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Confronting the Golden Age

Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting 1680-1750

Junko Aono

234 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Is it possible to talk about Dutch art after 1680 outside the prevailing critical framework of the "age of decline"? Although an increasing number of studies are being published on the art and society of this period, genre painting of this era continues to be dismissed as an uninspired repetition of the art of the second and third quarters of the seventeenth century, known as the Dutch Golden Age.
In this stunningly illustrated study, Aono reconsiders the long-dismissed genre painting from 1680-1750. Grounded in close analysis of a range of paintings and primary sources, this study illuminates the main features of genre painting, highlighting the ways in which these elements related to the painters' close connections to, on the one hand, collectors, and on the other, to classicism, one of the dominant artistic styles of that time.
Three case studies, richly supplemented by a catalogue of 29 selected painters and their work, offer the first clear picture of the genre painting of the period while providing new insights into painters' activities, collectors' tastes and the contemporary art market.
Author Bio
Junko Aono is professor of Art History, at Meiji Gakuin Univeristy, Tokyo, Japan and received her PhD on Dutch genre painting 1680-1750 from the University of Amsterdam in 2011. Her publications include articles in major scientific magazines, such as Oud Holland and Simiolus, and contributions to exhibitions such as Milkmaid by Vermeer and Dutch Genre Painting (Tokyo, 2007) and Nicolaas Verkolje (Enschede, 2011).