Photo: KIK-IRPA, Brussels
BALaT allows you to search 4 different data bases of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) simultaneously:
KIK-IRPA's online photo library: 682.767 photo negatives covering all aspects of Belgium's art heritage (visual arts, artistic crafts, architecture, archaeology and landscapes). Some of these photographs date from the end of the 19th century. This collection is constantly expanding thanks to new photographic campaigns and to the photographs of the works of art treated at the institute;
KIK-IRPA's Library: 80.000 books and articles related to cultural heritage (art history, conservation-restoration and scientific analyses). Every document (journal articles included) is indexed with a specialized thesaurus;
The Dictionnaire des peintres belges du XIVe siècle à nos jours depuis les premiers maîtres des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux et de la principauté de Liège jusqu'aux artistes contemporains (La Renaissance du Livre, Brussels, 1995): Covers the lives and work of no less than 6300 painters, from Van Eyck to Wilchar and passing by Rubens and Rops; from well-known to rather obscure representatives of Belgian painting;
A repertory of persons and institutions. This list counts 200.000 artists, craftsmen, researchers, authors of publications, conservator-restorers, photographers, collectors, historical or fictional figures represented in the works of art, museums, churches, learned societies, etc.
"Belgian art" should be interpreted here in its broadest sense. It concerns all art in the geographical area of current-day Belgium, without any chronological limit. The activities of foreign artists in Belgium and of Belgium artists working abroad are also included in BALaT.
BALaT is an acronym for Belgian Art Links and Tools and was chosen in remembrance of Alphonse Balat (1818-1895). This famous architect of king Leopold II designed the royal greenhouses of Leaken (Brussels), a world famous building complex and one of the pearls of Belgium art heritage.