November 20, 2015
University of Antwerp & Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (Belgium)

In recent years, research on material and technical aspects of the visual arts and cultural heritage has made significant progress.  Thanks to the optimization of existing research tools and the development of new imaging techniques, such as Macro X-Ray Fluorescence scanning , the quality of the research data is richer than ever before. 

In 2013, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp started the Ensor Research Project bringing together an interdisciplinary team with the goal of investigating the material and technical aspects of the 38 Ensor paintings in the museum’s collection.  Supported by a parallel conservation treatment campaign, this project is enhancing the understanding of Ensor’s creative process considerably.  Other recent research developments include The Art Institute of Chicago’s conservation of Ensor’s extraordinary drawing “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” (1887) presented in a book, exhibition and on line scholarly catalogue.

This symposium will present a mid-term state of the ongoing project, evaluating the present state of technical and scientific findings along with current theoretical, stylistic, iconographical and historical investigations.  We welcome papers on Ensor’s life and work as well as discussions and research of creative processes in the work of his predecessors and contemporaries, and the presentation of new insights in Ensor’s studio practice obtained by analytical and chemical imaging techniques.
Proposals for papers (maximum 250 words) and a brief C.V. are to be sent before September 15 to

Applicants will receive a reply by September 30. Conference language: English. The symposium is organized by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Dr. Elsje Janssen, Director of Collections and Dr. Herwig Todts, Curator and Ensor Research Project Coordinator in collaboration with the University of Antwerp, Dr. Geert Van der Snickt, Chair Advanced Imaging Techniques for the Arts, Faculty of Science, Dr. Susan M. Canning, Professor, College of New Rochelle, New York, and the Flemish Art Collection – Museums of Fine Arts Antwerp Bruges Ghent.

Scroll to Top