Painted Alchemists
Painted Alchemists
Early Modern Artistry and Experiment in the Work of Thomas Wijck
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
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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

Recensies en Artikelen

"Painted Alchemists is the first comprehensive study of the work of the unjustly neglected Haarlem painter, Thomas Wijck (1616–77), whose many portrayals of alchemists can be considered a thematic specialty on his part. But the book is much more than that, as Wijck’s pictures enable the author to refute lingering pejorative misconceptions of alchemy during the early modern period."
- Wayne Franits, Renaissance QuarterlyVol. LXXIV, No. 4 (2021)

"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

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
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.

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.