New Book | Confronting the Golden Age

Posted in books by Editor on April 29, 2014

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Junko Aono, Confronting the Golden Age: Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting 1680–1750 (Amsterdam University Press, 2014), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-9089645685, $99.

9789089645685Dutch genre paintings of the period between 1680 and 1750 have historically been cast as uninspired repetitions of art from the mid-seventeenth-century Dutch Golden Age. In Confronting the Golden Age, Junko Aono reconsiders these oft-dismissed paintings, repositioning them as dynamic works that played an instrumental role in the canonization of the art of the Golden Age.

Drawing on archival documents, sales catalogs, and other texts, Aono closely analyzes a range of genre paintings—many of them handsomely reproduced in this volume. In the process, she deepens our understanding of these works and reveals how they illuminate the relationships among painters, collectors, and the dominant artistic currents of the time.

Junko Aono is associate professor of art history at Kyushu University, Fukuoka in Japan.


I. Confronting the Heritage of the Golden Age: The Situation around Dutch Genre Painting 1680–1750

1.  Painter and collector in transition: the search for a new relationship
2. The collector ’s taste: in praise of seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting
3. Popular subject matter of genre painting in eighteenth-century collections
4. The painter ’s choice: updating seventeenth-century genre painting

II.  Reproducing the Golden Age: Copies after Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

1. Commercial misuse of copies: discussion between Johan van Gool and Gerard Hoet
2. Copies as substitutes for seventeenth-century painting
3. The painter ’s choice: in search of a favorite painte and subject matter
4. Case study: the candlelight scene as popular subject
5. The function of copying: looking back to the Golden Age

III. Emulating the Golden Age: The Painter’s Choice of Motifs and Subject Matter in Dutch Genre Painting of the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

1. The painter ’s choice of subject matter
2. Competing with the ‘old masters’: pendants by Gerard Dou, Willem van Mieris and Hieronymus van der Mij
3. ‘Pleasurable enjoyment of dissimilar similarity’

IV. Ennobling Daily Life: A Question of Refinement in Early Eighteenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting

1. Gerard de Lairesse’s attempt to ennoble genre painting
2. The painter ’s practice of idealizing figures in genre painting
3. To meet new demands of collectors: seeking ideal versatility

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