Essays in Context

Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych

Edited by John Oliver Hand and Ron Spronk


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With contributions by Marina Belozerskaya, Till-Holger Borchert, Lorne Campbell, Reindert Falkenburg, Ivan Gaskell, Laura D. Gelfand, Peter Klein, Maximiliaan P. J. Martens, Carol J. Purtle, Victor M. Schmidt, Hugo van der Velden, Hélène Verougstraete, and Yvonne Yiu.
Published to accompany Prayers and Portraits (see above), this book features essays by leading scholars that explore a wide range of topics relating to 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish diptychs. The text addresses the practical and social uses of the diptych, the history and origins of the format, and the philosophical issues related to the practice of researching these diptychs. It also analyzes the devotional function of these works in the context of contemporary texts and religious practices in northern Europe.

John Oliver Hand is Curator of Northern Renaissance Paintings and Catherine A. Metzger is Senior Conservator of Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Ron Spronk is Associate Curator for Research at the Straus Center for Conservation, Harvard University Art Museums.


Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (March 3 – May 27, 2007)

National Gallery of Art, Washington (November 12, 2006 – February 4, 2007) 

"A valuable selection of essays that address both the visual complexities and the diverse function of diptychs."—Henry M. Luttikhuizen, CAA Reviews

"Essays in Context: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych presents thirteen studies on one of the more distinctive and important types of art produced in the Netherlands during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries: the painted devotional diptych. . . . As a whole, The book presents solid contribution to the field."—Stanley E. Weed, The Sixteenth Century Journal
ISBN: 9780300121407
Publication Date: December 28, 2006
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Harvard University Art Museums
256 pages, 7 x 10
95 b/w + 14 color illus.
Hans Holbein

Paintings, Prints and Reception

Edited by Mark Roskill and John Oliver Hand; Contributors:

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Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman

Technical Studies

Luuk Hoogstede, Ron Spronk, Robert G.

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Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman

Catalogue Raisonné

Matthijs Ilsink, Jos Koldeweij, Ron Spronk, Luuk Hoogstede,

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Michel Sittow

Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe

John Oliver Hand and Greta Koppel; With Till-Holger Borcher

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National Gallery of Art

Master Paintings from the Collection

John Oliver Hand; With a foreword by Earl A. Powell III

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