|About the Book|
A treatise on Dutch art on par with Vasaris critical historyof Italian art, Karel van Manders Schilder-Boeck (orBook on Picturing) has long been recognized for its criticaland historical influence—and yet, until now, nocomprehensive account of theMoreA treatise on Dutch art on par with Vasaris critical historyof Italian art, Karel van Manders Schilder-Boeck (orBook on Picturing) has long been recognized for its criticaland historical influence—and yet, until now, nocomprehensive account of the books conception, aims, andimpact has been available. In this in-depth analysis of thecontent and context of Van Manders work, Walter S. Melionreveals the Schilder-Boecks central importance to anunderstanding of northern Renaissance and Baroque art.By interpreting the terminology employed in theSchilder-Boeck, Melion establishes the textsrelationship to past and contemporary art theory. Van Manderis seen here developing his critical categories and thenapplying them to Ancient, Italian, and Netherlandish artistsin order to mark changes within a culture and to characterizeexcellence for each region. Thus Melion demonstrates how VanMander revised both the structure and critical language ofVasaris Lives to refute the Italians claims for thesuperiority of the Tuscan style, and to clarify northernartistic traditions and the concerns of Netherlandishartists. A much needed corrective to the view that Dutch artof the period was lacking in theory, Melions work offers acompelling account of a sixteenth- and seventeenth-centurytheoretical and critical perspective and shows how thisperspective suggests a rereading of northern art.Walter S. Melion is assistant professor of art historyat The Johns Hopkins University.