Barbara Baert

Barbara Baert

Professor Barbara Baert


In 2006 Barbara Baert founded the Iconology Research Group (IRG), an international and interdisciplinary platform for the study of the interpretation of images. Barbara Baert directed several international research programs, such as: “Mary Magdalene and the Touching of Jesus. An Intra- and Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Interpretation of John 20:17” sponsored by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO 2004-2008), “The Woman with the Hemorrhage (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24-34; Luke 8:42b-48). An Iconological Study of the Interpretation of the Haemorrhoissa in Medieval Art”, funded by the KU Leuven (2008-2012), and “Caput Iohannis in Disco. Object-Medium-Function (2013-2017).

Her articles appeared in a variety of scientific A1/ISI/peer review journals, including: Archaevs. Study in the History of Religions, Arte Cristiana, Artibus et Historiae, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, Critica d’arte, Gesta, Iconographica. Rivista di Iconografia Medievale e Moderna, Ikon, Images. Journal for Visual Studies, Konsthistorisk tidskrift/ Journal of Art History, Mitteilungen für Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte, Pantheon, Storia dell'Arte, Textile. Journal of Cloth and Culture, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte.

As editor-in-chief, she founded three peer-reviewed series: Iconologies (ASP editions), Studies in Iconology (Peeters) and Art & Religion (Peeters).
In Iconologies, the Iconology Research Group (IRG) publishes a selection of symposia and research projects. Studies in Iconology accepts original and interdisciplinary contributions in the broader field of art theory and art history. Art & Religion focuses on how iconology, as a field and method, relates to recent developments in the Humanities. Beyond methodological reflection, Art & Religion singles out the production and technologies of pictures (i), the significance and agency of images (ii), and the transfer and migration of motifs (iii) in Christian visual and material culture. The series welcome monographs and themes in the interdisciplinary field between Christian iconography and religion of the Middle Ages and Early Modernity. 

Barbara Baert was honored twice with the highest scientific distinction in Belgium: The prize of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten (Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts); in 1993 for her outstanding Thesis in Art History: B. Baert, Het Boec van den Houte, Brussel, (Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts), 1995; in 2006 for her outstanding scientific career before the age of forty.

Since January 2014, she is member of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.
Between April and September 2015, Barbara Baert held a fellowship at the Internationale Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) in Weimar: Barbara Baert - IKKM Weimar.

In 2016, Barbara Baert was honoured the Pioneer's Award of the KU Leuven which rewards researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences Group who have initiated and conducted research that is scientifically innovative and opens a completely new avenue of research. In the same year, professor Baert was granted the  prestigious Francqui prize, one of the highest distinctions for scientific research and is often dubbed the "Belgian Nobel Prize". The jury praised her bold approach to and pioneering work in the field of iconology.



Dominic E. Delarue (2015) Die Legendare aus der ‚Rue Neuve de Notre Dame‘. Dispositio und Bildformeln als Mittel visueller Kommunikation in der Pariser Buchproduktion der ersten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts (cotutelle de thèse; supervisors: Barbara Baert and Lieselotte E. Saurma)

Elham Etemadi (2015) Sani' ol-Molk, The Thousand and One Nights and the Persian Art of Book Illustration: A Study in Iconography and Semiotics (co-supervisor: Helge Daniëls)

Hannah Joris (2013) Via the Body. A Research on the Expression of the Human Condition through Body Fragmentation – Jewelry Art as Contemporary Relics

Emma Sidgwick (2012) Touching the Threshold to Creation. The Haemorrhoissa Motif (Mark 5:24B-34parr) between Anthropological Origin and Image Paradigm (co-supervisor: Paul Vandenbroeck)

Liesbet Kusters (2012) Tussen zoom en beeld. Het motief van de genezing van de Haemorrhoissa (Marcus 5: 24b-34) in de narratieve en visuele cultuur van de westerse Middeleeuwen. Een iconologische studie