|This concludes the story of the Nijmegen artist family Maelwael-Van Limburg for now - a story which continues up until our own times.
In the following months, the contents of this special will continually be expanded and adjusted. Our aim is to include all paintings attributed to the Maelwael-Van Limburgs, eventually all accompanied by comment.
Also, this story is not complete, not in a scholarly sense and also not in the popular sense. There is still much to tell, much to correct, much to investigate. There are still a number of confusing elements. The greatest experts of their time are tripped up by their own or by later generations. In this special, several views are expressed, but not every controversy has been unravelled: have the Van Limburgs ever been in Italy or not? Did they use optical aids or not? Were they imprisoned in Brussels in their early youth or not? Is their youngest brother Arnold the 'Master of St. Jerome' and therefore the 'Fourth Van Limburg Brother'… or is he not? Perhaps these issues will later be addressed here in a different way, in the forum or in other planned expansions of this special.
Despite all the questions and vagueness, it is surprising how much is known about the Maelwael-Van Limburgs. Most other painters of their time, certainly in these parts, have remained anonymous and are therefore often referred to under a name made-up later. The four artists from Nijmegen have narrowly escaped this fate, but now, 600 years after they started their best known works, their fame and popularity increase yearly.
Nijmegen, their city of birth, should support and stimulate this trend. If the city rehabilitates its most important artistic sons, it can share in their glory, in the same way that other cities profit from their celebrities. To achieve this, a number of initiatives are needed, to start with towards Nijmegen citizens. Perhaps the planned celebration of 2000 years Nijmegen is a good occasion to end the Big Silence surrounding the Maelwaels and the Van Limburgs in their city of birth.