Mr Niels Weijenberg

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Niels Weijenberg is a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Art History and Cultural Practices. His PhD project examines the rise of visual representations of universal language in the early modern Low Countries.

The starting point for his project is an investigation into the humanist quest for a perfect language, which was believed to be given by God to Adam in Paradise, and to have vanished as punishment for the construction of the Tower of Babel. Considering a range of images across media, Niels’s research explores the ways in which artists attempted to give visual form to the concept of a universal language, with particular focus on the exquisite writing manuals of the so-called ‘Golden Age of Dutch Calligraphy’ (c. 1550-1650).

His dissertation aims to offer a novel interpretation of these volumes as objects of central importance to emerging notions of political and religious identity during the Dutch Revolt.

Niels’s PhD is supported by a School of Arts, Languages and Cultures PhD Studentship, funded by The University of Manchester.

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2021 - Master of Science, Culture, Organization and Management, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • 2020 - Master of Arts, History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London)
  • 2019 - Bachelor of Arts, Art History, Utrecht University