Dutch genre painting as religious art: Gabriel Metsu's Roman Catholic imagery

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Abstract

Gabriel Metsu's reputation rests on his popular genre imagery; however, the Dutch artist also produced religious paintings with Roman Catholic symbolism. Archival documents, personal and professional relationships, and a small number of paintings confirm a close engagement with the Dutch Roman Catholic community from his youth in Leiden to his maturity in Amsterdam. Metsu's connections with Roman Catholic painters, poets, and priests in the Netherlands provided the cultural context for his religious art. Moreover, contemporary devotional publications and reproductive engravings after Italian art established iconographic and compositional solutions evident in Metsu's traditional religious scenes and in his genre imagery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-186
Number of pages28
JournalArt History
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

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