Painted Alchemists
Title
Painted Alchemists
Subtitle
Early Modern Artistry and Experiment in the Work of Thomas Wijck
Price
€ 98,99
ISBN
9789048537778
Format
eBook PDF (Adobe DRM)
Number of pages
320
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1. CURIOSITY AND CONVENTION Authority and Secrecy Bruegel, Stradanus, and Beyond: Pictorial Precedents 2. THOMAS WIJCK, ŸARTFULŒ AND ŸINGENIOUSŒ The Young Wijck An Expanding Market Wijck’s Reputation 3. WIJCK’S ALCHEMICAL ARTISANS Chronology The Alchemist as Paterfamilias The Alchemist as Artisan The Alchemist as Scholar 4. AN EXPERIMENT IN HAARLEM Practical Alchemy in Wijck’s Networks Van Eyck, Goltzius and the Model of the Experimental Artist Representing Alchemy in Haarlem 5. THE ARTIST’S LABORATORIES ABROAD Alchemy, Magic, and ŸSecretsŒ in Rome and Naples Elite Experiment in London The ŸForeignŒ Alchemist 6. THE MASTER OF NATURE Oil Painting and the Art-Alchemy Debate Making and Representing Pigments Alchemy, Artistry, and Identity 7. EPILOGUE ENDNOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Reviews and Features

"Drago's careful study, based on painting inventories and other period evidence, provides a compelling picture not only of Wijck, but of other Netherlandish artists who painted alchemical scenes."
- William R. Newman, Ambix 67:3 (2020)

"The interiors inhabited by the alchemists in the work of the Dutch artist Thomas Wijck (1616—1677) are fascinating and complex ... Elizabeth Drago's excellent new book ... is the first study to address this important aspect of Wijck’s work and career (notably, there is no catalogue raisonné on the artist) ... Drago’s book moves between the monographic and thematic, offering new perspectives on Wijck as a painter, printmaker, and draughtsman, as well as the wider artistic, cultural, and professional contexts to which he belonged."
- Lara Yeager-Crasselt, HNA Review of Books, July 2020

Elisabeth Berry Drago

Painted Alchemists

Early Modern Artistry and Experiment in the Work of Thomas Wijck

Thomas Wijck’s painted alchemical laboratories were celebrated in his day as "artful" and "ingenious." They fell into obscurity along with their subject, as alchemy came to be viewed as an occult art or a fool’s errand. But these unusual pictures challenge our understanding of early modern alchemy-and of the deeper relationship between chemical workshops and the artists who represented them. The work of artists, like the work of alchemists, contained intellectual-creative and manual-material aspects. Both alchemists and artists claimed a special status owing to their creative powers. Wijck’s formation of an artistic and professional identity around alchemical themes reveals his desire to explore this curious territory, and ultimately to demonstrate art’s superior claims to knowledge and mastery over nature. This book explores one artist’s transformation of alchemy and its materials into a reputation for virtuosity-and what his work can teach us about the experimental early modern world.
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Author

Elisabeth Berry Drago

Elisabeth Berry Drago studies interconnected histories of art and science in the Dutch Golden Age. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware, and is a former Fellow of the Science History Institute in Philadelphia.