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Ut pictura amor: The Reflexive Imagery of Love in Artistic Theory and Practice, 1500-1700

Melion, Walter
Zell, Michael
Woodall, Joanna

978 90 04 34645 1
List price(s):
287.00 USD
249.00 EUR

Publication date:
9 November 2017

Short description: 

An examination of the related themes of lovemaking and image-making in the visual arts of Europe, China, Japan, and Persia.

Full description: 

Ut pictura amor: The Reflexive Imagery of Love in Artistic Theory and Practice, 1500-1700 examines the related themes of lovemaking and image-making in the visual arts of Europe, China, Japan, and Persia. The term `reflexive' is here used to refer to images that invite reflection not only on their form, function, and meaning, but also on their genesis and mode of production. Early modern artists often fashioned reflexive images and effigies of this kind, that appraise love by exploring the lineaments of the pictorial or sculptural image, and complementarily, appraise the pictorial or sculptural image by exploring the nature of love. Hence the book's epigraph-ut pictura amor-`as is a picture, so is love'.

Table of contents: 

Acknowledgements Introduction: Picturing Love and Artifice Walter S. Melion, Joanna Woodall, and Michael Zell PART I Vision, Imagination, and Erotic Desire 1 Figments of the Imagination: Medical and Moral Discourses on Love in the Counter-Reformation Wietse de Boer 2 The Gods of Water - Baths, Country Houses and Their Decoration in Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century Flanders Ursula Harting 3 Hishikawa Moronobu and the Imprinting of `Love' in Early Modern Japan Joshua S. Mostow 4 Chinese `Paintings of Beautiful Women' and Images of Asia in a Jesuit Text Dawn Odell PART II Metamorphic Imagery of Love 1 Enacting the Erotic Body: Pictorial and Spectatorial Evocations of Corporeality Among Jan Gossaert and His Patrons Haohao Lu 2 The Trope of Anthropomorphosis in Hendrick Goltzius's Venus and Cupid (1590), Venus, Bacchus, and Ceres (1593), and Portrait of Frederick de Vries (1597) Walter S. Melion PART III Optics, Aesthetics, and the Visual Poetics of Desire 1 Between the Human and the Divine: The Majalis al-ushshaq and the Materiality of Love in Early Safavid Art Kishwar Rizvi 2 The Painting Looks Back: Reciprocal Desire in the Seventeenth Century Thijs Weststeijn PART IV Amorous Desire, Domestic Virtue, and Love's Mirror 1 Agape, Caritas, and Conjugal Love in Paintings by Rembrandt and Van Dyck Stephanie S. Dickey 2 Vermeer's Milkmaid in the Discourse of Love H. Rodney Nevitt, Jr. 3 The Mirror as Rival: Metsu, Mimesis, and Amor in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting Michael Zell PART V Portrayals of Spousal Love 1 What's Love Got to Do with It? Unlacing the Love Knots in Margaret of Austria's Royal Monastery at Brou Laura D. Gelfand 2 Rubens, Rembrandt and the Spousal Model/Muse H. Perry Chapman PART VI Youth, Friendship, and Other Inflections of Divine Love 1 The Dynamics of Divine Love: Francis De Sales's Picturing of the Biblical Mystery of the Visitation Joseph F. Chorpenning 2 Intimacy and Longing: Jacob Cornelisz Van Oostsanen and the Distance of Love Henry Luttikhuizen 3 Amor Dei in Emblems for Dutch Youth Els Stronks PART VII Desire, Fellowship, and Marian Mimesis 1 Marten de Vos and the Virgin Mary: Love, Mimesis and Music Margit Thofner 2 Bernardo Accolti, Raphael, and the Sistine Madonna: The Poetics of Desire and Pictorial Generation Jonathan Unglaub PART VIII Picturing Love in the Marketplace 1 For Love and Money: The Circulation of Value and Desire in Abraham Ortelius's Album Amicorum Joanna Woodall 2 Frans Francken the Younger's Discovery of Achilles: Desire, Deception, and Inalienable Possession Lisa Rosenthal 3 Desire by Candlelight: Body and Coin in Gerrit van Honthorst's Old Woman With Coins Natasha Seaman Index


Walter Melion is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, and Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published extensively on Dutch and Flemish art and art theory of the 16th and 17th centuries, on Jesuit image-theory, on the relation between theology and aesthetics in the early modern period, and on the artist Hendrick Goltzius. Joanna Woodall teaches at The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She has a longstanding interest portraiture, and hence the relationship between realism and desire. Her publications include studies of the importance of love and friendship to the creation of works of art, and to conceptions of art, in the early modern Netherlands. Michael Zell is Associate Professor of Art History at Boston University. He has published widely on seventeenth-century Dutch artistic culture, with a particular focus on Rembrandt and Vermeer, religious imagery, gift giving, and the poetics of painting.




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