A group of some 35 terracotta models and sketches that Artus Quellinus made in preparation for the sculptural decoration of the seventeenth-century Amsterdam Town Hall is the starting point for interdisciplinary research into Quellinus’s large sculpture studios in Amsterdam and Antwerp.

About the project

In the period from roughly 1650 to 1665 the Antwerp sculptor Artus I Quellinus (1609-1668) was responsible for the sculptural decoration of Amsterdam’s new Town Hall (now the Royal Palace on Dam Square). It was the most prestigious and ambitious sculpture project ever seen in the Dutch Republic. While he was in Amsterdam Quellinus retained his thriving workshop in Antwerp, which was left to the day-to-day supervision of his brother-in-law Pieter Verbruggen.
The research will cover a combination of archival, art-historical and comparative scientific strands examining Quellinus and his studio, which was one of the largest sculpture workshops in Europe. It will centre around the corpus of Quellinus terracottas belonging to the City of Amsterdam, which is currently divided among the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Museum. Other terracottas by Quellinus and sculptors from his circle will be included in the project.

Aim of the project

The objective is to build up a comprehensive view of the formation, organization, division of labour and methods, as well as output and impact of Quellinus’s sculpture studios, focusing on the two affiliates in Antwerp and Amsterdam. In addition we hope to gain new insights into the use of terracottas in the daily practice of the Netherlandish sculptor during the seventeenth century. The findings will be presented in a scholarly publication, possibly a doctoral dissertation, as well as in an exhibition for a wider audience in the Royal Palace on Dam Square.

Related publications

Related events

An exhibition in the Royal Palace on Dam Square, Amsterdam: summer 2024 (with reservation).


Bieke van der Mark
Scientific Staff Member

Frits Scholten
Senior Curator of Sculpture

Isabelle Garachon
Head of Ceramics, Glass and Stone conservation

Bodill Lamain
Conservator Ceramics, Glass and Stone

Partners and sponsors

This project is supported by the Bert en Joos Mastenbroek Fonds/ Rijksmuseum Fonds.