Cultural Transmission and Artistic Exchanges in the Low Countries, 1572-1672

Mobility of artists, works of art and artistic knowledge

Scientific Relevance

Cultural transmission took place in various guises and directions during the long seventeenth century, but eventually and significantly impacted the (common) heritage of the Netherlands and what is present-day Flanders. It provided building blocks for the shaping and reshaping of the canon of Netherlandish art, most noticeably in painting. (Melion 1991; Halbertsma 2007). In this respect, we will ascertain to what extent Karel van Mander’s attempts to define a Netherlandish style in his Schilderboeck (1604) impacted the actual artistic developments in the Low Countries in subsequent decades.

The results of this research project will be multifold and yield relevant insight into important questions relative to the problem of innovation in the arts, whether it was market driven or inspired solely by artistic processes. In addition, we aim to shed light on the way creative cities are able to attract creative industries and assemble a critical mass of human capital necessary to develop a local art school. The mobility of artists, works of art and ideas not only plays a seminal role in understanding the process of cultural transmission, but also helps to explain the growth of art centers and cultural hubs. This was as much the case in the past as it is today.