time also reached Bruges. They probably date from Napoleon Bonaparte’s visit to Bruges in 1810.
The top floor shows Frank Brangwyn’s phenomenal artistic versatility. His work belonged to many different schools: social realism, Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and modernism. He painted with oils, tempera, and watercolours, was a prominent graphic artist, and, influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, also designed furniture, stained-glass windows, and even jewellery. Downstairs, the Groeninge Museum organises temporary exhibitions.
The collection is the result of two donations. Englishman John Steinmetz (1795-1883) left the museum his collection of over 17,000 prints and drawings when he died. When the City obtained Arents House in 1909, these formed the basis for a print gallery. In 1936, English artist Frank Brangwyn also donated a large portion of his oeuvre to the city of his birth.