Conference | Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 24, 2015


Slang met een vlinder, anoniem, Johan Teyler, 1688–1698, gravure en ets à la poupée in blauw, rood, groen, bruin en zwart, met de hand gekleurd in rood, groen en zwart, h 173mm × b 488mm.

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Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1560–1730
Rijksmuseum and Trippenhuis, Amsterdam, 17–18 September 2015

Registration due by 14 September 2015

Organized by the Rijksmuseum and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands

Prior to the eighteenth century, ‘art’ and ‘science’ were often considered complementary, rather than opposite, expressions of human culture. They enlightened one another: through comparable curiosity, knowledge and observation of the world, but also in their resulting products: paintings, prints, books, maps, anatomical preservations, life casts, and many others. Scholars, craftsmen and artists often engaged in observing and representing nature, in close cooperation. During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, it was the Low Countries that emerged as a center of artistic and scientific innovation and creativity, and as central points in the exchange of goods, knowledge and skill. It is certainly no coincidence that the outburst of artistic productivity in the Netherlands, both the South and the North, coincided with the ‘Scientific Revolution’.

The conference Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries wants to contribute to the dialogue between experts in the history of art, historians of science, and all those interested in the visual and material culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Netherlands. The conference focuses on historical objects, images, works or art or texts that represent the combination of art and science, and looks at their origin and intended audience. Sessions are, amongst others, devoted to the culture of collecting; modes of representing living nature; the influence of new optical devices on the arts; and the impact of travels abroad on representations of the world. Although the emphasis of the conference will be on the Low Countries, both the South and the North, several contributions also include developments elsewhere in Europe. This way, it hopes to offer a broad overview of the way in which art and science came together in the early modern Low Countries. Admission and registration: €95 (both days), students: €45.

Keynote Speakers: Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University, New York) and Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge)

Organizing Committee: Eric Jorink and Ilja Nieuwland (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague), Jan de Hond, Gregor Weber, Gijs van der Ham, and Pieter Roelofs (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

Scientific Committee: Joanna Woodall (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Karin Leonhard (Universität Konstanz), and Tim Huisman (Museum Boerhaave Leiden)

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T H U R S D A Y ,  1 7  S E P T E M B E R ,  2 0 1 5
Auditorium Rijksmuseum

9.00  Registration and coffee

9.30  Opening by Taco Dibbits (Director of collections, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

9.40  Eric Jorink (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague), ‘Introduction: Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries’

10.00  Keynote Lecture
• Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University)

10.45  Coffee

11.00  Session I: Representing Nature in New Media
• Marisa Anne Bass (Harvard University), `Portentous Nature: Frogs, Fossils, and Divine Disasters in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Antwerp’
• Marrigje Rikken (Leiden University), ‘Exotic Animals in Flemish Art: Representing New Species in a New Medium around 1600’
• Tonny Beentjes, Arie Pappot and Lisa Wiersma (Rijksmuseum / University Amsterdam), “Blommen ende Beestjens af te gieten’: Life-casting in the Netherlands’

12.15  Intermezzo I
Life-casting experiments Rijksmuseum

12.25  Lunch and opportunity to visit highlighted objects in the Rijksmuseum

14.00  Session II: Collecting and Communities of Discourse
• Nadia Baadj (Bern University), ‘The Cabinetization of Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries’
• Paul van Duin (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam), ‘A unique Matera Medica Cabinet with a Miniature Apothecary’
• Bert van der Roemer (University of Amsterdam), ‘Dutch Collectors and the Metaphor of Nature as an Embroidery’

15.15  Intermezzo II: Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing
(a.o. Presentation microscope and camera obscura by Museum Boerhaave Leiden)

15.35  Tea

16.00  Session III: The Body and the Eye
• Daniel Margócsy (Hunter College, City University of New York), tba
• Huib J. Zuidervaart (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague), ‘Mathematical and Optical knowledge in mid-17th-century Delft’
• Katrien Vanagt, (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague), ‘Vopiscus Fortunatus Plempius and the Working of the Eye’, followed by the movie ‘In Waking Hours’

17.15  Drinks

F R I D A Y ,  1 8  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 5
Trippenhuis (Seat Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences)

9.30  Welcome

9.40  Session IV: Representing Anatomy (of animals and humans)
• Lisa Bourla (University of Pennsylvania), ‘Art, Anatomy, and Pedagogy between Flanders and Florence, ca. 1600’
• Gaëtane Maes (Université de Lille), ‘Between Nature, Anatomy and Art: Crispijn de Passe’s Methods to Draw Animals’
• Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Picturing Descartes’s Man: The Illustrations of the Traité de l’homme, 1662 and 1664’

10.55  Coffee

11.15  Keynote Lecture
• Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge), ‘Early Modern Epistemic Images’

12.00  Lunch and poster-presentations

13.00  Session V: The Small World
• Floriana Giallombardo (Univerity of Palermo), ‘Paolo Boccone’s Recherches et observations naturelles (Amsterdam, 1674): European Curiosity, Microscopic Anatomy and the Enigma of Figured Stones’
• Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Jeroen Stumpel, (University of Groningen / University of Utrecht), ‘Oil and Observation: Vision and Science in Willem Beurs’ Treatise on Oil Painting De groote waereld in ‘t kleen geschildert
• Kay Etheridge (Gettysburg College), ‘Maria Sibylla Merian: Envisioning the Natural World’

14.15  Intermezzo III
10-minute presentations

14.35  Tea and poster-presentations

15.00  Session VI: The World at Large: Exploring Oversea
• Claudia Swan (Northwestern University, Chicago), “Al hetwelcke my een groote verwonderinge was’: Birds of Paradise in Dutch art, science, and trade’
• Thijs Weststeijn (University of Amsterdam), ‘The Chinese Challenge: East Asia in Nicolaas Witsen’s Collection’
• Esther Helena Arens (University of Cologne), ‘Between the Exact and the Economic: Material and Illustration in Rumphius’ Rariteitkamer and Kruid-boek, 1670s to 1740s’

16.15  Intermezzo IV
10-minute presentations

16.35  Discussion and concluding remarks

17.00  Drinks

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