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From 5 October 2018 to 6 January 2019, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem will hold a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition featuring 33 original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). It is the first ever retrospective of original artworks by Leonardo in the Netherlands. The Technical Art History Colloquium on Wednesday 12 December will take place at the Teylers Museum and focus on Leonardo’s drawings.

Detail Summary
Date 12 December 2018
Time 15:00 - 18:00

Our speaker, prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein, is guest-curator of the exhibition. He is Professor of Art History at Utrecht University, specialized in the visual arts of the Renaissance in Italy and the Low Countries. Kwakkelstein is also the director of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence.


15.00 - 15.30: Entry to the museum
15.30 - 16.30: Lecture by prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein: ‘Leonardo against humanity’
16.30 - 18.00: Visit to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition

Leonardo against Humanity

Prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein

It is often claimed that as a person Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) remains elusive. This claim is based on the assumption that in his numerous writings Leonardo left us with very few clues about his personal life, because he never reveals or speaks directly of his feelings. Yet there are numerous instances where he expresses not only his hostility towards certain groups of individuals, but also feelings of resentment and disdain for humanity. Kwakkelstein’s talk examines these critical and often pessimistic comments, mostly ignored by scholars, in order to gain a fuller understanding of Leonardo feelings, his relation to others and the intention behind his habit of drawing old men and women with misshapen faces.

Important information

Please note that admission to the Technical Art History Colloquium as well as the Leonardo exhibition is only possible with a valid museum entrance ticket. Visitors to this special edition of the Technical Art History Colloquium are responsible for purchasing their own entrance ticket to the Teylers Museum. Due to the great interest in the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, please make sure to book your tickets well in advance! Tickets can only be ordered online through Visitors with discount cards (e.g. Museumkaart) also have to order their tickets online.

We advise you to select timeslot 15.00. With this ticket, you are free to visit the exhibition between 15.00 until 18.00. The lecture by prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein will take place between 15.30 - 16.30 in the Gehoorzaal. It is not possible to attend his presentation without an entry ticket to the museum!

If you have any questions, please contact Jill Briggeman (

TAH Colloquium

The Technical Art History Colloquia are organised by Sven Dupré (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam, PI ERC ARTECHNE), Arjan de Koomen (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History), Abbie Vandivere (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History & Paintings Conservator, Mauritshuis, The Hague), Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum) and Ann-Sophie Lehmann (University of Groningen).

The Technical Art History Colloquia are a cooperation of the ARTECHNE Project (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam), the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS), the University of Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis. The ARTECHNE project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 648718).

Monthly meetings take place on Thursdays. The format of the colloquium is open, but there will always be substantial time for audience discussion.


This edition of the Technical Art History Colloquium will be held at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, in connection with the exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci.

Teylers Museum, Gehoorzaal

Spaarne 16, Haarlem