Documentation on works of art

The Rubenianum manages the most extensive documentation on early modern Flemish art and artists in the world. The Ludwig Burchard Collection is the nucleus of this documentation and has been systematically enriched over the years. The documentation on Peter Paul Rubens provides the foundations for the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard.

History and content

The nucleus of the collection is the documentation on works of art built up by Ludwig Burchard. It ranges from the fine arts of the antique world up to and including the 19th century and illuminates artworks in different media as well as artists from Europe’s various schools of art. Its chief focus, however, is the Flemish art of the 16th and 17th centuries. Burchard built up his own set of archives, collecting documents ranging from photographs and reproductions to newspaper cuttings and bibliographical and archival references.

The Rubenianum has augmented this documentation, for instance by ordering photographs and adding donations from collections of varying sizes. One of the earliest acquisitions that the Rubenianum integrated into the collection was the visual documentation of the author and art historian Korneel Goossens (1900-1971). Later acquisitions too were incorporated either fully or in part into the documentation on works of art. At present, the analogue documentation on works of art is supplemented only with certain acquisitions from the past. Collections that are newly donated are preserved separately as ‘special collections’. In addition, the Rubenianum only documents new information about Flemish art in digital form: see the online catalogue and documentation on works of art online.



The documentation on works of art is classified in various ways: first geographically, then chronologically, by medium, alphabetically by the artist’s name, and within each artist‘s files thematically by genre. The emphasis is on painting and drawing originating from the Southern Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. This core collection extends for 120 meters and describes approximately 1,400 artists, placing particular emphasis on Jordaens, Van Dyck and Rubens. The documentation on Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) provides the foundations for the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard.


Consulting this documentation

The material can be searched by the artist’s name using the online catalogue in Anet. In addition, the Rubens documentation can be accessed in detail by theme using the archives search option in Anet.

The documentation on works of art is accessible virtually in full, the sole exceptions being certain files from the Rubens documentation. To respect the wishes of the Burchard heirs, the only material made freely available here is that which has been used in the published volumes of the Corpus. If you wish to consult documentation relating to works of art by Rubens that have not yet been published in the CRLB, please send your request, accompanied by your reasons for wishing to consult this material to