Gerson Digital: Germany

Gerson Digital: Germany researches the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Germany between 1500 and 1900 and is part of the Gerson Digital programme which the RKD launched in 2013. The basis of the project is the pioneering yet now old-fashioned publication by Horst Gerson (1907-1978), Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Amsterdam 1983, ed. princ. Haarlem 1942), in which the circulation and imitation of Dutch paintings in Europe are processed by country.

The cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Germany was intense and long-term: no other country outside of the Netherlands and Belgium has more Dutch and Flemish art in its collections than Germany.

Gerson Digital: Germany provides an overview of the careers of and routes taken by Dutch and Flemish artists in the Germanic countries and examines how they exchanged ideas with colleagues active in the German courts and cities. The significant role of Dutch mentors for German artists was also examined and how this influenced developments in North European art styles. The role of German commissioners, collectors and art dealers in the Dutch art trade was also researched. In this way German artists became acquainted with Dutch art which they then interpreted in their own work, in some cases not until many years later.

The project covers various fields of research, such as social economic, art history, style history and expertise.

There are three peer-reviewed publications planned:

  • the translated, annotated and fully illustrated text by Horst Gerson on Germany (2017);
  • new articles on Ausbreitung – circulation of Dutch and Flemish art in Germany and vice versa (2018);
  • New articles on Nachwirkung – receptive on Dutch and Flemish arts in Germany and vice versa until approx. 1900 (2019).

A symposium will be held at the launch of the publications

Recent publications

Gerson Digital: Poland
Gerson Digital: Denmark 

Editorial board

Drs. Rieke van Leeuwen
Dr. Juliette Roding, Leiden University
Dr. Thomas Fusenig, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät Institut für die Geschichte des Bistums Münster -  Projekt "Wege zum Frieden"
Prof. Dr. Nils Büttner, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart


Leiden University
Technical University Delft
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Rubenianum Anwerpen
Staatliches Museum Schwerin
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aken
Museen der Stadt Bamberg
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Philipps-Universität Marburg
LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster
Kunstgeschichtliches Institut der Goethe Universität Frankfurt
Städel Museum, Frankfurt
Kunsthalle Bremen
Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Oldenburg