Appel à contribution : « ‘Here and Now’: Capturing the Moment in Netherlandish Art (1400–1700) », Amsterdam, 2-5 juin 2021, date limite le 1er juillet 2020
In preparation of the HNA conference 2-5 June 2021, organized by the University of Amsterdam and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, the program committee invites HNA members to submit proposals for paper sessions. The sessions are posted on the HNA website. Please submit your proposal(s) to the session chair(s), not the program committee. Applicants are allowed to submit multiple proposals to different sessions, but please inform all appropriate chairs about this at the time of application. Participants may present only one paper at the conference. Session chairs are not allowed to present a paper in their own session.
As part of 90 minute-sessions, papers should be max. 20 minutes long. Proposals should present new, rather than published research and reflect the current state of scholarship. Please send proposals of max. 500 words, along with a single-paged curriculum vitae, to the session chair(s). Deadline: 1 July 2020. Applicants will be notified by the session chair(s) no later than 1 August 2020.
Program committee: Stijn Bussels, Leiden University (chair) ; Edwin Buijsen, Mauritshuis ; Suzanne Laemers, RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History ; Judith Noorman, University of Amsterdam ; Gabri van Tussenbroek, University of Amsterdam / City of Amsterdam Abbie Vandivere, Mauritshuis and University of Amsterdam.
We can identify an increased focus on the present time as one of the main innovations introduced by Dutch artists from the beginning of the fifteenth century onwards. This focus took shape in several ways. In 1454, George Chastellain of Ghent, the official historiographer of the court of Burgundy, was the first to use in French the word contemporain to explain, at the beginning of his Chronicle, that Charles VII of France and Philip of Burgundy are “contemporains et en égalité d’âge, régnans glorieusement tous deux en ce royaume et dehors, à la dure confusion de leurs ennemis et à la grant joye et félicité de leurs subjets”. He thus created a word that put the actuality and the present world at the core of his historical writing. Twenty years earlier, in Bruges, Jan van Eyck famously signed the Arnolfini Portrait: “Johannes de Eyck fuit hic 1434.” Although written in the past tense and in Latin, the principal purpose of this sentence is to recall the “present” of the conception of his painting, as well as the “presence” of the painter in front of his models and his easel – evoked in addition by the coloured silhouettes visible in the convex mirror. Van Eyck’s painting is one of the first explicit cases in which this Dutch artistic ambition makes acte de présence in artworks in the early modern period. It is a question, in the words of Dutch theoreticians, of studying the world naer het leven, i.e. in an illusionistic way, but also of becoming one with their subject matter. This aspect of artistic practice gains great importance in all pictorial genres. We also encounter it in the inclusion of contemporary costumes, Gothic architecture and views of modern cities in Flemish fifteenth-century religious paintings; or in the development of portraits during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, in which the threequarter view and the gaze towards the spectator blur the boundaries between the image and its viewers. The interest in everyday life, portrayed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish genre paintings, can equally be seen as a result of the increased interest in – and awareness of – the present. Finally, depictions of notable contemporary events, such as disasters (e.g. floods, miracles (stranded whales, comets in the sky), battles, diplomatic visits (joyous entries, visits by foreign princes) or festivities, also illustrate a deliberate focus on the present – besides forming valuable documents for historians.
We welcome interdisciplinary propositions for case studies as well as general reflections. Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
- State of the research on the history of present time in Dutch art history;
- Cross-reflections on how Netherlandish historians, poets, writers and artists described their own present tim
- Examples of an awareness of the present in artworks;
- The depiction of contemporary events;
- Theoretical reflections in (art) literature on the present in relation to the visual arts.