Parution : Bruno Blondé et Jeroen Puttevils (dir.), Antwerp in the Renaissance, Turnhout, Brepols, 2020

Antwerp in the Renaissance offers new research results and fresh perspectives on the economic, cultural, and social history of the Antwerp metropolis in the sixteenth century.

This book engages with Antwerp in the Renaissance. Bringing together several specialists of sixteenth-century Antwerp, it offers new research results and fresh perspectives on the economic, cultural and social history of the metropolis in the sixteenth century. Recurrent themes are the creative ways in which the Italian renaissance was translated in the Antwerp context. Imperfect imitation often resulted from the specific social context in which the renaissance was translated: Antwerp was a metropolis marked by a strong commercial ideology, a high level affluence and social inequality, but also by the presence of large and strong middling layers, which contributed to the city’s ‘bourgeois’ character. The growth of the Antwerp market was remarkable: in no time the city gained metropolitan status. This book does a good job in showing how quite a few of the Antwerp ‘achievements’ did result from the absence of ‘existing structures’ and ‘examples’. Moreover, the city and its culture were given shape by the many frictions, and uncertainties that came along with rapid urban growth and religious turmoil.

Bruno Blondé and Jeroen Puttevils are colleagues at the Centre for Urban History at the University of Antwerp. The research fields of Blondé include the history of transportation, economic growth and social inequality, material culture, retail and consumption of the early modern Low Countries. Puttevils works on the late medieval Low Countries and deals with topics such as mercantile and financial culture, the history of lotteries and how people thought about the future in the past.

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