Painting Flanders Abroad

Flemish Art and Artists in Seventeenth-Century Madrid


In Painting Flanders Abroad: Flemish Art and Artists in Seventeenth-Century Madrid, Flemish immigrants and imported Flemish paintings cross the paths of Spanish kings, collectors, dealers, and artists in the Spanish court city, transforming the development and nature of seventeenth-century Spanish painting. Examining these Flemish transplants and the traces their interactions left in archival documents, collection inventories, art treatises, and most saliently Spanish “Golden Age” paintings, this book portrays Spanish society grappling with a long tradition of importing its favorite paintings while struggling to reimagine its own visual idiom. In the process, the book historicizes questions of style, quality, immigration, mobility, identity, and cultural exchange to define what the evolving and amorphous visual concept of “Flemishness” meant to Spanish viewers in an era long before the emergence of nationalism.

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Abigail D. Newman (Ph.D., Princeton University) works at the Rubenianum and Rubenshuis and teaches at the University of Antwerp. She has written for journals and exhibitions – including her monograph, Rubens’s St. Andrew “de los Flamencos”: Altarpiece Enframed by a Spanish-Flemish Community (Rubenshuis/BAI, 2018) – and co-edited Many Antwerp Hands: Collaborations in Netherlandish Art (Harvey Miller Publishers/Brepols, 2021).
List of Figures

Introduction: A Centuries-Long Relationship
 Spain and Flanders
 Sixteenth-Century Appreciation for Flemish Specialties: Portraits, Still Lifes, and Landscapes
 A Note about Flemishness

1 Flemish Immigrant Painters in Madrid: A Portrait
 Flemish Immigrants and the Choice of Madrid
 Flemish Cultural Identity in Madrid: The Role of the Noble Guardia
 Flemish Portraiture in Spain
 “Portraits” of Flemish Immigrant Painters

2 Food and Flowers: The Visual Seductions of Flemishness
 Flemish Motifs and a Distinctive Compositional Balance
 Flemish vs. Spanish Still Lifes
 Cocinas and Bodegones Arrive in Spain
 Appeal and Danger of the Flemish Balance
 Madrid Modifications
 Flemish Flowers

3 Países flamencos: Picturing Flemish Distance
 Distance and Distant Places
 Imagining Travel by Land
 Painters, Paintings, and Viewers Travel by Sea
 Países flamencos and Their Distant Echoes

Coda: Rubens and the End of “Flemish” Art in Spain
 Rubens’s Flemishness
 Rubens’s Figural Focus and Its Dissemination
 Absorbing Rubens in Spain
 Archives, Archival Guides, Unpublished Manuscripts, and a Database
 Published Sources
Photo Credits
Art historical and cultural historical in approach, this book addresses scholars studying the art, history, and culture of the early modern Low Countries and Spain. Its discussions of immigration, artistic mobility, cultural exchange, and globalization should appeal broadly to humanities scholars and their students, and the book will be of interest to art historical and humanities institutes and academic libraries.
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