The Max Rooses Collection

This collection consists of work-related files about Rubens research and art-historical exhibitions.


The Rubenianum possesses a number of archival documents deriving from Max Rooses (1839-1914). Rooses was a versatile man: a renowned authority on Rubens, he served as the first curator of Museum Plantin-Moretus, besides which he was also extremely active as a literary critic and a journalist. Rooses was also prominent in the Flemish Movement and played an active role in latitudinarian circles. This wide range of activities explains why the Max Rooses archives are dispersed among different institutions: besides the Rubenianum, these include the Museum Plantin-Moretus and the Letterenhuis (literary archives of Flanders). The collection in the Rubenianum was donated by the Museum Plantin-Moretus.

Content and structure

The collection consists on the one hand of a number of work files that Rooses compiled in relation to art-historical exhibitions of which he was secretary, namely Jacob Jordaens, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (1905) and Belgian Art of the 17th Century, Cinquantenaire, Brussels (1910). The files largely contain correspondence, supplemented with all kinds of other documents. On the other hand, the collection contains some documentation that Rooses collected as a result of his Rubens research and the related publications.

Consulting this source

The collection is completely inventoried and searchable in our archival database. The archive is freely available for inspection in the reading room after a request through our collection catalogue.