The "portrait historié" in religious context and its condemnation
Turnhout : Brepols
InMuseum at the Crossroads, (2010)Van der Stighelen, Katlijne; Magnus, Hannelore; Watteeuw, Bert (ed.), Pokerfaced: Flemish and Dutch Baroque faces unveiled, pp. 109-124
Pokerface: Flemish and Dutch Baroque faces unveiled, 7 december 2006
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Van der Stighelen, Katlijne
Museum at the Crossroads
Van der Stighelen, Katlijne; Magnus, Hannelore; Watteeuw, Bert (ed.), Pokerfaced: Flemish and Dutch Baroque faces unveiled
SubjectMemory: Cultural and Religious Identities; Het bijbelse portrait historié in de Nederlandse schilderkunst van de zestiende en zeventiende eeuw
The first part of this article examines different types of portraits in the guise of religious figures that came into existence, and sets forth the reasons why the appearance of these disguised portraits in a sacred context was held in abhorrence in early modern times. Various comments on this phenomenon by the most prominent theologians and polemecists of the sixteenth and seventeenth century (Murner, Savonarola, Erasmus, Molanus, Borromeo, Paleotti, among others) are drawn together in order to analyse the overall nature of the condemnation of portraits in the guise of holy figures. The scope of this paper is confined to the judgement of these particular portraits by ecclesiastic writers in Europe between 1500-1650, and more distinctively, to the restrictions imposed on portraits by local church authorities in the Southern Netherlands. In the second part these regulations will be connected to actual portrait conventions in Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. Special attention is paid to the the Provincial Council of Mechlin of 1607 and subsequent synods and decrees that tried to put an end to the dipiction of private persons as part of a religious painting that served as an altarpiece.
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