Understanding Art in Antwerp
On January 23-24, 2008 the University of Groningen hosted an international symposium entitled 'Understanding Art in Antwerp. Classicising the Popular, Popularising the Classic (1540-1580)', where art historians, literary historians and musicologists explored how art was understood in Antwerp in the sixteenth century, how that art understood itself and conveyed such understanding to others, and how students of early modern Antwerp should understand that concept of art historically. Attention was paid to the factors which influenced the vision of the nature and function of art, including those of a non-artistic nature. Central to the idea of art was the relationship between the classical and the popular and between various synonyms, such as the foreign and the vernacular. Antwerp artists in all fields covered by this volume participated in cultural exchange, attempting to incorporate and assimilate elements from different origins into their work. Likewise, contemporary audiences (either as spectators, readers or listeners) were challenged to follow and understand what amounted to a kind of play or playfulness that was so charcateristic of sixteenth-century culture.