Antwerp Art after Iconoclasm

Experiments in Decorum, 1566-1585

Koenraad Jonckheere

View Inside Price: $150.00


February 19, 2013
312 pages, 9 x 11
150 color + 50 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300188691
HC - Paper over Board

Distributed for Mercatorfonds

The beeldenstorm, or the Iconoclastic Fury, that raged throughout the Low Countries in 1566 is a key concept in Netherlandish history. This popular uprising, which was partially grafted on Protestant ideas, has traditionally and unquestioningly been considered a turning point in the history of the Low Countries. It is all the more striking, therefore, that this occurrence has received scant attention in art history and that there has been little interest in the development of painting just after the beeldenstorm and before the advent of the great Baroque masters.

Featuring previously unpublished materials, Antwerp Art after Iconoclasm investigates how the esteemed painters of the period—including Adriaen Thomasz Key, Maarten de Vos, Frans Pourbus the Elder, and Michiel Coxcie—sought a new visual idiom. This study explains why this period of Netherlandish history should be considered an important turning point in the broader context of art history. It demonstrates that the era's paintings represent a subtle but nonetheless important reinterpretation of the traditional, religious iconography and style, which served as the starting point of Netherlandish Baroque style.

Koenraad Jonckheere is assistant professor at Ghent University.

“Magisterial . . . [a] visual delight . . . a stimulating read . . . a thoughtful, penetrating consideration of a contentious period . . . Jonckheere has advanced our knowledge and our re-thinking of the late sixteenth century in Flanders by a quantum leap.”—Larry Silver, HNA (Historians of Netherlandish Art) Review of Books

‘Although the reader may not agree with all or even many of Jonckheere’s interpretations, his thesis that Antwerp artists in the first two decades after 1566 were looking for solutions in the conflict surrounding religious imagery is compelling.’—Hilbert Lootsma, Burlington Magazine.