Flesh Gold and Wood. The Saint-Denis altarpiece in Liège and the question of partial paint practices in the 16th century
22 - 24 October 2015

Brussels, Belgium

Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium

The recent treatment of the Brussels altarpiece of the Church of St Denis in Liège by the KIK-IRPA has yielded much new information on the genesis and execution of this unique and monumental work of art. Above all, it has uncovered a partial polychromy that is exceptional in the context of the former Netherlands and the Prince-Bishopric of Liège in the 16th century. This unexpected discovery raises questions about the use of this type of polychromy in these regions. The conference will consider the new findings on this altarpiece and discuss the issues raised. The discovery of partial polychromy will also be placed in the context of European tradition (and that of German-speaking countries in particular). A comparison with analogous practices on other supports than wood will facilitate the exploration of these topics in depth and to reflect on their formal implications for sculpture.

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