On September 17 and 18, 2015, Amsterdam is to host the conference 'Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries (ca 1560-1730)', 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.
- Pamela H. Smith, Columbia University, New York
- Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge
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)
Joanna Woodall (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Karin Leonhard (Universität Konstanz), Tim Huisman (Museum Boerhaave Leiden)
The first day of the conference (September 17) takes place in the Rijksmuseum, the second day (September 18) in the Trippenhuis (Seat of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), both in Amsterdam.
17 September, Auditorium Rijksmuseum
Registration and coffee
Opening by Taco Dibbits (Director of collections, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)
Eric Jorink (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague)
Introduction. Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries
Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University, New York)
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
Intermezzo I: Life-casting experiments Rijksmuseum
12.25-14.00 Lunch, and opportunity to visit highlighted objects Rijksmuseum.
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
Intermezzo II: Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing
(a.o. Presentation microscope and camera obscura by Museum Boerhaave Leiden)
Session III: The Body and the Eye
Daniel Margócsy (University of New York)
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'
18 September, Trippenhuis (Seat Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences)
Session IV: Representing Anatomy (of animals and humans)
Lisa Bourla (University of Pennsylvania)
Art, Anatomy, and Pedagogy between Flanders and Florence c. 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
Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge)
Early Modern Epistemic Images
12.00-13.00 Lunch, poster-presentations
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
Intermezzo III (10-minute presentations)
14.35-15.00 Tea, poster-presentations
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
Intermezzo IV (10-minute presentations)
Discussion and concluding remarks
17.00-18.00 Drinks; poster-presentations
For a tentative program please consult: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/art-and-science
Admission and registration:
€ 95 (both days); Students: € 45.
Register at: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/art-and-science
For more information:
Ilja Nieuwland, ilja.nieuwlandhuygens.knaw.nl
CONF: Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries (Amsterdam, 17-18 Sep 15). In: ArtHist.net, Jun 26, 2015 (accessed Feb 28, 2021), <https://arthist.net/archive/10612>.