Antwerp Art After Iconoclasm: Experiments in Decorum, 1566-1585
The beeldenstorm, or the Iconoclastic Fury, that raged throughout the Low Countries in 1566 is a key concept in Netherlandish history. This popular uprising, which was partially grafted on Protestant ideas, has traditionally and unquestioningly been considered a turning point in the history of the Low Countries. It is all the more striking, therefore, that this occurrence has received scant attention in art history and that there has been little interest in the development of painting just after the beeldenstorm and before the advent of the great Baroque masters.
Featuring previously unpublished materials, Antwerp Art after Iconoclasm investigates how the esteemed painters of the period—including Adriaen Thomasz Key, Maarten de Vos, Frans Pourbus the Elder, and Michiel Coxcie—sought a new visual idiom. This study explains why this period of Netherlandish history should be considered an important turning point in the broader context of art history. It demonstrates that the era's paintings represent a subtle but nonetheless important reinterpretation of the traditional, religious iconography and style, which served as the starting point of Netherlandish Baroque style.