Parution : Karin Leonhard, « The Fertile Ground of Painting. 17th-Century Still Lives and Nature Pieces », Turnhout, Brepols, 2020
17th-Century Netherlandish Still Life painting actively participated in the intellectual discourse of natural philosophy and the natural sciences, even though art history until recently described it, somewhat simplifying, as realistic-representative painting. We urgently need a rehabilitation of the notion of Mimesis. The author restarts the discussion, by putting more emphasis on the historical notions of Nature and Image. She examines how mimetic structures acquired a biotic reproductive capacity in the 17th century. Still Life painting thematizes the ability of Nature and Art to produce similarities and is therefore predestined for a theorization of mimetic strcutures of Art in general.
Karin Leonhard is professor of art history at the University of Konstanz.