The face of the nineteenth century

Those who wish to carry out research into a Dutch artist from the nineteenth century will at some point run into the Exhibition of Modern Masters. These large-scale exhibitions ran annually from 1808 to 1917 and were hosted in various large cities.

Dutch Salon

Prior to this our country was not familiar with hosting exhibitions on this scale and for such a wide audience. Nearly all the contemporary Dutch artists of the day exhibited their work there. From 1840 onwards foreign artists were also welcome. This 'Dutch Salon' offered a podium for artists, art lovers, collectors, dealers and critics to come together and share ideas.

Digitalised catalogues

Catalogues accompanied these exhibitions which contained descriptions of the exhibited objects. From 2014 the RKD has worked on the compilation of these catalogues, preserving and digitalising them with the help of Metamorfoze. By doing so access was provided to an important source of information, and the fragile printed catalogues were protected from further deterioration. The digitalised catalogues, originating from many libraries, museums and heritage institutes, can be consulted in RKDlibrary.


The catalogues are further indexed in RKDexcerpts, allowing searches on art works, artists or for example subjects. The RKD used the CADENS (Dutch Exhibitions in the Nineteenth-Century) method for indexing the catalogues.