Essay

The Brussels guild of painters, goldbeaters, and stained-glass makers, 1599 – 1706: A multi-faceted analysis

Koenraad Brosens , Rudy Jos Beerens , Bruno Cardoso and Fred Truyen

Published online:

29 Nov 2019

Abstract

Abstract

The essay presents a qualitative, quantitative, and online interactive analysis of the register of the Brussels guild of painters, goldbeaters, and stained-glass makers (1599 – 1706), in relation to the online database Cornelia. We develop a sketch of the legal framework; a discussion of the register’s methodological challenges; a bird’s-eye view of the source; a presentation of the method we used to transform the register into a dataset; and an analysis of the aggregate data. In doing so, we obtain a picture of the professional mobility of Brussels painters and their strategies. As one concrete result, the essay disproves the assertion that the Brussels guild pursued an overly rigid and exclusive membership policy; instead, it dealt pragmatically with the rules to ensure the continuity of the guild.

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