The quest for an appropriate past: literature, architecture, art and the creation of national identities in early modern Europe (c. 1400-1700)

29 September 2016  -  30 September 2016
Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam
+31 20 551 0747
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At this two-day conference researchers will be presenting the results of the research project The quest for an appropriate past 

It is often thought that national identities emerged in the 19th century, together with national styles in architecture, literature and art. However, geographically and nationally defined identities were already evident 500 years earlier. In the period from 1400 to 1700, there were political ambitions and geographical claims in all European countries, supported by historical arguments – irrespective of whether or not they were valid. Ideas about an individual national history were reflected in literature, architecture and paintings. These developments have been investigated as part of an international, multi-disciplinary project. Researchers will be presenting the results at this two-day conference.

Reuzen bouwen hunebedden, anoniem, 1658 - 1660. Collectie: Rijksmuseum. Ets, h 167 mm × b 268 mm


The quest for an appropriate past research project has been organised by Karl A.E. Enenkel (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Munster) and Koen Ottenheym (Utrecht University) and is being financed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Barbara Arciszewska (University of Warsaw), Krista De Jonge (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Bianca de Divitiis (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Karl Enenkel (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), Hubertus Günther (em. Universität Zürich), Harald Hendrix (KNIR Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome), Thomas Haye (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), Stephan Hoppe (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Marc Laureys (Universität Bonn), Kristoffer Neville (UC Riverside), Koen Ottenheym (Universiteit Utrecht), Christian Peters (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), Christoph Pieper (Universiteit Leiden), David Rijser (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Bernd Roling (Freie Universität Berlin), Alain Schnapp (Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris), Richard Schofield (Università di Venezia), Nuno Senos (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and Paul Smith (Universiteit Leiden).