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The Low Countries, Europe and the world

The great masters of the Netherlandish tradition have always looked beyond the borders of the Low Countries: Jan van Eyck was the court painter to the Francophone Duke of Burgundy and spent considerable time in Spain; while he lived in Rome for two years, Bruegel struck up a friendship with an artist who was celebrated as the Michelangelo of the illuminated book; Rubens was in Italy for no less than eleven years and was the painter of choice for an international royal clientele; Rembrandt was a devoted student of Italian art; Van Gogh spent more of his career in France than in the Netherlands; and Mondrian lived in Paris before he crossed the Atlantic.

The programme of Arts of the Netherlands acknowledges this broader European context and explores the significance of Florence, Rome and Paris, and the courts of Burgundy and Habsburg, to the Netherlandish tradition, while it also subscribes to a global paradigm that includes exchanges with cultures from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The cutting edge of art history

The discipline of art history is ever transforming. Digitization, scientific investigation and conservation studies, technical art history, transdisciplinary research, internationalisation and globalisation, the new perspective of heritage studies, the integration of history and art history, the rise of image culture, the recent interest in the object as a vehicle of knowledge and historical imagination – these and other new lines of inquiry continue to have a tremendous impact on ambitious and groundbreaking art historical research.

The Research Master's programme Arts of the Netherlands engages with these new paradigms and methods and aims specifically at innovative research. Art generates meaning. We want to understand how.

More about this programme

For more information about this programme, please contact dr. Elmer Kolfin:

dr. E.E.P. (Elmer) Kolfin

Faculty of Humanities

Capaciteitsgroep Kunstgeschiedenis