Lectures, workshops, teaching

Abbie Vandivere has given academic lectures about painting technique, and continues to regularly publish and present her research in both English and Dutch.


She has given hands-on workshops about reconstructing Early Netherlandish paintings using historically appropriate materials, and painting with egg tempera.


She gives lectures for the general public about art conservation and restoration, painting techniques and materials, or specific conservation treatments. This includes guided tours of  museums, particularly with regard to painting techniques.


Past workshops, lectures and presentations are listed below, and in Abbie Vandivere's CV.

Painting Technique Workshops
Early Netherlandish painting technique


The 10-day course “The Impact of Oil: Historical painting techniques in early Netherlandish paintings” was offered by the Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University. The course was co-organized by Abbie Vandivere and Esther van Duijn, and was attended by 16 participants (professionals in the art history or conservation field) from 23/08/11 to 01/09/11.

The aim of the intensive course was to introduce the participants to the technical properties of 15th and early 16th century oil paintings on panel from the Northern Netherlands through a series of lectures, excursions and workshops. Abbie Vandivere supervised the participants while they each made a reconstruction of a detail of a painting from the Rijksmuseum collection, using historically appropriate materials.


Egg Tempera painting technique


An explanation and demonstration of the egg tempera painting technique was followed by a workshop for Canadian students aged 16-18, where they copied a detail of an Italian painting.


Presentations given

     -  ‘Beneath the Surface,’ Symposium for book presentation of Genre Paintings in the Mauritshuis, Mauritshuis, The Hague, 18/12/2016

     -  Co-organizer of monthly Technical Art History Colloquium. Speaker at 6th colloquium: ‘Genre Paintings: Beneath the

Surface,’ Mauritshuis, The Hague, 13/10/2016

      -  ‘A translucent flesh-coloured primuersel: Intermediate layers and visible underdrawing in Jheronimus Bosch’s paintings,’ International conference  Jheronimus Bosch: His Life and His Work, Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, ’s Hertogenbosch,  16/04/2016

     -  ‘Gilded Goddess: The technical examination of a gilt leather painting from the Mauritshuis,’ Symposium Improved conservation strategies for gilt leather, SRAL and Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, 31/03/2016

     -  ‘Tempera en olieverftechnieken’ and ‘De opbouw van schilderijen op paneel en op doek,’ Lectures for BA course Kunsttechnieken en Visuele Analyse II, University of Amsterdam, 04-07/11/2014

     -  ‘Surface effects in the Leiden and Amsterdam painters' workshops,’ Colloquium Cornelisz Engebrechtsz in Context, Lakenhal, Leiden, The Netherlands, 24/04/2014

     -  ‘From the ground up,’ 15th-16th century Netherlandish, German and East Anglian workshop practices, Research group in ancient and medieval history at IAKH, University of Oslo, Norway,  28/08/2013 and 20/11/2014

     -  ‘Surface Effects in Paintings by Jan van Eyck and his predecessors,’ Study Day for The Road to Van Eyck, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen,  29/10/2012

     - ‘Surface effects in paintings by Jan van Eyck,’ Van Eyck Studies Colloquium, Symposium XVIII for the study of underdrawing and technology in painting, Brussels, Belgium, 19/09/2012

     - ‘From the ground up: Research into early Netherlandish paintings for the Impact of Oil project,’ Gerry Hedley Student Symposium, London, U.K., 12/06/2012

     - Guest lectures: ‘Introduction to the Impact of Oil’, ‘In search of Van Mander’s primuersel,’ ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice’, and ‘Painting techniques of the sixteenth-century Leiden School’
        for the course ‘Materiële Kunstgeschiedenis’ at the University of Amsterdam, 16/04/2012

        Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge, U.K., 11/01/2012
     - ‘From the ground up,’ Progress report for the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis, University of Utrecht, 24/02/2012

     - ‘In search of Van Mander’s primuersel: Coloured intermediate layers in early 16th-century Netherlandish paintings,’ ICOM-CC 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal,  20/09/2011

     -  ‘Purpura and proto-changeant: the earliest representations of shot silk fabrics’, presentation with Mark Clarke at ICOM-CC 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 20/09/2011

    -  ‘Making historically appropriate materials from scratch,’ ‘Cornelis Engebrechtsz’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary’, ‘Techniques of the 16th-century Leiden school painters,’ ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice,’ and practical demonstrations as part of the course “The Impact of Oil: Historical painting techniques in early Netherlandish paintings,” Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University, 23/08/2011– 01/09/2011.

     -  ‘Changing draperies: recipes and practice’, presented with Mark Clarke at the conference Vision & Material: Interaction between art and science in Jan van Eyck’s time, Vlaams Academisch Centrum, Brussels, Belgium, 26/11/2010

     -  ‘Painting Techniques of the Sixteenth-century Leiden School: The Modelling of Fabrics and Draperies’,
presented at the Picture Meeting, Instituut Collectie Nederland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,  15/01/2009
and at the Impact of Oil Symposium, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 26/02/2009

      -    ‘Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen’s Cardinal Erard de la Marck and The Holy Family: A Diptych Reunited?’, presented at the opening of the exhibition Erard de la Marck en de Heilige Familie: Twee panelen of een tweeluik?

at the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 27/01/2008
and at the Diptychs Symposium in connection with the exhibition Vlaamse Primitieven: De mooiste tweeluiken, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium,  26/04/2007

     -   ‘The Effect of Selected Materials Used for Surface Cleaning Unvarnished Paintings’, presented at the Gerry Hedley Student Symposium, London, UK, 06/2006








Academic presentations





2010 - present

2010 - present

Public lectures

     -  ‘De restauratie en schildertechniek van vier schilderijen van Kenau’, five public lectures in Dutch for the 'Neighbours evening' and 'Museumweekend', Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 4-5/04/2014

     -  ‘Art Conservation’, lecture for the Princeton University Alumni Association, The Hague, The Netherlands, 15/11/2013

     -  ‘De restauratie en schildertechniek van De Inneming van Damiate van C.C. van Wieringen’, two public lectures in Dutch about a completed treatment, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands,  17/12/2010, 14/01/2011

     -  ‘Art Conservation’, and ‘The restoration and technique of The Capture of Damiate’: two lectures and a museum tour for the American Women’s Club, The Hague, The Netherlands, 14/10/2010, 13/01/2011

     -  ‘Restauratie halverwege: De Inneming van Damiate van C.C. van Wieringen’, four public lectures in Dutch about a treatment in progress, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 26-27/01/2010


    -  Vice-Program Director of the MA programme in Technical Art History at the UvA (see 'Technical Art History' above).

    - Organized 10-day course ‘The Impact of Oil: Historical painting techniques in early Netherlandish paintings’ offered by the Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University, 23/08/2011­–01/09/2011 (co-organizer: E. van Duijn). Prior to course: advertised course, selected participants, sourced and prepared historically appropriate materials (including panels, ground layers, and making madder and verdigris pigments). During course: supervised 16 participants (professionals in the art history or conservation field) in making reconstructions of 15th and 16th-century paintings using historically appropriate materials, gave a series of lectures (see ‘Presentations given’ above), escorted participants on trips to museums and led discussions.

     - Developed lectures and presentations at universities (see ‘Presentations given’)

     - Supervisor of three Masters theses by students at the University of Amsterdam, as part of the Impact of Oil project, 2010-2012

Teaching and supervision

YouTube: 3 lectures about

the restoration of
Capture of  Damiate 
(in Dutch)

Restoration and technique

Restoration half completed



MA in Technical Art History at the University of Amsterdam


Abbie is the Vice-Program Director of the new MA programme in Technical Art History at the UvA.
The specialisation in TAH is the first in the Netherlands, and one of the few in the world. It began in September 2015 and will be offered very two years within the Conservation & Restoration department.
TAH emphasizes the study of works of art as material objects and bridges the worlds between ‘traditional’ art history, conservation and conservation science. It investigates how the use of specific materials and techniques affect their appearance, and has consequences for the historical development of art. The courses Abbie will teach include:


The Eye and the Object
The most important tool for the examination of an art object is still the human eye, despite the sophisticated scientific equipment that might be at our disposal. This course aims to equip art historians with ‘the observant eye’, training their perceptive faculty in reading the material composition, the manufacture and the condition of works of art using the human eye and microscopic devices.

Laboratories of Art: Historical Reconstructions
The practical reconstruction is an important exercise. Here, the eye and hand teach the student how art objects are made and, at the same time, sharpen their powers of observation.
Click here for more information about Abbie's experience with historical reconstructions.

Technical Art History