CONF Sep 12, 2005

Farnese & Low Countries (Brussel/Rom 20-22 Oct & 17-18 Nov 05)

Hans Cools

Alessandro Farnese e le Fiandre – Alexander Farnese and the Low
Countries. Brussels and Rome. October – November 2005

Part I - A Prince’s Education. Alessandro Farnese, from Italy to the Low
Countries. Brussels, Palais des Académies, 20-22 October 2005

The conference ‘Alessandro Farnese e le Fiandre / Alexander Farnese and
the Low Countries will bring together scholars of different countries
who have studied Alexander Farnese and his role in the genesis of modern
Europe and of the modern states of Belgium and The Netherlands – the
former Burgundian-Habsburg Low Countries – in particular.

The first basis was laid, from 1933 to 1937, by the Belgian scholar and
academician Léon Van der Essen in his magisterial five-volume study
Alexandre Farnèse, prince de Parme, gouverneur general des Pays-Bas
1545-1592, based primarily on the Farnesian archive (Carte farnesiane)
in Naples, unfortunately greatly damaged in 1943. In 1950, during a
conference at the Academia Belgica di Roma, Van der Essen hailed the
duke as a representative of the ‘common glory of Italy and Belgium’,
thus signalling the close of a long drawn-out rehabilitation process set
in motion centuries before. At his death in 1592, Alessandro Farnese’s
image was surely in need of refurbishment: he was unpopular with nobles
and officials in the Spanish Low Countries, envied by his
contemporaries, and mistrusted by Philip II. The ensuing ‘propaganda
offensive’, wagered by his son and heir Ranuccio and by his relatives,
was successful: pamphlets, historical works, portraits and other imagery
made him into the conditor Belgii admired by Van der Essen. An important
symposium organized by the Belgian Historical Institute of Rome almost
four hundred years after his death stressed the European dimension of
the Farnese’s ambitions; complementary to this, the proposed conference
will focus on the importance of the Farnese rule for the history of the
Low Countries, within a broader cultural-historical context.

The archival foundations of Van der Essen’s research, i.e. the Carte
farnesiane and its crucial series Fiandre, are today greatly endangered:
although believed to be mostly lost, an important part survives, but in
a very fragile state. The conference means to make the international
scholarly community aware of this situation and to hopefully set in
motion a rescue operation.

Hans Cools (Reale Istituto Neerlandes a Roma); Krista De Jonge
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); Sebastiaan Derks (Instituut voor
Nederlandse Geschiedenis, Den Haag); Jean-Marie Duvosquel (Académie
royale de Belgique/Université Libre de Bruxelles); Sabine Frommel (Ecole
Pratique des Hautes Etudes, IVe section à la Sorbonne, Paris); Walter
Geerts (Director, Academia Belgica di Roma)

Supported by:
Vlaams Nederlands Comité – Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et
des Beaux-Arts de Belgique – Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor
Wetenschappen en Kunsten van België (Contactforum) – Reale Istituto
Neerlandese a Roma

Brussels, Palais des Académies, 20, 21 & 22 October 2005
Rome, Academia Belgica and Reale Istituto Neerlandese, 17 & 18 November

Welcome & Introduction – Thursday 20 October 5.00 pm – 7.30 pm

Alain Lottin, Université d’Artois, Au cœur de l’histoire européenne :
Alexandre Farnèse(1545-1592)
Hans Cools, Reale Istituto Neerlandese a Rome & Sebastiaan Derks,
Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, Léon van der Essen, Alessandre
Farnèse et la nation belge

I L’uomo universale
Friday 21 October 9.00 am - 1.00 pm

Sabine Frommel, Ecole pratique des Hautes-Etudes, IVe section à la
Sorbonne, ‘I commentarii di Varie Regole e Dissegni di Architettura
Civile e Militare.’ Le Manuscrit conservé à l’Accademia Nazionale dei
Lincei e Corsiniana, 32.B.14 (Cors.663)
Giuseppe Bertini, Parma, Francesco Luisino: precettore e segretario di
Alessandro Farnese
Christoph Luitpold Frommel, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Alessandro
Farnese et le palais de Plaisance. Les premières expériences
architecturales du prince
Bruno Adorni, Parma, Alessandro Farnese e l’architettura militare nei
ducati di Parma e di Piacenza
Charles van den Heuvel, Universiteit Leiden, The training of noblemen in
the arts and sciences in Low Countries around 1600. Treatises, didactial
material, notebooks and maps

II The Prince’s Image
Part One – Friday 21 October 2.30 pm – 5.45 pm

Marzio Dell’Acqua, Archivio di Stato, Parma, /La smemoratezza del
potere: equilibrismi dei Farnese per pubblicizzare le gesta di Alessandro/
Arno Witte, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Farnese ‘Salone’ as a failed
memorial to Alessandro Farnese: between individual fame and family politics
Diane Bodart, Université de Poitiers, Les visages d’Alexandre Farnèse:
de l’héritier du duché de Parme à l’invicible défenseur de la Foi
Marcello Fantoni, Georgetown University at Florence, Alessandro Farnese
come ‘perfetto capitano’

III The courtier between Parma, Brussels and Madrid.
Part One – Saturday 22 October 9.00 am – 1.00 pm

Krista De Jonge, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Le milieu culturel de
la cour de Bruxelles et Alexandre Farnèse
Almudena Pérez de Tudela y Gabaldón, El Escorial, Alejandro Farnesio y
su relación con la corte española: creación de una imagen y presentes
Liesbeth Geevers, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlandish
aristocracy between the two courts of Brussels and Madrid, 1561-1567
José Eloy Hortal Muñoz, Madrid, Alessandro Farnese y la corte de Felipe
II: luchas y facciones cortesanas en las cortes de Madrid y Bruselas
entre 1585 y 1592
Bernardo García García, Universidad Complutense de Madrid/Fundación
Carlos de Amberes, Parma al servicio de la Monarquía: trayectoria
cortesana, gobierno político y experiencia militar

Part II. Serving the King. Alessandro Farnese and the Habsburg Low
Countries. Rome, Reale Istituto Neerlandese and Academia Belgica
17-18 November 2005

Alessandro Farnese, warrior of great renown, was celebrated by
contemporary and modern historians alike for his talents as a
strategist; his career as a military commander, as a diplomat and as a
governor-general peaked with the surrender of the Calvinist republics of
Ghent and Antwerp in 1584-1585. During the rebellion of the Low
Countries, he was able to win back the southern provinces for the
Catholic Church and for the Spanish Crown and thus contributed to the
creation of two independent States: the actual kingdoms of Belgium and
the Netherlands. This, the accepted image still current in the
historiography of the Dutch Revolt, needs to be examined afresh from an
interdisciplinary point of view. Following Part I, Part II of the
symposium will also address the particular ambitions the Farnese family
tried to realize while ostensibly loyal to Spanish Habsburg rule, and
the implications thereof for the history of the Low Countries.

IV Alessandro Farnese and the Dutch Revolt. Part One
Thursday 17 November 10.00 am – 12.30 am

Gustaaf Janssens, Archives du Palais Royal, Bruxelles, Les premières
épreuves politiques du gouverneur-général
Hugo de Schepper, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, La stratégie politique
et militaire d’Alexandre Farnèse
Henk van Nierop, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Alessandro Farnese and
William of Orange

V Alessandro Farnese and the Dutch Revolt. Part Two
Thursday 17 November 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm//

Guido Marnef, Universiteit Antwerpen, Reconquering a rebellious city:
Alessandro Farnese and the siege and recatholicization of Antwerp/ /
Raymond Fagel, Universiteit Leiden/, /Alexander Farnese and Francisco
Verdugo: the war in the north-east
Monique Weis, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Alexandre Farnèse, les
Allemagnes et la Révolte des Pays-Bas (1578-1592)

VI Le Guerre delle Fiandre e l’Italia
Thursday 17 November 4.15 pm – 6.15 pm

Giampiero Brunelli, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Esercizi di
scrittura della nobiltà romana nelle Fiandre. Il Compendio delle
principali attioni militari fatte nella Fiandra dal principe Alessandro
Farnese, di Tarquinio Capizucchi
Angelantonio Spagnoletti, Università di Bari, Le dinastie italiane e le
guerre delle Fiandre
Pieter Martens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Il ruolo degli ingegneri
militari nelle guerre delle Fiandre durante il governo di Alessandro
Farnese (1578-1592)

VII The courtier between Brussels and Madrid.
Part Two - Friday 18 November 10.00 am – 12.30 pm

Mía Rodríguez-Salgado, The London School of Economics and Political
Sciences, A mart of trust: Philip II and Alexander Farnese
René Vermeir, Universiteit Gent, Alexandre Farnèse et le Conseil Suprême
des Pays-Bas et de Bourgogne à Madrid, 1588-1598
Alicia Estebán Estringana, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares/Fundación
Carlos de Amberes, La sucesión de Alejandro Farnesio en los Países Bajos
leales. El gobierno del territorio y la gestión de las finanzas
militares en la década de 1590

VIII The Prince’s Image
Part Two - Friday 18 November 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Silvia Maria Mantini, Università dell'Aquila, L’aquila in volo: potere
im­pe­riale e continuità dinastica da Margherita d’Austria al figlio
Alessandro Farnese
Roberto Sabbadini, Firenze, I Farnese e le immagini di Alessandro, duca
e capitano
Violet Soen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Alexander Farnese and the
clementia principis. A Reassessment of his ‘Method of Clemency’

IX Alessandro’s Legacy
Friday 18 November 4.15 pm – 6.15 pm

Hans Cools, Reale Istituto Neerlandese a Roma, A Machiavellian prince? –
The character of Alessandro Farnese according to contemporary Dutch
Yolanda Rodríguez Pérez, Universiteit Utrecht, ¿'En el templo de la
Fama'?: El príncipe de Parma en la literatura y la historiografía
española del Siglo de Oro
Sebastiaan Derks, Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, Den Haag, The
Carte farnesiane in Naples: histories written and unwritten

Dr. H. Cools
Reale Istituto Neerlandese a Roma
Via Omero 10-12
I- 00197 Roma
(+ 39) 06 32 69 62 31

CONF: Farnese & Low Countries (Brussel/Rom 20-22 Oct & 17-18 Nov 05). In:, Sep 12, 2005 (accessed Apr 14, 2024), <>.