A heaven of bugs in the Royal Palace of Brussels

Heaven of Delight is an artwork by artist Jan Fabre It looks like a beautiful painting, but in reality, it’s made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases. Jewel beetles are not a protected species so it was easy for Jan Fabre to gather them from countries like Thailand, where they are eaten as a delicacy, and use them for his Heaven of Delight.

Heaven of Delight - Jan Fabre

In the 19th century, it was customary for the king of Belgium to give a space in the Royal Palace to contemporary artists. This tradition died with King Leopold II, in 1909. Fortunately, Queen Paola is an art enthusiast and decided to revive the custom.

With the help of 29 young artists, Fabre created Heaven of Delight, a fresco in the Hall of Mirrors at the Royal Palace of Brussels completely out of the glowing shells of jewel-scarabs. It took them 3 months to complete this drudgery.

Royal Palace Brussels

It contains various shapes that glow in a greenish-blue light, depending on the angle from which they are viewed. The Royal Palace of Brussels is a palace where the Belgian king carries out his duties. He does audiences there and deals with state affairs. The king does not live in the palace, he lives in the Castle of Laeken.