Tine Luk Meganck, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
Erudite Eyes explores the network of the Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), a veritable trading zone of art and erudition. Populated by such luminaries as Pieter Bruegel, Joris Hoefnagel, Justus Lipsius and Benedictus Arias Montanus, among others, this vibrant antiquarian culture yielded new knowledge about local antiquities and distant civilizations, and offered a framework for articulating art and artistic practice. These fruitful exchanges, undertaken in a spirit of friendship and collaboration, are all the more astonishing when seen against the backdrop of the ongoing wars. Based on a close reading of early modern letters, alba amicorum, printed books, manuscripts and artworks, this book situates Netherlandish art and culture between Bruegel and Rubens in a European perspective.