CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

From Barthélemy d’Eyck to Rembrandt: Netherlandish art and artists in southern Italy

Symposium: 12 December 2011

Throughout the centuries Naples and Southern Italy attracted a large number of artists from the North. Around the middle of the Quattrocento, the Netherlandish painter Barthélemy d’Eyck is recorded as ‘peintre and varlet de chambre’ at the court of René I, King of Naples and Duke of Anjou. In this period a strong Netherlandish influence pervaded the whole of Neapolitan culture, traces and echoes of which can be found in the works of Colantanio and Antonello da Messina. Till Borchert, curator of The age of Van Eyck : the Mediterranean world and early Netherlandish painting (Bruges 2002) and Bette Talvacchia, visiting Professor at the Dutch Institute in Florence (2011-2012), will analyze these mechanism of exchange.

From the sixteenth century onwards more and more artists from the Netherlands headed to Italy. Those who travelled beyond Rome did so for various reasons. Their activities and motivations will be highlighted during this conference. While some artists like Aert Mijtens managed to set up a local workshop, thus contributing substantially to local art production, others were more like Wanderkünstler.

Also, the fame of the great painters of the Dutch Golden Age reached the deepest South of Italy. The Sicilian noblemen Antonio Ruffo was one of the few foreigners who ordered works from Rembrandt, and the works he commissioned are among the most impressive of the master of Amsterdam.

Documenting the Dutch and Flemish heritage in Italy is one of the chief missions and strengths of the Dutch Institute in Florence. Therefore, the Institute is proud to be able to present the new volumes of the series Dutch and Flemish Paintings in Italian Public Collections, devoted to Piedmont and Valle’d’Aosto, featuring over 1000 paintings.

Utrecht 12 December 2011, Museum Catharijneconvent

9.15-9.45 Coffee

Michael Kwakkelstein (NIKI, Utrecht University)

Gert Jan van der Sman (NIKI, Utrecht University/Leiden University)

Till-Holger Borchert (Stedelijke Musea Brugge), Colantonio, Barthélemy d’Eyck and the Courts of Anjou and Aragon in Naples

Bette Talvacchia (University of Connecticut/NIKI), Antonello and the North

Giovanna Capitelli (University of Calabria), What is lost and what remains: Dutch and Flemish Artists and Art in Seventeenth-Century Calabria


Marije Osnabrugge (University of Amsterdam), Aert Mijtens in Naples

Tania de Nile (Università La Sapienza, Rome/Leiden University), Jacob van Swanenburg: Images of Witchcraft in Early 17th-century Naples

Annemarie Beunen (Royal Library, The Hague/Leiden University), Abraham Casembroot: Harbour Views of Sicily

Jeroen Giltaij (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam), Rembrandt and Ruffo


Edward Grasman (Leiden University), Presentation of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Repertory of Dutch and Flemish Paintings in Italian Public Collections, Bert W. Meijer, Guus Sluiter, Paola Squellati Brizio. Florence, Centro Di, 2011