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"Framing and Fashioning of Images": The Pictorial Invention of the Art Lover in Daniel Mytens’s Portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (ca 1618)


Volmert, Miriam (2017). "Framing and Fashioning of Images": The Pictorial Invention of the Art Lover in Daniel Mytens’s Portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (ca 1618). Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 80(1):83-107.

Abstract

The article examines Daniel Mytens’s portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, and the pendant portrait of his wife, Aletheia Howard (ca 1618), in relation to early modern rhetorical concepts in portrait painting and art theory. Particular focus is placed on the pictorial meaning of the depicted sculpture gallery in Lord Arundel’s portrait in its relation to the sitter. The author argues that the composition subtly transforms certain patterns of a long-standing pictorial code in portrait painting, which can be identified as a type of “picture within a picture.” Already established in the Italian portrait tradition, an integrated little picture or window view next to the sitter was a widespread formula in seventeenth-century Dutch and British portraiture, in order to praise a sitter’s moral and political virtues. Mytens reinterprets this portrait type, in this way inventing a pictorial mode of highlighting the particular virtues of the art lover: his portrait, through its adaptation of the picture-within-a-picture formula, praises the earl’s noble act of collecting antiquities while at the same time strongly emphasizing his intellectual strength.

Abstract

The article examines Daniel Mytens’s portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, and the pendant portrait of his wife, Aletheia Howard (ca 1618), in relation to early modern rhetorical concepts in portrait painting and art theory. Particular focus is placed on the pictorial meaning of the depicted sculpture gallery in Lord Arundel’s portrait in its relation to the sitter. The author argues that the composition subtly transforms certain patterns of a long-standing pictorial code in portrait painting, which can be identified as a type of “picture within a picture.” Already established in the Italian portrait tradition, an integrated little picture or window view next to the sitter was a widespread formula in seventeenth-century Dutch and British portraiture, in order to praise a sitter’s moral and political virtues. Mytens reinterprets this portrait type, in this way inventing a pictorial mode of highlighting the particular virtues of the art lover: his portrait, through its adaptation of the picture-within-a-picture formula, praises the earl’s noble act of collecting antiquities while at the same time strongly emphasizing his intellectual strength.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Art History
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 14:31
Last Modified:19 Mar 2018 09:52
Publisher:Deutscher Kunstverlag
ISSN:0044-2992
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/geschichte/abteilung/arbeitsbereiche/bildwissenschaft/zfk/archiv.html (Publisher)

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