Symposium XXI

Symposium XXI for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting

Brussels, 12-14 September 2018

The 2018 colloquium will be dedicated to

The Bruegel success story

Creative process, imitation, emulation, workshop organization and business strategies


The Bruegel dynasty, defined here as Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his artistic progeny, traded on its success for more than a century. Recent new hypotheses on the creative process and the chronology of the output of the family’s founder as well as an increasing interest in the careers and artistic production of the members of the second and third generations encourage further inquiry and reassessment.

Within the same family, creative genius inspired emulation, imitation and repetition. The careers led by the different members of the Bruegel dynasty, their working methods, the transmission of skills, the passing-down of models, workshop organization and in certain cases, large-scale production, collaboration within and outside the workshop, the role of patrons and the art market are among the many fascinating themes that are open for investigation.

Although priority will be given to technical studies, new biographical data, especially on lesser-known members of the family, will also be highly welcomed. Other proposals will be considered if they offer new insights into the interpretation and reception of works by members of the Bruegel dynasty. These could include studies on sixteenth and seventeenth-century artists influenced by the Bruegel tradition.

The language of the conference will be English.

4 PARTNERS: KIK-IRPA, UCL, Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (University of Leuven), Musea Brugge (Flemish Research Centre for the arts in the Burgundian Netherlands)


Prof. Dominique Allart (Liege University), Dr Till-Holger Borchert (Bruges, director, Bruges museums), Dr Véronique Bücken (MRBAB), Christina Ceulemans (director KIK/IRPA), Jacqueline Couvert (UCL), Dr Christina Currie (KIK/IRPA), Dr Anne Dubois (UCL), Dr Bart Fransen (KIK/IRPA), Prof. Valentine Henderiks (KIK/IRPA, ULB), Prof Manfred Sellink (director, Antwerp, KMSKA, UGent), Dr Tine Meganck (MRBAB); Elke Oberthaler (conservator, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum); Dr Sabine Pénot (curator, Gemaldegalerie, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna ), Prof.  Ron Spronk (Radboud University, Nijmegen, and Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada); Dr Cyriel Stroo (KIK/IRPA), Prof. Jan Van der Stock (KU Leuven), Drs Joris Van Grieken (Curator, Print Room, Royal Library, Brussels), Dr Dominique Vanwijnsberghe (KIK/IRPA), Annelies Vogels (KU Leuven), Prof Jørgen Wadum (Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) & CATS, Copenhagen); Prof. Lieve Watteeuw (KU Leuven)