ArtConnoisseurs Lectures


ArtConnoisseurs is the cultural event organised during CULTURES by Asian Art in Brussels (AAB), Brussels Ancient Art Fair (BAAF), Brussels Non-European Art Fair (BRUNEAF), and Brussels International Art Promotion and Logistics (BIAPAL).

Hadrien J. Rambach


Hadrien J. Rambach is a Parisian art-specialist who worked in London 2003-2015, before settling in Brussels. His primary specialty is numismatics: since founding his own company in 2006, he has been advising major collectors in their acquisitions of Roman gold coins – notably George La Borde..
He has published numerous articles in various scholarly publications devoted to numismatics and to the history of collecting, with a special emphasis on engraved gems. Glyptics – cameos and intaglios- have been his passion for the past ten years throughout Hellenistic and Roman, Renaissance, and the Neo-Classic periods.

Chambre belge des Experts en Oeuvres d’art. International Association of Art Critics. Member of the British and American societies of Jewellery Historians. Life-Fellow of the American Numismatic Society. Member of the Bavarian, Belgian, British, French, Italian and Swiss numismatic societies.


Intaglios and cameos. The history and the collecting of engraved gems

Under the name of “engraved gems” are grouped two types: intaglios and cameos. Intaglios are engraved into, allowing its owner to use it as a seal. Cameos instead are carved in relief, and are decorative jewels. Both have been carved for thousands of years, and past collectors have included Julius Caesar and the Hohenstaufen emperors. Many ancient carved gems were reused in religious works by goldsmiths of the Middle Ages, for example in the celebrated reliquary of the Three Kings (Cologne cathedral). The most famous collectors of the Renaissance were both Italians: Pope Paul II and Lorenzo de’Medici. But the collectors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, such as Pierre Crozat or the Duke of Marlborough, eclipsed them by far in the extent of their collections. Hadrien Rambach will also discuss the studies by Winckelmann, famous thanks to his catalogue of intaglios, and the incredible collection of forgeries of Prince Poniatowski. The more recent era includes, the jewelers Castellani and Bulgari, who have distinguished themselves with their interest in engraved gems – both ancient and modern.

Eugène Warmenbol


Eugène Warmenbol is professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, holding the chair of Archaeology of the Celtic world. He was previously attached to the chair of Archaeology of Egypt and the Middle East. He excavated in Egypt, mainly at Elkab and Gurnah, where he was involved in the clearing of tombs TT29 and C3. He also organised a number of exhibitions on Ancient Egypt, such as “Sphinx. Les Gardiens de l’Egypte” at the Espace culturel ING in Brussels (2006-2007) or “Egyptomanies depuis le XIXe siècle. Edouard et Cléopâtre” at the Fondation Boghossian in Brussels (2021-2013). His interest in Orientalist paintings finds expression in “L’Egypte vue par Florent Mols et Jacob Jacobs (1838-1839). L’Orientalisme en Belgique” (Racine, 2012) and in Egyptomania or Egyptophilia in “Le lotus et l’oignon. Egyptologie et Egyptomanie en Belgique au XIXe siècle” (Le Livre Timperman, 2012).


Emile Wauters: Panorama du Caire, preliminary study
Copyright Musée communal d’Ixelles

The « Panorama du Caire » by Emile Wauters (1881) – A masterpiece of Orientalism

Emile Wauters (1846-1933) was a major portrait painter of the end of the 19th and the early 20th century. He travelled to Egypt twice, in 1869, to attend the opening of the Suez Canal, and in 1881, to prepare his “Panorama du Caire”, but not in the company of Prince Rudolf, as is often stated. This extraordinary work, measuring no less than 380 ft. by 49 ft., showing the banks of the Nile, was exhibited in Brussels, Vienna, Munich and Den Haag, with great success. It got “permanent” housing in 1897, when an exhibition hall shaped like a mosque was built for it. This building was given to King Faysal of Saudi Arabia on the initiative of King Baudouin, to become the Great Mosque of Brussels in the Parc du Cinquantenaire. The giant canvas was transferred to the Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, but appears to be lost, or “misplaced”. Quite a few “urban legends” pertaining to the fate of this masterpiece are in circulation…