The paintings are present across centuries, continents and even religious beliefs, precisely because human emotions have not changed so much.

The exhibition opens with Hell, a complex moral painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch. “It depicts an intentionally gruesome vision of hell, a powerful visual incentive to lead a virtuous life and avoid eternal damnation,” Daneo said.

The exhibition presents testimonies of art religious, Classical and historical influences. Here is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mother and the heavenly host of angels as well as characters from pagan myths, as well as Flemish citizens – not only nobility, but also art collectors middle class, as well as court entertainers known as fools.

“The sections are organized somewhat chronologically,” Daneo said, “but they focus on themes which were relevant in Flemish art: the exquisite and accurate depiction of detail, the prominence of portraiture, the imagery of fools, to name a few.

One of the most striking images is that of Jan van Hemessen Portrait of Elisabeth, madwoman of Anne of Hungary (around 1525). The woman in the portrait is dignified, well-dressed and well-dressed jewelry accompanied by a knowing look. Van Cauteren says about it, “I think his look says, ‘We are everything fools.'”