FINGERPRINT in KU Leuven Campuskrant

campuskrant jg 31 nr 1_Page_02_uitsnit

Cartoon by Joris Snaert © on the use of the Portable Light Dome when digitizing a Bruegel drawing (page 2 of Campuskrant 31/1) 

In an interview in the KU Leuven university journal Campuskrant with prof. Lieve Watteeuw the KU Leuven contributions to the FINGERPRINT project have been highlighted in length. The Campus article focuses on the work with the original drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and how the imaging effort by the FINGERPRINT-team have made the difference to better understand the virtuosity of Breugel the artist.  These results will also be presented on the KBR exhibition: The World of Bruegel in Black and White.

PDF of the complete campuskrant edition

campuskrant jg 31 nr 1_Page_08-09

Two page article on the Bruegel research by the KU Leuven in the FINGERPRINT project (©Campuskrant 31/1, pages 9-8) 


Poster: From Drawing to Printed Line

For the London 21 September 2017, Blocks Plates Stones Conference the FINGERPRINT-team presented the poster: “From Drawing to Printed Line. The Art-Technical Genesis of Pieter Bruegel’s Graphic Oeuvre” (by Lieve Watteeuw, Joris Van Grieken, Bruno Vandermeulen, Mark Proesmans & Maarten Bassens)

FINGERPRINT project-From Drawing to Printed Line

Introduction article

A first introduction article on the FINGERPRINT project has been published in the journal Science Connection by the Belgian Science Policy Agency Belpso:

Joris Van Grieken, Lieve Watteeuw, Bruno Vandermeulen, Marc Proesmans & Maarten Bassens 2017:

  • Fingerprint onderzoekt Pieter Bruegel de oude: De start van een interdisciplinaire studie van zijn tekeningen en prenten (Dutch version),
  • Fingerprint, projet de recherche sur Pieter Bruegel l’Ancien: Le lancement d’une étude interdisciplinair de ses dessins et estampes (French version),

in: Science Connection 45, 32-36.

La Kermesse de la Saint-Georges de Bruegel sous le Microdome

Introducing Fingerprint


Pieter Bruegel, Justitia, S II 133 707 (detail), 1559, 224 x 295 mm, KBR Print Room, Brussels, Imaging with Multi-Spectral Microdome (RICH)

FINGERPRINT is an interdisciplinary collection and data management project, involving art history, art technical research, digital imaging, image processing and conservation science. The aim is to use advanced digital imaging, statistical processing and laboratory analyses to monitor and evaluate the phases of the genesis of a print, from preparatory drawings through proof impressions to later states and editions. The four year project (2016-2020) is a collaboration of the Print Room of the Royal Library of Belgium and three KU Leuven teams: the Imaging Lab, ESAT and Illuminare, Centre for the Study of Medieval Art. The research project is funded by Belspo BRAIN-be (Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks). The Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage (KIKIRPA), Brussels and the international research project on the materials and techniques of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (KHM, Vienna) are main research partners.

Up to now art historical research on prints and drawings has depended for the most part on traditional art historical methods based on observation with the naked eye and on the subjective memory and knowledge of connoisseurs. The aim of this project is to develop tools to automatically perform an objective artefact analysis and software to visualize, compare and order large quantities of complex visual and material data. Special processing algorithms will be developed to analyse visual data.

The exceptional collection of graphic works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1520-1569) in the Royal Library of Belgium forms a test corpus for the FINGERPRINT project. The tools and methods developed to gather and process the data will be designed to answer specific questions related not only to collection management, technical art history and conservation science but also to the production, distribution and consumption history of this body of works by Bruegel.

The datasets created on the multiple research platforms of FINGERPRINT and the resulting new interpretations will be accessible to both the scholarly community and the general public through links to the descriptions of the artifacts in the online public access database.