Faces are very much in the spotlight at the KMSKA this autumn. The first major exhibition after the museum’s grand reopening focuses on the development of a new genre, the head study.
Interest in the tronie, the old Dutch word for ‘face’ surged in the 17th century, when artists like Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer poured their talent into painting the human face. The results are often small, but stunningly painted, drawn or engraved: intimate works that bring us closer to the artist than ever.

Never before has the genre been covered so comprehensively. Turning Heads at the KMSKA brings together no fewer than 76 of the most eloquent masterpieces from Belgian and international collections.

Turning Heads allows you to follow the genre’s evolution through five themed strands. Beginning with a 15th-century prelude and concluding with a final few 19th-century holdovers, while mainly focusing on art from the 17th century. Rubens and Rembrandt are our guides and crop up constantly throughout the exhibition.