Civic Guardsmen, Governors and Guild Members: Amsterdam Institutional Group Portraits | 1525-1850
Norbert Middelkoop will defend his Ph.D.thesis on Amsterdam group portraiture on Friday November 1st at 13 hrs in the Oude Lutherse Kerk at the Spui in Amsterdam. Afterwards reception in the Amsterdam Museum.
More than a century has passed since Alois Riegl (1858-1905) published the authoritative Das holländische Gruppenporträt in 1902. He was one of the first to analyse in greater depth the specific compositional and visual qualities of the Dutch institutional group portrait genre. Although many paintings of militiamen and civic guardsmen, governors and guild members have been the subject of, or have been included in, both historical and art historical research, Amsterdam’s institutional group portraits have never before been studied as a whole. Schutters, gildebroeders, regenten en regentessen – Het Amsterdamse corporatiestuk 1525-1850 (in Dutch, with an English summary) seeks to rectify this. By considering the civic guard, governor and craft guild group portraits in their shared context and bringing them back to their pre-museum origins and existence, I hope to make this painting genre, which is so typical of Holland, more accessible, at least for Amsterdam, and at the same time provide a sound foundation on which further research can be based.