About the NAVEZ Project

The NAVEZ Project, funded by FWO, is dedicated to the exploration of the correspondence of François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869), a prominent neoclassical artist and former director of the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles in the 19th century. This project aims to unravel the mysteries surrounding his social connections within Brussels’ art education during this transformative period.

Employing a Digital Humanities approach, our endeavor involves the digitization and analysis of among others Navez’s correspondences, which are archived in KBR (the Royal Library of Belgium). Through a computational framework, we will process these texts using natural language processing techniques to unveil the intricate social networks that influenced Navez’s roles in three pivotal areas: his impact on 19th-century art education, his tenure at the Brussels Académie, and his stature as a master in his studio.

By mapping Navez’s network, our goal is to shed light on how networking significantly influenced the art history of 19th-century Belgium. This research not only enriches our comprehension of the interplay between art, education, and society but also introduces innovative methodologies for historical social network analysis.