The KIK-IRPA publishes different types of documents with the results of its research.

The collection Scientia Artis - monographs, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings - presents the results of research projects and scientific events (co)organized by KIK-IRPA.

Since 1958, the Bulletin presents the results of the Institute’s main research studies and interventions on a regular basis. The call for articles for the Bulletin 35 is closed.

Every department in the Institute publishes other publications on more specific subjects.


Frans Pourbus l'Ancien à Tournai. Les panneaux peints pour l'abbatiale Saint-Martin. Histoire, iconographie, style, technique, restauration

Published in December 2017



Under the direction of Monique Maillard-Luypaert
Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, Brussels, 2017
Scientia Artis 14
Language : French, with one contribution in English
230 pages
ISBN 978-2-930054-30-8
Price : 48 €*



Au début des années 1570, un jeune peintre établi à Anvers, Frans Pourbus, reçoit une commande importante pour l’abbatiale de Saint-Martin de Tournai, saccagée par les iconoclastes en 1566 : l’exécution de deux séries de peintures sur bois représentant la Passion du Christ et la Vie de saint Martin.

Né à Bruges vers 1545, Frans Pourbus est le fils du peintre Pieter Pourbus. Il a appris son métier auprès de Frans Floris. Il peint des portraits, mais aussi de grands ensembles destinés à orner des autels ou des stalles, à Bruges, à Gand, à Audenarde, à Dunkerque. Sa réputation de peintre talentueux l’a précédé à Tournai où son beau-père, Cornelis De Vriendt, dit Cornelis Floris II, travaille à l’édification et à la décoration du jubé de la cathédrale Notre-Dame.

Les panneaux sortis de l’atelier de Pourbus pour Saint-Martin ont survécu aux vicissitudes du temps : à la reconstruction de l’église abbatiale sous le règne de Louis XIV comme aux troubles de la période révolutionnaire. Après la disparition de l’abbaye, ils ont trouvé un abri au séminaire épiscopal fondé en 1808 par l’évêque de Tournai François-Joseph Hirn. De 2012 à 2015, ils ont bénéficié d’un traitement de conservation-restauration à l’Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique à Bruxelles. Aujourd’hui exposés dans la réserve précieuse du séminaire, ils s’offrent aux regards des visiteurs dans toute leur splendeur retrouvée.

'A l’Escu de France'. Guillebert de Mets et la peinture de livres à Gand à l’époque de Jan van Eyck (1410-1450)

Published in October 2017


By Dominique Vanwijnsberghe and Erik Verroken, with the collaboration of Marina Van Bos and Maaike Vandorpe
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 2017
Scientia Artis 13
Language: French,with a contribution in English and summaries in English and Dutch
860 pages, 2 volumes
ISBN 978-2-930054-29-2
Price: 95 €*


In the early years of the 15th century, Guillebert de Mets, a young and gifted scribe from Grammont (Geraardsbergen) moved to Paris. Here he came in contact with the vibrant and creative circles of the French scholars, writers, and book makers, such as the famous Christine de Pizan. He was connected to the court of John the Fearless and after the duke was murdered in 1419, he was forced to return to Grammont where he became a prominent citizen. He also kept a large inn with the suggestive name Escu de France (The Arms of France) where he started his own book business.

An outstanding calligrapher, Guillebert de Mets subcontracted the decoration and illustration of his manuscripts to a group of elusive illuminators whom, in spite of the quality and the originality of their work, had not been identified yet. They were nonetheless very much in demand at the court of Burgundy and were hired to work on seminal works of the ducal library, one of the most prestigious book collections of its time.

Who were these “Masters of Guillebert de Mets”? Where did they work and for whom? Based on an extensive body of archival documents, many of them unpublished, this book addresses these fundamental issues. It also draws on an in-depth study of the oeuvre of these illuminators – sixty-four manuscripts and fragments gathered here for the first time. This raises the fascinating question of possible interactions between Paris, the major artistic centre of Western Europe around 1400, and illuminators active in the Southern Low Countries at the time of the first generation of Flemish Primitives.

Both Guillebert de Mets and his illuminators were important points of contact between these two centres of excellence. They illustrate the key role played by Paris in the shaping of the Flemish ars nova, during the glorious heyday of the Burgundian court.

The t'Serstevens Collection. At Second Sight: the Photographer's Oeuvre

Published in april 2017


Illustrations: 68 black & white photos
Texts (KIK-IRPA): Hilke Arijs, Élodie De Zutter & Jeroen Reyniers, with the collaboration of Jenny Coucke, Stijn De Groof & Sander Raes
Language: trilingual English, Dutch and French
Published by Husson Éditeur
ISBN: 9-782916-249-97-1

Price: 30 €*


The t'Serstevens Collection offers a selection of the most captivating images from the collection of Émile t'Serstevens and his wife Marie Dastot, a little gem rediscovered in the photo library of the KIK-IRPA in 2013. The couple took around 2250 photos that offer a unique view of the daily life of the bourgeoisie around 1900. 

Between Carpentry and Joinery. Wood Finishing Work in European Medieval and Modern Architecture - Published in December 2016



Under the scientific coordination of Pascale Fraiture, Paulo Charruadas, Patrice Gautier, Mathieu Piavaux and Philippe Sosnowska
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels, 2016
Scientia Artis 12
Language: English
270 pages, 100 black and white and 100 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-2-930054-28-5
Price: 45 €*

Table of contents (pdf)

Also available at the KIK-IRPA's reception desk 

From the examination of the historiography of finishing work in wood for architecture from the medieval to modern period, it is clear that this field of research is the poor relation of historical and archaeological studies, with the lion’s share focusing on the structural work of carpentry. It is on the basis of this observation that the present work has been produced, which results from a conference held in Brussels in 2013. The work demonstrates first the real interest in an approach to finishing work for the study of ancient buildings and the establishment of a precise chronology for their phases of layout as well as in obtaining better understanding of material cultures and ways of living.

Second, it reiterates that the limit between carpentry and joinery was often porous, sometimes artificial. Finally, the work stresses that an overall approach to the use of wood is crucial to comprehensively address the organisation of a building, the logic of its construction and its ‘utilisation’, and more generally, the complex history of the buildings studied. This work, which thus represents a first step toward an overall approach of ‘wood material’ in European architecture, includes thirteen contributions divided into two thematic sections in keeping with current research practices. The first addresses the divide between structural and finishing work via the question of flooring, ceiling and roofing techniques. The second focuses intrinsically on finishing work by examining the contribution of this craft domain to the organisation, comfort and ornamentation of houses.



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