The Rubens database of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

 The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium own a remarkable collection of around fifty works either painted by Rubens himself or in collaboration with his studio, as well as paintings produced together with renowned colleagues like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Cornelis de Vos. This collection, which contains oil sketches, cabinet paintings and altarpieces, reflects the most productive period in Rubens’ career, when his creative genius and entrepreneurial spirit were at their best and brightest (1614-1640).

 A team of museum conservators and specialized researchers have spent four years (2004-2007) subjecting each and every one of these works to thorough analysis. The results – at times surprising – were presented in the exhibition Rubens, a Genius at Work (September 14th, 2007 January 27th, 2008), that situated these paintings in the context of their artistic genesis for the first time.

 Following the great succes of the exhibition, the Brussels museum decided to make the full range of new findings and insights available to the public by means of a multilingual internet database (Dutch, French and English). The Rubens database is presently being developed within the framework of Fabritius, the collection database of the museum (, and serves as a test-case for integrating a broad range of textual and visual documention of both art-historical and technical interest in an online research resource.