Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting

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Its Stylistic and Thematic Evolution

Wayne Franits


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A lavishly illustrated study of the charming genre paintings of Vermeer and his contemporaries

The appealing genre paintings of great seventeenth-century Dutch artists—Vermeer, Steen, de Hooch, Dou, and others—have long enjoyed tremendous popularity. this comprehensive book explores the evolution of genre painting throughout the Dutch Golden Age, beginning in the early 1600's and continuing through the opening years of the next century. Wayne Franits, a well-known scholar of Dutch genre painting, offers a wealth of information about these works as well as about seventeenth-century Dutch culture, its predilections, and its prejudices.

The author approaches genre paintings from a variety of perspectives, examining their reception among contemporary audiences and setting the works in political, cultural, and economic context. The works emerge as distinctly conventional images, Franits shows, as genre artists continually replicated specific styles, motifs, and a surprisingly restricted number of themes over the course of several generations. With hundreds of illustrations and a full representation of major artists and cities where genre painting flourished, this book will delight students, scholars, and general readers alike.

Wayne Franits is professor of fine arts at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books and many articles and reviews on Dutch art of the Golden Age.

“[A] masterful and essential survey . . . well organized. . . . To arrive at his nuanced and full interpretations, Franits judiciously uses Dutch literature, printed imagery, and historical circumstances. . . . Essential.”—Choice

""The most comprehensive overview of such images to date."—Art Bulletin

"This excellent survey of Dutch genre painting of the Golden Age is a measured and thoughtful work, written by a leading expert in the study of this field. . . . Franits's text is meticulously documented, with a complete bibliography, yet retains an extraordinary freshness of insight and sensitivity to nuances of style."—Jane Campbell Hutchinson, Sixteenth Century Journal

Selected as a 2006 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300143362
Publication Date: August 25, 2008
320 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 1/4
230 b/w + 100 color illus.