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Project: Artists' Collections in the Early Modern Netherlands (c. 1600-c. 1700)

01/01/12 – 31/12/15

While Early Modern Netherlandish painters were often avid collectors, up until now systematic research on artists' collecting is missing. Which networks did they use while collecting? What did they collect? Did their collections differ from other collections? How did these collections function within the workshop? Did collections affect or represent the artists' view on art theory and art production itself? Such questions were never even phrased, while they are crucial if we want to understand early modern art production fully and clearly. This project maintains that Early Modern artists' collections, ranging from naturalia over books to fine arts, were vital to artistic inventio. It aims at describing and defining how the artists' collections shaped artists' concepts of art theory and art itself. As such, the research will open new perspectives on art history as a discipline for it introduces concepts and methodologies current in the history of science and the history collecting into art history.