Parution : Ralph Dekoninck, Agnès Guiderdoni and Walter Melion, Quid est secretum?, Leyde, Brill, 2020

Quid est secretum? Visual Representation of Secrets in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700 is the companion volume to Intersections 65.1, Quid est sacramentum? Visual Representation of Sacred Mysteries in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1700. Whereas the latter volume focused on sacramental mysteries, the current one examines a wider range of secret subjects. The book examines how secret knowledge was represented visually in ways that both revealed and concealed the true nature of that knowledge, giving and yet impeding access to it. In the early modern period, the discursive and symbolical sites for the representation of secrets were closely related to epistemic changes that transformed conceptions of the transmissibility of knowledge.


Ralph Dekoninck is Professor of early modern art history at the Université catholique de Louvain, co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Cultural Analysis (GEMCA) and member of the Royal Academy of Belgium. His research focuses on early modern image theories and practices, specifically in their relation to spirituality, on Baroque festival culture, on the relationships between art and liturgy, and on the iconography of martyrdom. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Ad Imaginem. Statuts, fonctions et usages de l’image dans la littérature spirituelle jésuite du XVIIe siècle (Geneva: 2005) and La vision incarnante et l’image incarnée. Santi di Tito et Caravage (Paris: 2016).

Agnès Guiderdoni is a Senior Research Associate of the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (Belgium) and a Professor of early modern literature at the Université catholique de Louvain, where she is the co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Cultural Analysis (GEMCA). Originally a specialist of 17th century French literature, she more particularly studies emblematic literature and the field of figurative representations ( imago figurate). She has published many articles on these topics, as well as on theoretical aspects of text-image relationships. Among her publications: in 2017, a co-edited special issue of the journal La Part de l’Œil on Force de figures. Le travail de la figurabilité entre texte et image, and a volume on Maximilianus Sandaeus, un jésuite entre mystique et symbolique in 2019, also co-edited.

Walter S. Melion, Ph.D. (1988), Emory University, is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History and Director of the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. He is the author of numerous articles and books on Northern art and art theory, including The Meditative Art: Studies on the Northern Devotional Print, 1500-1625 (Saint Joseph’s University Press, 2010).



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