A Space of Their Own

Maria Faydherbe

1587 – 1643

Active in: The Netherlands


Maria Faydherbe was a sculptor of devotional works active in the first half of the seventeenth century. She lived in Mechelen, in present-day Belgium. There are few remaining documents about her life, but there is a record of a legal dispute between Faydherbe and several members of the Guild of Saint Luke in Mechelen in 1633. In this dispute, she praises the quality of her own work, while disparaging that of the guild members. Her efforts to join the guild were unsuccessful, and she died in Mechelen in 1643.

Selected Works


Alen, Klara. “Envy and Pride: Maria Faydherbe (Mechelen, 1587–after 1633), a Woman Sculptor in a Man’s World.” In Facts and Feelings: Retracing Emotions of Artists, 1600–1800. Edited by Hannelore Magnus, and Katlijne Van der Stighelen, 77–99. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2015.

De Vlaemsche School: Tijdschrift Voor Kunsten, Letteren en Wetenschappen. Antwerp: Nabu Press, 2012.

“Discover Sculptor Maria Faydherbe.” RKD. rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/445909.

Doorslaer, G. “Une Madone en Buis Signée Maria Faydherbe.” Revue Belge d’archéologie et d’histoire de l’art 2 (1932): 1–9.

European Works of Art […]. London: Sotheby’s, 1985.

Jansen, Jaak. “Het geschil van Maria Faydherbe in 1632–1633 of de spanning tussen Renaissance en Barokbeeldhouwkunst te Mechelen.” Bulletin (Koninjlijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium / Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique) 22 (1988): 78–103.

Lipińska, Aleksandra. Moving Sculptures: Southern Netherlandish Alabasters from the 16th to 17th Centuries in Central and Northern Europe. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Neeffs, Emmanuel. “Fayd’herbe (Maria).” Biographie Nationale de Belgique 6 (1878): 920.

“Sculpteurs Malinois du XVIIs siècle. Les Fayd’herbe.” Messager des sciences historiques, ou, Archives des arts et de la bibliographie de Belgique (1857): 172–74.

Thieme, Ulrich, and Felix Becker. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Leipzig: Engelmann, 1907–50.

Trusted, Marjorie. “Maria Faydherbe: A Seventeenth-Century Sculptor in Mechelen.” Burlington Magazine 156 (2014): 104–06.

“The Virgin and Child | Faydherbe, Maria.” V&A Search the Collections, collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1267169/the-virgin-and-child-the-virgin-and-faydherbe-maria/.

Vlieghe, Hans. Flemish Art and Architecture, 1585–1700. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.

Weststeijn, Thijs. Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677). Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Entry Notes

Contributions to timeline and bibliography provided by Indiana University A300 student Abigail Billing