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ARTECHNE – Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950


12 December 2018
15:00 - 18:00
Gehoorzaal, Teylers Museum - Spaarne 16, Haarlem

TECHNICAL ART HISTORY COLLOQUIUM: Special edition connected to the Teylers Museum’s Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition


This special edition of the Technical Art History Colloquium will be held at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, in connection with the exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci. Please note that admission to the Technical Art History Colloquium as well as the Leonardo exhibition is only possible with a valid museum entrance ticket. More practical information below; the full invitation can be downloaded here.

15.00 – 15.30: Entry to the museum

15.30 – 16.30: ‘Leonardo against Humanity’, prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein (UU)

16.30 – 18.00: Visit to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition

Important note

Visitors to this special edition of the Technical Art History Colloquium are responsible for purchasing their own entrance ticket to the Teylers Museum. Due to the great interest in the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, please make sure to book your tickets well in advance! Tickets can only be ordered online through https://www.franshals-leonardodavinci.nl/en/ticket-information. Visitors with discount cards (e.g. Museumkaart) also have to order their tickets online. We advise you to select timeslot 15.00. With this ticket, you are free to visit the exhibition between 15.00 until 18.00. The lecture by prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein will take place between 15.30 – 16.30 in the Gehoorzaal. It is not possible to attend his presentation without an entry ticket to the museum! If you have any questions, please contact Jill Briggeman (j.briggeman@uu.nl).


Image and source (r): Leonardo da Vinci, Four figures laughing and smiling viciously at an old man wearing an oak wreath, c. 1494. Pen and ink, 260 x 205 mm. Royal Library, Windsor Castle (RL 12495). Downloaded from the website of The Royal Collection.

From 5 October 2018 to 6 January 2019, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem will hold a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition featuring 33 original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). It is the first ever retrospective of original artworks by Leonardo in the Netherlands. His drawn portraits along with as many works by his contemporaries are coming to Haarlem from world-famous collections. The Technical Art History Colloquium on Wednesday 12 December will take place at the Teylers Museum and focus on Leonardo’s drawings. Our speaker, prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein, is guest-curator of the exhibition. He is Professor of Art History at Utrecht University, specialized in the visual arts of the Renaissance in Italy and the Low Countries. Kwakkelstein is also the director of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence.

Leonardo against Humanity
Prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein

It is often claimed that as a person Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) remains elusive. This claim is based on the assumption that in his numerous writings Leonardo left us with very few clues about his personal life, because he never reveals or speaks directly of his feelings. Yet there are numerous instances where he expresses not only his hostility towards certain groups of individuals, but also feelings of resentment and disdain for humanity. Kwakkelstein’s talk examines these critical and often pessimistic comments, mostly ignored by scholars, in order to gain a fuller understanding of Leonardo feelings, his relation to others and the intention behind his habit of drawing old men and women with misshapen faces.

The Technical Art History Colloquia are organised by Sven Dupré (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam, PI ERC ARTECHNE), Arjan de Koomen (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History), Abbie Vandivere (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History & Paintings Conservator, Mauritshuis, The Hague), Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum) and Ann-Sophie Lehmann (University of Groningen). The Technical Art History Colloquia are a cooperation of the ARTECHNE Project (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam), the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS), the University of Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis. The ARTECHNE project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 648718).