RKD Netherland Institute for art History
For centuries artists from the Low Countries were greatly attracted to the art and culture of Italy and Rome especially. The nineteenth‐century saw both the peak of this tradition and its gradual decline. The Prix de Rome, patrons, local funds or their own private means enabled many young Dutch and Belgian artists to travel to Italy for study and inspiration.
Once arrived they were obliged to find their own way. Obvious as this may seem for other parts of Italy, it was even true for Rome, where national Dutch or Belgian institutions in situ comparable to the French Academy were lacking. This resulted in a unique and distinctive sociability, rather different from the French and German art world in Rome. How did these artists from the North find their way, how did they cope? What did their professional and social life look like? How did they relate to the artist communities of their Italian and foreign colleagues? How did they shape their own identities as artists, Belgians, and Dutchmen and how did they define their position towards the social and political changes they witnessed?
In the seventies and eighties of the twentieth century several studies on artists from the Low Countries in Italy were published by Belgian and Dutch art historians. Their studies, however still valuable, mostly engaged with formal aspects and less with the cultural, social and political context in which these artists lived and operated. In recent years, (art) historical research shows a clear tendency to fill this gap. The aim of the present workshop is to chart current research, projects and ideas concerning artists from the Low Countries active in nineteenth‐century Italy. What are the new trends, topics and (digital) research methods and which subjects are still unexplored territory? We particularly encourage contributions on the 2 relation between art and politics, social mobility, networks, studio practices, exhibitions, the art market and their influence on the position and (self‐)image of artists, but other perspectives are also welcome. In any case, papers should touch upon important matters concerning Netherlandish visual artists (painters, sculptors, architects, photographers and possibly others) travelling to Italy in the long nineteenth century (ca. 1789‐1914).
The ambition is to bring together a varied group of (art)historians to give a short presentation of their current research as well as to discuss the possibilities for future research and collaboration on this topic, such as a joint publication and an exhibition.