About ESNA

A Nineteenth-Century Autumn!
Is ESNA throwing its weight about, or is it just a happy coincidence? This autumn, lovers of nineteenth century art can look forward to some exciting exhibitions in the Netherlands. Matthijs Maris in the Rijksmuseum, Dutch Artists in Paris at the Van Gogh Museum, Dutch Artists in Barbizon at The Mesdag Collection in The Hague, Jongkind in the Dordrechts Museum, and Dutch Modernists from the Singer Collection in Laren – all featuring Dutch artists who travelled and worked abroad. In December the Groninger Museum will present a wonderful selection of Northern European landscape painters from the Romantic period, and Singer Laren will show French Impressionists from a Dutch private collection. To top it all off, in January Panorama Mesdag, one of the most enthralling spaces in Holland, will rediscover for us the versatile artist Pieter de Josselin de Jong.

For more detailed information about the exhibitions, click on the links below:


ESNA Winter Seminar
Acht tentoonstellingen – vier recensies
Friday 26 January 2018, 12:30-18:00
The Hague 
(Dutch spoken)
Ligt het aan ESNA of is het een gelukkig toeval? Hoe dan ook kunnen liefhebbers van negentiende-eeuwse kunst dit najaar genieten van een aantal spannende tentoonstellingen in Nederland.

Matthijs Maris in het Rijksmuseum, Nederlanders in Parijs in het Van Gogh Museum, Jongkind en vrienden in het Dordrechts Museum en Nederlandse Modernisten van de Singer collectie in Laren tonen dit najaar allemaal Nederlandse kunstenaars die in het buitenland reisden en werkten. In december volgt het Groninger Museum met een prachtige selectie Noord- Europese romantische landschapsschilderkunst, en Singer Laren met Franse impressionisten uit een Nederlandse collectie. In ons gastmuseum, het Panorama Mesdag, is de veelzijdige kunstenaar Pieter de Josselin de Jong te zien.

Wat brengt ons deze hausse aan aandacht voor de negentiende-eeuwse kunst? Wat zijn de verschillen en overeenkomsten in aanpak van de tentoonstellingen, en welke nieuwe kennis en ideeën komen er uit voort? In het ESNA-winterseminar zullen vier sprekers vanuit verschillend perspectief een korte recensie geven, met veel ruimte voor discussie.

More information and full programme…



Invitation: ESNA excursion
(Dutch spoken)
Om de deelnemers van het winter seminar de kans te bieden de discussie al aan te vangen tijdens een gezamenlijk tentoonstellingsbezoek, biedt ESNA de volgende rondleidingen aan:
1 december 2017
15:00-16:15 Matthijs Maris, Rijksmuseum. Toelichting door Jenny Reynaerst, conservator tentoonstelling
16:30-18:00 Nederlanders in Parijs, Van Gogh Museum. Toelichting door Mayken Jonkman.
18:00-19:00 Borrel aangeboden door het Van Gogh Museum
11 januari 2018 (o.v.)
15:00-17:00 Jongkind en vrienden, Dordrechts Museum. Toelichting door Gerrit Willems, conservator tentoonstelling.
26 januari 2018 (let op: dit is tevens de dag van het winter seminar)
12:30-13:15 Nederlanders in Barbizon, De Mesdag Collectie. Toelichting door Maite van Dijk, conservator tentoonstelling.
16:45-17:30 Pieter de Josselin de Jong. Een vergeten meester, Panorama Mesdag. Toelichting door Suzanne Veldink, conservator tentoonstelling.

Aanmelden kan door een email te sturen naar esnaonline@hotmail.com 



Reminder: register now for the Matthijs Maris at Work conference
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: 14 December 2017
(English spoken)

The Matthijs Maris exhibition at the Rijksmuseum will offer the largest overview ever of this enigmatic artist’s work. Raised among his Hague School brothers, Matthijs chose his own path and gradually developed into a cult figure for Symbolist artists around 1900. His experimental technique, resulting in soft, sfumato imagery, has been analysed in the conservation department of the Rijksmuseum, with revealing and fascinating results. At a one-day conference, these results will be presented in context, including comparisons with, among others, the techniques of Whistler and Corot.

Speakers include Prof. Dr. Erma Hermens, recently appointed professor at the University of Amsterdam and technical art historian at the Rijksmuseum, Prof. Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Whistler specialist, Corot specialist Sarah Herring from the National Gallery London, and Pippa Stephenson and Suzanne Ross from the Glasgow Museums, which holds a large number of late paintings and charcoals by Matthijs Maris, never before shown outside the UK.
The conference is sponsored by the Victor Foundation Heiloo/RijksmuseumFund.

More information and registration

Save the date:
2018 ESNA + Ghent University Conference
Website: http://www.malebonds.ugent.be/

Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art
15-16 May 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium

Organized by Ghent University and the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art (ESNA), in cooperation with the University of Antwerp and the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent.

Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art is a two-day international conference that aims to explore the place of male bonds in nineteenth-century artistic practice and visual arts. Male homosociality – i.e. social relationships between men – helped structure nineteenth-century European and American society. However, over the course of the century changes arose, instigated by the increasingly rigorous conception of same-sex sexualities and by other challenges to traditional notions of manhood.

The conference strives to probe, challenge and expand upon the academic narrative of male homosociality through the lens of art history. It is to establish a multifaceted survey of the male bonds that underpinned nineteenth-century art, and to consider the theoretical and methodological implications of the study thereof. In so doing, it seeks to build a bridge between traditional art-historical scholarship and the fields of gender and gay and lesbian studies: an interdisciplinary exchange of which the full potential for scholarship on the nineteenth century remains to be exploited.

More information…


Announcement: the Van Gogh Museum Visiting Fellow 2018
The Grotesque in Late Nineteenth-Century Art
3-8 June 2018, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

This year’s Visiting Fellow is Prof. Frances Connelly of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. This seminar will explore the workings of the grotesque in late nineteenth-century art and explore why it is a particularly powerful means to grapple with its social upheavals and cultural shifts.

The seminar consists of a public introductory lecture and three sessions of three hours each. The last session will be followed by an excursion to the exhibition Van Gogh and Japan.

More information and registration…


Summer Course for the Study of the Arts in Flanders Belgian Fin de Siècle 1880-1914 (June 24 – July 4, 2018)
Website: http://jamesensor.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/en/summer-course-4

Several Flemish research centers, universities and art museums collaboratively organise the fourth edition of the Summer Course for the Study of the Arts in Flanders. This edition zooms in on Belgian Fin de Siècle Art between 1880 and 1914. The target group are master and PhD-students in (art)history.

The aim of the Summer Course is to bring to Flanders, annually, a select group of 20 national and international, highly qualified young researchers and to present them with an intensive 11-day programme of lectures, discussions, and on-site visits.

The fourth edition will take place from June 24 through July 4, 2018. Its content is coordinated by the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Mu.ZEE Ostend and the Flemish Art Collection. This edition includes excursions to Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Brussels, Paris, Namur and Antwerp.

Apply now through December 1, 2017


Prix du livre for New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century

Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom (both Rijksmuseum) won the 2017 Photography Catalogue of the Year Award for New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century, printed by Rijksmuseum/Nai, Amsterdam, 2017. Designed by Irma Boom Office (Irma Boom/Tariq Heijboer)

Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 edition of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, celebrating the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. On the winner of the Photography Catalogue of the Year, Natalie Hershdorker said, “New Realities takes what might be considered ‘dusty’ material of the nineteenth century and brings new perspectives and fresh design to enliven this classical material. It’s an important example of how to preserve and capture new interest in the history of photography.”

More information … 

Mission Statement

The European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art (ESNA) is a platform formed under the auspices of the Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History (Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis). ESNA was founded by a group of scholars, graduate students and museum professionals based in the Netherlands whose research focuses on European art of the long nineteenth century. ESNA’s aim is to provide a forum to promote the exchange of ideas in this field, to support and encourage graduate research, and to enhance networking opportunities for participants. ESNA seeks to contribute to, and foster debate on, nineteenth-century art through the organization of an annual symposium, workshops, excursions, the invitation of visiting speakers, and the co-ordination with other organizations and groups devoted to the study of the nineteenth century. Although originating in the Low Countries, ESNA aims to create a broad international network for the advancement of research into all aspects of nineteenth-century European art.

Find out more about news and activities related to nineteenth-century art

Past ESNA events 

Last update of this website, 16 November 2017



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