From the Editor in Chief
The Editors’ Greeting in the inaugural issue of the Journal of the Historians of Netherlandish Art—Volume 1: Issue 1 (Winter 2009)—ended with these words to readers: “Most pressingly, we urge you to consider JHNA as a venue for your own publications. With your help we can make JHNA one of the premier journals of Netherlandish art.” In the ensuing twelve years, under the inspiring editorship of Alison Kettering, the journal has become just that, a leading open-access venue for the publication of outstanding, ambitious scholarship on Flemish, Dutch, German, and Franco-Flemish art, as well as a model for the use of innovative, online digital imaging and other technologies. Alison and Associate Editors Molly Faries, Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Mark Trowbridge, and now Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Dagmar Eichberger, and Bret Rothstein, along with guest editors of special issues, have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to produce twice-yearly issues that never cease to fascinate and engage. JHNA would not have come into being without the vision of past HNA President Wayne Franits and of Ann Jensen Adams, who provided the invaluable initial blueprint for the journal.
Above all, JHNA would not be what it is today without the support of its readers and the scholarly contributions of HNA members. As I take over—with enormous pleasure—as JHNA’s Editor in Chief, I ask that you keep reading and continue to submit your research.
I also urge you to contribute to funding the journal. Annual dues to Historians of Netherlandish Art only partially cover JHNA production costs. By making a donation to Historians of Netherlandish Art in the name of JHNA, you can help to build an endowment for the journal. All donations are fully tax-deductible.
To my delight, editing the journal is a collaborative process, hence the collective Editors’ Greeting at the beginning of every issue.
H. Perry Chapman, Editor in Chief
From the Editorial Board
Since March 2020, when the pandemic shut down universities and museums, we have experienced over eighteen months of working from home, online teaching, closed libraries and archives, interrupted research, limited travel, and, for some of us, little direct access to the objects that we study. During this same period, many societies began working toward a more equitable world, spurred on by social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter. This expansive climate has encouraged many in our field to redouble their efforts to ensure a climate of inclusivity in our universities, museums, and cultural institutions, as well as in our research. For some time now, scholars engaged with the study and exhibiting of Netherlandish art have been considering, and reassessing, intersections between the art of Northern Europe and the development of global trade in the early modern period, with the subjugation of peoples and the plunder of resources associated with it. Scholars are drawing on new methodologies, and deploying established ones in exciting ways, to approach an expanding range of objects of art and material culture. Transformative thinking has led to studies that cross disciplines, innovate in the social history of art, shed new light on the cultural work of perception, and merge science and art history.
It is time to capitalize on this sense of heightened urgency and take stock of where we have been and where we are going as a field. To that end, JHNA has commissioned and invited proposals for projects and essays that explore crucial questions surrounding the state of research in Netherlandish art, in both the academy and the curatorial world.
Our first publication in this series is this issue’s conversation among curators. Within the framework of a roundtable discussion moderated by Yao-Fen You of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, curators Elizabeth Cleland, Alejandro Vergara, and Bert Watteeuw explore recent successes and challenges in presenting art historical narratives that strive towards broader material, geographical, linguistic, and cultural representation in the museum.
Also in this issue, C. Richard Johnson Jr., William A. Sethares, and Margaret Holben Ellis use watermarks in Rembrandt’s prints to introduce simple, open-source image processing software that allows scholars to create animated overlays to compare and match two watermark images with ease as well as a high degree of accuracy. This new imaging technology also points the way to searching for other watermark matches within pre-marked libraries of watermark types. This article features embedded GIFs, or toggled videos, which afford readers the ability to move seamlessly between one image and another while reading the accompanying text. We are grateful to Morgan Schwartz and Jennifer Henel for augmenting the user experience.
Marisa Mandabach, focusing on three images of spontaneous generation by Peter Paul Rubens, argues that Rubens’s learned concepts of nature were informed by an artisanal understanding of the generative role of matter—pigments and mediating liquids—within painting.
Eric Jan Sluijter, in an augmented translation of an influential essay from the catalogue for the 1996 exhibition Jan van Goyen, examines the strategies and innovations—in style, subject matter, technique, and price level—that Van Goyen used to position himself as a leader in the art market. We are grateful to Nicolette Sluijter-Seijffert for her nuanced translation.
With this issue, we welcome Jennifer Henel, who takes over from Heidi Eyestone as Managing Editor. Jennifer comes to us with expertise in the digital humanities and a longstanding commitment to the journal and to the field of Netherlandish art, having already served as developer for three JHNA projects, as project manager for The Leiden Collection’s online catalogue, and in various capacities at the National Gallery of Art, including the project manager for the Gallery’s Online Editions’ Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century.
For the current issue, we once again thank Jessica Skwire Routhier for copyediting the texts with admirable attention to detail.
Finally, we are enormously grateful to Alison Kettering, who in the new position of Past Editor in Chief will continue to share with us her wisdom and expertise.
We encourage you to consider JHNA for your own publications. With your help, JHNA will remain one of the leading journals of the early modern art of the Netherlands and its region.
The Journal welcomes submissions at any time. Please consult our newly revised Submission Guidelines.
H. Perry Chapman, University of Delaware, Editor in Chief
Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Art Institute of Chicago, Associate Editor
Dagmar Eichberger, Universität Heidelberg, Associate Editor
Bret Rothstein, Indiana University, Associate Editor
Alison M. Kettering, Carleton College, Past Editor in Chief