Colloque – Van Eyck. An Optical Revolution – Closing Conference

As the largest ever exhibition of the work of Jan Van Eyck (February 1st – April 30th, 2020) draws to a close, scholarship gets the final word. Ghent University, at the forefront of the study of Van Eyck and the scientific partner of the exhibition, brings international experts of Art History and Medieval Studies to Ghent for a closing conference. The conference will be organised with the university’s core partners in the Van Eyck year, the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts and Musea Brugge.

The organising committee at Ghent University consists of the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies (Prof. Jan Dumolyn, History Department) and the Department of Art History, Musicology and Theatre Studies (Prof. Maximiliaan Martens).

The programme kicks off with an exclusive after-hours event at the Museum of Fine Arts on Monday evening (19:00 – 21:30). After an introduction by the curators and opening speeches, conference participants will get a chance to enjoy the exhibition in a private viewing, followed by a reception. On Tuesday there will be a full-day conference in the Ghent University Aula with no less than six papers by internationally renowned experts from Art History and Medieval Studies.


Programme :

Monday 27/04/2020: After-hours at MSK
(Ghent, Fernand Scribedreef 1)

19:00 – 19:30: Welcome speeches

Rik Van de Walle, Rector of Ghent University
Cathérine Verleysen, Ghent Museum for Fine Arts
Maximiliaan Martens, Organising committee, Ghent University

19:30 – 21:30 : Private visits of the exhibition (with time slots)

Continuous reception

Tuesday 28/04/2020: Conference ‘Van Eyck. An Optical Revolution’ at UGent Aula
(Ghent, Voldersstraat 9)

Conference chair: Marc Boone (Ghent University, Professor of Medieval History and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy)

8:30 : Registration with coffee at the Peristilium

9:00 : Opening of conference by Jan Dumolyn (Organising committee, Ghent University) & Till-Holger Borchert (Director Musea Brugge)
9:15 : Lorne Campbell – ‘The Arnolfini Portrait. The fifteenth-century versions and the development of the composition’

10:15 : Eberhard König – ‘Van Eyck interiors and the Turin-Milan Hours‘
11:15 : Coffee break at the Peristilium

11:45 : Hélène Dubois – ‘The Mystic Lamb restored’
12:45 : Lunch break at the Peristilium

14:00 : Susan Frances Jones – ‘Copies in Jan van Eyck’s Workshop’

15:00 : Maryan Ainsworth – ‘Unravelling the Mysteries of Jan van Eyck’s Crucifixion and Last Judgment’
16:00 : Coffee break at the Peristilium

16:30 : Wim Blockmans – ‘Incentives to a Genius’

17:30 : Closing remarks

Informations pratiques :

Monday 27 – Tuesday 28 April, 2020

The after-hours event on Monday will be held at the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts (Fernand Scribedreef 1 – see Maps). The conference on Tuesday will take place at the Ghent University Aula (Volderstraat 9 – see Maps). Both are located in the city centre, within walking distance of public transportation. Both buildings are fully accessible for people with dissabilities.

The registration deadline is 13 April 2020 (9:00). There is a maximum of 300 participants. Registration on a first-come, first-served basis, with waiting list (when full please email). Your registration is final after payment of the registration fee of EUR 150.

The registration fee includes conference, catering and admission to the exhibition on Monday.

For practical inquiries, please contact dra. Elisa Bonduel, PhD fellow at the History Department

Conference day

Scientific committee
Prof. Jan Dumolyn (Ghent University, History Department)
Prof. Maximiliaan Martens (Ghent University, Department of Art, Music and Theatre Sciences)
Dr. Till-Holger Borchert (Director Musea Brugge)

Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies at Ghent University
Dr. Stefan Meysman (Coordinator)

Source : Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies

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