New Views on old perspectives

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On the History and Significance of Church Interiors in 17th Century Dutch Painting

The research project “New Views on old perspectives - On the History and Significance of Church Interiors in 17th Century Dutch Painting” is the first dedicate for an integrated view of painted church interiors in dutch painting between 1650 and 1700, primarily the paintings of the Delft painter Gerrit Houckgeest, Hendrick van Vliet and Emanuel de Witte. Although these images have often been described as perspectives in contemporary inventories, and have been admired in research mainly because of their bold ambiances, the architecturalperspective dimensions of those images have often been unfairly placed in the foreground, at least not infrequently overestimated. The very look at pictorial themes, figures and depicted actions locates those paintings at the interface of confessional, social and historical-political dimensions of meaning. On the basis of selected, representative picture autopsies, the Aachen research project will thus carry out a comprehensive reassessment of a unique, highly specialized genre only existing in the Netherlands, from which confidently trend-setting insights can be expected.