De zeven wonderen van Brugge

The Seven Miracles of Bruges

Pieter I Claeissens

About this artwork

This painting is an exceptional document as a historical source. Together with the Bruges Card, by Marcus Gheeraerts from 1562, it forms a unique and rare documentary image document of the sixteenthcentury Bruges cityscape. Because of the representation of architectural structures, some of which have just been completed, the work gets a great gauge value. Five of these buildings still exist today. The theme of the Seven Wonders of the World, from ancient times, was probably used in a humanistic milieu to propagate the city as an image of the humanistic ideal. Just like Lodovico Guiccardini's ideal city, Bruges was presented as a city with water facilities, a covered transfer point, imposing civil, urban or ecclesiastical buildings, international trade relations. Furthermore, in this painting an attempt can be made to propagate the city for foreign traders because of economic decline. As an expression of humanist ideals, this work has a great value for the maintenance of the collective memory.

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