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Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp


Admission requirements

Students are in the MA Arts and Culture programme
See Teaching and Examination Regulations


In late Mediaeval and Early Modern Europe, printers, painters and other visual artists were united in guilds to protect their rights. These guilds were often called after the patron of artists, Saint Luke. This course focuses on the Saint Luke guild of Antwerp. Not only was it one of the most famous guilds. This guild is of particular interest as from 1480 onwards it was closely affiliated with an illustrious literary and dramatic society, the chamber of rhetoric of the Gillyflower. Thus poets, printers, theatre makers and visual artists were part of the same professional and artistic community.

We will take the affiliation of the Antwerp guild and chamber of rhetoric as a starting point to look at how literature, theatre, the visual arts and printing were related to one another from the late fifteenth till the early seventeenth century in the Low Countries. The close connection resulted in cooperations for particular occasions, such as joyous entries and theatre festivals but it can also be detected in the striking susceptibility for each other’s medium and message.

This course will first present some examples of the many close connections between word and image in Antwerp art and literature practice, such as the use of the figure of Elckerlijc/Everyman. He was first staged in a morality play, but was quickly represented in print and painting as well. We will also discuss the interaction between word and image in theatre, more particular in the competition of het Landjuweel of 1561. After a series of lectures, students give presentations and write papers on a topic of their own choice that is related to the close relation between word and image in the Guild of Saint Luke and the Gillyflower.

Course objectives

  • students will have obtained an insight in the relation between word and image in late mediaeval and early modern art practice, more particularly in the practice of the writers and painters related to the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp;

  • students will have learnt to recognize and produce productive research questions;

  • students have become acquainted with some important texts and art works that resulted from the guild of Saint Luke;

  • students are able to initiate and carry out a modest research project on the crossing point between word and image in a particular art work or text, a genre, an artist or writer related to the guild of Saint Luke, in which they frame their own reading explicitly, and situate themselves critically within early modern and contemporary scholarly and artistic debates.


The timetable is available on the Arts and Culture and the Resma Literary Studies website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar.

Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the Ma Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Course Load

  • Attending seminars 13 × 2 hours = 26 hours);

  • Reading and preparing classes = 13 × 4 hours = 52 hours;

  • Time to write a paper (including reading / research) = 202 hours.

Assessment method

  • Reviews of essays from the reading list

  • Presentation

  • Paper


  • Reviews (15%)

  • Presentation (25%)

  • Paper (60%)


  • paper can be re-written


  • Please note that if you do not hand in your essay before the first deadline, your essay will be considered as the resit.

  • For the time tables exams 2017-2018 see; Timetable

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for providing the reading list

Reading list

See Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. S.P.M. (Stijn) Bussels Dr. G.(Geert) Warnar

Administrations Office Huizinga