appel à communication : Divine Presence: Representing Angels and God in Dutch and Flemish Art

Ferdinand Bol, Abraham Entertaining the Three Angels, 1660 – 1663, oil on canvas, 404 x 282,5 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.

Type : Appel à communication

Date limite de l’appel : 15 mai 2017

Date de la manifestation : 24 – 28 mai 2018

Lieu : Gand et Bruges

Quadrennial conference of the Historians of Netherlandish Art

Divine Presence: Representing Angels and God in Dutch and Flemish Art
Session chairs: Larry Silver, University of Pennsylvania, Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, The Frick Collection

Accompanying the Counter Reformation and Protestant confession-building in Europe in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were new, disparate priorities for representing the divine. Underpinning Catholic and Protestant imagery in these years was an increasingly divergent attitude toward the sensory. Episodes of iconoclasm and a broader distrust of the visual on one side were met with explicit calls by the other side for art and ritual that would employ the sensual, even the seductive, as a means to inspire devotion.

In negotiating the complexities of representing the otherworldly in visual form, artists articulated their own ideas about the nature of divine presence and about human perception of the divine. Scenes of encounter between mortals and immortals, in particular, offered artists working in Protestant and Catholic milieux distinct challenges and opportunities, as such scenes often involved visual, even physical, contact between the earthly and the celestial.

This session invites papers that examine images of divine figures produced in Catholic Flanders and/or in the predominantly Protestant Dutch Republic from the mid-sixteenth century to the end of the seventeenth century. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary studies that address contemporary philosophical and theological writings and that position visual art not only as respondent to but as shaper of ideas about the divine.

To submit a paper proposal, please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and a CV to and by May 15, 2017. Only papers that are unpublished and not previously presented will be considered. Speakers must be HNA members at the time of the conference.