The Rubenshuis & Rubenianum are presenting the recent publication of two books by former Rubenianum Visiting Researchers: Adam Eaker and Abigail D. Newman. Both books focus on the impact of Flemish painters across Europe (abstracts below).
Program – 12 March 2023 (11:00 CET)
Introduction – Bert Watteeuw, Rubenshuis & Rubenianum
Short presentation – Adam Eaker, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Short presentation – Abigail D. Newman, Rubenhuis & Rubenianum, University of Antwerp, and Ghent University
Response – Koen Jonckheere, Universiteit Gent
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Van Dyck and the Making of English Portraiture
As a courtier, figure of fashion and object of erotic fascination, Anthony van Dyck transformed the professional identities available to English artists. By making his portrait sittings into a form of courtly spectacle, Van Dyck inspired poets and playwrights at the same time that he offended guardians of traditional hierarchies. A self‑consciously Van Dyckian lineage of artists, many of them women, extends from his lifetime to the end of the eighteenth century and beyond.
Recovering the often surprising responses of both writers and painters to Van Dyck’s portraits, this book provides an alternative perspective on English art’s historical self‑consciousness. Built around a series of close readings of artworks and texts ranging from poems and plays to early biographies and studio gossip, it traces the reception of Van Dyck’s art on the part of artists like Mary Beale, William Hogarth and Richard and Maria Cosway to bestow a historical specificity on the frequent claim that Van Dyck founded an English school of portraiture.
Painting Flanders Abroad: Flemish Art and Artists in Seventeenth-Century Madrid
Abigail D. Newman
In Painting Flanders Abroad: Flemish Art and Artists in Seventeenth-Century Madrid, Flemish immigrants and imported Flemish paintings cross the paths of Spanish kings, collectors, dealers, and artists in the Spanish court city, transforming the development and nature of seventeenth-century Spanish painting. Examining these Flemish transplants and the traces their interactions left in archival documents, collection inventories, art treatises, and most saliently Spanish “Golden Age” paintings, this book portrays Spanish society grappling with a long tradition of importing its favorite paintings while struggling to reimagine its own visual idiom. In the process, the book historicizes questions of style, quality, immigration, mobility, identity, and cultural exchange to define what the evolving and amorphous visual concept of “Flemishness” meant to Spanish viewers in an era long before the emergence of nationalism.