RKD Masterclasses


Join the RKD Masterclasses to find out how the physical and digital collections of the RKD can be used for art-historical research. During these workshops participants will learn about the range of possibilities and approaches, as well as actually get to work on a case study. The RKD is offering several interactive masterclasses. All of the masterclasses are available online as well as on location.

Research using original sources

The RKD maintains a great many archives of artists, art historians, collectors, art dealers and galleries. In this masterclass participants will learn how to read archival inventories and will become familiar with various kinds of art-historical source material, such as correspondence, artists' files, dealers' inventories and stock books. What information do these sources contain, and how can this be used in art-historical research? One of the case studies involves reading the stock books of nineteenth-century art dealers Goupil and E.J. van Wisselingh. Other themes are Abraham Bredius’s archival notes and Piet Mondrian’s letters.

Recognise the hand

The attribution of works of art has been part of art history since its early beginnings. It is often difficult to see the difference between the hand of an artist and that of a pupil or follower. Deliberate forgeries can also be misleading. Recognising the hand and establishing the truth begins with careful looking. In this masterclass, participants will learn to make a thorough visual analysis of works of art (by among others Paul Bril, Jan van Goyen, Jan Steen and Han van Meegeren), and to summarise their findings, in order to offer a balanced opinion on the possible attribution or authenticity of a work of art.

Working with technical research data

The RKD manages numerous archives containing technical research documentation by renowned researchers, such as X-ray films, infrared reflectography, paint sample documentation and dendrochronological reports. In this master class, students are introduced to a variety of technical research data, the RKDtechnical database and will also receive an introduction to common technical research techniques in early modern painting. Our principle is that technical research is not an end, but a means within (art-historical) research.


  • Our masterclasses are intended for groups of no more than 20 people
  • Duration of each masterclass: c. 90-120 minutes
  • Dutch or English
  • This service is free of charge for educational users*
  • Reservations can be made on weekdays between 10:00 and 17:00
  • Requests at least 4 weeks in advance
  • For more information and bookings: events@rkd.nl 

*The RKD reserves the right to determine which groups are in this category.