CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Campin in context: the visual arts and society in the Scheldt River valley and in northern France in the time of Robert Campin

Symposium: 30 March - 1 April 2006


L’Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis
Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium (Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgium’s Artistic Heritage)
Association des Guides Touristiques de la Ville de Tournai (Association of Tournai Tourist Guides)

From the symposium website

Since the 1930s, when the Tournai painter Robert Campin generated considerable controversy, scholars in the field of early Netherlandish painting have been fascinated by the artist and his oeuvre. In recent years, no fewer than three important studies have been devoted to him.

The goal of the international symposium Campin in context is to look again at the artist with an eye to the political, socio-economical and cultural relationships between the main cities in the Scheldt river valley and in Northern France. In addition to Tournai itself, those centers include Ghent, Oudenaarde, Valenciennes, Le Quesnoy and Arras.

For example, recent research has shown that the close ties between those cities in the early 15th century led to the shaping of a most original artistic scene. With respect just to panel painting, it is becoming more and more obvious that panels in the style of Campin were painted not only in the city of Tournai, but also in other centers along the River Scheldt. This raises doubts about the traditional view of a homogeneous group of works that can be attributed only to Robert Campin and to his most direct followers.