On 17 and 18 March 2022, the concluding conference of the research project “A Golden Age? Rethinking 17th-century Dutch painting”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, was held at the University of Geneva. The goal of this conference was to understand how the notion of Dutch art may have been defined not only from within, but also through the eyes of others, with varying degrees of awareness and agency on the Dutch side. Participants discussed the foreign perception of Dutch artists, artworks, and the Dutch art market and brought perspective onto the project’s overarching theme of identity, that we have explored during the first three conferences of our project.
The workgroup is now looking to publish the conference proceedings within the Brepols Collection Gouden Eeuw: New Perspectives on Dutch Seventeenth-Century Art, with additional contributions that would enrich our understanding of what this “outsider’s gaze” may have been. How did foreigners perceive, react to, and interact with Dutch art, artists, and the art market? How did the Dutch incorporate these external insights into their visual culture? Proposals should aim at answering these questions through specific case studies, with special attention given to the potential influence of the country of origin and individual background on these views.
The workgroup invites contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following aspects:
- How were Dutch artists perceived in the seventeenth century?
- Which masters were part of the image of Dutch art abroad and in what way?
- To which past or present masters were Dutch artists compared?
- What was the role of art literature and artists’ mobility in these dynamics?
- What qualities or flaws were associated with Dutch artworks (painting, engraving, drawing, sculpture, architecture, etc.)?
- Did these considerations depend on the outsiders’ social status or geographical origin?
- How was the diversity of artistic genres, one of the hallmarks of seventeenth- century Dutch production, perceived by foreign artists, collectors, agents, andmerchants?
- Through what means did foreigners get to know Dutch art (engravings, exports, testimonies, networks, etc.)?
- What place did Dutch history paintings, central in foreign artistic production, occupy in these discourses?
Dutch Artistic and Economic Practices
- To what extent was the Dutch artistic situation compared to that in other countries? And, if so, what arguments were put forward to mark the
similarities or differences?
- Did outsiders perceive a specifically Dutch model in the workshop organization, the kinds of artistic production or the merchant networks?
- How did they react to technical, iconographical, and other Dutch artistic innovations?
- How were they involved in the Dutch art market and how did they perceive it?
- Are Dutch art and artists treated as a coherent and recognizable group
(“school”) or can we identify an awareness of regional differences?
Proposals should consist of a title and an abstract (max. 300 words), a selective bibliography on the subject and a CV. Please send your proposal by 30 June to all
- Drs. Susanne Bartels, University of Geneva, University of Amsterdam:
- Dr. Angela Jager, RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Drs. Lucie Rochard, University of Geneva, University of Lille:
Accepted authors will be notified by mid-July. The deadline for the articles (max. 8000 words, footnotes included) is 30 November. All articles will be submitted to a double peer-review process. Revised articles should be submitted by spring 2023.