Belle Skinner Journal Thursday, September 8, 1887
Thursday, Sept. 8
Securing a courier, we started out this morning to see Antwerp. We went first to the Cathedral, where we attended mass. It was very interesting. After service we went about the Cathedral, the only one in Europe that has seven? aisles. Three of Rubens famous pictures are here. “The Assumption,” over the high alter, The “Raising of the Cross,” and “The Descent from the Cross”, occupying corresponding positions on either side of the church. The pictures are magnificent, beyond description. We noticed the Rubens ? so famous, and also learned that the faces of Rubens first and second wives are always in his pictures. It is very interesting to pick out their faces, which one can do very readily. There are a few good pictures besides by inferior artists. From the Cathedral we went to St. Andrew’s Church, a large and wealthy one. The principal object of interest here is a magnificent pulpit carved out of solid oak representing
the fishing of Peter. The figures of Peter, James and Christ, also the fish-net, boat, fishes, and crabs are carved with wonderful exactness. The carving was done by ? in the latter part of 1600. And is as beautiful and perfect now, as it ever was. After lunch, we went first to the Museum where we saw many more beautiful pictures by Rubens and Van Dyck, and also by their pupils. In the Museum here we saw a man born without arms who was painting with his toes? His work was very fine and Father bought one of his pictures, the head of Rubens second wife. We drove from the Museum to St. Jacques Church, and saw the tomb of Rubens and his family. They are all buried in the family chapel over the altar of which is a picture painted by Rubens a few years before his death. All the faces in the pictures are members of his family, including himself. One strange thing is that his mother’s face
Is not in the picture, neither is she buried in the family vault. Rubens painted this picture in thirteen days. The twenty-three altars in this church are all beautiful Italian marble. We next visited St. Pauls Church, in the yard of which is a representation of Calvary. Life sized statues of the saints and apostles mounting to the Cross which is elevated to a great height. Underneath the Cross is represented the tomb of the Savior. Around this tomb the Catholics come to pray on holidays. On one side of the tomb Heaven is represented and on the other Purgatory. Altogether very horrible. There is nothing of especial interest in the interior of the church. After a drive about the City we stopped at a very nice place and bought a great deal of beautiful lace. Hankerchiefs, collars and for trimming—Fifty-two dollars worth in all.