Saint Martin’s Church

Antoon van Dyck (1599-1641)

Saint Martin Dividing his Cloak
Van Dyck Sint Martinuskerk Zaventem

What was Antoon van Dyck doing in Zaventem? He was on his way to Rome, but love made him stop in Zaventem. Why not take time to stop there too on your way to the airport, to admire this Flemish master’s fine Baroque painting, which has in fact been designated a masterpiece.

De liefdadigheid van Sint-Martinus

Saint Martin’s Church

The substructure of the tower still shows that this was originally a Romanesque church (circa 1100). The present Gothic limestone church dates mainly from the 1500s and 1600s and was enlarged during the 19th century. The interior and exterior were recently restored.

Saint Martin Dividing his Cloak

Martin of Tours, who lived in the 4th century and became a bishop, was a popular saint in France and Belgium, as well as other countries. According to legend, he shared his cloak with a beggar one cold winter day. This scene was portrayed by the then twenty-something Antoon van Dyck when he was working in close cooperation with Rubens. Perhaps the commission was even intended for Rubens initially but he ran out of time. In any case, Van Dyck created the work for the church, taking into account the incidence of light from the right.

Practical information

Address

Kerkplein 1
1930 Zaventem
Belgium
View directions

Opening hours

  • From 1 October to 31 March, open Monday to Sunday from 09.00 to 16.30 hrs.

  • From 1 April to 31 September open Monday to Sunday from 09.00 to 18.00 hrs.


     

Accessibility

  • Adapted car park.

  • Horizontal circulation.

  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance.

  • Bench.

Good to know

  • Admission: free

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