Early Modern Prints from the Low Countries in Italian Collections

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International Research project

Early Modern prints from the Low Countries in Italian collections

A virtual catalogue

Scientific setting: Italy and the Flemish

Since the foundation of the Academia Belgica in 1939, the study of the Flemish presence in Italy, and the Flemish artistic presence in particular, has been a central theme for that institution. The publications by P. Liebaert, D. Coekelberghs, D. Bodard, and N. Dacos – to name but a few – are a good example of this. The same line of research has characterized the scientific profile of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome since its foundation in 1904, as illustrated by the rich output of its former director G. Hoogewerff. Lastly, recent publications by G. Sapori, L. Lorizzo, M. Bertin, and E. Corswarem bear witness to the revived interest in the Flemish artistic environment in Italy.

Flanders comprised a territory covering modern-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as part of France, around Arras, Lille, and Valenciennes. In spite of its diversity, this area was perceived from the outside as a coherent, distinct region. Its inhabitants were referred to as fiamminghi, flamands, or flamencos whether they originated from Arras, Brabant, Namur, Luxembourg or the Netherlands, and whether they spoke Flemish, Dutch, German, French, or Walloon.

Since 2015, the Academia Belgica, supported by the Baillet Latour Fund, has promoted the three-year (2015-2018) research project entitled The Flemish and Italy. The collaboration between the Baillet Latour Fund and the Academia Belgica has the purpose of promoting scientific research on the relationships between Italy and Belgium, seeking to survey the historic importance of Belgium’s contribution to the development of Italian culture, and vice versa.

In this setting, a summerschool Printmaking in Italy and the Flemish Contribution from the sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries was organized in July 2015, with the participation of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome and Roma Tre University, Istituto centrale per la Grafica, and Gabinetto delle stampe at the Uffizi in Florence. During visits to the collections at the last two of these institutions, scholars, professors, and specialists in the subject discovered the richness of holdings yet to be studied. Since the subject warrants deeper analysis, the decision was made to promote research in this field by preparing an inventory of Flemish prints at major Italian collections, starting in Rome: Vatican Apostolic Library, Biblioteca Angelica, Biblioteca Casanatense, and Biblioteca Corsiniana. At a later time, the project will be extended to other Italian holdings/collections.


Scientific tool: a virtual catalogue

The research and training project aims to create a digital inventory of Flemish prints kept in the main Italian collections, so as to allow an online consultation of the repertoire that will gradually be enriched. The corpus consists of several thousand prints preserved in numerous collections throughout Italy and which constitute unpublished funds yet to be studied.

This work will be entrusted to a team of young researchers, from Belgium and the Netherlands, led by a team of specialists. For this purpose it has been provided for a number of scholarships by institutions participating in the project, which started in autumn of 2017, with a first group of young researchers.

The fellows are followed by a tutor for training and conducting the research. A Scientific Committee ensure the quality of the project and its results.



Scientific Committee: D. Allart (ULiège), A. Baroni (Univ. of Rochester), W. Bracke (ULBruxelles/KBR), B. D’Hainaut (ULBruxelles), R. Dekoninck (UCLouvain), A. Diels (VUBrussel), H. Hendrix (KNIR), K. Jonckheere (UGent), G. Sapori (Roma Tre), G.J. van der Sman (NIKI), A. Witte (KNIR)

Project coordination: Ch. Bossu (AB)

Tutoring: L. Tiberti (BAV), A. Diels (VUBrussel)

Fellows: E. Basso (AB), A. de Bruyn (KNIR), I. Delcambe (AB), Y. Everaerd (AB), M. Grappasonni (AB), V. Paudice (AB), S. Suykens (AB), E. Torfs (AB), S. van Altena (KINR), J. van Asperen (KNIR), B. Wolters van der Wey (AB)

Credits: Emme.Bi.Soft srl

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