Long-Term Creative and Collective Strategies to maintain Large-scale Production and Export of Paintings . Conference Creativity and the City 1600-2000: A e-humanities Perspective. University of Amsterdam. November 25, 2016

Invited Talk

Antwerp, and its near-neighbor Mechelen, com¬prised one of the largest production and distribution complexes of paintings in early modern Europe. Such capacity necessitated creative strategic planning, both on the production end (ateliers) and distribution end (dealers). Existing trade networks had to be exploited, new networks established and new markets had to be found to answer to chronic over production of paintings and slowing, saturated local demand. This was the first instance of a production capability collectively established to export paintings on such a large scale. The Mechelen painters collectively positioned their products on the low end of the demand curve, a seemingly creative move the city also had collectively pursued for other key products, such as textile. We witness here a brand of creativity-by-necessity as a primary source of the production and distribution innovation that drove part of the city’s economic survival over a relatively long period of time.

Service Performed By


  • November 25, 2016

Service or Event Name

  • Conference Creativity and the City 1600-2000: A e-humanities Perspective

Host Organization

  • University of Amsterdam

Location or Venue

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands