This book provides a new history of the changing relationship between art, craft and industry focusing on the transition from workshop to studio, apprentice to pupil, guild to gallery and artisan to artist. Responding to the question whether the artist is a relic of the feudal mode of production or is a commodity producer corresponding to the capitalist mode of cultural production, this inquiry reveals, instead, that the history of the formation of art as distinct from handicraft, commerce and industry can be traced back to the dissolution of the dual system of guild and court. This history needs to be revisited in order to rethink the categories of aesthetic labour, attractive labour, alienated labour, nonalienated labour and unwaged labour that shape the modern and contemporary politics of work in art.
The current erotic landscape is contradictory: While the West sees greater sexual and erotic freedom than ever, there is also a movement to restrict the behaviour of various sexual minorities.
Expanding and Restricting the Erotic addresses the way in which the erotic has been constrained and freed, both historically and at present. Topics range from the troubling way in which the mainstream media represents the erotic, to the concept of friends with benefits. Other chapters explore female eroticism, from contemporary female hip hop artists to Latin American women seeking to express their eroticism in the midst of sexual repression. Medieval and Early Modern medical conceptions of the female body are explored, as are ancient Greek erotic practices. Finally, the controversial area of teenage girls’ erotic representation is analysed.
Weyerman’s collection of artists’ biographies (1729) is exceptional for three reasons. Firstly, he includes a great number of painters not mentioned elsewhere. Secondly, he does not limit his selection to good artists only; he also discusses failed painters and their abortive careers. Thirdly, he writes as an art critic who does not hesitate to pass judgments, sometimes severe, on his chosen subjects.
In the process, Weyerman provides much information on the social and economic circumstances of art production. He found that a bohemian lifestyle was pernicious to a painter’s career, and argued that artists should live and think as merchants. In addition to analyzing Weyerman’s art critical terminology and his ideas on art theory, De Vries includes translations of two full chapters along with the original Dutch.