The in-person event takes place in the Taylorian Institute

The online event will be via Zoom

Booking is essential. See below

With author Michael Pye

Before glamorous 19th-century Paris or menacing 20th-century New York, there was Antwerp in the 16th century -  the city of Bruegel and then Rubens, a river port which played politics to become a dazzling world city.

Join Michael Pye, author of Antwerp: The Glory Years, for this talk which will explore the sensational history of the town where Bruegel and Rubens worked. 


Woodcut print of a Plan of Antwerp

Plan of Antwerp, Virgilius Bononiensis, 1565, hand-coloured woodcut © Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp

A distant view of Antwerp, seen from the East, drawn by Flemish artist Hans Bol in brown ink pen, with brown wash, over black chalk, created 1575 - 1580

A distant view of Antwerp, seen from the East, Hans Bol, 1575-1580, pen in brown ink © Ashmolean Museum. Both drawings featured in the Bruegel to Rubens exhibition


Antwerp's markets guaranteed credit for the known world whilst its scandals went around Europe, dinner table by dinner table.

Books and music and art created in Antwerp decorated Medici palaces, American chapels and helped kings when they went wooing.

It was the city of the deal which survived sieges and fires and mutinies to leave a double legacy: wonderful art, and the machinery to sell it. 

In this fascinating talk from Michael Pye, you'll delve into all this rich history and discover more about the backdrop to our current Bruegel to Rubens exhibition.

About Michael Pye

Michael Pye's 12 previous books have been translated into 15 languages; three have been New York Times 'Notable Books of the Year', two were British bestsellers and one became a Hollywood movie.

He won various prizes in Modern History at Oxford, and went on to be journalist, broadcaster and columnist in London and New York. He lives in Amsterdam.



Black and white photo of author Michael Pye

Author Michael Pye

Antwerp The Glory Years by Michael Pye - book cover

The book Antwerp: The Glory Years



The in-person event will take place in the Taylorian Lecture Theatre. The online event will take place on Zoom.

Tickets are £15 each (for both onsite and online) or £17 with gift aid.



If you have any questions, please email us at publicprogrammes@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

This event is part of our Making a Mark season of events.

Public programming is in partnership with Visit Flanders and the Diplomatic Representation of Flanders to the UK.