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Between Heaven and Earth

Discover The Last Supper by Bouts

Between Heaven and Earth: Experience The Last Supper by Bouts.

Just around the corner from M Museum Leuven, the restored St Peter’s Church will soon be the setting for a new sensory experience. M will guide you through the fascinating story of this Gothic church and help you renew your acquaintance with its art treasures: outstanding works by Flemish Masters in their authentic context. ‘Mixed Reality’ will bring Dieric BoutsLast Supper truly to life and let you discover a vibrant Leuven, past and present.

February 2019

Restoration of the font

Restoration of the font dating from the 15th century and attributed to Quentin Massys the Elder. The original font cover disappeared during the French Revolutionary period. Josef Van Uytvanck designed the current cover in 1954, entirely in the Gothic style.

2019
More info
2019
Een van de panelen van 'De Marteling van de heilige Erasmus' wordt onderzocht
December 2018

Masterpiece examined

The masterpiece The Martyrdom of St Erasmus, which has hung in St Peter’s Church for almost 600 years, undergoes a series of examinations. This preliminary research is to increase our knowledge of the work before restoration begins in the spring of 2019.

2018
2018
Mural in the choir chapel
Autumn 2018

Restoration of the choir

The murals in the coir chapels are uncovered and restored

2018
More info
2018
Reocation of The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts
July 2018

Relocation of the masterpieces

The final stage begins in the restoration of the church’s interior. The M-Treasury at St Peter’s is closed to allow this work. Masterpieces by several Flemish Masters that were displayed in the choir, including The Last Supper by the Leuven painter Dirk Bouts, are moved temporarily to the nave of St Peter’s Church.

2018
More info
2018
De tot museum ingerichte kooromgang van de Sint-Pieterskerk wordt omgedoopt tot ‘M-Schatkamer van Sint-Pieter’.
2009

M-Treasury of St Peter’s

The ambulatory of St Peter’s Church, which has been converted into a museum, is renamed ‘M-Treasury of St Peter’s’ and forms part of M Museum Leuven.

2009
More info
2009
© @leuvenbyair
1999

UNESCO World Heritage

St Peter’s Church and the belfry are given UNESCO World Heritage status in recognition of their immense historical and cultural value.

1999
More info
1999
Interior of St Peter's Church
1980

St Peter's church becomes museum

The imposing ambulatory of St Peter’s Church is turned into a museum for religious art.

1980
1980
1944

Destruction during WW II

Just as the Second World War is approaching its end, fate strikes again and a large part of the building is bombed, causing the loss of many precious artworks.

1944
1944
Ruïnes van de Oude Markt en de Grote Markt te Leuven in 1914
1914

First World War

The First World War breaks out. The roof and a substantial part of the interior of St Peter’s Church are reduced to ashes.

1914
More info
1914
Het interieur van de Sint-Pieterskerk te Leuven in 1667
1667 - Barok

Baroque chapels are installed

Over the years, Baroque chapels are installed in St Peter’s Church.

1667
More info
1667
Ontwerp kerk
16de eeuw

Original design is changed

The West Front still has three (unfinished) towers at this point due to repeated collapses caused by soil instability. In the end, the original design has to be changed and the towers are left permanently unfinished. The dreamed-of central tower would have been 168 metres high, making St Peter’s the tallest of all Brabant’s cathedrals. The original plans have survived and are now in M Museum Leuven.

1500
More info
1500
© Rudi Van Beek
Tweede kwart 15de eeuw

Construction of the current Gothic church

The Romanesque building is gradually dismantled and construction of the current Gothic church begins. It will take over a century to complete the building. Little remains today of the late-medieval structure. Only the crypt (the former imperial mausoleum), which was discovered during archaeological excavations shortly after the Second World War, can still be visited by the public.

1425
More info
1425
1381

West Front is crowned

The original West Front is crowned with a wooden structure that will go up in flames a few decades later and subsequently be demolished.

1381
1381
•	Grafmonument van Hendrik I, hertog van Brabant
986

St Peter’s Church is built

The original building is replaced by a Romanesque church in stone with six bays and a square choir. It functions as a symbol of both political and religious power. The West Tower of the church serves as the city belfry. From now on, the Dukes of Brabant will be buried in the church’s crypt, which can still be seen today. The tomb of Duke Henry I of Brabant is now located in the choir of the church. His remains are interred in the crypt.

986
More info
986
February 2019

Restoration of the font

Restoration of the font dating from the 15th century and attributed to Quentin Massys the Elder. The original font cover disappeared during the French Revolutionary period. Josef Van Uytvanck designed the current cover in 1954, entirely in the Gothic style.

2019
Mural in the choir chapel
Autumn 2018

Restoration of the choir

The murals in the coir chapels are uncovered and restored

2018
Oude muurschilderingen worden opnieuw blootgelegd.
Oude muurschilderingen worden opnieuw blootgelegd.
Reocation of The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts
July 2018

Relocation of the masterpieces

The final stage begins in the restoration of the church’s interior. The M-Treasury at St Peter’s is closed to allow this work. Masterpieces by several Flemish Masters that were displayed in the choir, including The Last Supper by the Leuven painter Dirk Bouts, are moved temporarily to the nave of St Peter’s Church.

2018
Topstukken zoals 'Het Laatste Avondmaal' van de Leuvense schilder Dieric Bouts, één van de belangrijkste Vlaamse Primitieven, krijgen tijdelijk een nieuwe plaats in de Sint-Pieterskerk.
Topstukken krijgen tijdelijk een nieuwe plaats.
De M-schatkamer blijft leeg achter.
De tot museum ingerichte kooromgang van de Sint-Pieterskerk wordt omgedoopt tot ‘M-Schatkamer van Sint-Pieter’.
2009

M-Treasury of St Peter’s

The ambulatory of St Peter’s Church, which has been converted into a museum, is renamed ‘M-Treasury of St Peter’s’ and forms part of M Museum Leuven.

2009

© Rudi Van Beek

'Het Laatste Avondmaal' van Dieric Bouts in de M-Schatkamer van Sint-Pieter
© Rudi Van Beek
© @leuvenbyair
1999

UNESCO World Heritage

St Peter’s Church and the belfry are given UNESCO World Heritage status in recognition of their immense historical and cultural value.

1999

© @leuvenbyair

Ruïnes van de Oude Markt en de Grote Markt te Leuven in 1914
1914

First World War

The First World War breaks out. The roof and a substantial part of the interior of St Peter’s Church are reduced to ashes.

1914
Ruïnes van de Oude Markt en de Grote Markt te Leuven
• Ruins of the Oude Markt and the Grote Markt in Leuven in 1914: G/159/G • Head of Christ from the ‘Crooked’ or ‘Brown Cross’: C/408-a
Hoofd van Christus van het Kromme of Bruine Kruis
Anonymous, Head of Christ from the ‘Crooked’ or ‘Brown Cross’, c. 1200 M Museum Leuven © www.lukasweb.be – Art in Flanders vzw, photograph: Dominique Provost
Leuven ligt in puin
© Universiteitsarchief, Leuven. Foto: Bruno Vermeulen
Het interieur van de Sint-Pieterskerk te Leuven in 1667
1667 - Barok

Baroque chapels are installed

Over the years, Baroque chapels are installed in St Peter’s Church.

1667

Wolfgang de Smet, Interior of St Peter’s Church in Leuven in 1667, 1667
M - Museum Leuven © www.lukasweb.be – Art in Flanders vzw. Photo: Dominique Provost

Ontwerp kerk
16de eeuw

Original design is changed

The West Front still has three (unfinished) towers at this point due to repeated collapses caused by soil instability. In the end, the original design has to be changed and the towers are left permanently unfinished. The dreamed-of central tower would have been 168 metres high, making St Peter’s the tallest of all Brabant’s cathedrals. The original plans have survived and are now in M Museum Leuven.

1500

The West Front still has three (unfinished) towers at this point due to repeated collapses caused by soil instability. In the end, the original design has to be changed and the towers are left permanently unfinished. The dreamed-of central tower would have been 168 metres high, making St Peter’s the tallest of all Brabant’s cathedrals. The original plans have survived and are now in M Museum Leuven.

Images:

  • Model of the West Towers of St Peter’s Church – Joost Massys: B/VI/247
  • The tower of St Peter’s Church in Leuven after the collapse in 1604: LP/454
  • West Front of St Peter’s Church in Leuven with three towers: LP/456
Ontwerp voor de westtorens van de Sint-Pieterskerk in Leuven
Joost Massys, Ontwerp voor de westtorens van de Sint-Pieterskerk in Leuven, ca. 1505 M - Museum Leuven © www.lukasweb.be - Art in Flanders vzw, foto Dominique Provost
Model of the West Towers of St Peter’s Church
Joost Massys, Model of the West Towers of St Peter’s Church, 1524 - 1530, M - Museum Leuven © www.lukasweb.be - Art in Flanders vzw, Photo Dominique Provost
Tower of the St Peter's Church, Louvain
Henri Otto/ Lodewijk Jozef Van Peteghem, Tower of the St Peter's Church, Louvain, c. 1855 -1860 (lithograph) M – Museum Leuven © M - Museum Leuven
West Front of St Peter’s Church in Leuven with Three Towers
Minnoye/Lodewijk Jozef Van Peteghem, West Front of St Peter’s Church in Leuven with Three Towers, second half 19th century (lithograph) M Museum Leuven © M Museum Leuven
© Rudi Van Beek
Tweede kwart 15de eeuw

Construction of the current Gothic church

The Romanesque building is gradually dismantled and construction of the current Gothic church begins. It will take over a century to complete the building. Little remains today of the late-medieval structure. Only the crypt (the former imperial mausoleum), which was discovered during archaeological excavations shortly after the Second World War, can still be visited by the public.

1425

Van het laatmiddeleeuwse romaanse gebouw blijft vandaag nog weinig over. Enkel de crypte (de vroegere keizerlijke grafkerk), die werd ontdekt tijdens archeologische opgravingen vlak na de Tweede Wereldoorlog, is vandaag nog door het publiek te bezoeken. 

•	Grafmonument van Hendrik I, hertog van Brabant
986

St Peter’s Church is built

The original building is replaced by a Romanesque church in stone with six bays and a square choir. It functions as a symbol of both political and religious power. The West Tower of the church serves as the city belfry. From now on, the Dukes of Brabant will be buried in the church’s crypt, which can still be seen today. The tomb of Duke Henry I of Brabant is now located in the choir of the church. His remains are interred in the crypt.

986
The face of Adelaide (Aleidys) of Burgundy (1233–1273), Duchess of Brabant.
Anonymous, Head of Adelaide of Burgundy (1233–1273), Duchess of Brabant, final quarter 13th century M - Museum Leuven © www.lukasweb.be – Art in Flanders vzw, photograph: Dominique Provost

 Ze fungeerde als een symbool voor zowel politieke als religieuze macht. De westelijke toren van de kerk deed dienst als stadsbelfort. De crypte – die vandaag nog steeds te zien is in de kerk – zal vanaf dan dienen als grafruimte voor de hertogen van Brabant. Het grafmonument van Hertog Hendrik I van Brabant staat vandaag in het koor van de kerk. Zijn beenderen werden ingemetseld in de crypte.

Lodewijk Jozef Van Peteghem, Graf van Hendrik I, hertog van Brabant, in de Leuvense Sint-Pieterskerk, 19de eeuw © M - Museum Leuven