Book roundup: Low Countries special

As we’ve been alerted to a few new books from the Low Countries, we’ve decided to make a bit of themed book roundup to put them all together! If you have any ideas for further such themes (e.g.: your research area and the only new books you care about), get in contact with us!

68172[1]Pious Memories The Wall-Mounted Memorial in the Burgundian Netherlands by Douglas Brine (Brill)

Wall-mounted memorials (or ‘epitaphs’) enjoyed great popularity across the Burgundian Netherlands. Usually installed in churches above graves, they combine images with inscriptions and take the form of sculpted reliefs, brass plaques, or panel paintings. They preserved the memory of the dead and reminded the living to pray for their souls. On occasions, renowned artists like Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden were closely involved in memorials’ creation.

In Pious Memories Douglas Brine examines the wall-mounted memorial as a distinct category of funerary monument and shows it to be a significant, if overlooked, aspect of fifteenth-century Netherlandish art. The patronage, functions, and meanings of these objects are considered in the context of contemporary commemorative practices and the culture of memoria.

Brine received the 2015 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize, for an earlier version of Chapter 5 of Pious Memories, his article, “Jan van Eyck, Canon Joris van der Paele, and the Art of Commemoration,” published in the September 2014 issue of The Art Bulletin.

For 25% off this book, use action code 70111 when ordering through Valid till: 01-08-2015

23GHoogewerff[1]Medieval Art in the Northern Netherlands before Van Eyck. New Facts and Features, edited by Anne-Maria J. van Egmond & Claudine A. Chavannes-Mazel (Clavis)

G. J. Hoogewerff (1884-1963), founder and long-term director of the Royal Netherlandish Institute in Rome, was the first to write a comprehensive study of Northern Netherlandish art: De Noord-Nederlandsche Schilderkunst. In 1936, the first of five volumes appeared covering the medieval period up to the end of the fifteenth century. Since then, several discoveries have altered our view of this lesser-known period of art history. Modern scientific methods have deepened our knowledge and raised different questions regarding many works of art. The broadened scope of potential source material has produced new insights and has clarified production methods. The current volume takes Hoogewerff’s groundbreaking work as a starting point, featuring a fine selection of scholars whose task has been to explore the scientific progress that has been made in the decades since, with special emphasis placed on art works made prior to 1420. Contributions on tomb and architectural sculpture – art forms neglected by Hoogewerff, who concentrated solely on painting – signal emerging trends in art historical research. With its many new illustrations, the volume at hand shows the richness and high quality of medieval art production in the Northern Netherlands before Van Eyck.

W. Krul, G.J. Hoogewerff, Explorer in Art History
K. van der Ploeg, The Reception of Hoogewerff’s ‘De Noord-Nederlandsche Schilderkunst’
E. Klinkenberg, The Medieval Mural Paintings in the Dutch Reformed Church at Britsum, A Reflection of Frisian Crusade Participation
A.M.J. van Egmond, Art and Archives, Clerics and Counts – New Insights on the Crucifixion Mural in the Utrecht Burial Chapel of Guy of Avesnes
I. Kneepkens, A Note on the Unfortunate Lords of Montfoort
S. Suer, The Instructions int he Bethlehem Plenary and its Production Process
W.A.W. van Welie-Wink, The Creation Miniatures in Maerlant’s Rijmbijbel in the Museum Meermanno in The Hague
C. Chavannes-Mazel, Michiel van der Boch – Discerning Fact from Fable
W. Van Anrooij, Armorials, Heralds and Heraldry around 1400 – The Importance of the Manuscript and the cultural-historical Context
M. Bloem, Presentatio, Imitatio, Innovatio – The Imitation and Correction of a corrupt pictorial Tradition by the Masters of Zweder van Culemborg
E. Den Hartog, The ‘Cinderella’ of the Arts – The Study of Architectural Sculpture up to 1420 from G.J. Hoogewerff’s Time to the Present
S. Frequin, A Voice from the Grave – The Tomb of Guy of Avesnes in Saint-Martin’s Cathedral in Utrecht
J. Jasperse, Duke Charles of Guelders and the ‘Restoration’ of the Tomb Monument of Gerard IV and Margaret in the Roermond Minster
C. Chavannes-Mazel, Epilogue – After Hoogewerff.

gc3bcstrow[1]Le Retable de la Passion de Güstrow. Étude historique et technologique edited by Catheline Périer-D’Ieteren and  Ivo Mohrmann (Editechnart)

Summary in French:
Cet ouvrage est la première monographie consacrée au retable brabançon de la Passion du Christ de l’église Notre-Dame de Güstrow, œuvre prestigieuse et pourtant méconnue. A doubles paires de volets (sculptés et peints) ce retable constitue un des rares témoins conservés de ce type de mobilier liturgique illustrant le savoir-faire des ateliers bruxellois au XVIe siècle. Les sculptures polychromées sont attribuées à la célèbre dynastie des Borman , un soldat portant la signature de Jan Borman , tandis que les peintures sont données à des maîtres de l’entourage de Bernard Van Orley. L’étude préalable à l’intervention de restauration menée par une équipe internationale de chercheurs et restaurateurs belges et allemands a permis de réunir un important matériel inédit. Ainsi l’histoire de l’ensemble des restaurations antérieures et la personnalité du restaurateur Alois Hauser l’Ancien ont été précisées. Les attributions ont été réexaminées à travers une étude approfondie du style et des techniques d’exécution des sculptures comme des peintures. Des informations essentielles et inattendues sur la genèse des compositions et sur les collaborations entre peintres sont apparues suite à l’examen en réflectographie infrarouge des volets peints réalisé par la Hoschschule für Bildende Künste de Dresde. Enfin l’étude dendrochronologique a remis en question la datation de 1520-22 traditionnellement acceptée, ouvrant par là de nouvelles pistes de réflexion.

This book is the first monograph on the Brabant altarpiece of the Passion of the Christ of the Church of Our Lady of Güstrow, a prestigious work, but all but unknown. With a pair of carved and painted wings, this altarpiece is one of the few examples preserved of this type of liturgical furniture illustrating the expertise of the Brussels workshops in the sixteenth century. The polychrome sculptures are attributed to the famous dynasty Borman – a soldier bearing the signature of Jan Borman – while the paintings are for masters of the entourage of Bernard van Orley. The preliminary study conducted at the restoration work by an international team of Belgian and German scientists and restorers brought together important new material. Firstly, the history of all previous restorations and the personality of the Old restaurateur Alois Hauser have been investigated. The altarpiece’s functions have been reviewed through a thorough study of style and execution techniques for both sculptures and paintings. Critical and unexpected discoveries on the genesis of compositions and collaborations between artists emerged following the infrared reflectography examination of painted shutters have been found by the Hochschule für Künste Dresden Bildende. Finally dendrochronological study questioned the traditionally accepted dating from 1520 to 1522, thereby opening new avenues for investigation.

Chapitres introductifs

C. Périer-D’Ieteren – Les retables à double paire de volets. Des oeuvres de prestige au sein de la production des retables brabançons des XVe et XVIe siècles.
B. D’Hainaut-Zveny – Le retable de Güstrow, un retable à double paire de volets. Considérations sur les usages et raisons d’être de ces vantaux.
L. Vogel – Histoire et contexte historique de la réalisation du retable de Güstrow.
T. Schöfbeck & K.-U. Heußner – Les analyses dendrochronologiques du retable de Jan Borman de Güstrow.

Les peintures

V. Bücken – Les volets peints du retable de Güstrow et Bernard van Orley.
C. Périer-D’Ieteren – Essai d’attribution des volets peints du retable de Güstrow et examen de leur dessin sous-jacent.
I. Mohrmann, K. Riße – Radiographie, réflectographie infrarouge, fluorescence d’ultraviolets. Les volets peints du retable de Güstrow. Analyses par rayonnements in situ.
B. Jackisch – Analyse technologique des volets peints du retable de Güstrow.

Les sculptures

H. Nieuwdorp – Quelques considérations sur les Borman, leurs ateliers et leur collaboration.
C. Périer-D’Ieteren – Les sculptures du retable de Güstrow. Étude stylistique.
V. Ehlich – Le montage du retable et ses particularités.
V. Ehlich – Construction, taille et polychromie du retable ainsi que quelques aspects de sa

Les restaurations

U. Stehr – Alois Hauser l’Ancien et la restauration des volets peints du retable de Güstrow.
M. Runge – Restauration des volets peints du retable de Güstrow.
V. Ehlich – La restauration des parties sculptées du retable de Güstrow.

dIS-9782930054216-1[1]Corpus of 15th-Century Painting in the Former Southern Netherlands :Los Angeles Museums by Diane Wolfthal and Catherine Metzger

This book represents the first comprehensive study of all the fifteenth-century Flemish paintings in Los Angeles, including those in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum of Art (Pasadena) and the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery (San Marino). It examines well-known masterpieces by Dirk Bouts, Gerard David, and Hans Memling as well as little-known works, some published here for the first time. Using the latest advances in technical studies, including weave density maps, it reveals new insights. Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated with numerous color illustrations, this volume joins a series of exhaustive studies of early Netherlandish paintings that was begun shortly after the second world war.

FramesandsupportsFrames and Supports in 15th- and 16th-Century Southern Netherlandish Painting by Hélène Verougstraete (KIK-IRPA)

Verougstraete’s technical study is unique because it was the first in-depth documentation of Netherlandish panel paintings with “engaged” frames. This practice of fusing together the frame and the wooden painting support was common in the 15th and 16th centuries, though over time these two elements were often separated. Thanks to Verougstraete’s research, scholars and conservators have had a valuable record to guide the structural treatment of wooden supports for works of this period and the selection of historically accurate frames to replace those that were removed and lost. However the first edition was published in French with a small print run, both of which have limited its accessibility. The new expanded and translated edition, which is freely accessible to conservators, scholars, and the general public, sheds further light on how artists collaborated with woodworkers to create painting supports.
Good news everyone! This has been published as a free e-book! It serves as an important resource for conservators and scholars who study and care for old master paintings on wooden panels. The publication is an updated study based on Verougstraete’s 1989 doctoral thesis, which was originally prepared in French with black and white pictures. The new e-book has been fully translated into English and features over 2,000 crisp, full-color illustrations and diagrams presented in a searchable, zoomable interface.

As usual, we are happy to plug any new medieval art book you may have noticed – even if it’s yours, or your spouses’ – in our next book roundup: get in touch with

Published by James Alexander Cameron

I am an art historian working primarily on medieval parish church architecture. I completed my doctorate on sedilia in medieval England in 2015 at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

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