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Geert (Gérard) Van Bruaene, an anti-conformist poet, gallerist and friend of the Surrealist group, opened his first gallery "Le Cabinet Maldoror" (1921) in the Hôtel Ravenstein. His extraordinary flair meant that he was one of the first to exhibit artists such as Paul Klee, Max Ernst and René Magritte. The Cabinet Maldoror quickly became the place to go for art in Brussels. And yet, Geert Van Bruaene was in no sense a business man and the "Cabinet de Maldoror" had to close its doors, only to open again under the name of "A la Vierge Poupine" (1924) on the rue de Namur, where he continued to be a pioneering exhibitor of Surrealist works.