Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

An art historian who specialises in Dutch art, with a PhD in Art History from the University of Leicester.

Sophie Oosterwijk is a Dutch art historian who has lived and worked in the UK for over 20 years. She specialises in Medieval, Flemish and Dutch art and has led and designed tours to Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the United Kingdom since 1994.

Sophie holds an MA and PhD in English literature from Leiden University, an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Leicester. She has taught at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and is a regular guest lecturer in Continuing Education for the University of Cambridge.

Being a Dutch native Sophie is fluent in Dutch (as well as in English, French and German), and knows the Netherlands and Belgium intimately. She is particularly interested in painting and sculpture, including tomb monuments, from the medieval period to the Baroque and beyond, and in the social and cultural context, and has taught and lectured widely on these subjects, also on ADFAS tours.

She is a lively and entertaining guide who offers a wealth of knowledge as well as good company.

We asked Sophie, what motivates her to continue leading tours?

“I love showing people around my favourite places in Europe and offering insights into the local history, society, life and – above all – art treasures within their own special settings”, says Sophie. “Nothing beats seeing art in its own context: an altarpiece in a church or cathedral, or a famous painting surrounded by other works of the period.”

“Travellers always praise my enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, ease of communication and being always open to questions. It is so gratifying when people tell me afterwards how I have not just informed, but also inspired them – and just great to see them back sometimes on other tours!”