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A Common Art

Urban Ceremonial in Antwerp and Brussels during and after the Dutch Revolt


Margit Thøfner

This richly illustrated and ground-breaking volume reassesses the relationship between art, material culture and politics in the early modern period. Focusing on festivals and processions, it shows that these played a highly significant role in the life of early modern city-dwellers. In particular, there was a flourishing of urban ceremony in the southern Low Countries, in the great cities of Brabant, in the wake of the Dutch Revolt. This book traces the origins of that flourishing in the political ructions of the 1560-1580s. It also shows that, contrary to received scholarly opinion, early modern urban festivals simultaneously involved and appealed to ordinary people. It was a common and collaborative art form, a way of soliciting broad popular support for civic and princely governments alike.