Herbert Nouwens
Belvédère Suite


22 June – 22 September 2024


In the summer of 2024 the Dutch sculptor Herbert Nouwens (1954) will show nine monumental sculptures in the Museum park of Museum Belvédère, under the name of Belvédère Suite, in analogy with the musical term. Six sculptures were selected from different periods of Nouwens’ sizeable oeuvre and three were made especially for this exhibition. In addition the west wing of the museum shows a chamber presentation with smaller work he made.


Themes like ‘movement and tranquility, ‘mortality’ and ‘life and death’ are central in Nouwens’ oeuvre. The constructive and destructive forces in our world inspired him to make his new sculptures for Belvédère Suite.

The title of the exhibition refers to the multi-part dance compositions of the Baroque, in which different dances were ordered to contrast with each other. Because the different parts of a suite are in the same key they still form a unity.


In the selection and arrangement of the nine sculpures in the Museum park the artist aims at a similar interplay between the sculptures themselves, and with the rigid symmetrical design of the park landscape.

Nouwens is known for his often large and capricious structures of used materials – mainly steel – that show traces of an earlier life.

‘I see my work as a series of spatial poems, as a translation of the tension between the rational and irrational.’

Herbert Nouwens 


His preference for steel has to do wih the wide plastic and constructive possibilities of the material. This results in sculptures with extreme contrasts, seeming weightlessness, or large volumes that can be very transparent.

Steel also fits in with his associative way of working. Nouwens translates his impressions and vision of the world in forms that grow through his cutting, distorting, forging and assembling steel.

In this translation Nouwens follows the tradition of post-war sculpturing, developing a completely personal form language.



His works of art can be found in numerous places in the Netherlands, such as Fuga at the entry of IJmuiden, a seventeen metres high open construction, or The Gate of Bergen, two eight metres high closed towers, at the entry to the artists’ village in Noord-Holland. In Amsterdam twenty sculptures, named Brettensuite, are permanently placed alongside a walking and cycling track in the Westerpark and the adjoining nature area de Bretten.

Nouwens was educated at the Stadsacademie in Maastricht, concluding it in 1977 by winning the Henriëtte Hustinkx Prize. He continued his studies with a postacademic course at the Jan van Eyck Academie, also in Maastricht.

The Museum Park

The Museum Park


Museum Belvédère is located in the leafy Oranjewoud. The sleek museum building was designed by Eerde Schippers of Inbo architects from Heerenveen. The relief in the facade subtly refers to the parceled meadow landscape.

The building is built across the water in the Prinsenwijk, which was constructed as a Grand Canal in the eighteenth century by the (garden) architect Daniël Marot. In 2004, landscape architect Michael van Gessel modernized the rural area.

This makes the Museum Park Landgoed Oranjewoud a contemporary version of the old Baroque garden. The promenades have been restored on both sides of the Grand Canal, and coppice lots surrounded by water have been added. The area has an ecological wealth with various riparian biotopes. Maintenance is in the hands of Staatsbosbeheer.

The park is characterized by a sober simplicity, where peace and space reign supreme. A visit to the museum can easily be combined with a walk through the modern Museum Park or a longer walk through the woods of Oranjewoud, where you can also climb the Belvédère (lookout tower).


Tip: you can order a picnic basket from us and take it with you on location!


Booklet with walking routes


This handy booklet contains information about two estate walks, both of which start in Museum Belvédère. One walk takes you over the historic Oranjewoud Estate, the other takes you to the special new-build district of Skoatterwâld. In the booklet, both walks are provided with a clear route map, a time indication, extensive background information and inviting visual material.


The publication costs only € 4.95 and is available in the museum shop.

Museum Park Tour

Would you like to know more about the Museum Park? An experienced tour guide from Staatsbosbeheer will be happy to inform you about what grows, blooms and lives in this area. A tour lasts just over an hour and costs € 65. The maximum number of participants is twenty people.


contact form