On September 17 and 18, 2015, Amsterdam is to host the conference ‘Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries (ca 1560-1730)’, organized by the Rijksmuseum and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands.
Prior to the eighteenth century, ‘art’ and ‘science’ were often considered complementary, rather than opposite, expressions of human culture. They enlightened one another: through comparable curiosity, knowledge and observation of the world, but also in their resulting products: paintings, prints, books, maps, anatomical preservations, life casts, and many others. Scholars, craftsmen and artists often engaged in observing and representing nature, in close cooperation.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, it was the Low Countries that emerged as a center of artistic and scientific innovation and creativity, and as central points in the exchange of goods, knowledge and skill. It is certainly no coincidence that the outburst of artistic productivity in the Netherlands, both the South and the North, coincided with the ‘Scientific Revolution’.
The conference ‘Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries’ wants to contribute to the dialogue between experts in the history of art, historians of science, and all those interested in the visual and material culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Netherlands. The conference focuses on historical objects, images, works or art or texts that represent the combination of art and science, and looks at their origin and intended audience. Sessions are, amongst others, devoted to the culture of collecting; modes of representing living nature; the influence of new optical devices on the arts; and the impact of travels abroad on representations of the world.
Although the emphasis of the conference will be on the Low Countries, both the South and the North, several contributions also include developments elsewhere in Europe. This way, it hopes to offer a broad overview of the way in which art and science came together in the early modern Low Countries.
• Pamela H. Smith, Columbia University, New York
• Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge
The first day of the conference (September 17) takes place in the Rijksmuseum, the second day (September 18) in the Trippenhuis (Seat of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), both in Amsterdam.
For a tentative program please click here.
Registration deadline: September 14, 2015
Admission and registration:
€ 95 (both days); Students: € 45.
For more information please contact Ilja Nieuwland.