In the Dutch Republic, in its Baroque forms of art, two aesthetic formal modes, theatre and drama, were dynamically related to two political concepts, event and moment. The Dutch version of the Baroque is characterised by a fascination with this world regarded as one possibility out of a plurality of potential worlds. It is this fascination that explains the coincidence in the Dutch Republic, strange at first sight, of Baroque exuberance, irregularity, paradox, and vertigo with scientific rigor, regularity, mathematical logic, and rational distance. In giving a new historical perspective on the Baroque as a specifically Dutch republican one, this study also offers a new and systematic approach towards the interactions among the notions of theatricality, dramatisation, moment, and event: concepts that are currently at the centre of philosophical and political debates but the modern articulation of which can best be considered in the explorations of history and world in the Dutch Republic."Our idea of Dutch history will never recover from reading this book. As in Korsten's conception of the Baroque, reality is bifurcated, sudden possibilities are revealed and must be faced. Instead of the staid prudence and moderation that make our image of Dutch history both comforting and numbing, Korsten presents us with the harsh and theatrical reality of a Dutch Baroque. Tyranny, slavery, execution, colonialism, censorship and obscenity constitute a lurid new world view, made up of strangely familiar remnants of the old. It bears a striking resemblance to the vivid colours of the many paintings he uses to demonstrate his argument, once the thick layers of yellowed varnish have been removed from them. It is fantastic and bizarre and leaves the reader perplexed and disturbed. " - Inger Leemans, professor of Cultural History, VU Amsterdam"This is an original and innovative book that will take the study of Dutch culture to a different level. It is an excellent example of the relevance of analysing early modern literature and the visual arts through the lens of 20th century philosophy all the while remaining historically rooted." - Hanneke Grootenboer, professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford"The publication of Korsten's book is a true event in its own right. A Dutch Republican Baroque urges us to rethink some of the more comforting myths about our 'golden' seventeenth century. The book will get on the nerves and under the skin of many of its readers: I take that as a sign of its unquestionable quality.The book combines deft readings of the works of Dutch seventeenth-century painters (Hals), poets (Huygens), playwrights (Vondel) and philosophers (Spinoza), with an astute conceptual analysis of a historical moment: the very beginnings of the man-made modern age. A Dutch Republican Baroque is a unique feat, yet everything one would expect of a truly good book: Korsten's work is provocative, wide-ranging, astute and inspiring. It debunks myths and opens up new avenues of exploration. It reads the past against the grain and in doing so sheds light on our present. The book's analyses of the early-modern Dutch fascination and discomfort with issues of slavery and torture will force us to reconsider our own investment in times of exploitation and terror." - Jürgen Pieters, professor of Literature, Ghent University
Gathered in honor of John Michael Montias (1928–2005), the foremost scholar on Johannes Vermeer and a pioneer in the study of the socioeconomic dimensions of art, the essays in In His Milieu are an essential contribution to the study of the social functions of making, collecting, displaying, and donating art. The nearly forty essays here by—all internationally recognized experts in the fields of art history and the economics of art—are especially revealing about the Renaissance and Baroque eras and present new material on such artists as Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Rubens, and da Vinci.
This collection brings together art historians, museum professionals, conservators, and conservation scientists whose work involves Rembrandt van Rijn and associated artists such as Gerrit Dou, Jan Lievens, and Ferdinand Bol. The range of subjects considered is wide: from the presentation of convincing evidence that Rembrandt and his contemporary Frans Hals rubbed elbows in the Amsterdam workshop of Hendrick Uylenburgh to critical reassessments of the role of printmaking in Rembrandt's studio, his competition with Lievens as a landscape painter, his reputation as a collector, and much more. Developed from a series of international conferences devoted to charting new directions in Rembrandt research, these essays illuminate the current state of Rembrandt studies and suggest avenues for future inquiry."Skilfully chosen and edited by Stephanie Dickey, these papers were presented at the highly successful conferences on Rembrandt and his pupils held at Herstmonceaux Castle in recent years. This is cutting-edge Rembrandt scholarship full of valuable insights and new discoveries." -- Christopher Brown, Professor of Netherlandish Art, University of Oxford"[This book] contains a wealth of fresh and lucidly argued insights, not only into Rembrandt's art, thinking and practice: notably, a significant place is reserved for such artists as Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Gerrit Dou, Johannes van Vliet and, unexpectedly, Frans Hals. In these thoughtful reflections on the artist and his milieu, the reader will find many generally accepted notions critically revised." - Eric Jan Sluijter, emeritus professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam
"Singularly interesting and stimulating. . . . A passionate and original work of scholarship."—Richard Wollheim, Times Literary Supplement
"With the publication [of Rembrandt's Enterprise], Svetlana Alpers has firmly established herself in the front ranks of art historians at work today. . . . The book is not a long one. Yet, there is more perceptive scholarship packed into its four chapters than is typically found in a whole shelf of the more common outpourings of academic writers. Rembrandt's Enterprise is less a book of archival discoveries than of fresh interpretation of the revered artist and his milieu. . . . Alpers makes us see how Rembrandt's complex and enormously popular art has embedded itself in our ways of thinking about who we are and how we live, even in the late 20th century."—Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Herald Examiner