The academic art library of the Rubenianum consists of publications in the field of the fine arts in early modern Europe.

Size of library collection

The library contains approximately 92,000 artist monographs, exhibition and collection catalogues, gallery and auction catalogues, articles and excerpts, and some 200 linear meters of journals. The collection is constantly being expanded. It grows each year through purchases of recent and antiquarian literature as well as through donations by authors and publishers or larger transfers from museum partners or private individuals.

With the constant acquisition of new literature, the processing of donations and the integration of bequests, the library has grown into an internationally-oriented collection that is indispensable to specialists worldwide.

In the online library catalogue you can search the library for bibliographic data and contents. You can also conduct searches using UniCat, Worldcat and Art Discovery Group Catalogue.



The emphasis of the collection profile is on art from the Netherlands, especially Flemish art from the 16th and 17th centuries. Other artistic traditions too are well represented: Italian art from Mantegna to Caravaggio, the German school from Dürer onwards, Graeco-Roman art (including sculpture), and the primary exponents of the other European schools of art. Non-European art is documented to the extent that it reflects the influence of Netherlandish art. In addition, you will find art theoretical, iconographical and topographical literature and a large section about collecting and collections.

Within the auxiliary areas of scholarship that support art-historical research, the library possesses essential reference works on the history of Antwerp and the Netherlands, mythological and religious literature, and writings about folklore and other non-visual art forms from the heyday of the Flemish Baroque: music, drama, dance and literature.


Consulting this source

The library collection can be consulted every weekday in the reading room. You can reserve the materials you wish to consult through the online catalogue, so that they will be set aside for you when you arrive.

If you have a question or wish to make a comment or suggestion (for instance for an order) please contact the library by email at