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Often considered as the first phenomenon of mass media in history, the use of books and prints by Protestants has been widely studied and has generated a rich and plentiful bibliography. In contrast, the production and use of these supports by the partisans of the Counter-Reformation have not received the attention they deserve, especially in the context of the Low Countries.

The twelve contributors provide new perspectives on the efficacy of the handpress book industry to support the Catholic strategy of the Spanish Low Countries and underlines the mutually beneficial relationship between proponents of the Counter-Reformation and the typographic world. An important contribution to our understanding of the sociocultural and socioeconomic background of the Catholic Netherlands.
An Iconological Analysis of the Relationships between Art, Science and Power
In Early Modern Thesis Prints in the Southern Netherlands, Gwendoline de Mûelenaere offers an account of the practice of producing illustrated thesis prints in the seventeenth-century Southern Low Countries. She argues that the evolution of the thesis print genre gave rise to the creation of a specific visual language combining efficiently various figurative registers of a historical and symbolic nature. The book offers a reflection on the representation of knowledge and its public recognition in the context of academic defenses.

Early Modern Thesis Prints makes a timely contribution to our understanding of early modern print culture and more specifically to the expanding field of study concerned with the role of visual materials in early modern thought.
In the early modern Iberian book world, as in the European book world more broadly, most works issuing from the presses contained some form of ornamentation. The nineteen contributions presented here cast light on these visual elements—on the production and ownership of printers’ materials, and on the frequency with which these materials were exchanged and shared. A third of all items printed in the early modern Iberian world carried no imprint at all; for these items, woodblocks and engravings can assist scholars seeking to identify their place of origin or their date of publication. As importantly, decoration and illustration in early print can also reveal much about the history of the graphic arts and evolving forms of cultural representation.
Volume Editors: and
How has reproduction transformed works of art and literature, their dissemination and their reception? And how does it continue to do so? In what ways have our definitions and practices of reproduction changed over the last centuries thanks to new printing, photographic and digital techniques? These questions are timely. From the medieval copy to contemporary digital culture, including the rise of the printing press and engraving techniques in the Renaissance and the Ancien Régime, myriad modes of reproduction informed both our access to texts and images and our ways of reading, seeing, understanding, discovering and questioning the world.

Dans quelle mesure la reproduction transforme-t-elle les œuvres, leur diffusion et leur réception ? De quelles manières les conceptions et les usages de la reproduction ont-ils subi des transformations majeures au cours des derniers siècles avec la diffusion des pratiques d’impression, de la photographie et des techniques numériques ? Ces questions sont d’une actualité incontournable. De la copie médiévale à la culture numérique contemporaine, en passant par l’essor de l’imprimerie et les techniques de gravure à la Renaissance et sous l’Ancien Régime, les différents modes de reproduction informent non seulement nos accès aux textes et aux images, mais aussi nos manières de lire, de voir, de comprendre, découvrir et d’interroger le monde.
In the early modern period, images of revolts and violence became increasingly important tools to legitimize or contest political structures. This volume offers the first in-depth analysis of how early modern people produced and consumed violent imagery, and assesses its role in memory practices, political mobilization, and the negotiation of cruelty and justice.

Critically evaluating the traditional focus on Western European imagery, the case studies in this book draw on evidence from Russia, China, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, North America, and other regions. The contributors highlight the distinctions among visual cultures of violence, as well as their entanglements in networks of intensive transregional communication, early globalization, and European colonization.

Contributors: Monika Barget, David de Boer, Nóra G. Etényi, Fabian Fechner, Joana Fraga, Malte Griesse, Alain Hugon, Gleb Kazakov, Nancy Kollmann, Ya-Chen Ma, Galina Tirnanić, and Ramon Voges.
This volume sheds light on the historical background and political circumstances that encouraged the dialogue between Eastern-European Christians and Arabic-speaking Christians of the Middle East in Ottoman times, as well as the means employed in pursuing this dialogue for several centuries. The ties that connected Eastern European Christianity with Arabic-speaking Christians in the 16th-19th centuries are the focus of this book. Contributors address the Arabic-speaking hierarchs’ and scholars’ connections with patriarchs and rulers of Constantinople, the Romanian Principalities, Kyiv, and the Tsardom of Moscow, the circulation of literature, models, iconography, and knowhow between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and research dedicated to them by Eastern European scholars.

Contributors are Stefano Di Pietrantonio, Ioana Feodorov, Serge Frantsouzoff, Bernard Heyberger, Elena Korovtchenko, Sofia Melikyan, Charbel Nassif, Constantin A. Panchenko, Yulia Petrova, Vera Tchentsova, Mihai Ţipău and Carsten Walbiner.
Frontispieces and Title Pages in Early Modern Europe
Gateways to the Book investigates the complex image–text relationships between frontispieces and illustrated title pages on the one hand and texts on the other, in European books published between 1500 and 1800. Although interest in this broad field of research has increased in the past decades, many varieties of title pages and a great deal of printers and books remain as yet unstudied. The fifteen essays collected in this volume tackle this field with a great variety of academic approaches, asking how the images can be interpreted, how the texts and contexts shape their interpretation, and how they in turn shape the understanding of the text.
This book attends to the most essential, lucrative, and overlooked business activity of early modern Europe: the trade of paper. Despite the well-known fact that paper was crucial to the success of printing and record-keeping alike, paper remains one of the least studied areas of early modern history. Organised into three sections – ‘Hotspots and Trade Routes’, ‘Usual Dealings’, and ‘Recycling Economies’ – the chapters in this collection shed light on the practices, materials, and networks of the paper trade. Altogether, the collection uncovers the actors involved in the networks of paper production, transportation, purchase, and reuse, between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries and across the central and peripheral papermaking regions of Europe.

Contributors: Renaud Adam, Daniel Bellingradt, Frank Birkenholz, Simon Burrows, Orietta Da Rold, Michael Falk, Anna Gialdini, Rachel Hendery, Silvia Hufnagel, Jean-Benoît Krumenacker, Katherine McDonough, Krisztina Rábai, Anna Reynolds, Benito Rial Costas, Tapio Salminen, Helen Smith, Jan Willem Veluwenkamp, Andreas Weber, and Megan Williams.
Volume Editors: and
This edition of John Lydgate’s Dance of Death offers a detailed comparison of the different text versions, a new scholarly edition and translation of Guy Marchant’s 1485 French Danse Macabre text, and an art-historical analysis of its woodcut illustrations.
It addresses the cultural context and historical circumstances of Lydgate’s poem and its model, the mural of 1424-25 with accompanying French poem in Paris, as well as their precursors, notably the Vado mori poems and the Legend of the Three Living and the Three Dead. It discusses authorship, the personification and vizualisation of Death, and the wider dissemination of the Dance. The edited texts include commentaries, notes, and a glossary.
Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book
Author:
The Flowering of Ecology presents an English translation of Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1679 ‘caterpillar’ book, Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumen–Nahrung. Her processes in making the book and an analysis of its scientific content are presented in a historical context. Merian raised insects for five decades, recording the food plants, behavior and ecology of roughly 300 species. Her most influential invention was an 'ecological' composition in which the metamorphic cycles of insects (usually moths and butterflies) were arrayed around plants that served as food for the caterpillars. Kay Etheridge analyzes the 1679 caterpillar book from the viewpoint of a biologist, arguing that Merian’s study of insect interactions with plants, the first of its kind, was a formative contribution to natural history.

Read Kay Etheridge’s blogpost on “Art Herstory”.

See inside the book.