About ESNA

2019 has already been a milestone for our organization: on 20 December 2018, the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art became a foundation. Our new status is a guarantee for the future, and opens up new possibilities for cooperation on both the intellectual and financial fronts. Then, on 25 January 2019 – following the Winter Seminar, Game Changers – we entered into partnership with the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History). This pooling of resources will further strengthen our mission to foster the study of nineteenth-century art and its contexts both at home and abroad, and in the academic and museum worlds. As you will see from the newsletter, we are well on our way to an exciting and fruitful year, and we hope to see many of you in June for our annual international conference, Frictions and Friendships. Cultural Encounters in the Nineteenth Century.

Rachel Esner

Frictions and friendships. Cultural encounters in the nineteenth century

The Hague, Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD): 19 & 20 June 2019

Organized by ESNA (European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art), RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague and NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research)

The exhibition The Dutch in Paris, which was on show in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and in the Petit Palais, Paris during the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 respectively, aimed to visualize the artistic exchange between Dutch and French artists between 1789 and 1914. As part of a larger research project, set up by the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, the exhibition generated so much response that ESNA, in collaboration with the RKD and NWO, decided to organize an international conference on the subject, focusing specifically on international as well as national and local points of encounter and how they facilitated artistic exchange.
More information..


Online registration for the conference is now open.
Regular: € 60 (both days) | € 40 (1 day)
Student: € 40 (both days) | € 25 (1 day)
Tickets are available via the RKD webshop

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Call to all ESNA members!
Overview of Current Research on 19th-century Art History
Deadline: 02 June 2019

The European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art is a platform that brings together scholars, museum professionals and graduate students whose research focuses on European art of the long nineteenth century. ESNA aims 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. In this context ESNA’s steering committee aspires to update the overview of research projects on the society’s website.

In order to put together an updated inventory of ongoing art-historical research into the nineteenth century, we invite ESNA members to send an email to esnaonline@hotmail.com no later than 30 April. We welcome both academic research and museum-based research projects of substantial duration. Moreover, we now welcome non-Dutch ESNA members to contribute information about their research as well. Please mention (in English) name(s) and affiliation(s) of the researcher(s), title of the project, and probable/expected date of publication or duration of the project. The update will be published in May.


Symposium Van Gogh and the Sunflowers
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Friday 21 June 2019

Sunflowers (1889) is one of Vincent van Gogh’s best-known paintings. A great deal of
innovative research has been devoted to this masterpiece from the Van Gogh Museum’s
collection in recent years. An international team of specialists headed by former senior
conservator Ella Hendriks examined Sunflowers using the latest scientific techniques, in
order to gather as much information as possible about the canvas, the ground, the paint
layers and the previous restorations carried out on the work. The exhibition Van Gogh and the Sunflowers will show what the research has contributed to our knowledge of Van Gogh’s working methods, the discolouration of certain pigments and the painting’s conservation history and current condition. To accompany the exhibition, the Van Gogh Museum is organising a symposium on Friday 21 June, at which members of the research team will present their most important findings.
More information..

CFP: Rampzalig Nederland. De omgang met rampen in Nederland, 1780-1940
Congres Werkgroep ‘De Moderne Tijd’
Vrijdag 20 december 2019
CFP deadline:
1 juni 2019Door de opwarming van de aarde en de toenemende dreiging van klimaatrampen heeft het historisch onderzoek naar rampen en rampverwerking een hoge vlucht genomen. Het besef is doorgedrongen dat overstromingen, aardbevingen, hittegolven, droogtes, en de gevolgen daarvan (hongersnoden, epidemieën, insectenplagen etc.) een grote en vaak blijvende invloed hebben gehad op de ontwikkeling van lokale en nationale gemeenschappen.

In dit congres onderzoeken we de maatschappelijke betekenis van rampen voor het Nederland in de periode 1780-1940. In deze periode hebben zich tal van ontwrichtende rampen voor de samenleving voorgedaan. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan de grote overstromingen van 1825 en 1861, de cholera-epidemie in de jaren 1830 of de grote stadsbrand van Enschede in 1862. Onder rampen verstaan wij in principe natuurrampen en geen opzettelijke fenomenen als oorlogshandelingen en aanslagen. In de praktijk is de scheidslijn tussen door de natuur of mens veroorzaakte rampen overigens niet altijd eenvoudig te trekken: zo kan een overstroming het gevolg zijn van slecht onderhoud van de dijken of een brand ontstaan door een menselijke fout. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan de verwoestende buskruitramp in Leiden van 1807 of de Zuiderzeevloed van 1916.

Meer informatie..

Announcement: The Van Gogh Museum Visiting Fellow in the History of Nineteenth-Century Art 2019
Tradition and Identity: The Nation in 19th-Century Art
2-7June 2019, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Every year, a leading art historian is invited to lead a seminar as part of the programme ‘Van Gogh Museum Visiting Fellow in the History of Nineteenth-Century Art’. The seminars have been jointly organized since 2007 by the Van Gogh Museum and the University of Amsterdam, as part of the Art History Master’s course. The aim is to encourage students to perform in-depth study of an important theme relating to the Van Gogh Museum’s collection.

From 2 till 7 June 2019 Prof. Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art and Art History in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University (USA) will give a seminar entitled: Tradition and Identity: The Nation in Nineteenth-Century Art

More information…


Out now! XIX: Studies in 19th-Century Art and Visual Culture. Vol. 1
Herwig Todts, James Ensor, Occasional Modernist. Ensor’s artistic and social ideas and the interpretation of his art, Brepols Publishers, 2019
This book explores James Ensor’s writings, ideas and works in greater depth than they have hitherto enjoyed in art-historical scholarship.
More information..


Out now! Studies in the History of Collecting & Art Markets, Vol. 6
Jan Dirk Baetens and Dries Lyna, Art Crossing Borders
The Internationalisation of the Art Market in the Age of Nation States, 1750-1914,
Brill, 2019

Art Crossing Borders offers a thought-provoking analysis of the internationalisation of the art market during the long nineteenth century.
More information..

Out now: Marij Leenders en Eveline Koolhaas-Grosfeld, Tussen politiek en publiek. Politieke prenten uit een opstandige tijd, 1880-1919 (Schiedam: Scriptum)

More information..

Read the latest ESNAblog!
An exhibition in desperate need of critical nuance. Is a pure aesthetic approach to Orientalist painting still tenable? Exhibition review: Oriental visions. From dreams into light
By Lisa Lambrechts

This spring, Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris presents an exhibition dedicated to 19th-century orientalist painting entitled: Oriental visions. From dreams into light. The curator, Emmanuelle Amiot-Saulnier, has opted for a strongly aesthetic approach, setting out the evolution of figure and landscape in Orientalist painting, from 1800 to the birth of abstraction. In the exhibition, the visitor experiences how legible scenes steadily make way for an explosion of abstract colour planes.

Read more..

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.

E-mail: esnaonline@hotmail.com

Bank account: NL19 INGB 0008 8438 09

Account holder: European Society for Nineteenth-Century ArtRKD_grey

ESNA is registered as a non-profit organization at the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, nr. 73408778

Last update of this website, 07 August 2019



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