15. March 2012 09:58

ESF Research Networking Programme - PALATIUM - "Court Residences as Places of Exchange in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe" - Summer School Utrecht 2012

The School will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands), with field trips to various castles and residences in The Netherlands and Germany from 1 to 11 July 2012. This event is organised by PALATIUM in cooperation with the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis (Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History) Supervisors: Professor Konrad Ottenheym (U. Utrecht) & Martijn van Beek (secretary OSK).

This summer school will focus on the late medieval and early modern European court residence or ‘palace’ in an interdisciplinary perspective. The world of the courts 1400-1750 constituted a network of truly European scale and international character, but its architecture is only rarely studied in its connectivity. Here the ‘palace’ is seen as a place for cultural exchange. Human interaction in this space is regulated and codified by a set of rules, known as the ‘ceremonial’.

The interaction between palace architecture (tangible), including its interior decorations and stately collections, and the ceremonial (intangible, but known through a set of tangible testimonials of different types, written and visual) is one of the key questions this summer school aims to address. The palace’s space and form carry multiple connotations. To the informed observer they represent power, lineage, and tradition versus innovation. The decoding of this system of signs necessitates input not only of architectural and art historians, but also of various other disciplines, such as archaeology, social history, politics, literature, theatre and music.

Important questions that will be addresses in this summer school are focused upon the sovereignty’s space and its rituals. Of crucial importance in the ceremonial and spatial organization of the residences were the etiquette and settings used for the official confrontation between different courts at diplomatic receptions of foreign princes, ambassadors and other distinguished visitors. How was the spatial order and hierarchy of rooms, leading from the entrance of the residence to the audience hall or the stage for stately banquets? How were the different levels of distance or closeness to the nucleus of power visually expressed? What was the relationship between the state rooms and the private sections of the residence? 

In connection with the previous questions also the iconography of the residence exterior and interiors will be discussed, especially the display of lineage, kinship, and tradition. Claims of age-old and noble origin were of vital symbolic and identity-creating value for several European courts, regardless of political status and size. Were particular iconographic meanings expressed in relation to specific local or regional circumstances? Were the symbolic values displayed only in the more public areas, or were less accessible parts of the residence also the object of significant iconographic programs? Which role had art collections here?

The lectures at the summer school will deal with residences all over Europe. The field trips will focus on the most relevant examples in the Low Countries and its surrounding areas. The summer school aims at stimulating exchanges of knowledge and experience by offering lectures by historians, architectural historians and art historians. It is open to Research MA students and PhD’s in these disciplines from all nationalities, so as to mirror the international network of courts that is being examined.

Lectures will be given by: Johan Carel Bierens de Haan (Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands), Lex Bosman (University of Amsterdam), Monique Chatenet (Centre André Chastel, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, France), Karolien De Clippel (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Krista De Jonge (University of Leuven, Belgium), Rudi Ekkart (Netherlands Institute for Art History - RKD, The Netherlands), Willemijn Fock (Leiden University, The Netherlands), Bernardo García García (Universidad Complutense de Madrid/Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Spain), Stephan Hoppe (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany), Konrad Ottenheym (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), José Luis Sancho (Patrimonio Nacional, Spain).

Programme Summary
Sunday 1 July: Arrival of participants
Monday 2 July: Introductory lectures on court history and residence architecture in Europe
Tuesday 3 July: Lectures on late medieval and 16th-century residences
Wednesday 4 July: Field trip to Bergen op Zoom (Markiezenhof) and Breda (Nassau palace)
Thursday 5 July: Lectures on 17th-century residences
Friday 6 July: Field trip to Apeldoorn (palace Het Loo)
7 July: Field trip to Amerongen (castle of Godard Adriaan van Reede, 1676) and Middachten (castle of Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1695)
Sunday 8 July: Day off
Monday 9 July: Lectures on 18th-century developments
Tuesday 10 July: Field trip to Brühl (Schloss Augustusburg and its ‘trianon’ Falkenlust)
Wednesday 11 July: Discussion of the topics chosen for the papers. End of the summer school.

Preparation, Paper, and Credits (ECTS)
Students will get a list of articles and books to read in advance, so as to arrive well prepared. Lively participation in the discussions in class as well as in situ will be encouraged. Afterwards all participants must write a paper of ca. 5000 words on a topic of their own choice, related to the summer school (which may also refer to court artists, court collections, etc.). This paper will have to be submitted by 1 September 2012. Those who follow the whole course, including the final paper, will receive a credit of 5 ECTS.
Stay in Utrecht
The Dutch Post Graduate School for Art History (OSK) has made reservations for students from abroad to stay in the Strowis Inn, a nice hostel in the historical centre of Utrecht (group accommodation, no single rooms). Students living in the Netherlands who want to stay there as well should contact Martijn van Beek (secretary of the OSK).
Participation in the summer school is free. Those who are accepted will enjoy free lectures and excursions. For participants from outside the Netherlands this includes also as free stay at the Strowis Inn hostel in Utrecht. Participants will have to pay their own travel to Utrecht, as well as their own food and beverage.
How to Apply?
The summer school is open to everyone, but is specifically aimed at master students and doctoral students in history, architectural history, art history, archaeology, or related disciplines. The number of participants that can be accepted is limited.
To apply, you must submit by e-mail a short curriculum vitae (including your full contact details) and a letter of motivation, by 15 April 2012.
Candidates from outside The Netherlands must submit their application to the PALATIUM coordinator Dr. Pieter Martens (pieter.martens[at], with a copy to Professor Konrad Ottenheym (k.a.ottenheym[at]
Candidates from Dutch universities must submit their application to the secretary of the OSK, Martijn van Beek (info[at], with a copy to Dr. Pieter Martens (pieter.martens[at]