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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Artus Quellinus the Elder and the Members of his Amsterdam Workshop

In 1650 the city of Amsterdam was in dire need of a competent sculptor to decorate the in- and exterior of the grandiose town hall (now Royal Palace) that was being built at the Dam Square. In the Antwerp sculptor Artus Quellinus the Elder (1609–1668) – who was schooled in the Rubens-baroque and had completed his training in Rome with François du Quesnoy – they found the ideal candidate to work on this austere baroque building. With attractive privileges and payments in prospect, Quellinus relocated to Amsterdam and stayed there for no less than fifteen years, working on the town hall and countless other important commissions. There, he supervised and trained a large number of assistants and pupils, some of whom went on to have very successful careers of their own. This talk focuses on the artistic impact he had on his cousin Artus Quellinus the Younger, Rombout Verhulst, Bartholomeus Eggers and Giusto Le Court, sculptors who all spent several formative years in Quellinus’s Amsterdam workshop.

Bieke van der Mark is Research Associate at the Sculpture Department of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. She holds a MA degree in art history and a post doctorate in journalism. Bieke currently leads an extensive, multidisciplinary research project into Artus Quellinus the Elder and his workshop practices. The findings will be presented in several scholarly publications, as well as in an exhibition for a wider audience in the Royal Palace on Dam Square. Bieke is also the co-author of the scholarly catalogue of European Sculpture at the Rijksmuseum, which will be published online in 2023.

Event information

Artus Quellinus the Elder and the Members of his Amsterdam Workshop by Bieke van der Mark

An online Zoom talk, PSSA Members free, Non-members £3.50 (join the PSSA).

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The seventeenth-century Town Hall (now the Royal Palace) in Amsterdam by Jacob van Campen (architect) and Artus Quellinus the Elder (sculptor) (photo: Koninklijk Paleis, Amsterdam)

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