Coming up:

17-20 November, 2016: At the MSA 2016 Conference in Pasadena, California, 'Culture Industries', I will organise a session entitled Surrealisms out of time: Creative configurations of the past and the primitive. My paper, “Primitive and Premodern Objects in Surrealist Exhibition Design”, will explore the specific way in which the premodern and the primitive were introduced into surrealist exhibition design to manipulate the temporal and material qualities of the exhibited surrealist works.

6-7 October, 2016: Conference presentation 'Occult modernism, profane avant-garde: the case of Surrealism'. I will give this talk at the international Congress of Art Historians In Memoriam D. Sarabyanov – 'The History of Art and 'Rejected Knowledge': from the Hermetic Tradition to the 21st Century' that will take place at Moscow's State Institute for Art Studies, October 6-7, 2016.

Read the paper abstract here


17 June, 2016: Conference presentation 'The “Northern genius” in Belgian art critical writing, at the following conference: Visions of the North: reinventing the Germanic North in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture in Britain and the Low Countries – 17 June, 2016, Compton Verney Museum, Warwickshire, UK – more info on the conference here. Read the paper abstract here.


* 14-16 April 2016: Bosch Conference, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

* Guest lecture (10 March, 2016): ‘Fantastic art from Bosch to Magritte’: On surrealism as ‘fantastic art’and the primacy of early renaissance European masters

Department of Art History, Coventry University (UK)

In 1936 MoMa-director Alfred Barr, jr., entitled his grand exhibition of Surrealism and Dada: ‘Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism’. The first showcase of dada and surrealist art on this scale in the US, it’s original title had been ‘The Fantastic in Art’. The category, or perhaps genre, of “fantastic art” was a relatively recent French-Belgian scholarly invention. Flemish, Netherlandish and German Primitivist artists such as Van der Weijden, Bosch, Bruegel, and Cranach, as well as modernist artists such as James Ensor and surrealists such as René Magritte and Salvador Dalí were all placed under the heading of this rather odd, and also centuries-spanning, supergenre. ‘Fantastic Art’ is no longer used in art history today, but its impact has been far-reaching. In this lecture I will briefly trace the construction of this fascinating genre, and highlight the role it played in both the academic and institutional reception of Bosch and similar artists, and the popular reception of Surrealism outside of France.

* Member of the Board of the VVViO (Association for Laureates of NWO's Talent Scheme): candidate

* Visiting Academic (2016) at Dept. of Art Histor, Coventry University


* Lecture (Thursday 5 November, 12:00 - 13:00 hrs): Medieval Surrealism – surrealist medievalism [Dutch].

* New publication: 'The 'Continuing Misfortune' of Automatism in Early Surrealism', in Communication + 1, 4 (2015): Occult Communications: On Instrumentation, Esotericism, and Epistemology, article 10 (44 pages).

* Several reviews are published and will be published soon, including in Modernist Cultures, Nederlandse Letterkunde and the Journal of Cultural History.

* At the AAH 2015 (Norwich, UK), I presented a paper on Hilma af Klint. I am very grateful to the Ax:son Johnson Foundation for making this visit possible. A large article I wrote on Af Klint's oeuvre will be published in 2016. At the International Medieval Conference (Leeds, UK), i presented a paper on  surrealist medievalism, in the panel 'Modern Renewals of Medieval Culture, I' (July 2015).

* Published (1-9-2014): Surrealism and the Occult. Occultism and Western Esotericism in the Work and Movement of André Breton. Obtain your copy now from Amsterdam University Press. Also in e-book. Or request your library to buy a copy! You can download the flyer here.


VENI project: Medieval Surrealism - Surrealist medievalism

My postdoc project, for which I received a 3-year VENI-grant from NWO, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, brings my two interests -- medieval art and the modern avant-garde -- together, as it focusses on the reception of and construction of the medieval and medieval art in modernity, specifically in Surrealism.

Brief note on my project on the NWO website (see under B); my tumblr of the project.


This project examines surrealist medievalism: the reception and construction of the medieval in well-known avant-garde movement Surrealism. It aims to answer the question how the medieval—in particular, medieval art—was constructed in Surrealism, and why.
         Scholars increasingly pay attention to modern, Modernist, and avant-garde medievalism. Studies of surrealist medievalism are however few and focussed upon literary reception, even though medieval art and visual culture played prominent roles in the surrealist discourse. Besides being the first to comprehensively address this, the proposed research will, innovatively, move beyond Surrealism’s internal discourse and include the art-critical discourse directly surrounding it, shaped by prominent art critics, curators and dealers. The focus will lie in particular upon late-medieval art (“Northern Primitivism”) which was marketed by art critics and curators to cultural elites as modern. In contrast, the surrealists positioned the medieval as pre-modern or even anti-modern, a unique and understudied development this study will expose.
          This project offers an original perspective upon Surrealism’s own temporality and historicity, the process of passing into history that the surrealists actively tried to influence—not least by appropriating medieval art and artists. It will showcase the unique character of surrealist medievalism in relation to other modern medievalist traditions, including developing academic scholarship. Furthermore, it will provide a new perspective upon the 20 th-century reception (by curators, critics, surrealists) of 16 th-century artists such as Jeroen Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Matthias Grünewald and Albrecht Altdorfer. Proceeding from a compact body of textual, visual and curatorial sources from French, Belgian and international Surrealism and selected art debates, the study combines historical, primary source-based research with critical analysis and interpretation. Results will be disseminated through publications, public events, teaching, and an exhibition.
Several factors underscore this project’s timeliness: the upcoming centennial of Surrealism (2019-24); the current critical re-evaluation of the (canonisation of the) avant-gardes; the fifth centennial of Bosch’s death (2016) and 450 th year of Breugel’s (2019), in combination with growing general interest in (the modern reception of) those two and other 15 th and 16 th.-c artists; as well as medievalism’s quick rise to prominence as a new field of enquiry about modernity.


Forthcoming publications (selection):

Bauduin, T.M. 2017 [forthcoming]. ‘Surrealism in The Netherlands.’ ‘Paul Delvaux.’ ‘Brumes Blondes.’ In: The International Encyclopaedia of Surrealism, Michael Richardson in cooperation with Dawn Ades, Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Steven Harris, Georges Sebbag (eds.). 3 vols. London [etc.]: Bloomsbury.

Bauduin, T.M. 2016 [forthcoming]. ‘The ‘Father of Surrealism’: On the Reception of Hieronymus Bosch in French Surrealism’. Simpson, J. (ed.). Primitive Renaissances. Farnham: Ashgate, 20 pages.

Forthcoming conference papers & public lectures (selection):

Bauduin, T.M. (17 June, 2016). ‘The “Northern genius” in Belgian art critical writing.’ 2nd International Symposium of the Primitive Renaissances Network: Visions of the North: reinventing the Germanic North in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture in Britain and the Low Countries, Compton Verney Museum, Warwickshire, UK.


I have been teaching at Dutch universities since 2006; first at the University of Amsterdam, with the departments of Art History and of Religious Studies/History of Western Esotericism; later also at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, with the departmens of Cultural Studies and Literary Studies; in 2014-2015 at the Free University, Amsterdam, with the department of Media, Art, Design and Architecture; and finally, since the summer of 2015, again with Art History at the University of Amsterdam.

Teaching now: Art Studies within and across the Humanities (Research MA), UvA.

My course portfolio includes BA, MA, and Research MA courses, in Dutch and in English. Coursework has included Modernist Periodicals in EuropeModernism in the ArtsIntertextualityArt History: methods & theoryPhilosophy of Science: Art History; overview courses of the History of art and of the arts since the Early Modern Period. Find a full teaching portfolio here. I have supervised BA as well as MA-theses.

Currently (since being awarded the VENI-postdoc grant in the summer of 2015) I am only teaching a limited amount of courses & (guest) lectures, as my major focus now lies on my research. However, while not supervising theses and dissertations, I am currently supervising honours students on research projects - and always on the lookout for new BA or MA honours students (from Art History, Cultural Studies, French/Romance languages, or Literature) who would be willing to undertake a research project related to Dutch or international Surrealism or to modernist medievalism. Contact me if you're interested.


dr. Tessel M. Bauduin - curriculum vitae

(this is a selection of information. For a full CV, in English as well as in Dutch, contact me!)


Academic education

2008 - 2012     Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Humanities, Dept. of Arts, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2004 - 2006     Research Master (RMA), Art History of the Middle Ages, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2003 - 2004     Master (MA), Cultural Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands



2015—current   VENI-laureate Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer, Modern & Contemporary Art History, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Project: Medievalism and medieval art in Surrealism

2015              Lecturer - Arts, Dept. of Media, Art, Design & Architecture; VU/Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2013—2015    Lecturer - Arts, Dept. of Cultural Studies; Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2012—2014    Lecturer; Guest Researcher - Humanities, Dept. of Art History; University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2012—2013    Program Coordinator - National Graduate Research Schools for Cultural History (Huizinga Institute) and Media Studies (RMeS), Amsterdam

2008—2012    PhD Research Fellow and Lecturer, Art History & Religious Studies/History of Western Esotericism, University of Amsterdam

2006—2008    Lecturer, Art History, University of Amsterdam

2005—2014    Freelance art historian (self-employed); occasional assignments/commissions



Awards & prizes

Awarded          In 2015 I was awarded the prestigious VENI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), a ‘Talent Scheme’-grant for innovative postdoctoral research carried out by excellent candidates: €250,000.00 (3 years, full time).

Nominated      My PhD dissertation has been nominated for the Jan van Gelder prize 2013 (most important publication by a young art historian/ previous year), awarded by the National Association of Dutch Art Historians, VNK.

Small grants     I have been awarded several small scholarships and grants for conference travel, archival research, and publications, from (among others): the Ax:son Johnson Foundation, British Society for French Studies, IAHR Fund, HRH Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund, Renat Acker Fund, Institute for Culture and History, Amsterdam. Details upon request.


2014: monograph

Bauduin, T.M. 2014. Surrealism and the Occult. Occultism and Esotericism in the Work and Movement of  André Breton. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press/Chicago University Press. Get your copy from AUP or contact me for a Table of Contents.


2012: PhD dissertation

My PhD dissertation, based upon research carried out at the University of Amsterdam, 2008-2012, explores the relationship between the Surrealism of André Breton, founder of the movement, and western esotericism, also referred to as occultism, hermeticism or hermetic philosophy. The Occultation of Surrealism: A Study of the Relationship between Bretonian Surrealism and Western Esotericism; publicly defended and privately published in 2012, at the University of Amsterdam.






Universiteit van Amsterdam
Dept. of Art History

Turfdraagsterpad 15-17
1012 XT Amsterdam

tessel [at]