Looking at it, Heaven of Delight looks like a beautiful painting, but in reality, it’s made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases.
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 by commissioning an artwork by artist Jan Fabre.
With the help of 29 young artists, Fabre created Heaven of Delight, a fresco in the Hall of Mirrors, completely out of the glowing shells of jewel-scarabs. It contains various shapes that glow in a greenish-blue light, depending on the angle from which they are viewed.
Jewel-beetles are not a protected species so it was easy for Jan Favreau to gather them from countries like Thailand, where they are eaten as a delicacy, and use them for his Heaven of Delight. This masterpiece can be admired in the Royal Palace of Brussels