The Scientia Artis series


Scientia Artis
is a series published by Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA). The works in this series - monographs, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings - present the results of research projects and scientific events (co)organized by KIK-IRPA. Since 1948 this Federal Scientific Institution has been charged with the study, protection and promotion of Belgium's cultural heritage.


Between Carpentry and Joinery. Wood Finishing Work in European Medieval and Modern Architecture - Published in December 2016

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Under the scientific coordination of Pascale Fraiture, Paulo Charruadas, Patrice Gautier, Mathieu Piavaux and Philippe Sosnowska
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels, 2016
Scientia Artis 12
Language: English
270 pages, 100 black and white illustrations and 100 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-2-930054-28-5
Price: 45 €*

Table of contents (pdf)

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From the examination of the historiography of finishing work in wood for architecture from the medieval to modern period, it is clear that this field of research is the poor relation of historical and archaeological studies, with the lion’s share focusing on the structural work of carpentry. It is on the basis of this observation that the present work has been produced, which results from a conference held in Brussels in 2013. The work demonstrates first the real interest in an approach to finishing work for the study of ancient buildings and the establishment of a precise chronology for their phases of layout as well as in obtaining better understanding of material cultures and ways of living.

Second, it reiterates that the limit between carpentry and joinery was often porous, sometimes artificial. Finally, the work stresses that an overall approach to the use of wood is crucial to comprehensively address the organisation of a building, the logic of its construction and its ‘utilisation’, and more generally, the complex history of the buildings studied. This work, which thus represents a first step toward an overall approach of ‘wood material’ in European architecture, includes thirteen contributions divided into two thematic sections in keeping with current research practices. The first addresses the divide between structural and finishing work via the question of flooring, ceiling and roofing techniques. The second focuses intrinsically on finishing work by examining the contribution of this craft domain to the organisation, comfort and ornamentation of houses.

 

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D'une même main. Peintures murales du XVe siècle dans la principauté de Liège. Regards croisés sur la chapelle du château de Ponthoz et l'église de Bois - Published in April 2016

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Under the scienfic coordination of Ilona Hans-Collas. With contributions by Anna Bergmans, Thomas Coomans, Estelle De Groote, Alain Marchandisse, Christophe Masson, Walter Schudel and Marina Van Bos and with the collaboration of Helena Wouters.
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2016 
Scientia Artis 11
Language: French, with one contribution in English
431 pages, 364 colour illustrations and diagrams
ISBN 978-2-930054-27-8
Price: 60 €*

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Deux ensembles de peintures murales du xve siècle, aussi exceptionnels que méconnus, sont ici au cœur d’une passionnante enquête pluridisciplinaire : ceux de la chapelle Saint-Hubert du château de Ponthoz et ceux de l’église Saint-Lambert de Bois (commune de Clavier, Wallonie, Belgique). Une équipe de spécialistes s’est plongée dans les décors peints de ces deux hameaux et a interrogé tous leurs aspects.

Mieux connaître le lieu et l’édifie, analyser les phénomènes d’altération des peintures murales, comprendre le rôle des commanditaires, identifier les images peintes et apprécier la facture du peintre sont au cœur des propos. Les observations et analyses chimiques menées in situ, l’exploitation d’une riche documentation totalement inédite et les comparaisons iconographiques et stylistiques ont livré de nombreuses réponses réunies dans cette double monographie.

Les indices convergent pour attribuer désormais à la même main d’artiste ou, tout au moins, au même atelier ces œuvres monumentales peintes vers 1460. Leurs prestigieux instigateurs sont le chanoine Wautier de Corswarem et le seigneur de Bois, soucieux de la mise en place de programmes savants qu’ils confient à un peintre de talent. Le choix des matériaux, la maîtrise technique, les thèmes iconographiques et la connexion vers d’autres milieux artistiques, notamment les manuscrits enluminés, sont autant d’aspects qui s’imbriquent, s’enrichissent mutuellement et qui attestent de liens interactifs entre l’artiste et les concepteurs.

D’une même main combine résultats scientifiques et pistes de réflexion pour offrir une toute nouvelle vision de la production picturale du xve siècle liégeois.


Machinae Spirituales. Les retables baroques dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et en Europe. Contributions à une histoire formelle du sentiment religieux au XVIIe siècle

 

Edited by Brigitte D'Hainaut-Zveny (ULB) and Ralph Dekoninck (UCL)
Scientia Artis 10
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2014, 321 p., 198 ill.
Language: French, with a few articles in English
ISBN: 978-2-930054-25-4
Price: 60 €*

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Le Baroque s’offre aujourd’hui comme un miroir fascinant pour nos sociétés post-modernes que d’aucuns qualifient de néo-baroques. En effet, ne sommes-nous pas tentés de nous reconnaître dans cet art de la démesure, aux effets spéciaux tout droit sortis d’un Deus ex machina ? Or l’une des expressions les plus éloquentes de ce Baroque vitaliste et total est l’art du retable. Art spectaculaire s’il en est, il s’offre comme la toile de fond de la liturgie ostentatoire de la Contre-Réforme, et plus encore comme un « acteur » essentiel dans l’appréhension du divin. Sorte de trait d’union visuel entre l’ici-bas et l’au-delà, mais aussi, dans une relation non plus verticale mais horizontale, entre les croyants et l’Église catholique, il semble être le point focal de la culture visuelle de la Contre-Réforme. Si le retable baroque est bien un phénomène européen qui puise ses racines dans la culture artistique italienne, il prend néanmoins des formes spécifiques dans chaque espace de la catholicité du xviie siècle. Or l’un des espaces où il a connu un épanouissement tout particulier est celui des anciens Pays-Bas. Ce volume cherche à resituer ces « machines spirituelles » dans le tissu socio-culturel et religieux de l’époque, tout en procédant à une étude généalogique et typologique de leurs matériaux, formes, thèmes et fonctions. Une telle approche du contexte culturel et religieux, des modèles et des types se trouve complétée par l’analyse de la dynamique spirituelle et esthétique que suscitent ces retables. À ces études critiques s’adjoint en outre un inventaire des retables baroques des anciens Pays-Bas, qui se prolonge en ligne sur la banque de données BALaT de l’IRPA.


A Masterly Hand. Interdisciplinary Research on the Late-Medieval Sculptor Master of Elsloo in an International Perspective

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Acts of the conference organised by the KIK-IRPA on 20 and 21 October 2011
Edited by Famke Peters
Scientia Artis 9
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2013, 346 p.
Language: English, with a few articles in Dutch, French and German
ISBN: 978-2-930054-19-3
Price: 60 €*

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In 1940 the art historian J.J.M. Timmers introduced the name ‘Master of Elsloo' to describe the anonymous creator of a late-Gothic wooden statue of St Anne with the Virgin and Child in St Augustine's Church in Elsloo, a town in Limburg in the present-day Netherlands. In the following decades many other stylistically-related statues came to be associated with the St Anne. As a result, the Master of Elsloo's oeuvre grew to include at least two-hundred works. Until recently, studies of these sculptures and their maker(s) have been almost exclusively stylistic in approach. Yet the works of the ‘Master of Elsloo' evoke many questions that require thorough investigation. Questions about the identity of the woodcarver or, more likely, the woodcarvers grouped under the sobriquet of ‘Master of Elsloo', their artistic roots, their period and place of activity, and the organisation of their work in the workshop or shops.

The major interdisciplinary research project carried out in 2010-2011 by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels together with partners from Belgium and other countries was intended to shed new light on this sizeable group of statues and their makers. This time stylistic study was augmented by extensive examination of the materials and techniques employed with particular emphasis on workbench marks and the remains of any original polychromy. Also extremely important was the dendrochronological analysis of a large number of sculptures, which led to surprising results regarding the origin of the wood and the relationship between the works. A number of complementary studies help to situate the ‘Master of Elsloo’ more accurately in ‘his’ historical and artistic context. The results of all these studies were presented as papers at the colloquium organised by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage on 20 and 21 October 2011. A Masterly Hand. Interdisciplinary Research on the Late-Medieval Sculptor(s) Master of Elsloo in an International Perspective brings together the project’s findings, to which are added an inventory of works associated with the ‘Master of Elsloo’ and the results of new archival research.

 


 

The Brueg(H)el Phenomenon. Paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter Brueghel the Younger with a Special Focus on Technique and Copying Practices

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Authors: Christina Currie & Dominique Allart
Scientia Artis 8.
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2012, 1062 p., 3 vol. & website
Language: English
ISBN: 978-2-930054-14-8

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Brochure (pdf)

Buyers of the book will also have access to a website with more than 2000 extra illustrations: http://bruegel-brueghel.kikirpa.be/

This volume is the culmination of a long-term research program carried out by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in partnership with the University of Liège; it has benefited from the generous collaboration of 19 Belgian and foreign museums and numerous private collections.

The fascination for the works of Pieter Bruegel in the decades following his death in 1569 is only matched by the public interest they stimulate today. At the end of the sixteenth century and in the first half of the seventeenth century, the most ambitious art collectors fought over the rare paintings by the master that were still on the market. This context was the catalyst for the appearance of copies and pastiches; genuine forgeries were also produced.

It was then that the elder son of Pieter Bruegel, known as Brueghel the Younger (whose name is spelt ‘Brueghel', conforming to the signature that he adopted during the initial phase of his career) emerged as a legitimate successor, using working material inherited from his father. He produced astonishingly faithful replicas, all the more surprising given that they were often reproductions of paintings that were by then scattered in diverse and often inaccessible private collections. Working together with his studio, in which there was a streamlined organisation of work following a well-established practice in Antwerp during the period, Brueghel supplied the market with hundreds of copies of variable quality according to the client. This fascinating phenomenon merited an in-depth study and re-evaluation, taking into account the historical and economic context.

The examinations undertaken within the framework of a wide-reaching program of study comprise a representative sample of paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In relation to the latter, crucial discoveries were made, leading to a reconsideration of his art as well as the evolution of painting practice in the Southern Netherlands in the sixteenth century. The study therefore also provides an in-depth account of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's working techniques. Aside from the examination of a series of works by the latter artist, and in the light of observations made on them, the controversial Fall of Icarus from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is re-considered.

As to the works produced by Pieter Brueghel the Younger's studio, new scientific imagery and analysis enabled an intimate comparison of their techniques of execution. This revealed common technological traits that distinguish works produced under the master's direct control from those produced outside his workshop. Practical reconstructions of procedures used in his studio bring these techniques to life and make them more easily understandable. Subtle stylistic characteristics were also detected amongst the paintings examined, making it possible to identify in a significant number of cases the individual hand of Brueghel the Younger as opposed to that of one or other of his assistants.

More than a thousand images illustrate this volume, on the text and the accompanying website. In this way, visual material relative to the over 70 works studied is available to art historians and the wider scientific community: detailed examinations of the surface, infrared reflectography, X-radiography, dendrochronological data, chemical analyses (notably Raman spectography, GC-MS and SEM-EDX).


 

Tree Rings, Art, Archaeology. Proceedings of the Conference

Scientia Artis 7

 

Edited by Pascale Fraiture
Scientia Artis 7
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels, 2011, 376 p.
Language: English
ISBN: 978-2-930054-13-1
Price: 40 €*

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In 2010 KIK-IRPA organised the Tree Rings, Art, Archaeology conference. The various articles gathered in the proceedings reflect the practices of fifteen European countries. The first objective of the conference was to review the notable advances over the last ten years. The second aim, focused more on the future, was to bring together dendrochronologists and other players in the field - historians, archaeologists and art historians - to discuss the ‘Good use of dendrochronology'. The articles successively explore the different facets of the dendrochronological prism.

Indeed, dendrochronology is a discipline at the crossroads of human, exact and natural sciences. This explains the disparity in the training of dendrochronologists. Botanists, statisticians and archaeologists each provide their version of dendrochronology, while respecting the fundamental principles of the method. From this follows a multiplicity of applications under a single label. Dating is not considered as an end in itself, but as a single indication - among others, whether archaeological, historical or artistic -, which the dendrochronologist complements with other information obtained from his measurements, e.g. the origin of the wood, growth type, environment, etc. However, the dendrochronologist alone cannot explain the entirety of a research question. The need to compare different approaches is self-imposed and serves to enrich or even to question an approach that remains necessarily empirical, and whose conclusions are irremediably tentative.


Imitation and Illusion
Applied Brocade in the Art of the Low Countries in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Scientia Artis 6

 

Authors: Ingrid Geelen & Delphine Steyaert
Scientia Artis 6
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2011, 660 p.
Language: English
ISBN: 978-2-930054-11-7
Price: 90 €*

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In the late Middle Ages luxurious textiles were among the most highly prized indicators of status and wealth and an essential requirement of prestigious secular and ecclesiastical life. The depiction of these sumptuous silks and gold brocades was a crucial element in the visual arts, and their realistic and recognizable representation was a challenge to every artist. Painters and polychromers strove to imitate the fashionable fabrics by using applied brocade, a highly sophisticated form of relief decoration that adhered to panel paintings, murals and sculpture and through the play of light and shadow evoked the dazzling illusion of gold-brocaded cloths.
Imitation and Illusion is the result of a detailed study of applied brocade in the art of the Low Countries. Eleven fascinating and innovative chapters offer an in-depth examination of the historical, geographical, morphological and technical aspects of this cast tin relief technique. New light is also shed on artistic collaboration and workshop practice in the fifteenth and early sixteenth century. The catalogue includes 86 well known and lesser known panel and wall paintings, sculptures, altarpieces, and architectural elements produced between 1420 and 1540, decorated with applied brocade and providing stunning testimony to the visual variety and material magnificence of late-medieval art.
Abundantly illustrated, Imitation and Illusion investigates the artistic production of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Low Countries from an intriguing and original perspective. It represents a significant contribution to our understanding of medieval polychromy and will appeal to everyone whose curiosity is aroused by the illusionistic ingenuity of the medieval artist.

 


 

D'Ennion au Val Saint-Lambert. Le verre soufflé-moulé. Actes des 23e Rencontres de l'Association française pour l'Archéologie du Verre

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Directeur de publication: Chantal Fontaine, avec la collaboration de C. Bourguignon et S. Laevers
Scientia Artis 5. Actes de colloque
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Bruxelles, 2010, 480 p.
Articles majoritairement en français. Quelques articles en anglais et en allemand.
Voir la table des matières.
ISBN: 978-2-930054-10-0
Prix: 60 €*
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D'Ennion, verrier syro-palestinien du Ier siècle de notre ère, au Val Saint-Lambert, grand atelier verrier de l'Europe moderne, la technique du verre soufflé-moulé traverse quelque vingt siècles de création. Premier colloque international sur ce thème, les 23e Rencontres de l'Association française pour l'Archéologie du Verre organisées en octobre 2008 (AFAV) se prolongent dans ce volume d'Actes richement illustré, accueilli dans la série Scientia Artis de l'IRPA. Suivant un canevas chronologique, une quarantaine de contributions originales y rendent compte de l'actualité de la recherche sur l'histoire du soufflage du verre dans un moule. Résolument pluridisciplinaire, l'ouvrage associe les regards de spécialistes de différents domaines et périodes - archéologie, histoire, chimie et technique, conservation-restauration. Une large place est réservée à des découvertes inédites ou méconnues. Avec son abondante illustration, l'ensemble propose un véritable florilège des productions en verre soufflé-moulé de l'Antiquité à nos jours, et établit de précieux jalons scientifiques pour les recherches futures.

 


Autour de la Madeleine Renders. Un aspect de l'histoire des collections, de la restauration et de la contrefaçon en Belgique dans la première moitié du vingtième siècle

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Directeur de publication : D. Vanwijnsberghe, avec la collaboration de C. Bourguignon et de J. Debergh
Auteurs : P. Fraiture, S. Laemers, J. Lust, D. Martens, L. Mortiaux, P. Philippot, J.-L. Pypaert, J. Sanyova, St. Saverwyns, D. Vanwijnsberghe.
Scientia Artis 4
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Bruxelles, 2008, 307 p., 463 ill.
En français uniquement.
Voir la table des matières
ISBN : 978-2-930054-09-4
Prix: 55 €*
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Dernier-né de la collection Scientia Artis, ce volume est paru en septembre 2008. Suite à la redécouverte de la Madeleine Renders, il étudie, sous un angle interdisciplinaire, le destin de la collection Renders et l'œuvre du restaurateur Joseph Van der Veken. Il propose en outre un premier catalogue raisonné des œuvres de ce dernier.

Lire la recension publiée par Jacques Foucart dans La Tribune de l'Art le 25 février 2011.

 


Lambert Lombard, peintre de la Renaissance (Liège 1505/06-1566). Essais interdisciplinaires et catalogue de l'exposition

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Directeur de publication: G. Denhaenes
Scientia Artis 3
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Bruxelles, 2006.
25 auteurs, 39 articles introductifs, 154 notices, 534 p., 482 illustrations.
Existe aussi en néerlandais.
Voir la table des matières
ISBN : 978-2-930054-06-3
Prix : 40 €*. La version française est épuisée.
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À l'occasion du cinq centième anniversaire de la naissance de Lambert Lombard, peintre liégeois de la Renaissance, une exposition, parrainée par l'UNESCO, lui fut, entièrement consacrée. Parmi les œuvres exposées figuraient les huit toiles peintes pour l'abbaye cistercienne de Herkenrode, la série des Femmes vertueuses, réunies pour la première fois depuis la fin du dix-huitième siècle.

L'ouvrage rend notamment compte du travail de sauvegarde et de restauration, réalisé à l'IRPA, qui a précédé l'exposition de ces huit toiles. Dans ses pages figure également le catalogue de l'exposition. Un ouvrage incontournable pour les amateurs férus de peinture de la Renaissance!


Les vitraux de la cathédrale Saints-Michel-et-Gudule de Bruxelles. Histoire, conservation, restauration = De glasramen van de Sint-Michiels-en Sint-Goedelekathedraal. Geschiedenis, conservatie en restauratie

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Directeur de publication: I. Lecocq
Auteurs : W. Berckmans, H. Claes, D. de Crombrugghe, P. de Henau, A. Royers, Y. Vanden Bemden, C. Van den Wijngaert, H. Wouters
Scientia Artis 2
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Bruxelles, 2005, 294 p.
Ouvrage bilingue néerlandais-français.
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ISBN : 978-2-930054-05-6
Prix : 30 €*
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Ce deuxième volume de la collection Scientia Artis nous invite à pénétrer dans le monde des vitraux de la cathédrale de Bruxelles, l'un des plus beaux ensembles encore conservés en Belgique. Il explore avec minutie les détails des travaux de restauration dont ont fait l'objet les vitraux de la cathédrale, tant ceux du XVIe que ceux du XIXe siècle, au points de vue historique au technique, en livrant les détails des analyses effectuées sur échantillons de vitreries du XIIIe siècle. Un outil que ne peuvent ignorer les spécialistes des vitraux, ni d'ailleurs tout qui s'intéresse à la cathédrale bruxelloise ou au patrimoine verrier.


Le retable d'Oplinter = Het retabel van Oplinter

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Auteurs : R. De Boodt, M. Serck-Dewaide, J. Sanyova, N. Goetghebeur, L. Kockaert, J. Jansen
Scientia Artis 1
Bruxelles, 1999, 216 p., 34 planches couleur, 66 illustrations noir et blanc.
Ouvrage bilingue néerlandais-français.
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ISBN : 978-2-930054-02-5
Prix : 22,35 €*
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Aujourd'hui conservé au Musée du Cinquantenaire, le Retable de la Passion auquel est consacré ce premier volume de la collection Scientia Artis provient de l'église Sainte-Geneviève d'Oplinter. Très représentatif de la production des retables anversois de la première moitié du XVIe siècle, il a été un point de départ de leur étude approfondie. Une étude qui jette un éclairage nouveau sur la technique de fabrication des retables de la fin du Moyen Âge. Richement illustré, le volume intéressera au premier chef les spécialistes et les amateurs éclairés.

 

* Frais de port non inclus.