east wing

Collection Museum Belvédère

Permanent collection

Where land, water and air find their space


June 11 to September 22


Museum Belvédère shows a collection of works of art by important Frisian painters, loners who often create very personal work far from the larger art centers and without any academic training - artists such as Jan Mankes, Thijs Rinsema, Gerrit Benner, Tames Oud, Boele Bregman, Klaas Koopmans, Willem van Althuis, Sjoerd de Vries and Jan Snijder.

Within the collection policy, Museum Belvédère has a number of areas of interest that can be traced back to relevant Northern Dutch artist personalities. The collection does not limit itself to movements and styles of art historical periods, but looks for similarities across time - equal similarities between works of art from then, later and now, ranging from figurative to abstract.

The areas of focus within the permanent collection:


The work of Jan Mankes – with an emphasis on his Frisian years (1909-1915) – and the work of kindred figuratives.

Dutch constructivism from the period 1915-1930 with the work of Thijs Rinsema and Wobbe Alkema as core values.

Dutch and Flemish expressionism from the period 1915-1940, with the work of Tinus van Doorn, Jean Brusselmans and Jan Altink as core values.

The work of Gerrit Benner and Dutch expressionists from the period 1945-1970.

The poetic and landscape-oriented expressionism, which manifests itself in the work of Frisian artists such as Sjoerd de Vries and Jan Snijder.

The work of artists who draw on the achievements of classical modern painting and show a spirit of affinity in their work with that of artists belonging to the above groups.

Figurative and abstract painting that belongs to the above categories and refers in any way to landscape aspects - land, light, air and space. Working with a certain degree of stillness is preferred.

Kindred spirits in The Netherlands and abroad


In its acquisition policy, Museum Belvédère initially focused on Friesland, but from 2010 onwards it increasingly focused on the entire north of the Netherlands - Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and the north of North Holland.

Museum Belvédère now has an extensive permanent collection that provides insight into the development of modern art in the north and the many parallels and connections. To give context to its core collection, the museum also collects work by artists from other parts of the country and abroad; artists who create from a similar background, circumstance or mentality.

Modern and contemporary art in the north of the Netherlands


With the collection of works of art that initiator and director Thom Mercuur (1940-2016) brought together in the founding phase as a substantive conscience, Museum Belvédère has expanded its boundaries in the years that followed. Its primary aim, based on its substantive principles, was to build an art collection that reflects modern and contemporary art in the north of the Netherlands.

In addition, it wanted to position itself as the only museum where it is permanently displayed in relation to art from elsewhere.

EXHIBITION HISTORY 24 February until 9 June 2024: Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis - Beyond Heaven and Earth 


Museum Belvédère will welcome the Lithuanian grandmaster M.K. Ciurlionis for the first time to the Netherlands!

Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis
Beyond Heaven and Earth


24 February - 9 June 2024 


Museum Belvédère is the first museum in the Netherlands to dedicate an exhibition to the work of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911). Čiurlionis is Lithuania's most important composer and visual artist. Art historians compare him to contemporaries such as Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch and Wassily Kandinsky.

Although the work of Čiurlionis (1875-1911) remained virtually unknown in the west during the years when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, many major museums around the world have devoted exhibitions to him in recent decades. In 2024, Museum Belvédère will offer this unique double talent a stage in the Netherlands. The emphasis of the exhibition is on Čiurlionis' later works, painted with tempera paint, in which he finds a symbiosis between visual art and music in his own symbolist style.

Beyond Heaven and Earth


At the beginning of the last century, Čiurlionis developed his own symbolic style, drawing on Lithuanian sagas, myths, fairy tales and folk beliefs as well as non-Western cultures, ranging from Ancient Egyptian, Indian to Asian. Using the drawing as a basis, Čiurlionis made many tempera paintings in which secrets are evoked and the earthly world is connected to the supernatural.


Instead of reality – as we (re)know it – he depicted a different world with his work. This depiction of unprecedented images and worlds is a common thread through his work. He was never concerned with abstractions, but with the mentally imaginable.



Would you like a preview? Cultural Platform Shot of Culture has created a lecture about Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. In this triptych of 3x1 minute, Jip Heijmerink introduces you to the Lithuanian multi-talent and tells you more about his life, art and music.

NB! The lecture is in Dutch. 



“Compare it with Norway: suppose you combine painter Edvard Munch and composer Edvard Grieg in one person, then you have a nice idea.”

– Rokas Zubovas (1966), pianist 


"[His] images bring to mind A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Lord of the Rings, while the fantastical cityscapes remind me of the architecture in Game of Thrones or Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis."

– Kirsty Lang (1962), journalist, Financial Times



"Symbolism is in his blood.”

– Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), composer


“In this exhibition Čiurlionis invites us all to travel with him between worlds – from the celestial to the earthly, the physical to the spiritual, from music to painting, the fantastical to the real, and from the figurative to the abstract.”

- Kathleen Soriano (1963), curator M. K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds (09/2022 - 03/2023), Dulwich Picture Gallery, Londen


“Čiurlionis developed his painting far from the major European art centers, relied entirely on his own insights and felt a close, emotional involvement with his environment. It is precisely that type of artist that Museum Belvédère is interested in.”

– Han Steenbruggen, director Museum Belvédère


Thanks to

The exhibition and the book Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis – Beyond Heaven and Earth were created in close collaboration with the M.K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art in Kaunas, Lithuania and were made possible thanks to FB Oranjewoud, the Cultural Fund, the Province of Fryslân, the Municipality of Heerenveen and the central government - the Cultural Heritage Agency has granted an indemnity guarantee on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.