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.
The authors wish to thank Inez De Prekel, Houda Lamqaddam, Cara Pelsmaekers, Nuria Rodríguez Ortega, Katlijne Van der Stighelen, and Katrien Verbert for their advice and support. Thanks as always also go to Beverley Jackson for the excellent translation. Abbreviations – BRA: Brussels, Rijksarchief Anderlecht; BSA: Brussels, Stadsarchief; GA: Gilden en Ambachten; PB: Publicatieboeck; RT: Register der Tresorije.
Photo Credits: 1 – 6 Project Cornelia.
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston