Symposium: Close Encounters

On 22 and 23 September 2022, the symposium Close Encounters will take place at the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History in The Hague. The event is jointly organised by the RKD and the embassy of the UK in the Netherlands, University of Amsterdam and Courtauld Institute of Art. Tickets are available in our webshop.

Close Encounters

Cross-Cultural Exchange between the Low Countries and Britain 1600-1800

The symposium Close Encounters will be held at the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History on the occasion of the launch of the richly annotated and illustrated digital English version of Horst Gerson’s chapter on Britain from his Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts of 1942 (Dispersal and Legacy of Dutch Painting of the 17th Century).

Before 1942, the study of Dutch art and artists in Britain was largely uncharted territory. In the last thirty years, research on early modern artists migration and cultural exchange between the Low Countries and Great Britain has progressed rapidly and in various directions. In particular, the Dutch and Flemish artists community in London and the careers of individual artists at the English and Scottish courts have received attention. The same goes for the collection history of Netherlandish art in the UK. The launch of the annotated and translated version of Gerson’s text marks the perfect occasion to rethink, discuss and contextualize his original findings with current knowledge.

At the symposium Close Encounters international experts from the UK, the United States, Germany and The Netherlands will present a range of papers that will draw attention to different aspects of this cultural exchange: artists’ and dealers’ travels and routes, artist's education, networks, patronage, as well as styles and its implications for connoisseurship.

1. Gerrit van Honthorst, King Charles I, 1628, National Portrait Gallery, London
2. Jacob Jordaens, A maidservant with a basket of fruit and two lovers, 1629 - 1635, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow


Programme committee


  • 22 and 23 September 2022
  • Location: RKD - KB Auditorium, The Hague
  • Tickets € 30 regular / € 15 students
  • Included access to Mauritshuis, coffee, tea, drinks
  • Not included: lunch