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Mural by Evert Debusschere

17/10/23 - 14/01/24

Artist Evert Debusschere created a new mural near the site of Dieric Bouts’ former home and studio.

It was an apt choice of location if ever there was one. Now Huis Eygen Heerd, this site was once the studio of the virtuoso image maker – Dieric Bouts. And the choice for Debusschere? That was no accident either. Throughout his career, he has sought and found inspiration in the Old Masters. But his bond with Bouts is special: they share a love of landscapes. Nevertheless, this young artist remains true to his own observations. Here, he differs from the Flemish Master’s flights of fancy. At the end of the day, Debusschere does Debusschere. But the Bouts’ spirit? It’s always with him.

‘A tree as a contemporary Madonna’

Debusschere redesigned the old Madonna and Child iconography for the Parijsstraat mural, transforming it into a forest of complementary colours. The framing is reminiscent of a smartphone screen in which a large purple tree assumes the role of Mary. Bouts’ primordial man has all but vanished from the picture. Debusschere’s landscape dominates as he visualises the universality of nature. Combined with his sometimes jarring use of colour, the mural alludes to the lopsided relationship between nature and humankind and expresses his deep concern for the current climate crisis. Put differently, despite its intrinsic link to Bouts’ artistic legacy, Debusschere’s piece most assuredly belongs to the present.

About the artist

Evert Debusschere (b. 1996) has been fascinated by art since childhood. Even then, the artists of the past captivated his imagination. Flemish Master Dieric Bouts was one of them. They share a fundamental common ground, i.e. an artistic focus on the versatility of landscapes. Debusschere embraces the myriad faces of nature in his practice. Using watercolour and oils, Debusschere also explores the vast expanse of visual and technical techniques available. The trail he tracked in this journey has been on display in several exhibitions across Flanders, recently including a group exhibition at Mudel (Dichter bij de Leie, 2022-2023) and a solo exhibition at Bruthaus Gallery (Modern is Vorgestern, 2021). Evert Debusschere has a master’s in visual arts from the LUCA School of Arts.

Chez Bouts

Huis Eygen Heerd feels reminiscent of all kinds of other stately Leuven residences. And yet, there’s something different about it. Once, it was part of the grounds where artist Dieric Bouts lived and worked on the city's outskirts. A few sections of wall from this era remain intact in Eygen Heerd. Centuries ago, the estate had a garden and even its own vineyard. Maybe Bouts found his landscape inspiration there. Who knows? One thing is indisputable. This was home to him. For that very reason, that makes it the perfect location for Evert Debusschere’s mural today.

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06/10/23 - 14/01/24
Universiteitsbibliotheek Leuven

Bouts and beyond Stories, personalities, and perspectives of 1468 and now

20/10/23 - 14/01/24
Town hall
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This work is on permanent display