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The French word for drawing is ‘dessin’. It shares its pronunciation with the word ‘dessein,’ meaning intention, purpose, or design.

During the 19th century, there was an apparent bias towards the practical arts, as applied by craftspeople and industries. Board members’ aspirations to embrace the ‘fine arts’ were repeatedly stymied by the municipal authority and education inspectorate, who were unwilling to relinquish any control, particularly over the purse strings and administrative tasks.

From the turn of the century, around 1900, attention turned increasingly towards the fine arts, albeit firmly rooted in traditional crafts such as the pottery industry (ceramic artists) and, predominantly, church-building (since Cuypers), where the emphasis was on painting (wall and plate glass art); free art was merely incidental. Teaching in the decorative and monumental arts, coupled with a sense of community, came to play an increasingly prominent role (in both Christian and socialist circles).

After WW2, attention shifted towards individual expression.

Maastricht Institute of Arts