Frans Francken II. The Tower of Babel



The Pictor Doctus, between Knowledge and Workshop. Artists, Collections and Friendship in Europe, 1500-1900


Dr Ana Diéguez-Rodríguez
Ángel Rodríguez Rebollo



Description This book is the result of the International Conference on ‘Artists as collectors: models and variants. From the Modern Age to the 19th Century’, which was held in Madrid from 23 to 24 January 2020.  

The figure of the pictor doctus as defined by Leon Battista Alberti in 1435 embodied not only an understanding of the fundamentals of their profession, but also the painter’s need to spend time with other artists, poets or intellectuals, with whom they could compare and broaden their knowledge of different subjects. The concept refers to the confluence of knowledge and access to different visual and literary ideas that guided the painter in their artistic craft. 
Through the worlds of different artists and approaches, this book explores the resources that European painters had at their disposal between 1500 and 1900 to forge their identity and style. This book focuses on the libraries and collections of sculptures, paintings, drawings and engravings which artists could study not only through their dealings with other colleagues in the workshops but also through access to important collections. The official academics established as of the 18th century became spaces where a new generation of painters could come into contact with important works of the past, other groups of landscape painter took their inspiration and learning directly from nature. The pictor doctus emerges, thus, as a figure shaped not only by knowledge but also by taste.