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Art on Paper & the Leiden University Collections


Admission requirements

Similar to the admission requirements for the MA Arts and Culture.


This MA course focusses on the art of drawing in the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Netherlands. The first two lectures will focus on drawing techniques, inscriptions and collector’s marks by taking a close look at drawings from the Special Collections of Leiden University. In the following classes we will pay attention to the function of drawings, the history of collecting and the current state of research. Sixteenth and seventeenth-century Dutch drawings from the Special Collections of Leiden University will be the starting point for object-based research. We will visit and study other collections in the Netherlands, e.g. the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, as well as the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in the Hague. During the course a few papers (such as catalogue entries) will be written. We will end with students presenting their research on one or two objects.

Course objectives

  • Students will get an understanding of the position of art on paper in the 16th and 17th century Netherlands.

  • Students will have obtained an insight in the most important collections of art on paper in the Netherlands

  • Students will have learnt to identify drawing materials and techniques, interpret iconographic themes and determine the functions of drawings, and express themselves orally and in writing about these issues.

  • Students will have learnt to recognize and produce productive research questions regarding our central theme starting from an object-based investigation.

  • Students are able to initiate and carry out (and present) a modest research project in which they frame their own reading explicitly, and situate themselves critically within modern and contemporary scholarly and artistic debates.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (on campus)

  • Excursions

Assessment method

  • Active Participation/coöperation in class/group

  • Essay, paper

  • Abstract, oral presentation.


  • Papers (80%)

  • Abstract, oral presentation and active participation in class (20%).


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the two grades (20%, 80%). To pass the course, the weighted average of the partial grades must be 5.5 or higher.

Additionally, students must have obtained at least a 6.0 for the final paper.


The re-sit consists of two parts: a remake/rewrite of the Paper (80%) and/or an alternative assignment (20%).

Inspection and feedback

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.

Reading list

Will be published on Brightspace two weeks before the start of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal.


All other information.