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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

New Book on Netherlandish Drawings 1500-1800
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New Book on Netherlandish Drawings 1500-1800

The Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) announced the publication of a new reference work on its collection of Flemish and Dutch drawings from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. The KBR in Brussels houses the largest collection of drawings in Belgium. Among its highlights are works by leading artists of the Low Countries, including Pieter Bruegel I, Joris Hoefnagel, Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacques Jordaens.

Until now, the collection has been little studied and remained largely unknown to scholars and the general public. Bruegel and Beyond – Netherlandish Drawings in the Royal Library of Belgium 1500-1800 brings together for the first time over one hundred master drawings from the KBR’s collection. Not only new art-historical insights are presented, but also numerous rediscovered drawings and revised attributions to artists such as Maarten van Heemskerck and Karel van Mander.

Bruegel and Beyond is edited by Daan van Heesch (head of prints and drawings), Sarah Van Ooteghem (independent art historian and former assistant curator of Drawings at KBR) and Joris Van Grieken (curator of prints and drawings), and includes contributions by thirty specialists.

The publication is the result of more than ten years of scientific research into the library’s Old Master drawings. During this intensive process, the collection was inventoried, digitized and made accessible online. In addition, almost 400 drawings have been restored with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation.

Click here for a preview.

Daan van Heesch, Sarah Van Ooteghem & Joris Van Grieken (ed.), Bruegel and Beyond – Netherlandish Drawings in the Royal Library of Belgium 1500-1800, 392 pp., ​Hannibal Books, Veurne / Yale University Press, New Haven, 2022

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