Sculpture in the spotlight

Digital Corpus of Flemish Retables finds its way into the literature

By sharing knowledge and information through our databases as well as in other ways, the RKD, in collaboration with its partners, aims to bring more attention to medieval sculpture.

Exhibition at Museum M

Borman and Sons, which opened recently at Museum M in Leuven, is an impressive exhibition. As soon as you enter the first room, you realise that this family of sculptors, who were mainly active in Brussels and Leuven, set the bar high for themselves. With an eye for narrative detail and a sense of naturalism, the Borman workshop produced statues of the Virgin Mary, saints, life-size crucifixes as well as exquisitely carved altarpieces and other objects.

The RKD is thrilled that the descriptions of the altar retables in the exhibition catalogue use the corresponding object numbers in the Digital Corpus of Flemish Retables, which was a joint project of the RKD and Illuminare (KU Leuven). We hope that this initiative will be followed by others and that the Digital Corpus of Flemish Retables will in due course grow to become a standard reference source.

Summer School

During the last Rijksmuseum/RKD Summer School (4-14 August 2019), the initiators of the MARKS ON ART database, Seppe Roels and Marieke van Vlierden, ran a workshop entitled Looking at Sculpture at Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht. This event, organised in collaboration with the RKD, was received with great enthusiasm by participants. These are some of the reactions: 

“Among the numerous sessions, however, the day in Utrecht was particularly impressive for me since we were generously allowed to investigate their objects in close and learnt a lot of unpublished discoveries in the object-based lessons. Especially, the hours spent in the storage room with some sculpture pieces were one of the highlights in the entire programme for me.”

“Another activity of the Summer School that was of greatest benefit to me was the workshop on marks on sculptures at the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht. […] Prior to that workshop, I did not know of the existence of a database about marks on medieval sculptures, which is a great initiative that will surely contribute to helping me in my research.”

“The most beneficial for me were those parts where I could learn some practical information on how to work with an actual object of art. Even though I am no specialist on sculpture, I have gained a great deal of knowledge about how to investigate into it. The workshop in Utrecht was very helpful on that matter […].”

“The workshop with Seppe Roels and Marieke van Vlierden at the Museum Catharijneconvent was an amazing way of showing me how to look at objects you are not that familiar with, and how many different aspects there are to sculpture and wooden panels.”