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Victor de Stuers

Victor de Stuers (standing) and Pierre Cuypers
Victor de Stuers (standing) and Pierre Cuypers
One of Alexander’s pupils was Victor de Stuers. In 1867, aged 24, he discovered and described - among other things - the early 13th-century fresco in the Dominican Church in Maastricht, which not been used for worship for many years. After studying at Leiden University, between 1860-70 he enjoyed a nationwide career; at the same time, he gained renown for his pamphlet ‘Holland op zijn smalst’, (Holland at its narrowest point). Published in De Gids (The Guide), the pamphlet was a plea to protect historic monuments, and an attack on the liberal politics of Thorbecke and his successors. Thorbecke believed that the State should not meddle in art, because there is no financial gain to be had. He regarded art and culture as a means of educating the ordinary people. Along with Amsterdam professor Joseph Albertingk Tijm and architect Pierre Cuypers, he formed a powerful Roman Catholic triumvirate whose achievements included the building of the Rijksmuseum and the Central Station in Amsterdam. From the start of his career, De Stuers was involved in the restoration of medieval buildings in Maastricht and South Limburg.

In the 1890s, to give one important example, he was involved in founding the Stadsteekeninstituut, to which he bequeathed the use of the house where he was born on Brusselsestraat. This is used to this day by the Maastricht Institute of Arts, and the Master Interior Architecture, Master Architecture and Master Scientific Illustration are currently based there. In many ways, the Master Scientific Illustration is a ‘reimagining’ of the artisanal tradition of drawing, combined with digital imaging.

Maastricht Institute of Arts