Tag: Belgian franc

Marcel Rau: a versatile artist

Walking from Brussels Central Station to the National Bank of Belgium’s Temporary Museum, you can’t fail to notice round sculptures dotting the walls on both sides of the National Bank of Belgium’s head offices. Depicting a variety of occupations, these sculpted roundels are the work of Marcel Rau, the artist tasked with the decorative aspect of the new premises built after the Second World War.

Draw me a banknote!

Nowadays, it is the design that makes up the best part of our paper money. But what exactly is hidden behind the design of banknotes? On the basis of what criteria were artists or graphic designers selected and what did their work involve? Let’s try and find some answers to these questions in this Object of the Month…

Invisible women: portrayal of women on Belgian banknotes

Thinking of the Belgian franc, one would most probably remember a banknote bearing the portrait of Magritte or Mercator. These historic characters acted as ambassadors for Belgium. Women were never in the running when it came to selecting people to feature on Belgian banknotes.

Centenary of the Great War: the National Bank in wartime

This edition of ‘Spotlight’ describes what happened to the National Bank during the Great War.

The royal portrait in our wallet

Royalty are the only Belgians to have been honoured by being depicted on a coin or banknote during their lifetime, so it is high time we took a close look at the royal portrait in this edition of ‘Spotlight’.

The last series of Belgian franc banknotes

This month, the Spotlight focuses on the last series of Belgian franc banknotes. Indeed, although some people still convert euros to francs, the notes themselves often seem to have been forgotten already.

The Dynasty series of Belgian franc notes

For the month of November, this latest edition of the Museum’s Object of the Month turns its attention to a very specific series of Belgian banknotes: the Dynasty series, issued just after the Second World War.

The last half-franc coin

Minting coins is a royal prerogative in Belgium and that’s why it is done in the Royal Belgian Mint. So, from 1832 onwards, most coins have featured the portrait of the Belgian sovereign. But in 1952, a bronze 50-centime coin was struck on which the head of a mine worker was depicted. The miner on the half-franc coin is looking to the left and is wearing a leather helmet on his head. On the right-hand side of the coin, there is a burning coal miner’s lamp.

Margaret of Austria, a woman who managed to play a political role

Only one female personality was selected to appear on a banknote: Margaret of Austria was depicted on the back of the 500 franc note featuring Bernard (or Barend) Van Orley. She was therefore carefully chosen.

Art or money. The world of Jacques Charlier.

Can art save the world? This is a question which already made many generations of artists, curators and spectators think deep. The question stayed in spite of all this attention unanswered, and maybe it is even better so. Ensor ou le sens des images makes however, as it seems, fun of this whole discussion. Is it possible that the specific view of the Liegois artist Jacques Charlier is to blame?