Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age
Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age
The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol
€ 67,95 excl. VAT
Number of pages
Publication date
26 x 26 cm

Reviews and Features

"This groundbreaking study demonstrates how the integration of material-technical research and ‘traditional’ art history can yield astounding results. A painstaking investigation of the canvases, grounds and paint surface of five huge paintings by Ferdinand Bol proves to be the vital basis for a thrilling quest in which the – up till now unsolvable - questions posed by this historically important, but seemingly incoherent ensemble are answered. As the author's innovative and rigorously argued method unfolds, our insights into many crucial aspects of Dutch history painting of the period are greatly enhanced." - Eric Jan Sluijter, professor in Renaissance and Early Modern Art at the University of Amsterdam |"Margriet van Eikema Hommes constructs an intricate and fascinating account of Ferdinand Bol's great series and how he accomplished it: she expertly combines history, art theory and technical analysis to tell a dazzling story of artistic ambition and a painter at work in Golden Age Holland." - David Bomford, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, since 2007; formerly at The National Gallery, London, 1968-2007. |"Margriet Van Eikema is uniquely talented technical art historian. She masterfully weaves together evidence derived from the construction and physical history of works of art together with political, social and visual history to reconstruct the lives and motivations of artists, patrons and families of the Dutch Golden Age. The result is a vivid and absorbing story. " - Professor Aviva Burnstock, Head of the Department of Conservation & Technology at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London |'This book sets new standards. Scrupulously thought through, it spotlights a little-known series of chamber paintings by Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembrandt’s pupils, and by an exemplary combination of technical research, archival study and art historical expertise, elucidates its hidden history and meaning. One can only hope that future studies of this kind of wall-covering paintings – so typical of stately rooms between 1650 and 1850 – will match this quality!' - Gregor J. M. Weber, head of Fine and Decorative Arts, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam | Verplichte literatuur voor iedere Gouden Eeuw-liefhebber! - Michiel Jonker, Museumtijdschrift (1-6-2012) |“Dit boek met in de hoofdrol Bols unieke ensemble is het verslag van een boeiende (kunst) historische speurtocht. [ …] De inmiddels (intern)nationaal verschenen kritieken zijn unaniem vol lof.” - (Origine van 31-05-2012)

Margriet van Eikema Hommes

Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age

The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol

In the early 1650s Ferdinand Bol produced a series of wall-covering paintings. This ‘painted chamber’ is a unique example of a branch of the art of painting which was extremely popular in the seventeenth century, although hardly any of it now remains. Bol’s ensemble has always been surrounded by mysteries. Who was the initial owner, what was the reason for its commission and how were the ceiling-high canvases originally placed? Through a combination of material-technical research and archival, stylistic, iconographic and cultural-historical investigation these questions have for the first time been given convincing answers.
This book, with Bol’s unique ensemble in the lead role, is the account of an exciting (art) historical quest. The journey begins with apparently insignificant damage to the canvases and small remnants of old paint and varnish, passing via Biblical, classical and contemporary history to its eventual destination in the remarkable life of a particularly ambitious Utrecht widow. The reader becomes familiar with the religious beliefs, ideals and social ambitions of a remarkable woman, and sees close-up how, through Bol’s paintings, she was able to give literal expression to her endeavours in the turbulent Utrecht in the middle of the Golden Age.

Margriet van Eikema Hommes

Margriet van Eikema Hommes is kunsthistoricus en gespecialiseerd in historische schildertechnieken en Nederlandse zeventiende- en achttiende-eeuwse schilderijensembles. Ze is senior onderzoeker bij de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.