In honour of the Bruegel Year, Brussels Airlines has dedicated a brand-new plane to Belgium's most important 16th-century artist. In recent years, the airline has also had aircraft travelling around the world decorated with images of Tintin, Magritte, the Red Devils and the Smurfs. Each and every one of them is a Belgian icon that is of great value to our country and that attracts a lot of tourists – often by plane – to our country every year.
In collaboration with Tourism Flanders and BOZAR, Brussels Airlines has now developed an aircraft that responds to the Flemish Masters 2018-2020 project to celebrate Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 2019. The painter died 450 years ago, but his work lives on and far beyond Belgium. This plane literally takes Bruegel's world to the rest of Europe and even to the Middle East.
Brussels Airlines is once again sending out a Belgian icon.
The Airbus A320 is 37 metres long and was christened 'Breugel'. Because of the enormous detail – it took almost three weeks to paint the two sides of the fuselage by hand – this is by the way the most complex aircraft design ever created. Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys were responsible for this. The artist duo selected elements from a number of iconic works by Pieter Bruegel as Netherlandisch Proverbs (1559), The Fight between Carnival and Lent (1559), Children's Games (1560), The Flight to Egypt (1563), Hunters in the Snow (1565), The Harvest (1565) and The Peasant Dance (1569). The interior of the Airbus was also decorated with scenes from paintings by Bruegel.
The choice for De Gruyter & Thys is not surprising. The artists observe reality in a manner similar to that of the 16th century painter: with a great deal of attention to detail, to the people, the landscapes and the customs. Moreover, the duo has already been selected to represent our country at the Venice Biennale starting on 10 May. Bruegel's very first flight will be to accompany Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys to Venice, to the inauguration of the Belgian pavilion on 11 May. Will you come and see them off?! Over the next 5 years, this Airbus will also continue to operate many flights for Brussels Airlines.