08 October 2018

JVDPPP launches new open access resources on the 17th Century Antwerp panel makers



Over the last couple of weeks, the JVDPPP website has been greatly expanded with many new and essential documents on the 17th Century Antwerp panel makers. Several of the newly added documents are published or translated into English for the very first time.

All these documents and the new information our Archival Research Fellows Ingrid Moortgat and Piet Bakker have unearthed are key for understanding the makers’ marks found on the backs of panels painted on by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Jacques Jordaens and many other Flemish masters in Antwerp in the first half of the seventeenth century. The research continues but we are delighted to publish this first tranche as an open access resource for anyone interested in 17th century Flemish painting or associated trades. It will be continuously updated, especially with photographs of the actual panel makers’ marks we encounter on our travels which, in most cases, have been found to deviate somewhat from the ink drawings of the unknown scribe of the 1617 panel makers’ petition. We will also continue to identify previously unknown panel maker’s marks, such as that of Sanctus Gabron discovered in December 2016.

The JVDPPP website now includes the photographs of the original 13 November 1617 petition of the panel makers in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke, including their marks as recorded by the unknown scribe, as well its transcription and translation. In addition, we have published four biographies of Antwerp panel makers and their families, whose marks we have found on the reverse of Jordaens and Van Dyck panel paintings. We have also translated and updated Jan Van Damme’s ground breaking article The Antwerp panel-makers and their marks, which was published in Flemish in the 1990 yearbook of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp.

The 1617 petition
The 13 November 1617 petition of the panel makers in the Guild of Saint Luke is published here for the first time. The original documents, transcription and translation allow an important understanding of the role and rules of the Antwerp panel makers in constructing and marking their panels for the painters of the day.
To the petition >>

Detail of the marks that were recorded in the petition of 13 November 1617 (Stadsarchief Antwerpen, Gilden en Ambachten, 4336)
(Photo: JVDPPP 2018)

Panel makers
The website has been expanded with biographies on the most important and productive panel makers in the Guild of Saint Luke. These include Guilliam Aertssen, as well as the brothers Guilliam and Sanctus Gabron, Michiel and Nicolaes Vrient, and Michiel and Hans of the Claesssens family. The JVDPPP has gathered all new and existing findings on the activities of these panel makers. Their individual pages are illustrated with drawn marks and real marks we found on the reverse of various panels painted on by Jordaens and Van Dyck. More biographies on other panel makers will be added over the course of the project.
To the biographies >>

Updated and translated article on panel makers
The JVDPPP has published, translated, and updated Jan van Damme’s groundbreaking article The Antwerp panel-makers and their marks, with his kind permission. It is the most authoritative article on the subject to date and was originally published in Flemish in the 1990 yearbook of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp. The article was long overdue to be translated into English in order to make it accessible to a wider audience of scholars and art lovers.
To the article >>

Dennis Driessen



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