CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Call for Papers: Masters of Mobility. Cultural Exchange between the Netherlands and Germany in the long 17th Century

Masters of Mobility: Cultural Exchange between the Netherlands and Germany in the long 17th Century 8-9 October 2017: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the RKD, The Hague

Call for papers

Netherlandish art in international perspective is an important theme in current research programs of both the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) in The Hague. The Low Countries made a major contribution to the development of art in Europe in the long seventeenth century. Apart from Italian art it was the art of the Netherlands that formed a model for artists and clients in Europe in order to bring the status of their local art and culture to a higher level and as a promotional strategy. Art from the Low Countries  ̶  painting, drawing, printmaking, tapestries, sculpture and architecture  ̶  was known for its quality and therefore constituted a popular ‘brand’.

A current research project initiated by the RKD focuses on the mobility, networks and activities of Dutch and Flemish artists in the German lands and vice versa and on the nature of the cultural exchange with their German colleagues, clients and patrons at the courts and in the towns. This research is the reason for this symposium organized by the RKD and the Rijksmuseum in October 2017, in collaboration with many national and international partners (individual scholars, universities, museums).

Large quantities of data are collected in the databases of the RKD to – literally  ̶  ‘map’ the cultural exchange between the Low Countries and the German lands. During the symposium the annotated and illustrated digital English version of Horst Gerson’s chapter on Germany (from his Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, 1942) will be launched, as well as a new online feature in RKDExplore that visualizes the mobility of artists.

The research focuses in particular on the dissemination of expertise and knowledge of Netherlandish art in Germany through the role of artists from the Low Countries as teachers of German artists, in the Netherlands or elsewhere. In this way techniques, styles, models and theories of Netherlandish art were transferred. The research questions we ask are:
a) In which centers did this artistic exchange occur most? Can this ‘training’ be mapped?
b) Why was this ‘lesson’ of Netherlandish art so influential, which factors played a role (such as f.i. famous studios, academies, textbooks, networks, marketing strategies).

Apart from the contributions by keynote speaker Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann (Princeton University) and several invited speakers, there is room for presentations of junior and senior scholars in the field. The organizers of the symposium are especially interested in contributions dealing with:

  • The relations between Dutch and German 17th-century art theory;
  • Networks of Flemish, Dutch and German artists and architects, both in Germany and in the Netherlands, at the courts and in the towns;
  • Dynastic networks in Northern Europe and their importance for artists from the Low Countries;
  • The impact of travels in and through Germany on Dutch artists and architects, related to topics such as subject and style;
  • Artists from the Low Countries at German courts;
  • Monographic studies on Flemish and Dutch artists active in the German lands;
  • Monographic studies on German artists active in the Low Countries;
  • Topics related to connoisseurship of Netherlandish/German art;
  • Early German collectors of Flemish and Dutch art.

The organizers of the symposium will provide the speakers with free lunches and coffee/tea. There will be a speaker’s dinner on the first day of the conference. Travel expenses will be covered (in consultation with the organization).

Proposals of a maximum 300 words accompanied by a short curriculum vitae and bibliography, can be sent to:
Gregor J.M. Weber (Rijksmuseum), Head of Fine art,
Rieke van Leeuwen, Project Manager Gerson Digital (RKD),

Deadline: 31 January 2017.