Dr. M. (Marika) Keblusek

  • Lecturer
  • Art history
  • Early modern agency and cultural transfer
  • History of collecting
  • Book and library history

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2360
E-Mail: m.keblusek@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Centre for the Arts in Society, KG Musea en Collecties
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.18b

Fields of interest

History of (early modern) collecting; agency and networking in early modern Europe; art markets; forgers & thiefs - the history of art crime; history of private libraries; cultural history of early modern courts


I recently concluded the NWO-Vidi project “Double Agents: Cultural and Political Brokerage in Early Modern Europe” (Innovational Research Incentives Scheme). In 17th century Europe, many artists, art dealers, merchants and diplomats led double lives. When their commissioners bought books or art, diplomats were asked to pull strings. Artists and art dealers were ordered to act - often unofficially – in the political arena. Merchants dealt in political information and cultural artefacts while facilitating the logistics of transport and finance. In combining political and cultural mediation, these “double agents” made use of their extensive professional European networks. This project adressed, for the first time, the phenomenon of early modern agency. Three researchers have dedicated themselves to different parts of this study: the activities of Dutch artists as agents in the Baltic countries; the role of merchants active as agents for Italian states; the double role of diplomats as political and cultural brokers.

Curriculum Vitae

1997                PhD (Leiden University)
1997-1998       guest curator Haags Historisch Museum exhibition Vorstelijk Vertoon
1997-2000       postdoc researcher at the Sir Thomas Browne Institute (Leiden University): “The Exile Experience: book culture and literary life of English royalist exiles in the Netherlands, 1640-1660”
1999                guest curator Haags Historisch Museum Japansch Magazijn
2000                freelance researcher for Peter Tillou Fine Arts, Manhattan, New York City
2001-2006       project leader NWO project “Double Agents” (Leiden University)
2003-2008       extraordinary professorship Geschiedenis van Boekhandel en Uitgeverij (Tiele-stichting / Universiteit van Amsterdam)
2006-               lecturer History of Art

Teaching activities

2007                     Graduate research seminar ‘Leiden University Special Collections’, History and Art History Departments, Leiden University
2007                     Graduate literature seminar ‘The Early Modern Art Market in Europe: Distribution of Luxury Products’, Art History Department, Leiden University
2006                     Undergraduate course ‘Kunst- und Wunderkammer: History of Collecting’, Art History Department, Leiden University
2005                     Interdisciplinary graduate research seminar ‘Rome Collected / Rome Collecting’, Royal Netherlands Institute, Rome
2004-2006             Graduate research seminars ‘Early Modern Private Libraries: Reconstruction & Methodology’, Book History Department, University of Amsterdam



  • (eds M. Keblusek, H. Cools and B. Noldus), Your Humble Servant : Agents in Early Modern Europe (Hilversum 2006)
  • ‘Entertainment in Exile: Theatrical Performances at the Courts of Margaret Cavendish, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth of Bohemia’, in: J. Beppler, P. Davidson (eds.), Triumphs of the Defeated: Early Modern Festivals and Messages of Legitimacy (Wiesbaden / Wolfenbüttel 2007), p. 173-190
  • ‘Keeping it Secret: The Identity and Status of an Early Modern Inventor’, History of Science 43 (2005), p. 37-56
  • 'Wine for Comfort. Drinking and the Royalist Exile Experience’, in: A. Smyth (ed.), A Pleasing Sinne. Drink and Conviviality in 17th-Century England (Woodbridge, 2004), p. 55-68
  • ‘The Business of News. Michel le Blon and the Transmission of Political Information to Sweden in the 1630s’, Scandinavian Journal of History 28 (2003), p. 205-215
  • ‘Cultural and political brokerage in seventeenth-century England: the case of Balthazar Gerbier’, in: J. Roding, E.J. Sluijter, B. Westerweel et al (eds.), Dutch and Flemish artists in Britain 1550-1800 (Leiden 2003) [Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 13], p. 73-81
  • Japansch Magazijn. Japanse kunst en cultuur in 19de-eeuws Den Haag (Leiden 2000)

Last Modified: 10-12-2015