CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

6th Annual Study Day Medieval Sculpture: Borman and Sons in Context

Research Conference: 27 November - 29 November 2019

In September 2019, ten years of interdisciplinary research are brought together in the first ever monographical exhibition and new publication on the Borman family of Brussels sculptors, active from the second half of the fifteenth century until well into the second third of the sixteenth century.

The 6th ARDS annual colloquium, which celebrates new research in the field of renaissance and medieval sculpture will focus entirely on the contextualization of the Bormans. The colloquium will take place at M-Museum Leuven from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th of November 2019.  A call for papers is being launched to allow researchers working on (Brabantine) late medieval sculpture or painting in relation to sculpture, to present their research. The conference program will also include a day of in situ visits and excursions around Flanders.

The Bormans might have been ‘the best sculptors’ according to one document from 1513 but they did not operate in a vacuum. Brussels was a very vibrant artistic hub, a cultural space, that harboured many talented and influential artists, who worked at the pleasure of high-profile commissioners. How did this artistic and cultural space function then? How and why were some commissions made? How did artists collaborate, for instance on altarpieces where painting and sculpture was combined? Why, where and how was (Brussels) sculpture being exported? Did these artists work abroad as well? What do we know about the material use, the import of materials and economic activity taking place behind the curtains of this vibrant artistic production centre? How does this Brussels artistic scene differentiate itself from other cities, in or outside Brabant? How far does the Brussels ‘influence’ in terms of sculptural design and formal language resonate? A And, finally does the term ‘paragone’ apply when comparing Brussels sculpture with other artistic forms (painting, graphic arts, tapestry), f.i. was there a hierarchy or higher importance of the painted wings of altarpieces in comparison to the sculpted parts or vice versa, or between sculpture and design? Did this hierarchy apply also to the artists producing them?

Follow this link for more information. The full program will be communicated by the end of September.

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