Imaging Utopia: New Perspectives on Northern Renaissance Art
XXth Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting

Organized by Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (KU Leuven)

11-13 January 2017


Tuesday 10 January 2017 (Leuven)

Workshop on art technical research and the RICH Microdome with a focus on medieval manuscripts, early modern prints and drawings and the Mechelen Enclosed Gardens.

Please note: limited capacity (ca. 15). Contact Prof. Dr. Lieve Watteeuw ( for further enquiries.


Wednesday 11 January 2017 (LAMOT, Van Beethovenstraat 8-10, 2800 Mechelen)

10:00-11:00     Registration
11:00-11:05     Welcome by Jan Van der Stock (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

11:05-11:10      Welcome by Björn Siffer (Alderman of culture, tourism and arts education, city of Mechelen)

11:10-11:20    Introduction to the Enclosed Gardens Research and Conservation Project by Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

CHAIR              Dagmar Eichberger (Universität Trier)

11:20-11:40    Andrea Pearson (American University)
Monastic Utopianism in a Mechelen Besloten Hofje

11:40-12:00    Frieda Sorber (MoMu)
Gardening for Paradise. Making and Arranging Flowers Made of Silk, Parchment and Metal Wire, 13th-16th Centuries

12:00-12:20    Hannah Iterbeke (Illuminare – KU Leuven)
Enclosed Gardens in Late Medieval and Early Modern Texts

12:20-12:35     Questions

12:35-13:45     Lunch

13:45-14:05    Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – KU Leuven), Marina Van Bos (KIK/IRPA), and Bruno Vandermeulen (Illuminare – KU Leuven)
The Mechelen Enclosed Gardens: Imaging and Analyses of three Early 16th-Century Mix-Media Retables during conservation (2014-2016)

14:05-14:25    Fanny Cayron (KIK/IRPA) and Delphine Steyaert (KMKG/MRAH)
The Malines Statuettes Between 1500 and 1540, Material and Typological Study

14:25-14:45    Willemien Anaf (University of Antwerp, KIK/IRPA), Marjolijn Debulpaep (KIK/IRPA), Caroline Meert (KIK-IRPA) and Marina Van Bos (KIK/IRPA)
The Enclosed Gardens of Mechelen: Preventive Conservation

14:45-15:00     Questions

15:00-16:30    Break and visit to the conservation lab of the Enclosed Gardens in the Hof Van Busleyden, Frederik de Merodestraat 65, 2800 Mechelen

Poster presentation on the conservation project of the Enclosed Gardens (Joke Vandermeersch and the conservators of the Enclosed Gardens, 2014-2017)

16:30-18:30     Free time

18:30-…           ‘Walking dinner’ and nocturne In Search of Utopia at M-Museum (Leuven)

Thursday 12 January 2017 (STUK Kunstencentrum vzw, Naamsestraat 96, 3000 Leuven)

CHAIR              Larry Silver (University of Pennsylvania)

09:30-10:10    KEYNOTE Barbara Baert (Illuminare – KU Leuven)
The Sleeping Nymph and Locus Amoenus

10:10-10:20     Questions

10:20-10:40    Dominic-Alain Boariu (Université de Fribourg)
Otherness and alienation in Lucas Van Leyden’s Worship of the Golden Calf

10:40-11:00    Maria Aresin (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main)
Go for Gold! – The Golden Age as an Imaginary and Imaginable Utopia

11:00-11:20    Robert Fucci (Columbia University)
Reviving the Locus Amoenus in the Northern Netherlands c. 1612-1616: Implications for the Birth of Dutch Landscape

11:20-11:35     Questions

11:35-12:00     Break

CHAIR              Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

12:00-12:20    Maryan Ainsworth (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
A Reconsideration of the Early Works of Justus of Ghent

12:20-12:40    Anna Koopstra (The National Gallery)
Visualizing the Divine. New Insights into Jean Bellegambe’s Working Methods

12:40-13:00   Till-Holger Borchert, Ruud Priem, Guenevere Souffreau & Anne van Oosterwijk (Musea Brugge)
Some Results of the Recent IRR-Examinations of Memling’s Works Preserved in the Saint Johns-Hospital in Bruges

13:00-13:15     Questions

13:15-14:15     Lunch

CHAIR              Jan Van der Stock (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

14:15-14:35    Jochen Suy (M-Museum Leuven)
The City Between Piety and Vanity. Cityscapes in Religious Iconography in Early Modern Netherlandish Painting

14:35-14:55    Jeroen Luyckx (Illuminare – KU Leuven)
Envisioning a University City in Print. An Analysis of the Oldest City Portrait of Leuven

14:55-15:15    Alain Wijfels (KU Leuven)
Good Governance in Hans Vredeman de Vries’ Paintings for the Town Hall of Danzig (1592-6)

15:15-15:30     Questions

15:30-15:50     Break

CHAIR              Bart Fransen (Centre for the Study of the Flemish Primitives – KIK/IRPA)

15:50-16:10    Shira Brisman (University of Wisconsin)
Maerten van Heemskerck’s Momus: The Inside-Out of Art

16:10-16:30    Stephanie Dietz (TH Köln)
Part of the Picture – The Underdrawing and its Application in the Painting-Technique of Hans Holbein the Elder (ca. 1460-1524)

16:30-16:50    Kathrin Borgers (Universität zu Köln)
Perceiving, Reflecting, Revealing. The Inventive Potential of Painted Monsters

16:50-17:05     Questions

CHAIR              TBA

17:05-17:25    Malve Anna Falk (independent scholar, Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Oldenburg)
Two Portraits by Quentin Massys – Social Networks, Wooden Connections

17:25-17:45    Maximiliaan Martens (Ghent University)
Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher

17:45-18:00     Questions

19:30-20:30     PUBLIC LECTURE by Herman Pleij (University of Amsterdam)

Rechtvaardigingen van lust en genot tussen middeleeuwen en vroegmoderne tijd: alleen in utopieën?

(lecture in Dutch; venue: Promotiezaal, Universiteitshal, Naamsestraat 22, Leuven)

 20:30-…           Reception

Friday 13 January 2017 (STUK Kunstencentrum vzw, Naamsestraat 96, 3000 Leuven)

Venue: STUK Kunstencentrum vzw, Naamsestraat 96, 3000 Leuven

 CHAIR              TBA

09:30-10:15    KEYNOTE Larry Silver (University of Pennsylvania)
Visualizing Caliban’s New World Kin

10:15-10:25     Questions

10:25-10:45    Stefaan Grieten (KU Leuven)
Indians and Fools Versus Glorious Prince-Bishops. The Palace of Liège (1526-1538) as a Utopian Construction with Dystopian References

10:45-11:05    Paul Vandenbroeck (KU Leuven / Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp)
Doomed Garden of Earthly Delights: Utopia’s Failure

11:05-11:20     Questions

11:20-11:50     Break

CHAIR              Maryan Ainsworth (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

11:50-12:10    Babette Hartwieg (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Katharina Müller (UPMC) and Ina Reiche (UPMC)
Non-Invasive Cross-Sectional Analyses – No Longer Pure Utopia? New Findings on van Eyck’s “Madonna in the Church” in Berlin

12:10-12:30    Judy De Roy (KIK/IRPA)
Alabaster and Gold. Material-Technical Study of the Exceptional Altarpiece of Boussu

12:30-12:50    Indra Kneepkens (University of Amsterdam)
The Function of Glass as an Additive to Paints

12:50-13:05     Questions

13:05-14:15     Lunch

CHAIR              Jan Van der Stock (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

14:15-14:35    Daan van Heesch (Illuminare – KU Leuven / FWO)
Hieronymus Bosch, the ‘Antwerp Sketchbook’ and the Dynamics of Artistic Transmission

14:35-14:55    Daantje Meeuwissen (Free University Amsterdam)
Cradle of Innovation. The Sketchbook of Cornelis Anthonisz (ca. 1500-1558) at the Intersection of Art and Science

14:55-15:15    Koenraad Van Cleempoel (Hasselt University)
Looking Through the Armillary Sphere: Representations of Celestial Spheres in Early Renaissance Paintings and Particularly in Mabuse’s Young Girl

15:15-15:30     Questions

CHAIR              Christina Currie (KIK/IRPA)

15:30-15:50    Hélène Dubois (Ghent University and KIK/IRPA)
Jan van Scorel and Lancelot Blondeel, Restorers of the Ghent Altarpiece, 15 September 1550?

15:50-16:10    Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – KU Leuven), Joris Van Grieken (Royal Library of Belgium), Bruno Vandermeulen (Imaging Lab, University Library – KU Leuven), Marc Proesmans (ESAT, KU Leuven), Maarten Bassens (Royal Library of Belgium, Illuminare – KU Leuven) and Marina Van Bos (KIK/IRPA)
From Drawing to Printed Line. The Art-Technical Genesis of Pieter Bruegel’s ‘Luxuria’. The Fingerprint Project

16:10-16:25     Questions

16:25-16:40    Closing remarks by Jan Van der Stock and Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – KU Leuven)

16:40-…           Farewell drink