The RKDstudio database contains quotations from various art-historical sources about nineteenth-century studio practice. The terms ‘studio practice’ and ‘painting practice’ have been used in a broad sense, allowing researchers to include references to exhibition practice, the art trade, training of artists and artists’ societies.
The majority of these quotations have been extracted from over 7000 letters stored in various artists’ archives and letter collections. As well as the collections of the RKD, researchers went through the nineteenth-century holdings of the Rijksmuseum and The Hague Municipal Archive. In addition to letters, RKDstudio also includes references to contemporary painting practice taken from other sources such as diaries and articles published in journals and newspapers.
Letter and attached sketch of Willem Roelofs Jr. to Frans Smissaert and Mien Smissaert-Buys, October 17, 1929, Jeltes Archive, RKD, The Hague
Users can search for quotations in the RKDstudio database by artist, author or keyword. To ensure that specific quotations can be retrieved as swiftly as possible, there is also a thesaurus of subject keywords referring users to further search options. For example, if you look under ‘materials’, you will find links to further keywords such as ‘painter’s box’, ‘palette’ and ‘anatomical figure’.
All the keywords added to quotations have furthermore been given definitions that follow nineteenth-century usage as closely as possible. This has resulted in a useful dictionary of nineteenth-century studio terms.
A large amount of art-historical source material can now be accessed through RKDstudio. The database can facilitate future research into studio and painting practice, giving us a more complete picture of nineteenth-century Dutch art.