Appel à communication : « Historians of Netherlandish Art Conference 2021 »

In preparation of the HNA conference 2-5 June 2021, organized by the University of Amsterdam and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, the program committee invites HNA members to submit proposals for paper sessions. The sessions are posted on the HNA website. Please submit your proposal(s) to the session chair(s), not the program committee. Applicants are allowed to submit multiple proposals to different sessions, but please inform all appropriate chairs about this at the time of application. Participants may present only one paper at the conference. Session chairs are not allowed to present a paper in their own session.

As part of 90 minute-sessions, papers should be max. 20 minutes long. Proposals should present new, rather than published research and reflect the current state of scholarship. Please send proposals of max. 500 words, along with a single-paged curriculum vitae, to the session chair(s).

Deadline: 1 July 2020. Applicants will be notified by the session chair(s) no later than 1 August 2020.

Program committee:

Stijn Bussels, Leiden University (chair)
Edwin Buijsen, Mauritshuis
Suzanne Laemers, RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History
Judith Noorman, University of Amsterdam
Gabri van Tussenbroek, University of Amsterdam / City of Amsterdam Abbie Vandivere, Mauritshuis and University of Amsterdam



“Here and Now”: Capturing the Moment in Netherlandish Art (1400–1700) SESSION ORGANIZERS

Jan Blanc, Université de Genève,
Marije Osnabrugge, Université de Genève,

We can identify an increased focus on the present time as one of the main innovations introduced by Dutch artists from the beginning of the fifteenth century onwards. This focus took shape in several ways. In 1454, George Chastellain of Ghent, the official historiographer of the court of Burgundy, was the first to use in French the word contemporain to explain, at the beginning of his Chronicle, that Charles VII of France and Philip of Burgundy are “contemporains et en égalité d’âge, régnans glorieusement tous deux en ce royaume et dehors, à la dure confusion de leurs ennemis et à la grant joye et félicité de leurs subjets”. He thus created a word that put the actuality and the present world at the core of his historical writing. Twenty years earlier, in Bruges, Jan van Eyck famously signed the Arnolfini Portrait: “Johannes de Eyck fuit hic 1434.” Although written in the past tense and in Latin, the principal purpose of this sentence is to recall the “present” of the conception of his painting, as well as the “presence” of the painter in front of his models and his easel – evoked in addition by the coloured silhouettes visible in the convex mirror. Van Eyck’s painting is one of the first explicit cases in which this Dutch artistic ambition makes acte de présence in artworks in the early modern period. It is a question, in the words of Dutch theoreticians, of studying the world naer het leven, i.e. in an illusionistic way, but also of becoming one with their subject matter. This aspect of artistic practice gains great importance in all pictorial genres. We also encounter it in the inclusion of contemporary costumes, Gothic architecture and views of modern cities in Flemish fifteenth-century religious paintings; or in the development of portraits during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, in which the threequarter view and the gaze towards the spectator blur the boundaries between the image and its viewers. The interest in everyday life, portrayed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish genre paintings, can equally be seen as a result of the increased interest in – and awareness of – the present. Finally, depictions of notable contemporary events, such as disasters (e.g. floods, miracles (stranded whales, comets in the sky), battles, diplomatic visits (joyous entries, visits by foreign princes) or festivities, also illustrate a deliberate focus on the present – besides forming valuable documents for historians.

We welcome interdisciplinary propositions for case studies as well as general reflections. Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • State of the research on the history of present time in Dutch art history;
  • Cross-reflections on how Netherlandish historians, poets, writers and artistsdescribed their own present time
  • Examples of an awareness of the present in artworks;
  • The depiction of contemporary events;
  • Theoretical reflections in (art) literature on the present in relation to the visualarts.Indeterminacy in Netherlandish Visual Arts and Culture (1400-1800) SESSION ORGANIZERSGEMCA – Group for Early Modern Cultural Analysis, UCLouvain Ralph Dekoninck,

Ingrid Falque, Caroline Heering,

The art of the Netherlands in the early modern period is full of works whose meaning is not revealed at first glance, or whose interpretations by art historians have revealed all the ambiguity. Just think of Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Quinten Massys’ Money Changer and his Wife or Johannes Vermeer’s Art of Painting to name only a few famous examples which have been deciphered by scholars in turn from a moralizing, allegorical, spiritual or profane perspective. All the interpretations that have been forged on these works are but one reflection of the way ambiguity is cultivated in all registers of early modern Netherlandish visual culture. Double images, illusionism, visual games, framing devices, plays between different levels of reality, the indeterminacy of pictorial spaces, emblematic and rebus are other key components of this taste for ambivalence.

In this session, we would like to invite papers that will explore early modern Netherlandish visual arts and culture in the light of the concept of “indeterminacy”, understood as “the character of something undefined, unestablished, not precisely outlined” (Dario Gamboni, Potential Images. Ambiguity and Indeterminacy in Modern Art, 2002, 13), and its variations of ambiguity (the character of what is open to several interpretations) and ambivalence (the character of what has two opposing components). These concepts can be applied to different, yet intimately related, registers:

  • that of the images themselves and their internal functioning: i.e. their iconography, composition, formal language which can be read in different ways);
  • that of the experience and use of images at the time of their reception: how do we define and understand the relationship between these images and their producers, patrons and beholders, depending notably on where and how they were gazed and used (private or public spaces, in an intimate or distant relation…);
  • and finally that of the interpretative layers that have been superimposed up to the present day by art historians: it is sufficient to think of the many debates that the paintings mentioned above have provoked in the course of time.Considering artworks through the prism of indeterminacy will enable us to unlock the potentialities of images without confining them to single interpretations or compartmentalize them in specific genres, that are side-effect of traditional iconographical approach. Instead, it will allow us to grasp the polysemy and richness of the images. On a more general level, this approach will also allow to reconsider the relationships between form and meaning, but also between genres or between the profane and the sacred, and therefore invite us to consider the process of indeterminacy as a participant in the power of artworks.The Performativity of Liturgical Art SESSION ORGANIZERSRalph Dekoninck, UCLouvain, Barbara Baert, KU Leuven,

Marie-Christine Claes, KIK-IRPA, Brussels,

This session seeks to investigate the performativity of the late medieval and early modern liturgical heritage from the Southern Netherlands. As liturgical objects are endowed with a ritually instituted efficacy, they lead indeed to a reflection on performativity. The performative turn in the Humanities is in line with the renewed interest in rituals and their relationships to objects, artistic or not. This approach has opened new avenues of research in art history. In this respect, we may say that art is performative insofar as it engages the spectator in a performance; it could even be argued that art is effective only when it is performed. The art object can be therefore considered as an agent, that is to say, as an object endowed with an ability to act or to trigger reactions and not simply as a thing to be interpreted as a passive vector of forms and ideas.

This session aims to study these objects within the wide network of relationships that shape their meaning and their efficacy: the relationship with their spatial environment, especially with the rituals performed in this environment, the relationship with their users, but also the relationship between the different objects themselves. Liturgical objects – such as chasubles, copes, altar frontals, chalices, monstrances, altar bells… – were displayed and used in a certain order and were part of a network not only of other artefacts, but also of images, gestures, words, sounds and smells. Issues related to the contextualization of the liturgical objects in their spatial, material and religious environment will be explored so as to provide a renewed analysis of their ritual and artistic significance.

Netherlandish Art and the Eschatological Imagination: Space, Time and Experience of the Other World(s)

Christine Göttler, Universität Bern,

Anna Pawlak, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen,

In the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were radical shifts in the ways in which the world beyond death was imagined, represented, and conceived in its spatial and temporal as well as its material and affective dimensions. The Protestant Reformation rejected Purgatory, the most recent addition to the eschatological landscape construed as an intermediary site that still allowed communication between the living and the dead. In response to Protestant criticism, Catholic reformers began to promote the purgative rather than punitive aspects of a stay in Purgatory, relocating it from a realm near Hell to one near Heaven. The increasingly global dissemination of Christian doctrines further broadened the imagery of eschatology, accommodating it to that of other belief systems. Finally, a growing curiosity in realms not accessible to human eyes—the outermost reaches of the heavens, and the innermost depths of the earth—, gave rise to a whole new genre of spatial and cosmological reflections and representations. With their changing political and confessional loyalties along with their highly developed printing culture and artistic traditions, the Netherlands (under Burgundian, Spanish and Dutch rule) provide a particularly interesting case to study the shifting foci and norms of eschatological imageries

and imaginaries. Combining image, language and object-centered perspectives, the session seeks to shed more light on the formation, reception, and transmission of extra-temporal and extra-spatial worlds. Its focus is on the sensual and affective components of these two worlds, whether future or parallel, and their multiple links with the actual world that created them. Conceptualizations and imaginations of the hereafter can be helpfully understood as ‘chronotopes’ in the sense used by Mikhail Bakhtin, in that they reconfigure spatial and temporal relations and experiences. How was the specific ‘materiality’ of the ‘world beyond’ explored in different visual and textual media in both the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic? Were there parallels or intersections in the imagination of other worlds beyond the space of the known, both ‘real’ and eschatological? We are particularly interested in contributions that engage with the roles of emotions, affects, and perceptions—sensations generally associated with human bodies—in a world beyond the visible and tangible and beyond time and space. How were the otherworldly loci described and imagined in exegetical, didactic, and devotional literature? In what ways did these images and texts evoke the spatio-temporal dimensions and affective atmospheres and ambiances of these places never seen by human eyes? How did people conceive of the possibility of communication between this world and other-worldly spheres, or among the latter (e.g., between heaven and hell)? What elements of the visual language of eschatology successfully permeated confessional and religious boundaries, and which were adapted and transformed? Among other topics, papers may address configurations of otherworldly spaces in religious didactic and religious subversive genres or ones that engage with the use of eschatological imaginings in spaces of leisure and recreation such as theatres, gardens, and parks.

Art and Philosophy in the Early Modern Netherlands
Hanneke Grootenboer, Radboud University, Nijmegen,

The relation between art and science in early modern Netherlands has long been the focus of art historical scrutiny. By contrast, the connection between art and philosophy in the Dutch Republic has remained under-explored. This is surprising, as a wide range of thinkers, among them many refugees, initiated the so-called age of ‘new philosophy’ which eventually resulted in the rise of a ‘radical enlightenment’ by the turn of the century. While artists got influenced by particular visions (most evidently Romeyn de Hooghe by Spinoza), philosophers frequented artistic circles (such as Pierre Bayle) or considered their art collection as an extension of their thinking (as did, for instance, Francisus Sylvius). In the visual arts, certain artistic categories such as emblem books containing denkbeelden or thought-images, or particular sub-genres such as vanitas paintings were traditionally associated with philosophical reflection. In the writings of René Descartes, among others, we see an increase in the use of pictorial metaphors (such as of the house, the painting or the automaton) to reinforce particular concepts. In addition, painters started to self- consciously include mirror images in their work, as did Clara Peeters, while illusionistic tricks used in art and entertainment evoked profound bodily experiences in their audiences that were meant to let the senses ‘think’. Recent literature on material culture suggests that

luxury collectibles such as cunningly crafted artifacts or exotica were considered not only as objects of knowledge and spiritual meditation, but also as things to ‘think with’.
This panel invites papers that explore the relation between the visual arts and philosophy in the Low Countries during the ‘long’ 17th century in the broadest sense, addressing questions that may include: What was the relation between art and philosophy that Samuel van Hoogstraten famously called sister-arts? How did philosophical concepts resonate in visual culture? What was the impact of image-making on verbalising intellectual ideas? To what extent did artists contribute to philosophical debates or did philosophers shape art theoretical discourse? What was the function of art objects and images and the stimulation of the senses on the expansion of the mind? Papers dealing with the influence of 17th century visual culture on philosophical writings beyond the early modern period (such as of Hegel or Schopenhauer) are also welcome.

Heraldic Imagination in the Netherlands, 1500-1800 SESSION ORGANIZER

Marika Keblusek, Leiden Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), Leiden,

Originally hereditary symbols of the medieval noble elite, from the late-14th century onwards crests, coat of arms and blazons were increasingly altered, added to and custom made for members of other, emancipatory social groups, most notably the urban elites. Merchants, for example, formed a fast growing, powerful professional segment of early modern European society – especially in the Netherlands. The increasing awareness of their personal and collective identity is evident in their visual branding and representation: not only in commissioned portraits, but in the adaptation of crests and devices which were publicly visible on a variety of media and platforms. In fact, heraldic imagery embodies much more than an individual’s or corporate coat of arms. The powerful tradition of heraldic emblems is reflected in the use of blazons and crests by literary and artistic groups and institutions, such as chambers of rhetoricans, or painters’ associations. Other, closely related visual emblems which act as identity markers are for example printer’s devices, trademarks, logos, monograms or even calligraphic signatures.
This session aims to explore how early modern individuals and groups branded themselves through their heraldic presentation on contemporary social media and materials. We will focus on early modern branding through personalised heraldic imagery, which may have been displayed on wooden and stone shields in churches and houses; on painted portraits; in stained glass and windows; engraved in silver, gold, precious stones and glass work; embroidered on linen; pressed on book bindings; hand-painted in manuscripts like alba amicorum (friendship books) and on ceramics – indeed, on every material and (semi-)public medium thinkable.

Papers may focus on various aspects of the heraldic imagination, discussing how this visual personal and collective branding functioned in the Netherlands between 1500 and 1800. How innovative was the transformation of heraldic culture from the late medieval age into early modern times? How and why did it take place? Who were responsible for designing

new coats of arms? In other words, how did this visual language of the self in everyday surroundings develop and how, in time, did this multimedia manifestation of personal and collective identities undergo a process of formalisation, authentication and the creation of types and stock images?

This session welcomes curators and scholars to address pictorial and material elements of heraldic culture in the context of art history, material history, emblem history, and heritage studies.

Nature’s End: Ecology and Exploitation in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting SESSION ORGANIZERS

Joost Keizer, University of Groningen, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, University of Groningen,

With a sudden intensity, early seventeenth-century Dutch artists began picturing their own environment, launching an entirely new category of representation that tested the boundaries between man and nature, representation and truth, and past and future. These pictures do more than show a real, often familiar, landscape. They also depict how humans experience nature. Thousands of early landscape paintings – most of them of an underestimated artistic radicality – interrogate the boundaries between nature and culture. They map out what past and future ecologies look like. And place us humans in the midst of them.

Landscape paintings intersect with a set of early modern questions about how to use and preserve the land. They open up new venues of sight from a use-perspective (of farmers in the dirt, fishermen on the beach); they draw visual attention to the boundaries between landscape (landschap) and the dunes (called the wildernisse); they speak of the erosion of the coast; they visualize what humans did with and to nature; they distinguish classes of looking and using (from strolling city-dwellers to a bent-over sower). Apart from the visual wealth of information about living in and of cultured nature, an untapped variety of Dutch early modern textual sources speaks to the ecology of human life and the land humans occupy, which has been studied surprisingly little with regard to landscape painting.

This panel seeks contributions that deal with the questions of ecology and exploitation in landscape painting. We invite speakers who engages with but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Artistic materials and natural resources;
  • Style as a human intervention in nature;
  • Depictions of human industry in nature;
  • Visualizations of erosion and bare lands;
  • Visual efforts to demarcate nature from culture;
  • Use point-of-views of nature;
  • Exploitation of New World natural resources.
    The Affective and Hermeneutic Functions of the Self-Aware Picture

Walter S. Melion, Emory University,

Michael Zell, Boston University,

This session examines paintings, drawings, and prints that use various representational contrivances jointly to foreground their status as pictorial images and as objects of the beholder’s gaze. Such devices often highlight the mimetic properties of the picture in question, as in the case of ogenbedriegertjes (little eye-deceivers, i.e., trompes-l’oeil), which prompt the viewer to acknowledge that s/he is looking at a pictured picture. A related device utilizes elements within the pictorial field—doorkijkjes (optical corridors), gordijnen (feigned curtains), or omlijsten (framing devices, e.g., doorways, casements, archways, stairwells, etc.)—to call attention to the ways in which visual attention is being mobilized, directed, and/or deflected, as it moves toward a targeted destination. The visual itinerary thus mapped often stands proxy for the viewer’s gaze, the motion of which the image can be seen both to harness and portray. More obviously, pictures may contain depicted viewers whose action of beholding doubles that of the actual viewer looking at the painting, drawing, or print, from a vantage point external to it. Finally, handelingh (handling, rendering)—the marks made by a burin, stylus, or brush—can be applied so conspicuously that they compel the viewer to track the marks’ pattern of application: their forceful motion functions as a diagram of sorts for the movement of the viewer’s eyes as they travel along pathways leading in ‘t verschiet (into the distance).

Although scholars of Dutch and Flemish art have duly noted the ubiquity of these and other pictorial devices focusing on sight, their affective and interpretative functions have yet to be fully studied. The now common consensus that the reflex of picturing pointedly alludes to vaardigheid (skill) and meesterschap (artisanal mastery) is surely right, but key questions still remain to be answered: when allusions to the viewer’s gaze are coupled with explicit emphasis on the pictorial register, what affects are stirred, what meanings are generated, how, why, and to what end does the bestowal of attention constitute a primary theme or call forth an hermeneutic response. Take Nicolaes Maes’s Jonge vrouw bij een wieg (Young Woman by a Crib), recently featured in the Maes retrospective at the Mauritshuis. The picture, as the show’s curators astutely observe, turns on an analogy between the trompe- l’oeil curtain, ostensibly pushed to one side by the beholder, and the mother’s raising of the cloth draped over her sleeping child’s head. In turn, a second analogy, this time internal to the picture, invites the viewer to draw a parallel between the woman’s act of reading (presumably scriptural) and her display of maternal solicitude. Maes asks us to consider how viewing his picture can produce sentiments as tender as those elicited by a babe, and conversely, how enthrallment in a sleeping child is like attention paid to an enchanting image. He also invites us to reflect on the relation between devout reading and attentive beholding. Our session provides a forum for further examination of the form and function of such prompts to affective and hermeneutic engagement with self-aware pictures.

Art and knowledge: Cognitive Categories in Visual Compositions SESSION ORGANIZERS

Sophie Suykens, Ghent University,
Elizabeth Vandeweghe, Ghent University,

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mark a period of gradual but profound transformation of the way in which phenomena of the natural world were studied. This session aims to explore the interaction between the visual arts and early modern theories of knowledge and nature. Medieval and early modern knowledge theories are characterized by their high reliance on the so-called ‘categories’ (dialectics). Knowledge and reasoning were embedded into a complex web of interconnected categories, which correspond to underlying structuring principles. One example illustrating the ubiquity of categorical thinking was the division of the natural world into four elements. These were not only associated to the primary qualities derived from the theory of humourism, but also to motive qualities and other classifications of nature such as the four seasons and the four temperaments. Such categories were shared by various cultural and social spheres at the time. However, only little attention has been paid to parallels between early modern cognitive categories and the way they relate – or not – to early modern artworks. Apart from scientific illustrations, the visual structure of other artworks and genres has seldom been confronted explicitly with contemporary theories of knowledge. We welcome proposals that address diverse art forms and artistic genres, studied from a wide range of disciplines in the empirical and theoretical sciences, which discuss the (shifting) connection between cognitive categories on the one hand and visual strategies of composition on the other. Approaching early modern artworks from this perspective can give new insights into the ways in which complex images were constructed and perceived. In doing so, the session also touches upon (1) the debates on the descriptive versus the symbolical interpretation of nature and material culture as represented in Dutch genre painting; (2) the fruitful line of research addressing the multidimensional intersection of art with science and episteme; (3) the relationship between science and (a) artistic styles (e.g. naturalism, optics, mathematical perspective), (b) artistic genres (e.g. scientific illustrations, Dutch still life paintings), (c) materialities (e.g. artisanal knowledge and technology) and even (d) collecting practices.



Paul Crenshaw, Providence College,
Weixuan Li, University of Amsterdam / Huygens ING,

The application of value theories to art historical investigations seeks to understand the factors that drive axiology, the study of value and valuation. While pricing and sales information in the early modern period is sporadic, there are enough sources to form foundations for comparative analysis of individual artists’ work, to see regional disparities in

valuation of artworks, to assess medium and material distinctions in pricing, and to some extent understand the effects of size and format variances on monetary worth, to name a few directions for such studies. These studies often attempt to provide subjective nuance to seemingly objective, “hard” sums of monetary evaluation. Other types of investigation may examine the development of the language of art, vocabulary and terms of praise or criticism as an avenue to discern a sense of value. Such art theory or art criticism studies enable qualitative assessments of the value placed on innovation and types of expected artistic skills needed to attain excellence in the opinions of various writers.

This session seeks papers that specifically examine the role of “place” in the evaluation of works of art in northern Europe and particularly in the Netherlands during the early modern period. This may include the representation of specific spaces or places, and how that adds value. It may be public site specificity of an artwork, where the value of placement in a particular location is discernable and accountable. It may examine placement in a collection, where comparison to other works can be drawn, or a particular mode of display or encounter is evident, or where location within a domestic setting can be said to add value. Papers that apply innovative methodological approaches or present new material evidence in these areas are most welcome.

In the Shadow of the Pand and Beurs: Religious Art and the Early Modern Market SESSION ORGANIZER
Mitzi Kirkland-Ives, Missouri State University,

In the early modern era the region of the low countries was one of the centers of a number of shifts in economic life and practice in Europe. The period saw the expansion of the middle class and increasing urbanization, a shift from the manorial system and the commons to enclosure and agrarian capitalism, the development of modern banking, changes in the system of markets including the availability of year-round markets, and, in time, the mechanization of production, development of stock exchanges, mercantilism, and public companies such as the Muscovy Company and British and Dutch East India Companies.

This session aims to revisit the effects of this changing economic environment on religious art in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and to highlight new insights into the relationship between economic life and the arts, especially religious art. Topics might include the effects of new patterns of patronage; adaptations in the iconography and style of religious art in response to the new developments in the marketplace and economic systems; deployment of religious imagery in service of promoting economic systems or individual entities; changes in practices relating to corporate chapels or corporate participation in festival/procession traditions; new perspectives on the shifts in genre; patterns of artistic commission, competition, and rivalry; reflections and representations of the products of new trade and exchange patterns; changes in devotional portraiture related to these new models; new or altered contexts for the sites/display of art.


Belonging in the Republic: Whose Amsterdam? SESSION ORGANIZERS

Ann Jensen Adams, University of California at Santa Barbara, Maarten Prak, Utrecht University,

Amsterdam in the seventeenth century was a multi-cultural city and magnet for migrants seeking a better life. As the city grew, it witnessed the establishment of new professions and industries, the practice of a variety of religions, and a reorganization of guilds, of charitable institutions, of civic rituals. The changes in urban fabric responded to changing demographics, as families of many inhabitants were newly arrived from the countryside, other cities, or even other nations. As Maarten Prak has recently elaborated, the idea of citizenship was undergoing dramatic revision. This raises the question of who belongs and who does not and, in particular, to what does one belong? Allegiances to family, guild, religion, the city, the province, and an emerging republic were multiple, and in flux. Artists of the time were creating new types of images which responded to some of these changes, images which pictured a variety of peoples and classes, of urban neighborhoods, of activities and events. These images in turn created, in the words of Benedict Anderson, “imagined communities” that included some, and excluded others. From the perspective of our twenty-first century, the historical question of the role of images in creating belonging, and exclusion, has particular relevance.

This session seeks to engage issues of belonging and exclusion raised by imagery produced of or in the city and its environments. This session is particularly interested in papers that address the ways in which images in any media – paintings, drawings, prints or illustrated books, architecture or sculpture – create concepts of inclusion and/ or exclusion. While the session is envisioned to focus on Amsterdam, considerations of a comparative nature – with other cities, the countryside, or ideas represented allegorically are also welcome.


Towards a “Worldly” Art History: Reassessing Methodologies for Netherlandish Art in a Worldly Context, c. 1500-1700

Katharine Campbell, University of Michigan,

Jamie Richardson, Bryn Mawr College,

How does one approach the global in Netherlandish art history? This question, seemingly straightforward, has stimulated a vast array of scholarly studies that confirm it is anything but easy to answer. Recent developments in scholarship have shown the potential to cultivate scholarship in understudied geographies, as in the recent exhibitions Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India (2018) in Los Angeles and India and the Netherlands in the Age

of Rembrandt (2019) in Mumbai; to reconnect conventionally discrete epistemological categories, such as those of economic, social, and visual data in the study of the impact of Dutch global trade networks in the early modern period; and to decenter Western paradigms for evaluating images and objects. This last approach is proposed by Deborah Hutton and Rebecca Tucker in their 2014 article on Cornelis Claesz. Heda, “The Worldly Artist in the Seventeenth Century.” They ask, “can we—and how might we—study art objects from across the globe in a way that does not re-inscribe past Eurocentric structures onto the field?” Instead, in the case of Heda (c. 1566-1621), they suggest framing case studies of traveling artists and images equally from contexts of origin and of destination, within larger networks comprising many cultural centers.

This session takes inspiration from Hutton and Tucker’s approach, expanding it to consider not just worldly artists, but worldly methods. It asks for papers that actively rethink conventional methodological approaches to global Netherlandish scholarship in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. These may take the form of new case studies, approached in a creative methodological way; they may also be presentations that take alternative methods themselves as their subjects. In keeping with our focus on alternative methodologies, we encourage scholars to submit papers that are the products (or works in progress) of collaborative studies across specialties, and we envision the possibility of joint presentations of this research.

• What visual material, cultural encounters, time periods, or types of research

in this session might address the following topics and questions, among others:

questions have already become marginalized within global early modern studies?

What alternative approaches could open up these areas of study?

  • Reconsiderations of consumption and collecting practices of Netherlandish artamong courtly patrons outside of Europe (for example, the interest that Ibrahim AdilShah II [r. 1580-1627] took in Netherlandish art through his relationship with Heda)
  • How can scholars approach topics for which archives are non-extant or inaccessible?Or when archives exist, but show evidence of unreliability?
  • Tracing single commodities across archives, collections, and visual representations.
  • What is gained or lost by adopting particular frameworks or terminology (e.g. acenter-periphery model vs. one of polycentrality; cultural transmission vs. culturalmediation; and so on)?
  • Can style itself function as a global commodity?Representing Islam
    Adam Sammut, University of York, early modern period was an age of Islamic superpowers. As Suleiman the Magnificent blazed a trail of conquest from Buda to Baghdad, the Safavid and Mughal dynasties were establishing hegemony in Iran and India. Netherlandish artists responded in myriad ways.

Rubens and Rembrandt copied Persian and Mughal miniatures. In the 1530s, Pieter Coecke van Aelst joined a diplomatic mission to Istanbul, while Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen accompanied Charles V on campaign to Tunis; both artists produced monumental tapestry designs based on first-hand observation. Turkish carpets in still life and portraits in oriental fancy-dress were signs of burgeoning trade with the East. Yet Muslims were enemies at the gates of Christendom, as emblematised by celebrations of victory at Lepanto in 1571. Black figures, a cipher of the slave trade in which Muslims were often mediators, make a regular appearance in Rubens’ bacchanals and Adorations of the Magi, calling into question early modern concepts of race. Such ambivalence and hostility are also reflected in Netherlandish art, as discussed by Larry Silver in his 2011 article on the “Turkish Menace”.

Islamic themes are gaining traction in the field. Two recent exhibitions in London and Los Angeles showcased drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt of Ottoman, Persian and Mughal costumes. Topographical imagery such as De Bry’s Collection of Voyages has received significant scholarly treatment, as have Rubens’ African figures. This panel intends to further the global history agenda by highlighting the artistic exchange between Muslim- ruled territories and the Low Countries. While extant studies tend to focus on specific regions, artists or periods, this panel seeks continuity and common ground across the Netherlandish spectrum. In sketching a longer history of Orientalism before the nineteenth century, the panel will engage with associated hot-button issues such as colonialism, cultural appropriation and religious conflict.


Confirming, Challenging, and Transgressing Normative Gender Roles and Identities in Art and Architecture

Elizabeth Honig, University of Maryland,

Thijs Weststeijn, Utrecht University,

Outsiders visiting the Early Modern Low Countries frequently commented that women there operated with a shocking amount of freedom, including inhabiting locations and engaging in activities which were, elsewhere, considered the domain of men. Modern historians have confirmed the very different parameters of normative gender roles in the Netherlands’ public life. But just how elastic were those revised norms, and how were they registered in the domains of visual, spatial, and material culture? This session probes the boundaries of gender norms and typologies in the Low Countries. We seek papers that address bodily redefinitions, spatial reconfigurations, material manipulations, and visual representations reflecting both re-normed and non-normative spaces, identities, and behaviors, and attitudes to them. Papers might address these issues through various genres of painting, the built environment, modes of viewing and displaying objects, items of clothing, sensory perception, and verbal discourses about art. Contrary to the Netherlands’ relatively greater flexibility with regard to the division of gender roles and spaces, non-normative sexuality

would seem to have been even less visible than elsewhere in Europe, and we also seek papers that explore that aspect of Netherlandish culture as it is expressed in the arts.
This panel thus challenges art historians to investigate the role of art, artists, writers and collectors in asserting sexual, emotional, and social claims with regard to gender, querying the extent to which artworks, architecture, objects, biographies and criticism could confirm or negate normative gender roles and identities, inspire or reflect on the transgression of boundaries, and enforce or subvert traditional binaries.

Breaking Conventions and Confronting Gender: The Multifaceted Relationship Between Women and Art in the Low Countries, 1500–1800


Samantha Chang, University of Toronto,
Catherine Powell, University of Texas at Austin/Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society,
Lauryn Smith, Case Western Reserve University / Cleveland Museum of Art,

“DO: dress modestly and act piously; obey your husband in everything; rear your children. DON’T: be too sweet or too sour or too thin or too fat; be too independent; growl or bark at your husband.”

Does the advice encouraged by Jacob Cats and depicted in numerous well-known objects accurately represent the normative behaviour of early modern women in the Low Countries? This session explores the less commonly portrayed―and much less discussed―representation of women as artists, collectors, and agents of cultural and artistic change. Recent exhibitions and publications (for example Sarah Joan Moran and Amanda Pipkin’s Women and Gender in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500–1750 and Elizabeth Sutton’s Women Artists and Patrons in the Netherlands, 1500–1700, both from 2019) raise and address the participation of mostly ‘exceptional’ women artists and aristocratic and noblewomen in the creation and patronage of art. Notwithstanding these works, however, the field continues to be dominated by a history of men and centres upon patriarchal analyses and methodologies. Instead of reflecting on the exceptional, what can we gather on the paradigmatic women of the Low Countries?

In our session, “Breaking Conventions and Confronting Gender: The Multifaceted Relationship Between Women and Art in the Low Countries, 1500–1800,” we critically examine the role of gender and gender identity in the creation, collection, and curation of art in the broadest sense. How did this multifaceted relationship play out in the development and portrayal of women’s identity and their self-actualization? In what ways did women artists subvert societal norms? What role does gender play in the creation, acquisition, and use of objects? To what extent does gender impact collecting, patronage, and display practices? Can we formulate approaches that further discussions of the role of gender within artistic pursuits?

We seek papers that extend beyond traditional methodologies and analytical frameworks. In particular, we welcome proposals that are interdisciplinary and/or consider unusual or often under-researched artistic media, such as textiles, watercolours, ceramics, ephemeral art, etc. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Identity and self-representation through art;
  • Self-definition as a so-called ‘workshop wife’ and/or the nuanced participation ofwomen in the family’s artistic enterprise;
  • Gender and the art market;
  • Issues of class and accessibility;
  • The artist as collector;
  • Material culture: creation, use, and display;
  • The home as a space for the display and/or performance of art;
  • Strategies of display.Dis/abilities in Early Modern Netherlandish Art SESSION ORGANIZERSBarbara A. Kaminska, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Bert Watteeuw, Rubenianum, Antwerp, bert.watteeuw@antwerpen.beNetherlandish art has a very rich iconography of sensory and motor disability. This session invites papers that explore, expand and interpret this corpus in novel ways. It aims at analyzing contexts in which the disabled are depicted in secular and religious images, and examining visual strategies adopted in those images to express socioreligious, legal, and economic anxieties caused by the presence of the disabled in the increasingly urban, mercantile, and work-oriented communities. We invite potential speakers to consider how visual arts negotiated the often negative approaches to the disabled and chronically ill members of society with the Christian call to charity in an era when the traditional distinction between the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor was gradually becoming obsolete. Further, questions of collecting and market for those images shall be addressed, along with the impact of sixteenth-century religious reformations on the approaches to the disabled and the poor. We also want to draw attention to the careers of artists with disability in the early modern period. Finally, this session aims at investigating methodologies relevant to the study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century iconography of disability. While in recent years disability studies have become an important area of research in social sciences and humanities, their methodological and theoretical approaches, often grounded in postcolonialism, are yet to produce satisfying and non- anachronistic readings of early modern imagery. Conversely, studies published by social, cultural, and medical historians are often sparsely, poorly, and repetitively illustrated. Art historians have a unique contribution to make by bringing to light a broad and diverse visual discourse on disability and to an admittedly smaller yet important group of historic representations of and by individual people with a disability. Similarly, we want to call attention to the relative absence of exhibitions dedicated to disability. While museums themselves have vastly improved physical accessibility, they often struggle with actually

engaging people with a disability through content-driven methods. Scholarship in this area is meaningful. It impacts current debates on diversity and inclusion, not just within the confines of academia and the museum world, but in society at large. Together, museum curators and art historians are well equipped to sensitively interpret the generalized visual discourse on disability as they are keenly aware of the specific objectives of differing image types, and can recover unique faces and voices from history through a much more in-depth knowledge of collections. While, as outlined above, we invite papers on a broad range of subjects related to the representation of disability in the early modern Netherlandish art, preference will be given to those papers which discuss unpublished images and case- studies, and explore the careers of artists with a disability.


Intermedial Collaborations in Artistic Processes


Elizabeth Rice Mattison, University of Toronto, Laura Tillery, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,

Art-making in the early modern period necessitated the collaboration of artists. Beyond assistants helping a master in the workshop, artists also worked together between media. Such coordination across materials might transform a cartoon into a tapestry of gold, silk, and wool threads; painters completed the highly sought-after carved altarpieces produced in Brussels and Antwerp, both through the addition of wings and the application of polychromy to sculpture. This panel explores collaborative and intermedial encounters in Northern Europe, ca. 1400–1700, which brought together two or more artists or art forms. Consideration of such coordination between materials challenges the deeply entrenched disciplinary tendency to prioritize the solitary artist and self-contained material. The competition between the arts, especially painting and sculpture, in early modern art has been the subject of much critical study, and collaborations between famous painters, like Jan Brueghel and Peter Paul Rubens, have recently received attention. In contrast, this panel seeks to consider the ways in which both artists and objects worked across and between different media: how the interactivity of artists, named and unnamed, differed from solitary practice, and how artists variously employed media, including mixed media, multimedia, transmedia, and intermedia.

Rather than considering audiences’ reception of objects resulting from intermedial collaboration, this panel focuses on the creation of these works. Papers will examine the structures that enabled or prevented the production of objects that crossed the boundaries of a single material. The panel seeks to understand the processes that led to the collaboration of art makers across media in early modern Northern Europe.
Proposed topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Studies of multimedia, transmedia, or intermedia objects that explore relationships across and between media. Examples might include painted and carved altarpieces,

stained glass and architecture, books and their covers, or the painting of musical


  • Combining, blending, and fusing of media in the visual and performing arts, such ascivic rituals or pageants;
  • Tracing of artistic processes that require the cooperation of numerous makers,including the collaborative endeavors of print designers and block cutters orwoodworkers’ models for metalwork;
  • Artistic self-consciousness or response to fellow artists;
  • The role of institutions, guilds, and patrons in fostering or limiting collaborations andcombinations of media;
  • Consideration of the historiographic implications of interartistic and intermedialexperiments and the development of the canon of Netherlandish art.PAPER ARTSMedia of Exchange: Drawings and the Transmission of Ideas SESSION ORGANIZERSTalitha Maria G. Schepers, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Erin Travers, Getty Foundation, Los Angeles,

    Much attention has been given to the discussion of prints as mobile images that disseminated ideas across geographic, economic, religious, and linguistic borders. This emphasis on prints’ multiplication and spread overlooks the important contributions of drawings to cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchanges. This panel investigates the vital role of drawings in the transmission of ideas, both within and beyond the early modern Low Countries, and their function as active agents to build networks, document encounters, and facilitate knowledge production. We seek to address questions that explore how and why drawings served as unique objects for the transmission of ideas in the early modern period: How did drawings act as points of contact between people, places, and objects? How were different media, for example, chalk, pen and ink, washes, or metalpoint, used for distinct purposes or merged to make new creations? Finally, in what capacities did drawings function differently from other media?

    We invite papers that consider the unique material and technical qualities of drawings that positioned this medium as a vehicle for intellectual, educational, cultural, and professional transfer and contact. Sketchbooks, for instance, provided the ideal medium for travelling artists to capture ideas, copy down designs or document their surroundings. Meanwhile, travelling artists, merchants and diplomats alike would leave their pictorial marks in the alba amicorum of those they visited abroad. Drawings also enabled knowledge to move between disciplines. For instance, Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678), in his art-theoretical treatise, advises his readers to make copies after his anatomical prints in order to quickly learn the shape and names of the muscles and bones, while medical practitioners made drawings when studying after a cadaver or documenting their patients’ maladies. Another fascinating example is how Rudolf II (1552-1612), in addition to collecting prints, commissioned albums

of drawings from the artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601), who incorporated natural specimens into his watercolour and gouache images. Finally, this session encourages speakers to consider how drawings provided a platform to express encounters and new ideas for non-professional draughtsmen. Think, for instance, of costume albums produced in the Ottoman Empire by Netherlandish travellers and merchants who were less technically experienced, such as Lambert Wijts (active 1572-1573).

Participants are invited to explore artistic exchanges across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary divides. Contributions from other disciplines, such as the history of science, digital art history, and conservation are also welcome. We invite 20-minute papers that explore, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Material preferences;
  • Amateur vs. professional practice;
  • Ephemera;
  • Sketchbook/travelogues/letters;
  • Interdisciplinary exchange;
  • Cross-cultural contact;
  • Knowledge production and/or exchange.PRESENTATIONSpecifying Site: Making Meaning through Space and Place in Northern Art SESSION ORGANIZERSSaskia Beranek, Illinois State University, Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Art Institute of Chicago, jcoutre@artic.eduA number of recent museum renovations, from the Gruuthusemuseum in Bruges to the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, have sought to highlight the early modern context of their buildings for the presentation of their northern European collections. Such gallery environments often feature period tapestries and architectural elements, historic installations of artworks, and minimal signage. And yet, in spite of these ambitious constructions, these galleries remain emulative spaces. In contrast, other institutions have embraced the white-cube approach, one that completely negates any reference to historic context and lays bare the intentions of the institution’s spaces as purely exhibitionary. As scholarship in other fields increasingly considers experience and display, such as Gail Feigenbaum’s Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550-1750 (2014) or Maria Maurer’s Gender, Space and Experience at the Renaissance Court: Performance and Practice at the Palazzo Te (2019), specialists in the art of Northern Europe can and should contend with the distinct range of viewing experiences created in and for northern audiences.

    This panel seeks to explore the relationships between works of art and their original environments in order to answer questions about how aesthetic, spiritual, political, and social aspirations were not internal to discrete objects but contingent on physical surroundings and spatial relationships. How did other sensory experiences, from the tactile

to the olfactory to the auditory, contribute to the artwork’s affect? How was meaning constructed (whether deliberately or by chance) through the juxtaposition of paintings, sculptures, works on paper and decorative arts within a defined space, and how did this meaning inflect a viewer’s understanding of the individual or collective identity of the owner(s)? How did the viewer participate in the owner-constructed ritual of the viewing experience? To what extent do environments privilege specific artworks, and to what extent has that shaped the history of art history? Lastly, how do contemporary scholars and curators responsibly access and present the embodied experience of early modern viewers to 21st-century audiences? We invite papers that present new research on “art in context” across northern Europe between 1400 and 1800 and welcome discussions of the intersections between the built, natural and social environments.


Open Session: Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Netherlandish Art


Daantje Meuwissen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Dan Ewing, Barry University, Miami Shores,

This session welcomes papers on any aspect of Netherlandish art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Open Session: Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Art SESSION ORGANIZERS

Jasper Hillegers, Salomon Lilian Gallery, Amsterdam / Geneva, Angela Jager, Université de Genève,

This session welcomes papers on any aspect of Dutch and Flemish art of the seventeenth century.

Open Session: Art After 1700 SESSION ORGANIZERS

Junko Aono, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Piet Bakker, Independent, Amsterdam,

This session welcomes papers on any aspect of Dutch and Flemish art after 1700, including such topics as the art market, the collecting of art, art criticism and reassessment of recent scholarship on the art of this period.


Women in the Shadow: Female Participation in the Art Market of Early Modern Northern Art 1450-1700


Dagmar Eichberger, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, d.eichberger@zegk.uni-
Birgit Ulrike Münch, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, bmuench@uni-

Martin Warnke’s famous monograph The Court Artist: On the Ancestry of the Modern Artist (1985/1993) lists more than 800 men, but only two female court artists from the pre- modern period, Sofonisba Anguissola and Angelica Kauffmann. In past research, only high- profile women have been of serious interest. Too little archival research has been undertaken in order to find out more about less prominent women artists or art agents. Female court artists were often listed as ladies-of honor in account books of the courts and are thus not easily recognizable. Interestingly, Susanna Horenbout, Levina Teerlinc and Catharina von Hemessen are three of the earliest identifiable female artists working in this environment. Volcxken Diericx, the wife of Hieronymus Cock, comes from a civic context and thus represents a different role model. This session could focus on producers of all
kinds of artefacts, such as paintings from joint workshops, watercolours and sculptures. Collaborations in stained glass as well as printmaking are of similar interest, thus referring to the large field of arts and crafts. Especially in the realm of material culture, this question still remains a desideratum.

We intend to organize our session as ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION. Therefore our Call for Papers looks for short, 10-minutes contributions that highlight a specific aspect of “women in the shadow”. Ideally, the contributions will provide a first impulse by putting forward a hypothesis or a theoretical problem that contributes to a better understanding of this phenomenon and stimulates discussion. It would also be conceivable to present funded projects in this research field that are in the planning or already underway.
The topic addressed is even more relevant since the majority of pre-modern workshops were dependent on the help of female family members. All women who were part of a family business and participated in the art market (e.g. as agents/sales person) should be part of the general discourse. These women are not comprehensible as « great women artists »; in the light of the paradigm shift initiated by Linda Nochlin, it is thus of paramount significance to operate with alternative concepts. On a methodological level, an expanded concept of « the artist » is required in order to make this phenomenon more apparent. The question arises as to whether more evidence can be found in biographies. Claudia Swan pointed out, that women are occasionally mentioned in Album Amicorum, and thus are part

of relevant discourses. Which artifacts bear witness to this situation, for example in visualizations of the Early Modern workshop.
We are interested in all areas of female participation in the pre-modern art market north of the Alps, as well as in the question of women’s networks. How can these women be made more visible in current database research projects on Dutch and German art. Furthermore, we hope that our session will shed new light on the possibilities of female participation in guilds. This includes investigating purely female guilds (e.g. silk embroiderers in Cologne) as well as thinking about various spheres of influence relevant to wives, widows and daughters (e.g. the printing industry in big cities such as Frankfurt, Antwerp, Nuremberg, Amsterdam).

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