CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Mythen van het atelier

Studio myths Exhibition: 18 September 2010 - 9 January 2011

From the museum website

The artist’s studio is a mysterious place. This is where paint, brushes and canvas are transformed into art. The production process – which remains invisible to most of us – is surrounded by myths.

Studios evoke a romantic image of the artist as a lonely genius in a creative laboratory. This image mainly stems from the 19th century when artists responded to societal and technological changes by presenting themselves and their work as exceptional and superior. Artists often used their studios to convince the general public of their reputation. Some painted self-portraits depicting themselves as bohemians with loose morals in bare attic studios, to emphasise that they only lived for art. Others transformed their studios into grand palaces full of exquisite antiquities. This allowed them to welcome their rich customers in a suitable fashion.

Despite the businesslike working practices of many ancient masters such as Rubens and Rembrandt, who could supply numerous paintings with the assistance of their pupils, and of contemporary masters including Damien Hirst and Joep van Lieshout, who outsource the realisation of their artistic ideas, the image of the artist’s studio created by 19th century painters still dominates.

The exhibition Studio Myths unravels the origins of the myths surrounding painters’ studios, using new scientific research by the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD). Teylers Museum unveils the secrets of famous 19th century studios through paintings, watercolours, drawings, personal belongings and painters’ materials.


Mythen van het atelier: werkplaats en schilderpraktijk van de negentiende eeuwse kunstenaar
Edited by Mayken Jonkman and Eva Geudeker
Hardback, 23,8 x 27,9 cm, 240 pp., ca. 200 illustrations
NUR 646, ISBN 978-90-89102-06-5
Zwolle (Waanders) 2010

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