Made in Flanders; Exporting Flemish Art, Artists and Artisans (1350-1750)
Art and luxury goods were among the most important exports from Flanders in the early modern period. From the beginning, a significant share of production was destined for foreign parts. Some items were made by Flemish artists and craftsmen on commission – for clients all over Europe – while others were sold on the free market and then exported. It was not only Flemish painting that became known across Europe and even in the New World, thanks to artists who journeyed abroad and foreign patrons. Other art forms too were in high demand. Flemish printmaking, for example, had a marked impact on Catholic iconography in mission territories in Central and South America. Religious sculptures from cities such as Antwerp and Mechelen were transported early on to Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Tapestries from the Southern Netherlands adorned palaces, castles, churches, and public buildings throughout Europe. In light of this history, it is easy to understand how art objects from Flanders have ended up in museum collections around the world. This lecture examines the worldwide distribution of Flemish art and places it in a broader historical perspective.
KBR – Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels
Joris Van Grieken is Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) in Brussels. Van Grieken studied Art History at KU Leuven. He specialized in the reception history of Early Netherlandish art and printmaking in the Southern Netherlands in the sixteenth- and seventeenth century. In 2008 he started working in the Print Room of the KBR for a research project concerning the print publisher Hieronymus Cock and his publishing business, which led to the exhibition Hieronymus Cock – The Renaissance in Print (Leuven and Paris, 2013). From 2011 onwards he has curated exhibitions such as The World of Bruegel in Black and White (Brussels, 2019-2020), Prints in the Age of Bruegel (Brussels, 2019) and Van pen tot pers. De Emblemata Evangelica van Hans Bol (Brussels, 2015-2016).