NWO / NICAS research project | Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis | Promotores: Jeroen Stumpel en Ann-Sophie Lehmann | 2016-2021 | A.L.Wiersma[at]uu.nl
What is needed to make a still-life painting seem real, as if the depicted materials are part of our own, three-dimensional space? How come the objects look as if you could just pick them up and – in case these objects are edible – take a bite? In the 17th and early 18th centuries painters from the Low Countries managed to create intriguing illusional representations of the world in small, superbly arranged oil paintings.
For the NICAS-funded project Recipes and Realities, the pictorial shortcuts to achieve the above mentioned rendering of materials are researched, taking the treatise The Big World Painted Small, written by Wilhelmus Beurs in 1692, as a reference point.
With a philological study of several – art technological – sources; visual, technical and computational analysis of paintings and samples; psychophysical research; study of historical materials, tools and techniques; and practical tests, the project aims to give a thorough understanding of material realism in painting.
The project is a collaboration between Utrecht University, the TU Delft, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Museum Het Mauritshuis, Den Haag.