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Catalysts of knowledge : artists' and artisans' collections in early modern Antwerp

Marlise Rijks (UGent)
(2016)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) and Sven Dupré
Organization
Project
Artists' collections in the early modern Netherlands
Abstract
This dissertation tells the story of the collections of artists and artisans in early seventeenth-century Antwerp. Based upon archival research of probate inventories, it turns out that many artists and artisans had rich collections containing diverse objects (of art, artifice, naturalia, exotica, and scientific instruments) and that belonged to a community of knowledgeable liefhebbers (or, at the very least, aspired to be part of this community). They operated in a tight network, in which erudite conversations, hands-on experience, and visual literacy were the standard. This is yet another argument in favor of the thesis of cities as ‘hubs of knowledge’ in early modern Europe, but it also uncovers new specificities about how the material world was understood in collectors’ rooms. Religious debates about the status and nature of material objects are crucial to understand Antwerp’s culture of collecting. Also, it is argued that collections served as catalysts of knowledge. Like a chemical catalyst, a collection can be thought of as an additional substance that connects two or more things that were previously separate, and causes or accelerates a reaction between them. The catalyst itself is not consumed; it is not part of the reaction, but merely provides the connection.
Keywords
collecting, Antwerp, seventeenth century, artisans, artists, knowledge, art, gallery pictures, material culture, iconoclasm, image debates

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Rijks, Marlise. 2016. “Catalysts of Knowledge : Artists’ and Artisans' Collections in Early Modern Antwerp”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
APA
Rijks, M. (2016). Catalysts of knowledge : artists’ and artisans' collections in early modern Antwerp. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Rijks M. Catalysts of knowledge : artists’ and artisans' collections in early modern Antwerp. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy; 2016.
MLA
Rijks, Marlise. “Catalysts of Knowledge : Artists’ and Artisans' Collections in Early Modern Antwerp.” 2016 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{7138589,
  abstract     = {This dissertation tells the story of the collections of artists and artisans in early seventeenth-century Antwerp. Based upon archival research of probate inventories, it turns out that many artists and artisans had rich collections containing diverse objects (of art, artifice, naturalia, exotica, and scientific instruments) and that belonged to a community of knowledgeable liefhebbers (or, at the very least, aspired to be part of this community). They operated in a tight network, in which erudite conversations, hands-on experience, and visual literacy were the standard. This is yet another argument in favor of the thesis of cities as {\textquoteleft}hubs of knowledge{\textquoteright} in early modern Europe, but it also uncovers new specificities about how the material world was understood in collectors{\textquoteright} rooms. Religious debates about the status and nature of material objects are crucial to understand Antwerp{\textquoteright}s culture of collecting. Also, it is argued that collections served as catalysts of knowledge. Like a chemical catalyst, a collection can be thought of as an additional substance that connects two or more things that were previously separate, and causes or accelerates a reaction between them. The catalyst itself is not consumed; it is not part of the reaction, but merely provides the connection.},
  author       = {Rijks, Marlise},
  keyword      = {collecting,Antwerp,seventeenth century,artisans,artists,knowledge,art,gallery pictures,material culture,iconoclasm,image debates},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {X, 380},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Catalysts of knowledge : artists' and artisans' collections in early modern Antwerp},
  year         = {2016},
}