Research on 19th Century sculpture in the Netherlands
Art historian Hanna Klarenbeek to lead research project on the 'dark age' of Dutch sculpture. So far virtually no research has been done into 19th-century sculpture.
It is often said that the Netherlands is not a country that is famous for its sculptors. Why should this be? Because of a lack of natural sculpting materials such as marble, perhaps, but also the virtual absence of a tradition of patronage and the dominance of painting as an art form. So why then are there, for the period 1800-1914 alone, nearly 400 sculptors to be found in the database of the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History? Hanna Klarenbeek will research this forgotten 19th-century sculptural tradition.
So far virtually no research has been done into 19th-century sculpture. Yet we see this art around us all the time: in squares, parks and cemeteries, in public buildings such as churches and decorating façades everywhere. From 1800 onwards, sculpture developed from a craft tradition primarily in support of architecture, to become a separate discipline with new forms and materials, which artists have used for the expression of their own ideas.
The research project is made possible by the Beelden aan Zee Museum/Sculpture Institute and the RKD and supported financially by the Ekkart Fund. The project is part of a large-scale historical study of modern Dutch sculpture that is being conducted by the Beelden aan Zee Museum/Sculpture Institute and the University of Leiden.