CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Monday and Tuesday

Due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 virus, the CODART 23 Congress will not take place. The information below is provided for informative purposes only and is no longer applicable.


Find all information about the in-depth study visits on Monday 15 June and Tuesday 16 June below. Three visits will be offered twice, to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to register for these interesting visits.

Nationalmuseum: Dutch and Flemish art

On Monday with Magnus Olausson and Martin Olin
The in-depth study visit to the Dutch and Flemish collections of the Nationalmuseum will be expertly led by Magnus Olausson, Director of Collections, and Martin Olin, Director of Research. The focus will be on the research and preparations for the new collection display, the early history of the collection in Sweden, and recent acquisitions.

The Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s biggest art museum, housing around 16,000 paintings and sculptures, together with decorative arts and around 500,000 prints and drawings. The collection originated from the royal collection of King Gustav Vasa I in the sixteenth century, but it was expanded and reorganized considerably in later centuries. Today’s building was designed by the German architect August Stüter and opened in 1866, featuring a monumental staircase depicting the history of Sweden.

Besides large holdings of paintings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Dutch seventeenth-century paintings are also well represented within the collections of the Nationalmuseum. One of the highlights, of course, is Rembrandt’s The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis, which is owned by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts but has been on display at the Nationalmuseum for over 150 years. In addition to several other works by Rembrandt, the collection includes work by many Dutch and Flemish artists, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Judith Leyster, Daniel Seghers, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Massijs, Anthony van Dyck, Jan Brueghel I, and Hendrick ter Brugghen.

Nationalmuseum: Prints and Drawings

On Monday with Carina Fryklund
The Nationalmuseum possesses a significant collection of European drawings from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries. This excursion to the print room, the storage facility for works on paper, and the paper conservation studio, will enable participants to see works that are rarely shown to the general public. Carina Fryklund, Curator of Old Master Paintings, Drawings and Prints before 1700 at the Nationalmuseum, and her colleagues at the Department of Preservation, invite participants on a tour of the facilities, with an opportunity to study a selection of works from the rich collection of Netherlandish, Dutch, and Flemish drawings and prints from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. The visit will provide an opportunity to study drawings and prints by artists such as Lucas van Leyden, Hendrick Goltzius, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Lucas van Uden and others, from close by. A range of issues will be discussed: highlights, new findings, and problems of attribution and conservation.

Spökslottet (The Haunted Mansion)

On Monday and Tuesday with Camilla Hjelm
Your guide on this in-depth visit to the Scheffler Palace, more commonly known as the Spökslottet or Haunted Mansion, will be Chief Curator Camilla Hjelm. The Spökslottet was built in the 1690s by the German-Swedish merchant Hans Petter Scheffler. Since the 1920s, the building is part of the University of Stockholm and holds the university’s art collection.

During the visit to this museum, we will be welcomed with a drink. We will start with an introduction to the Dutch and Flemish collections. This will be followed by a focus session on a work previously attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Attack, where matters such as questions regarding attribution will be discussed with the group. Your input will be greatly appreciated. At the end of the visit you will have time to look around the museum at your leisure to see works by artists including Jan de Beer, Nicolaes Berchem, Gillis van Coninxloo, and Cornelis Pietersz. Bega.

For more information about The Attack see the this five-minute video made by the University of Stockholm during the examination of the painting.

Hallwyl Museum

On Monday and Tuesday with Annika Williams, Samuel Norrby, Inger Olovsson, and Ann-Cathrin Rothlind
During this in-depth visit to the Hallwyl Museum, we will spend our time in the picture gallery with curators Annika Williams, Samuel Norrby, Inger Olovsson and paintings conservator Ann-Cathrin Rothlind. They will focus on the collection of Dutch and Flemish art, and present some works from the collection that have unanswered questions about which all input is greatly appreciated.

The Hallwyl Museum is closely associated with its visionary founder, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl (1844–1930) who systematically transformed her home into a museum. Wilhelmina von Hallwyl adopted an “encyclopedic” perspective to collecting. She set out to accumulate a wide-ranging selection of objects and artworks. The Hallwyl Museum could well be described as a showcase for her eclectic taste. Through the preservation of the whole house as a museum, the era and the social environment in which she lived would be preserved, as well as the values, interests and norms of her time.

A bronze sculpture by Ellen Roosval, daughter of Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, from 1920. The sculpture is in the painting gallery in the palace’s attic which Von Hallwyl decorated to accommodate the growing collection of Dutch and Flemish painting (seen in the background).
(photo: Ingalill Snitt © – hallwylskamuseet.se)

The collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is one of the highlights of the museum. There are more than 400 artworks in the painting collection, some 160 of which are Dutch and Flemish. There are notable works by artists such as Michiel Mierevelt, Nicolaes Maes, Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Molijn, Hendrick Mommers, Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Pieter Aertsen, Frans Floris, Willem Claesz. Heda, Ambrosius Bosschaert, Cornelis van Poelenburch, Rachel Ruysch, Gerard ter Borch, Anthonie Palamedesz., Gerrit Houckgeest and many more.

The painting collection was re-catalogued in the 1990s, resulting in new attributions and findings about the Hallwyl collection, although some of the artworks would remain enigmatic. One of the questions about which any input during this study visit would be greatly appreciated relates to two portraits that are now attributed to Gillis Claeissens. In 2017, new research shed new light on two portraits that had long been attributed to an anonymous artist; they were catalogued as “French portraits by unknown artist.” The portraits were on view in the exhibition Pieter Pourbus and the Forgotten Masters (13 October 2017 – 21 January 2018) at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges. The attribution of the monogram to Claeissens opened up new avenues of research into the oeuvre of this painter. The sitters depicted in the portraits remain as yet unidentified. Any contributions in this connection would be very welcome.

The Vasa Museum: Ship and Sculpture

On Monday and Tuesday with Anna Maria Forssberg and Peter Rydebjörk
The ship Vasa foundered on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was raised from the seabed in 1961. The ship is now exhibited in the Vasa Museum, the most popular museum in Scandinavia, attracting 1.5 million visitors annually. During this in-depth visit, Guide Manager Peter Rydebjörk will discuss the ship itself, while Dr. Anna Maria Forssberg, researcher at the Vasa Museum, will show you around its many sculptures.

The ship was commissioned by order of King Gustav Adolf of Sweden as part of the military expansion he initiated in the war with Poland-Lithuania (1621–1629). The ship was designed and constructed by Dutch-born master shipbuilder Henrik Hybertsson, who worked in the Stockholm shipyard in the early seventeenth century. Richly decorated as a symbol of the king’s ambitions for Sweden, the Vasa was one of the most powerfully-armed vessels in the world. However, the ship was dangerously unstable, and capsized and sank almost immediately after leaving Stockholm’s harbor. During the 1961 recovery, thousands of artifacts were found, providing scholars with invaluable insights into details of naval warfare, shipbuilding techniques, and everyday life in early seventeenth-century Sweden.

The seventeenth-century warship Vasa seen from port (photo: Peter Isotalo CC 3.0 BY-SA)

The seventeenth-century warship Vasa seen from port
(photo: Peter Isotalo CC 3.0 BY-SA)

The Vasa was decorated with more than 700 wooden sculptures, carved by masters with German and Dutch origins and painted in bright colors. They depict a rich variety of sea creatures, grotesques, Roman emperors, mythological heroes, biblical figures, lions – and the young king Gustav Adolf himself – attesting to both royal glory and military power. The sculptures will receive special attention during the visit. The museum has been working on a new publication about the sculptures, and the staff would appreciate any input from CODART members relating to them.

Royal Academy of Fine Arts: Drawings

On Tuesday with Eva-Lena Bengtsson
This in-depth visit, expertly led by Eva-Lena Bengtsson, Head of Collections, will start by visiting some of the Academy’s main rooms, where Eva-Lena Bengtsson will give an introductory talk on its history and art collection, mainly dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Following this, we will study a selection of the Academy’s Dutch and Flemish drawings in the library.

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1735 and is the oldest of the ten existing Royal Academies in Sweden. It started as a modest drawing school, mainly meant for the young artists involved in the interior decoration of the new Royal Palace. It underwent considerable expansion in the course of the eighteenth century and in 1780 the Academy acquired its own premises on the current site.

Plaster casts on displayed in the Nike gallery of the Royal Academy (photo: Bysmon CC BY-SA 4.0)

Plaster casts on displayed in the Nike gallery of the Royal Academy
(photo: Bysmon CC BY-SA 4.0)

The collection of plaster casts, engravings and books for the benefit of the art students, as well as reception pieces submitted for approval by applicants – mainly oil paintings, sculptures and medals – form the basis of the Academy’s collection. It expanded further with the addition of donations, especially in 1798, when the art collector Gustaf Ribbing donated about 6,000 engravings and drawings from the late fifteenth to late eighteenth centuries, among them some important Netherlandish ones. Around 1900 a number of additional Netherlandish drawings were donated by the history painter Georg von Rosen. The Academy’s main artwork is Rembrandt’s The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis, donated to the Academy by Anna Johanna Grill in 1798, and on display at the Nationalmuseum.

Among the Dutch and Flemish artists represented are Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jan van der Straet, Leonart Bramer, and Barent van Orley. The Academy would be grateful for any comments – on matters like attribution and dating – relating to these fascinating artworks. Currently none of the Academy’s staff or members specializes in Netherlandish art. However, they are well aware of the strong influence it once exerted on Swedish art and aesthetics.

The Swedish History Museum: Flemish Altarpieces

On Tuesday with Pia Bengtsson Melin and Mattias Malmberg
Many medieval sculptures have been preserved in present-day Sweden. The Swedish History Museum has a large collection of medieval altarpieces and wooden sculptures. Two of the 38 Flemish altarpieces in Sweden are on permanent display in the museum: the altarpiece from Jonsberg Church, originally from Antwerp, and the altarpiece from Tofta, made in Brussels. During our visit, under the expert leadership of Pia Bengtsson Melin, Senior Curator at the department of Collections and Research, and Matthias Malmberg, Conservator at the department of Collections and Research, we will take a closer look at those two Flemish altarpieces, and spend some time in the storage facilities.

The Jonsberg Altarpiece is interesting in many ways: it is relatively untouched by restoration and displays major iconographical similarities to an altarpiece with scenes from the childhood and Passion of Christ that is preserved in M Leuven. The altarpiece from Tofta is dedicated to Virgin Mary and is in very good condition.

In addition, two double-sided panels from the hospital of Danviken depicting Mary, St. Francis, St. Gregory, and Franciscan saints are displayed in combination with liturgical objects to contextualize the use of these objects. As the two altarpieces and the panels are used in different ways in the exhibition, the curators are interested in a discussion on curatorial and educational practices. As the grande finale of the excursion, we will spend some time at the storage facility, studying and discussing the panels from two other altarpieces.

Adriaen de Vries Museum

On Tuesday with Linda Hinners
The former stables at Drottningholm Palace house the Adriaen de Vries Museum. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of this artist’s work. As it is not possible to visit the Adriaen de Vries Museum individually, we offer CODART 23 participants an opportunity to visit this unique collection in an in-depth visit on Tuesday afternoon. The visit will include a unique close-up view of the sculptures, expertly led by Linda Hinners, Curator of Sculptures at the Nationalmuseum.

The world largest collection of sculptures from Adriaen de Vries (1556–1626) can be seen at Drottningholms Palace grounds (photo: Raphael Stecksén The Royal Court/Sweden - ©Kungligaslotten.se

The world’s largest collection of sculptures by Adriaen de Vries (1556–1626) can be seen at Drottningholm Palace (photo: Raphael Stecksén The Royal Court/Sweden – ©Kungligaslotten.se)

A large number of the original works by the sculptor Adriaen de Vries (1556–1626) are on display in the museum since 2001. These are some of the original sculptures that were placed in the Drottningholm Palace Park from the late seventeenth century onwards, which have been replaced in the gardens by modern bronze casts.

Bus transport to and from the Adriaen de Vries Museum and lunch have been arranged for this visit. An extra fee of €35 applies for this visit.

Please note: On this afternoon, there will not be very much time, after the visit to the Adriaen de Vries collection, to see the rest of the palace grounds. If you wish to spend more time at Drottningholm, you can sign up for the optional excursion on Sunday, which you can find here. Please note that Linda Hinners will not be accompanying the Sunday group.

Drottningholm Palace seen from the lake (photo: Gomer Swahn - ©Kungl. Hovstaterna)

Drottningholm Palace seen from the lake
(photo: Gomer Swahn – ©Kungl. Hovstaterna)