CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Art after Iconoclasm: painting in the Netherlands between 1566 and 1585

Symposium: 4 December - 5 December 2008

Organizer’s announcement


University of Amsterdam
Nieuwe Doelenzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam
(entrance via University Library)


15 euro (Students: free)


In 1566 an iconoclastic movement, called the “Beeldenstorm”, struck the Netherlands. This uprising, inspired by Protestant ideas, is generally considered to be a turning point in the history of The Netherlands. As such, it has been studied in depth by historians. Art historians on the other hand have rarely studied painting in two decades between the Iconoclasm (1566) and the Fall of Antwerp (1585). It is a black hole in the art history of the Netherlands.

This symposium aims at investigating how relatively unknown, yet highly esteemed painters of the period, such as Adriaen Thomasz. Key, Frans Pourbus the Elder, Jacob de Backer, Michiel Coxcie, etc. were forced to find new iconographies, new styles, new genres and new markets under pressure of constantly shifting Catholic and Protestant regimes. The main objective is mapping the various painterly solutions to the fierce antipathy and the fervent sympathy for painting. In other words, the goal of this symposium is to explain how painting in the Netherlands in the period 1566-1585 adapted to the rapidly changing political, economical, social and religious circumstances.


Thursday December 4, 2008

09h30 Coffee and registration

10h15 Opening by Prof. Eric Jan Sluijter

10h30 Keynote lecture by Prof. David Freedberg

12h00 Lunch break

Afternoon session
Chair: Prof. Eric Jan Sluijter

13h30 Dr. Tine Meganck
Writings on art after Iconoclasm

14h30 Dr. Thijs Weststeijn
Idols and ideals in the rise of Netherlandish art theory

15h30 Coffee break

16h00 Dr. Filip Vermeylen
Between hope and despair: the state of the Antwerp art market, 1566-1585

17h00 End of day one

Friday December 5, 2008

Morning session
Chair: Prof. Henk van Nierop

09h30 Dr. Koenraad Jonckheere
Décor or decorum? Painting in Antwerp after the Iconoclasm (1566-1585)

10h30 Prof. Margit Thøfner
Iconodulic Protestantism: Marten de Vos and the decorations of Lutheran churches
11h30 Coffee break

12h00 Dr. Anne T. Woollett
Michiel Coxcie and the revitalization of religious painting after the 1566 Iconoclasm

13h00 Lunch break

Afternoon session
Chair: Dr. Marten Jan Bok

14h00 Dr. Karolien de Clippel
Smashing images: the impact of Iconoclasm and Counter-Reformation on the painted nude

15h00 Prof. Arnout Balis
New trends in religious iconography in the Netherlands before and after Iconoclasm

16h00 Closing remarks

16h15 Reception