Guild of Romanists

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Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders, Prometheus Bound, 1611-12. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Baroque classicising by two Guild members.

The Guild of Romanists was a 16th and 17th century society in Antwerp for humanist and artists; it was a condition of membership that the member had visited Rome. Deans were appointed annually. It was "where 'art-pilgrims' met to keep themselves up to date on news from Rome, whether it be new painters or paintings, or newly discovered antiquities".[1] It appears to have acted in some sense as an alternative to the long-established Antwerp painters' Guild of Saint Luke, to which all or most of its members also belonged, as his membership of the Romanists is given (together with his appointment as a Court painter) as a reason for Rubens being only made an honorary Dean of the Guild of St Luke.[2]

The condition of having visited Rome to enjoy membership appears to have been strictly enforced, as art historians accept membership of the Guild as evidence of travels that are (in the case of Fyt etc.) otherwise undocumented.

The Renaissance movement of Romanism in Netherlandish painting was reaching the end of its main period when the society began, but it probably paid a part in promoting the strong links between Italian and Flemish art in the Baroque period, under the dominating influence of Rubens.

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Jaffé (ed), Rubens, A Master in the Making, The National Gallery Company/Yale, p. 11 London 2005, ISBN 1-85709-326-7
  2. ^ Antwerp’s Rubenshuis: A Historic House Museum at the Crossroads of Nationalisms by Marsely von Lengerke Kehoe p.7
  3. ^ a b c Gregory Martin, The Flemish School, 1600-1900, National Gallery Catalogues, 1970, National Gallery, London, ISBN 0-901791-02-4
  4. ^ a b Grove Art online, accessed May 12, 2007
  5. ^ Ingamells, John, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Pictures, Vol IV, Dutch and Flemish, Wallace Collection, 1992, ISBN 0-900785-37-3