Bouts’ masterpiece back in Leuven for the first time
after 500+ years in Granada

The Triptych of the Deposition, three panels painted by Dieric Bouts between 1450 and 1458, is back in Belgium for the first time in over 500 years. Today, this masterpiece was presented to the press at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK) in Brussels.

 

The triptych arrived at KIK on 28 June, ready for the start of its restoration in 2024. In October, it will sojourn at M Leuven, in the city Bouts once lived and worked. During the DIERIC Bouts. Creator of Images exhibition (20.10.23 through 14.01.24) and the feature exhibition Bouts Studio (16.02.24 through 28.04.24) at M Leuven, the triptych can be seen for the first time ever alongside other Bouts’ masterpieces, such as The Last Supper – his magnum opus – Man of Sorrows, and The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus. The restoration of the triptych is possible thanks to the support of the Flemish Community and is a condition of the loan. The restoration is a commission from M in honour of the exhibition 'DIERIC BOUTS. Creator of images'.

‘Bouts’ roots are in Leuven’, says Bert Cornillie, Alderman for Culture and Chairman of the M Board of Directors. ‘For that reason, we are incredibly grateful that after five centuries, one of his most impressive works could make the journey from Granada to display in our city for the first time ever. Ultimately, this exhibition is a must-see. Never before have so many original works by this Flemish Master been shown in one exhibition.’

Triptych of the Deposition
The Triptych of the Deposition (1450-1458) consists of three panels: the central panel displays the Deposition, with the Crucifixion on the left and the Resurrection of Christ on the right. The triptych is the crowning jewel of the Capilla Real de Granada collection, the Royal Chapel where Spanish Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon lie buried. The triptych will be on loan until the close of 2026 and includes the restoration of all three panels by KIK – the international reference for 15th-century Flemish painting restoration. To prepare for the 2024 restoration, KIK is conducting a preliminary study this summer that includes infrared imaging, radiography and macro-XRF images.

Leuven masterpieces at KIK
Another piece will also journey from Capilla Real to Brussels and enjoy an autumn stay in Leuven: the Madonna and Child with Four Angels (ca. 1468) panel. Lastly, another Bouts’ piece currently resides at KIK, Man of Sorrows (ca. 1470, oil on panel), acquired by M in 2019. The Man of Sorrows is an excellent example of the devotional portraits of Christ so immensely popular in the 15th century and which Bouts mass produced. After its acquisition, the piece disappeared behind the scenes at KIK for a thorough restoration. And now, the end is nearly in sight. Man of Sorrows will accompany the Granada masterpieces this autumn at the grand Bouts exhibition.

The M exhibition is the highlight of the horizon-expanding Leuven city New Horizons | Dieric Bouts Festival. Bouts is back in Leuven to master again what he once mastered five centuries ago: expanding your horizons. An ambitious cultural programme brings Bouts to life throughout the city.
The DIERIC BOUTS. Creator of Images exhibition will be on display at M Leuven from 20 October 2023 through 14 January 2024.

The Bouts Studio exhibition will be on display at M Leuven from 16 February 2024 through 28 April 2024. After the New Horizons | Dieric Bouts Festival, several masterpieces by Dieric Bouts and his studio will briefly extend their Leuven adventure for this feature exhibition, which takes a closer look at restoration and research. In response, M Leuven is having 'The Last Supper' by Bouts re-imaged and examined via infrared recording and macro-XRF images by IPARC. The exhibition at M Leuven is a collaboration with KIK and IPARC.

Curator DIERIC BOUTS. Creator of Images: dr. Peter Carpreau.
Curator Atelier Bouts: Marjan Debaene.

Bert Cornillie

Voorzitter van M Leuven en Leuvens schepen van cultuur

Hanne Grégoire

Hoofd Communicatie & Pers, M Leuven

Samantha Fadahunsi

Communicatiemedewerker, M Leuven

 

 

 

 

 

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About M Leuven

M Leuven houses an exciting and unique mix of historical and contemporary art in an impressive architectural setting, designed by the renowned Belgian architect Stéphane Beel. M offers a permanent collection and a mix of temporary exhibitions by old masters and contemporary artists.

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L. Vanderkelenstraat 18 3000 Leuven Belgium

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