On Tuesday afternoon, 6 December 2005, Jan Piet Filedt Kok, longtime curator and co-director of the Rijksmuseum, accepted his appointment as professor of Studio Practice and Technical Art-Historical Research with a well-attended lecture on paintings of St. Luke portraying the Madonna.
Jan Piet Filedt Kok in Västeräs, Sweden, during the
CODART ACHT study trip, September 2005
The appointment is for three days a week. The charter member of CODART retains his present position at the Rijksmuseum as chief curator of early Netherlandish painting.
From an interview with Filedt Kok in the newsletter of the Humanities Faculty:
"There are quite a few depictions of St. Luke painting the Madonna. According to tradition, the evangelist St. Luke was the first artist to make a portrait of Mary. In the background of paintings of that subject, called Lucasmadonnas, you often see an artist’s studio. These paintings give us an impression of workshop procedures at the time. There is an early Lucasmadonna showing him at work with a silverpoint. Another shows more attributes: a mahlstick, an easel, knives, an instrument for erasing charcoal marks. On yet another you can see exactly what pigments St. Luke had on his palette: yellow, brown, red and white, the colors for producing flesh tones. Painters had different palettes for the different parts of a painting. We know that from the manuals and the paintings illustrate it.
"This is wonderful material to work with; you can trace the entire production process. Someday I would like to organize an exhibition of these paintings. That kind of research can be applied to other forms of art beside painting; you can investigate other forms of art as well. Take furniture, for example. There are paintings of furniture makers, manuals for the skills involved, design drawings and the furniture itself. That can add up to new insights for the restoration of furniture."
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