Out and about in Leuven with a Flemish Master

This winter, Dieric Bouts is omnipresent in Leuven. Does that name not ring a bell? Then it is high time to make a first acquaintance. Dieric Bouts was a Flemish Master and despite being less famous than Jan Van Eyck or Rogier Van der Weyden, he was one of the most high-profile artists of his time. This winter, take a walk with the 15th-century Leuven artist and discover how his art is more contemporary than you might think.

28 September 2023

New Horizons. This is the name of the festival through which Leuven wants to highlight ‘its’ Flemish Primitive. New Horizons runs from September to January and many events are on the agenda. No idea where to begin? We have planned two days for you.

Day 1: Bouts with all your senses

After your arrival in Leuven, we take you straight to one of the city’s highlights: the university library on the grand Ladeuzeplein. The reading room will amaze you and from the tower you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city. In the library, you can also take in your first Bouts exhibition: (Un)chained Knowledge. Through unique objects and stories, you discover that fake news and censorship have been around for longer than you might think.

Panorama Leuven van op de toren van de Universiteitsbibliotheek

Bouts on your Plate

During the festival, a number of Leuven restaurants will be paying their own tribute to Dieric Bouts. For four months, under the title ‘Bouts on your Plate’ you can find contemporary interpretations of recipes from the 15th century on their menus. Book your table and let yourself be surprised by this unique initiative. Afterwards, it is time to discover why Leuven is the beer city of Belgium. Both in the centre and beyond, there are numerous cafés where you can sample a variety of special beers. Did you know that Hof ten Dormaal is marketing a Bouts beer especially for the festival?

Lunchen in De Hoorn

Day 2: Dive into the world of Bouts

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, it is time to get acquainted with the world of Bouts. Let one of the local city guides take you on a tour. They will take you to the Leuven of the 15th century and show you where Bouts lived and worked. This walk is the ideal preparation for the highlight of the festival: the major overview exhibition at museum M.

Exhibition: Dieric Bouts. Creator of Images

From San Francisco to Madrid to Munich: Bouts’ works can be found all over the world. For the first time, many of his paintings have been brought together in one large collection in his hometown. This top exhibition makes it clear that Bouts excelled at the art of painting. Bouts was a true image-maker and, in this exhibition, he is compared to today's image-makers. Star Wars or the Brussels singer Angèle? In M you find them side by side with the Flemish Master.

Museum M Leuven • Trappen aan ingang

Are you now curious about the real Dieric Bouts? In Leuven’s magnificent Town Hall, you can meet him in person, brought to life by an impressive hologram. So try not to miss the Bouts and Beyond visitors’ trail as your final experience.

Would you also like to discover Leuven through the eyes of Dieric Bouts?
Book your Bouts arrangement now!

Practical info

  • The easiest way to get to Leuven is by public transport. There are good train connections and the station is within walking distance of the most important highlights. Coming by car anyway? Then it is best to park in one of the car parks.
  • The Bouts festival runs from 22.09.2023 until14.01.2024.
  • Only a few of the festival activities are described above. Be sure to check out the complete festival calendar!