"Zaventem, the place where I was born and live" Zaventem by RENE_CARDOEN

Zaventem Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 38 photos

Zaventem and the portait-painter Antony Van Dyck

Before telling something about Zaventem, I have to go 400 years back in history and tell about the famous Flemish portrait-painter, Antony Van Dyck and his relationship to this small municipality at the north east of Brussels, Belgium’s capital.

Antony Van Dyck’s life story


Antony Van Dyck was born in Antwerp in 1599. Still a boy he became a pupil of Rubens, who was back in Antwerp from Italy.
Antony got his mastership at the age of 17.
Immediately Rubens took him into his service, because of his great talent,
especially as a portrait painter.
Four years later Van Dyck left Antwerp to start
an international career, working in England and in Italy.
For about ten years he was one of the court painters of Charles I,
King of Great Britain.
Van Dyck painted more than 800 portraits and made many drawings for engravings.
Royal or aristocratic people, diplomats, artists ... were his models.
The master died in London in 1641 and was buried in its Saint Paul's Cathedral.
Several Antwerp museums and churches, for instance Rubens' House,
the Museum of Fine Arts, Rockox' House, Saint Paul's church ...
possess paintings and drawings by Antony Van Dyck.

Some historical facts

On his way from Antwerp to Italy, where he intended to fulfil his talent, Antony Van Dyck stays a short time in Zaventem village. Of course there lived a beautiful young lady, Isabella Van Ophem, daughter of bailiff, Maarten Van Ophem and he fell in love with her. During his stay in Zaventem he realized a painting for the local church named “Saint Martin sharing his cape with the poor”

St Martinus church and the "Wijngaard" house

This painting is still exhibited in the Sint-Martinus church of Zaventem.



The place where Van Dyck made his masterpiece was the “Wijngaard” house, which is the tall house on the right, built with the local sandstone and a typical crow-stepped gable.

  • Intro Updated Mar 15, 2004
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Reviews (16)

Comments (11)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2006 at 8:53 PM

    Very interesting, detailed page on Zaventem. I enjoyed reading your tips very much. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • Umea6's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2003 at 7:17 AM

    Hey, lovely presentation of your hometown. Season greetings!

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2003 at 11:01 AM

    Excellent page on your home town!! I love Van Dyck, he made fabulous portraits. A bike path around Brussel airport, interesting!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2003 at 4:18 AM

    I remember very well my stay in Zaventem, but I don't think you finished showing me the town centre! I didn't get any photos!!

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2003 at 1:29 PM

    Interesting writing about Antony Van Dyck.

  • Gili_S's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2003 at 7:18 AM

    I promised to be back, so here I am. Great information & pictures

  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2003 at 2:08 AM

    Nice to learn that there is much more than just the airport

  • Jan 13, 2003 at 6:26 AM

    Intresting stories about Van Dijck and Excelsior !!

  • irisbe's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2003 at 11:01 AM

    this looks promising! I didn't knew about the love and painting story Sir Anthony Van Dyck!

  • nicoleken's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2003 at 7:57 AM

    aha, you started your Zaventem page !

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