Icons of Europe This fleur-de-lys represents the aims of Icons of Europe asbl.  The fleur-de-lys figure has been used as an ornament or emblem by almost all civilisations of the old and new worlds.
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Pieter Breughel the Younger (c.1564–1637), the Flemish painter known for his pictures of peasant life as well as devils and robbers. Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), born in Dinant, invented and patented in 1845 the saxophone.  The invention combined features of the clarinet and the oboe, producing unique tonal qualities. Félicien Joseph Victor Rops (1833-1898) was born in Namur.  His work in Paris made him a master printmaker and later a painter.  Rops travelled widely in Europe and North America. Born in Rebecq-Rognon in Belgium, Ernest Solvay (1838-1922) was a patron of science, industry, and social responsibility.  Detail of an image provided by the Solvay group. Comte Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was born in Ghent, where he studied law.  His masterpiece was the prose-play Pelléas et Mélisande (1892), on which Debussy based his opera.  Maeterlinck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1911. Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), surrealist painter born in Antheit, Belgium.  He was professor of painting at Brussels (1950–1962). René Magritte in 1961 at a meeting in Ghent.
Pieter Brueghel
Adolphe Sax
Félicien Rops
Ernest Solvay
Maurice Maeterlinck
Paul Delvaux
René Magritte

Flanders produced Hals and van Beethoven
Frans Hals, born in Antwerp c. 1582, knew "how to capture a fleeting expression, a flicker of the eye, a tilt of the head, or a characteristic gesture of the hand". "Gypsy Girl", oil painting by Frans Hals (c.1582-1666);  at the Louvre, Paris.  Text from:  http://www.art.uiuc.edu/kam/Explorer/Hals/artist.html.  Hals was born in Antwerp and spent most of his life in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Mozart aside, the most famous classical composer of the western world.  Beethoven was born in Germany, but his grandparents came from Mechelen (Belgium) and settled in Bonn.  Portrait by J.K. Stieler, 1819-1820.
Beethoven:  Sonata in C-Sharp Minor, Opus 27, No. 2.
His grandparents came from Mechelen in Belgium (c. 1730).
Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), born near Brussels, depicted in a French manuscript dating from 1440, ''Le champion des dames''. ... important medieval composers:
Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474)
Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497)
Josquin Desprez (1440-1521)
Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594)

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), born in France.  His opera based on "Pelléas et Mélisande" had its premiere in Paris in 1902.  At the time, the opera was met with hostility.  It is now recognized as a masterpiece. ... and a libretto for Claude Debussy:
"Pelléas et Mélisande" the drama by Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck, is not only the basis for Claude Debussy's famous opera.  It also inspired incidental music by Jean Sibelius and other composers.

Cultural Events and More The Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium celebrated in 2001 its 50th anniversary.

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"Self-Portrait" by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), at Buckingham Palace.  The Royal Collection © 2002 HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Photo by A.C. Cooper Ltd.  The image was made available to Icons of Europe by Royal Collection Enterprises, Windsor Castle, United Kingdom.

"Self-Portrait" by
Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Collection © 2002 HM Queen Elizabeth II.  The image was made available to Icons of Europe by Royal Collection Enterprises, Windsor Castle.

About Belgium:
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Tintin by Hergé.  Andy Warhol about Hergé alias Georges Remi (1907-1983):  "He has influenced my work as much as Disney did".

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Selected by Icons of Europe, the above Icons and institutions are eclectic examples of the cultural heritage and diversity of this country.   The selection does not necessarily represent a balanced view of the rich culture of the country.  We welcome suggestions to enhance the selection.