CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Biographies of Dutch seventeenth-century artists and their influence on collecting in France (1670-1750): the international dispersal of Dutch seventeenth-century art

Symposium: 4 September 2009

Information from the organization

Originally, Dutch painting in the seventeenth century had been intended mainly for the internal market rather than an international clientele, and, apart from a small number of paintings exported at the time, international dispersal became substantial only around 1700.

Why and how did Dutch art become so popular among French collectors around 1700-1750? Was it because good Italian and Flemish art was relatively scarce, whereas Dutch art was available on the market in abundance, and was of high quality? Or were there other, more important factors?

One possible explanation is the influence (on the spread of the international fame of the Dutch school) of the biographies and art theoretical texts by authors such as Sandrart, FĂ©libien, Le Comte, de Piles, Houbraken, Dezallier d’Argenville and Descamps, and its shaping of the canon of seventeenth-century Dutch art. If we look at the seventeenth-century Dutch artists these authors referred to, and at those to whom they did not, the question arises as to whether a system can be detected and if their choices differed from those made by collectors. Did collectors faithfully follow the taste of the authors or did they form their own independent tastes?

This symposium aims:
– to research the contribution of artist’s biographies and related texts to the rising esteem of Dutch art (paintings and prints) in France in the early eighteenth century
– to research the question if and to what extent the choices and judgments of biographers concurred with those of collectors of Dutch art at the time


9.30-10.00 Registration and coffee

10.00-10.10: Introduction Peter Hecht (Universiteit Utrecht) and Ger Luijten (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum)

10.10-10.55: Ingrid Vermeulen (Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit):
‘De talens considerable’: artists from the Dutch school in the Print Collection of Michel de Marolles (1600-1681) and the Cabinet of Florent le Comte (c. 1655-c.1712)

10.55-11.40: MichÚle-Caroline Heck (Université Montpellier):
La Teutsche Academie de Sandrart et son rĂŽle dans la diffusion d’un goĂ»t nouveau


12.00-12.45: Everhard Korthals Altes (TU Delft):
FĂ©libien, De Piles and Dutch seventeenth-century paintings in France (c. 1680-1730)


14.00-14.45: Patrick Michel (Université Lille 3):
L’AbrĂ©gĂ© de la Vie des plus fameux peintres de Dezallier d’Argenville : un guide pour les collectionneurs contemporains ou un Ă©tat des lieux du goĂ»t pour la peinture des Ă©coles du Nord

14.45-15.30: Gaetane Maes (Université Lille 3):
Le choix des peintres néerlandais chez les biographes français du XVIIIe siÚcle


15.50-16.35: Vivian Lee Atwater (Houston, University of Houston – Clear Lake School of Human Science and Humanities):
Print Culture and the Netherlandish Vogue in Paris, 1700-1750

The symposium is free but registration is required. For more information or to register:


– Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History (OSK)
– Frans-Nederlandse Academie

– Institute of History of Art, Architecture and Urbanism of Delft University of Technology