Newsflash: In this article, restorer Laure Mortiaux explains how the restoration project has yielded new insights into Ensor’s technique and provided clues about the material history of the painting Astonishment of the Mask Wouse and the various treatments that it has undergone.
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) is a public scientific institution of the Government of Flanders. With its vast collection of art, it is a leading research centre in the field of Flemish cultural heritage.
Studying the collection pieces and their history is one of the museum’s core assignments.
The findings of this research are recorded in the collection catalogue, a scientific instrument that is essential to various aspects of the museum’s activities, including acquisitions, conservation and restoration, collection access, education and presentations.
Four specific lines of research supplement this fundamental work. A first area of study is the origin of the exquisite museum collection. Second, systematic research is conducted into the unique Peter Paul Rubens subcollection. More recently, a research programme has been launched into the work of James Ensor, an artist of whom KMSKA possesses the world’s largest collection. And last but not least, the museum publishes a scientific annual. This and other museum publications, alongside the institution’s involvement in training programmes and other collaborations, form the spearhead of KMSKA’s knowledge dissemination
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The museum possesses around thirty paintings and oil sketches by Rubens.
The museum's Rubens research focuses on all of the collection pieces by or attributed to the Master.