Collection of the Iconographic Institute of Antwerp

This collection consists of visual documentation relating to European art.


At the initiative of among others the art photographer Jos Delville and with the support of prominent citizens of Antwerp, the ‘Iconographic Institute’ was founded in 1940. The mission of this new non-profit organization was to use photographic reproductions to make artworks more widely known and to enhance the public’s appreciation of them. In 1947 the documentation was transferred to the municipal print room (Stedelijk Prentenkabinet), where new documentation continued to be added over the years. For more information about the Iconographic Institute, see here.   

In 2013 the entire collection was transferred to the Rubenianum. The documentation on Rubens was integrated in the artwork documentation of the Rubenianum. This will, in the foreseeable future, also happen for the documentation on Flemish art from the 16th and 17th century.

Content and structure

The collection contains photographs and photographic reproductions focusing on European art from midway the Middle Ages up to the 20th century and is arranged in alphabetical order of the artist’s name.

Consulting this source

The collection is completely inventoried on artist's name. This inventory in Excel as well as a general description of the collection is available through our online archival database.

The material can be consulted in our reading room after a request through our collection catalogue. Because of the collections current delicate state of conservation, the request should be send at least one workday in advance to your visit.