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Göttler, Christine

Göttler, Christine


Christine Göttler, born in Luzern, Switzerland, in 1952. Ph.D. from Universität Zürich, Switzerland. Professor of History of Early Modern Art at the University of Bern.

Theme Group Fellow (May – June 2016)

Inventing Newness: Entangled Histories of Art in Antwerp, Haarlem, and Amsterdam

Research Question

Taking early modern Antwerp as its main example my project asks about the competing social and cultural ambitions of painters, artisans and craftsmen; about the affinities and rivalries between the alchemy of painting, on the one hand, and the alchemy of gold-making, on the other; and about the conflicting interpretations of luxury and wealth.

Project Description

The rhetoric of newness played a central role in the fashioning and self-fashioning of Antwerp, Amsterdam and Haarlem as cities of the arts that oriented themselves toward the new worlds, rather than the old one. My project investigates how such newness – the creative virtue of a globalizing world – was materialized and conceptualized in the visual arts in the early modern period. The focus will be on Antwerp, but competing art markets such as Haarlem and Amsterdam will be considered too. The parallel resurgence of highly skilled crafts, of a new culture of making and collecting and of an imagery that commented on the creation, accumulation and display of ‘precious things’ makes these cities a particularly fruitful area of inquiry in regard to these questions.

Selected Publications

1) Last Things: Art and the Religious Imagination in the Age of Reform, PROTEUS: Studies in Identity Formation in Early Modern Image-Text-Ritual-Habitat, vol. 2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010).

2) Religion and the Senses in Early Modern Europe, ed. Wietse de Boer and Christine Göttler, Intersections, vol. 26 (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

3) “Trading Values in Early Modern Anterp: An Introduction,” with Bart Ramakers and Joanna Woodall, in Trading Values in Early Modern Antwerp, Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art 64 (2014), ed. Christine Göttler, Bart Ramakers and Joanna Woodall (Leiden: Brill, 2014), pp. 8-37.