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The Erotics of Looking: Early Modern Netherlandish Art

Angela Vanhaelen (Editor), Bronwen Wilson (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-46525-7
218 pages
July 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
The Erotics of Looking: Early Modern Netherlandish Art (1118465253) cover image

The Erotics of Looking: Early Modern Netherlandish Art presents a collection of provocative essays that explore the material qualities of early Dutch art to reveal ways new forms of visual imagery solicit a beholder’s involvement.

  • Explores how descriptive pictures during the early modern Dutch art period operated as social things and were designed to pleasurably engage the eye and prompt discussion and debate
  • Shows how these works potentially raised ethical and political questions about the interconnectedness of engaging with pictures and the material world
  • Represents a major contribution to the field of early modern Netherlandish art and to general debates about the status and functions of descriptive art
  • Features essays addressing a variety of aspects of the field, from the historiography of Dutch art to closely attentive readings of particular works
  • Crafts an original theoretical framework by applying recent insights about the making of early modern publics and the study of material things to the analysis of Netherlandish art
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6 Notes on Contributors

8 Chapter 1 The Erotics of Looking: Materiality, Solicitation and Netherlandish Visual Culture
Angela Vanhaelen and Bronwen Wilson

20 Chapter 2 Beer and Loafing in Antwerp
Bret Rothstein

42 Chapter 3 Perspectives in Flux: Viewing Dutch Pictures in Real Time
Celeste Brusati

68 Chapter 4 Entropic Segers
Christopher P. Heuer

92 Chapter 5 The Turn of the Skull: Andreas Vesalius and the Early Modern Memento Mori
Rose Marie San Juan

110 Chapter 6 Laying the Table: The Procedures of Still Life
Joanna Woodall

138 Chapter 7 Boredom’s Threshold: Dutch Realism
Angela Vanhaelen

158 Chapter 8 Response: Art/Matter(s)
Larry Silver

170 Chapter 9 Response: On the Impulse of Mapping, or How a Flat Earth Theory of Dutch Maps Distorts the Thickness and Pictorial Proclivities of Early Modern Dutch Cartography (and Misses Its Picturing Impulse)
Benjamin Schmidt

184 Chapter 10 Response: Reflections on Temporality in Netherlandish Art
Lyle Massey

192 Chapter 11 Response: The Work of Realism
Bronwen Wilson

209 Index

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Angela Vanhaelen is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. Her publications include The Wake of Iconoclasm: Painting the Church in the Dutch Republic (2012).

Bronwen Wilson is Professor and Head of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia. Her publications include The World in Venice: Print, the City, and Early Modern Identity (2005).

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“I highly recommend the ground breaking and landmark book The Erotics of Looking: Early Modern Netherlandish Art edited by Angela Vanhaelen, Ph.D., and Bronwen Wilson, Ph.D., to any students of art and art history, academics in the field, art gallery owners and managers, art collectors and dealers, and to anyone interested in the power of the senses and sensuality found in the interaction between artist and viewer. This book will transform the way the artists of the early modern Dutch period approached their vision, their works, and their engagement with the viewer of the paintings.”  (Blog Business World, 16 August 2013)

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