Call for papers: International Conference on Artists' Collections (Madrid, 23-24/1/2020)


Call for Papers: International Conference Los Artistas como colleccionistas: Modelos y variantes. Desde la edad moderna al siglo XIX

Madrid, 23-24 January 2020

Conference languages: Spanish, English

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2019


On 23-24 January 2020 the Seminario de Arte e Icongrafia at the Fundación Universitaria Española and the Instituto Moll, in collaboration with the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Biblioteca Nacional de España and The National Gallery in London, will be hosting the international conference Los Artistas como collectionistas: Modelos y variants. Desde la edad moderna al siglo XIX.

About the conference topic

With the exception of private collections of artists such as Rubens, Velázquez, Rembrandt or Mengs, the study of the history of collecting has tended to concentrate on collections acquired by royal families, the aristocracy and the clergy. Recent years however have seen an increasing interest in collections treasured by artists throughout their lifetime and as part of their workshops.

Artists have used drawings, engravings, sculptures and compositions produced by their peers and even the architecture surrounding their workshops as a source of inspiration for their own work. Examples exist from an early date, as demonstrated by the 1519 lawsuit in Bruges between Ambrosius Benson and David Gerard relating to compositions from the workshop of David that Benson had claimed as his property. Moreover, inventories taken of artists’ estates after their death have revealed the presence of significant collections, with examples ranging from Rubens and Velázquez to less-well known artists such as the Sevillian painter Jerónimo de Bodadilla.

Architects, painters, sculptors and goldsmiths surrounded themselves with some of the most important examples of the art and taste of their time. Libraries also played a crucial role in this context, as did copies of works by other artists. From the 18th century onwards and particularly during the 19th century, groups of works acquired by artists were increasingly acknowledged as collections in their own right and began to enter the first public collections, often bequeathed directly by the artists themselves.

Call for papers

Papers are invited from researchers, academics and students wishing to explore the role, function and history of artists’ collections. The conference proposes the following key strands:

-        Collections and libraries of artists and makers

-        Artists as curators of collections

-        The dispersion and reconstruction of historical artists’ collections

Submission of papers

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be submitted by 30 June 2019 to  in pdf format and include a title, abstract (max. 500 words/2000 characters), a short biography and contact details.

Chosen papers will be announced at the beginning of September 2019.

Selected conference papers will be published in 2020 in the peer-reviewed journal Philostrato.

Conference attendance

Participation in the conference is open to students, established academics and members of public with an interest in the topic. A certificate of attendance will be provided.

Please email  for further booking information. Unless otherwise agreed, registration will be charged at 20 Euros.