Early Modern Women in the Low Countries: Feminizing Sources and Interpretations of the Past (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World) [1 ed.] 0754667421, 9780754667421

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Early Modern Women in the Low Countries: Feminizing Sources and Interpretations of the Past (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World) [1 ed.]
 0754667421, 9780754667421

Table of contents :
Cover
Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 Writing Elite Women into the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands
2 Visualizing Women’s Work in the Textile Trades at the Dawn of the Golden Age
3 Memorializing Grief in Familial and National Narratives of Dutch Identity
4 Imagining Domesticity in Early Modern Dutch Dolls’ Houses
5 The Rembrandt House and the Rubens House: Encountering Early Modern Women through Heritage Sites
6 Sources and Settings: The Uses of Place for Tourism, Heritage, and History
7 Purchasing the Past: Gender and the Consumption of Heritage
Conclusion: From Yesterday to Tomorrow: Seeing and Hearing Women in the Low Countries
Works Cited
Index

Citation preview

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries Feminizing Sources and Interpretations of the Past

Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks

EARLY MODeRN WOmeN IN THe LOw COUNTRIeS

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series Editors: Allyson Poska, The University of Mary Washington, USA Abby Zanger The study of women and gender offers some of the most vital and innovative challenges to current scholarship on the early modern period. For more than a decade now, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World has served as a forum for presenting fresh ideas and original approaches to the field. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in scope, this Ashgate book series strives to reach beyond geographical limitations to explore the experiences of early modern women and the nature of gender in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. We welcome proposals for both single-author volumes and edited collections which expand and develop this continually evolving field of study. Titles in the series include: Henrietta Maria Piety, Politics and Patronage Edited by Erin Griffey Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe Gender, Agency, Identity Edited by Andrea Pearson Envisioning Gender in Burgundian Devotional Art, 1350–1530 Experience, Authority, Resistance Andrea Pearson Women, Identities and Communities in Early Modern Europe Edited by Stephanie Tarbin and Susan Broomhall Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe Edited by Allison Levy

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Feminizing Sources and Interpretations of the Past

SUSAN BROOmHALL The University of Western Australia and JeNNIfeR SpINKS The University of Melbourne

First published 2011 by Ashgate Publishing Published 2016 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business Copyright © Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks 2011 Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the authors of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Broomhall, Susan. Early modern women in the Low Countries: feminizing sources and interpretations of the past. – (Women and gender in the early modern world) 1. Women – Netherlands – Social conditions – 16th century – Sources. 2. Women – Netherlands – Social conditions – 17th century – Sources. 3. Women – Belgium – Social conditions – 16th century – Sources. 4. Women – Belgium – Social conditions – 17th century – Sources. I. Title II. Series III. Spinks, Jennifer. 305.4’09492’0903-dc22 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Broomhall, Susan. Early modern women in the low countries: feminizing sources and interpretations of the past / by Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks. p. cm. — (Women and gender in the early modern world) Includes index. ISBN 978-0-7546-6742-1 (hardback: alk. paper) 1. Women—Low counties—Social conditions. 2. Women—Low countries—History. I. Spinks, Jennifer. II. Title. HQ1149.B425B76 2010 305.409492’0903—dc22 2010037647 ISBN: 978-0-754-66742-1 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-57851-4 (ebk)

Contents List of Illustrations   List of Tables   Acknowledgements Introduction  

vii xi xiii 1

1 Writing Elite Women into the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands   17 2 Visualizing Women’s Work in the Textile Trades at the Dawn of the Golden Age  

45

3 Memorializing Grief in Familial and National Narratives of Dutch Identity  

73

4 Imagining Domesticity in Early Modern Dutch Dolls’ Houses  

99

5 The Rembrandt House and the Rubens House: Encountering Early Modern Women through Heritage Sites  

123

6 Sources and Settings: The Uses of Place for Tourism, Heritage, and History  

149

7 Purchasing the Past: Gender and the Consumption of Heritage  

171

Conclusion: From Yesterday to Tomorrow: Seeing and Hearing Women in the Low Countries  

195

Works Cited   Index  

199 233

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List of Illustrations I.1

Exterior of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, showing (to the left) Cesar Boetius van Everdingen, A young woman warming her hands over a brazier (allegory of winter), painting, c. 1650. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

2

1.1 Tomb of Margaret of Austria, Royal Monastery of Brou, Bourg-en-Bresse. Photo courtesy of Alastair N. Ross.

36

1.2 Hans Memling, Triptych of William Moreel (and his wife Barbara van Vlaenderberch), Altarpiece for the altar of Saints Maurus and Giles in the Church of Saint James in Bruges, 1484. Groeningemuseum, Stedelijke Musea Brugge © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW.

40

1.3

42

Master of the Holy Blood, Triptych of Jossine Lamsins, Joachim Christiaens, and their patron saints, surrounding a central panel depicting the Virgin with Child and Saints Catherine and Barbara, c. 1520–25. Groeningemuseum, Stedelijke Musea Brugge © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW.

2.1. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 421. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

48

2.2. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het ploten en kammen, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 420. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

55

2.3. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het vollen en verven, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 422. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

57

2.4. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol, painting, 1607–12, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 419. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

59

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Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

2.5. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude en de Nieuwe Neringhe, painting, 1596–1601, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 423. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

60

2.6. Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe, painting, 1596–1601, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 424. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands.

61

2.7 Historical wall panel incorporating the central figures from Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (detail), Marktsteeg, Leiden, collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

71

3.1 Willem Jacobsz. Delff after Michiel Jansz. Mierevelt, Portrait of Louise de Coligny, engraving, 1627, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN227468001. © Trustees of the British Museum.

85

3.2 Bloodied linen shirt probably worn by Hendrick Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz, stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, when he was mortally shot at the siege of Hulst, 1640, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number NG-NM-1104. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

89

3.3 Dirck van Delen, A family beside the tomb of Willem I in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, 1645, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number SK-A-2352. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

91

3.4 Römer with the arms and motto of Prince Maurice, glass, 1606, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-NM-697. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

93

3.5 Gillis van Scheyndel, Funeral Procession of Prince Maurice at Grote Markt in Delft, engraving (detail of lower left hand panel), 1625, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number RP-P-OB-15.078. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

94

3.6 Cornelis van Dalen after Adriaen van de Venne, Departure from this life of His Royal Highness Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange etc. anno 1647, engraving, 1647, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number RP-P-OB-76.483. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

97

List of Illustrations

ix

4.1 The Dolls’ House of Petronella Dunois, c. 1676, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-14656. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

100

4.2 The Dolls’ House of Petronella Oortman, c. 1685–1705, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-NM-1010. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

101

4.3 Jacob Appel, The doll’s house of Petronella Oortman, painting, c. 1710, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number SK-A-4245. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

113

5.1 Rubens House, Antwerp, with the original Flemish section to the left, the Italianate addition to the right, and the gift shop in the foreground. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

127

5.2 Rembrandt House, Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.

128

5.3

Peter Paul Rubens, Rubens in his garden with Helena Fourment (Helena Fourment with her son Nicholas), painting, c. 1631, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Photo courtesy of the bpk / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen.

5.4 Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-portrait with Saskia (The prodigal son), oil on linen, c. 1635, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden. Photo courtesy of the bpk / Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden / Hans-Peter Klut. 5.5

Frans Harrewyn after Jacques van Croes, View of Rubens’s House in Antwerp in 1692 (‘Parties de la Maison Hilwerue a Anvers’), engraving, eighteenth century, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN470263001. © Trustees of the British Museum.

135

136

138

5.6 Entrance Hall (with a wooden cupboard similar to that owned by Hendrickje Stoffels), Rembrandt House. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.

142

5.7 Kitchen (with a bed for the maid), Rembrandt House. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.

143

5.8 Rembrandt van Rijn, Saskia with pearls in her hair, 1634, engraving, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN22202001. © Trustees of the British Museum.

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5.9 Rembrandt dolls’ house, Piet Design. Photo courtesy of Piet Design.

145

5.10 Rembrandt dolls’ house images, Piet Design, detail (Hendrickje Stoffels looking out the window). Photo courtesy of Piet Design.

146

6.1 Pieter d’Hont, statue of Trijn van Leemput, 1955, Utrecht. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

157

6.2 Sculpture of a nun wearing sunglasses, opposite the beguine complex, Bruges. Photo courtesy of Susan Broomhall.

163

6.3 Exterior of the Mauritshuis, The Hague, showing a detail from Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, painting, c. 1665–67. Photo courtesy of B. de Praetere.

166

6.4 Vermeer tourism cube, Delft. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

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6.5 Vermeer Visitor Centre, Delft. Photo courtesy of Alicia Marchant.

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7.1 Lace for sale in a shop near the Rubens House, Antwerp. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

183

7.2 Joep and Jeroen Verhoeven van Demakersvan, Lace Fence at the St Janshuismolen as part of Kantlijnen, or the face of lace, Bruges, 2009. © Stad Brugge – Matthias Desmet.

188

7.3 Viktor & Rolf, Emina doll, ‘The Fashion Show,’ Autumn/Winter 2007–2008 (from exhibition The House of Viktor & Rolf). Photo © Peter Stigter.

190

7.4 Our Lady of Succour and Victory, 1585, wearing dress designed by Ann Demeulemeester, 2001, in Saint Andrew’s church, Antwerp. Sint Andrieskerk Antwerpen © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW.

193

List of Tables 4.1 Rooms Listed in Contemporary Southern German Dolls’ Houses

xxx

4.2 Rooms Listed in Dutch Dolls’ Houses

xxx

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Acknowledgements Many friends and colleagues have been instrumental in the development of this project. We are grateful to David Barrie, Dagmar Eichberger, Joanne McEwan, Dolly MacKinnon, Jeremy Martens, Susie Protschky, Jacqueline Van Gent, and Charles Zika for their feedback on early drafts of various chapters. Erin Jackson Vis kindly shared with us the findings of her honours dissertation, ‘Painting Women: Exploring identity in the visual egodocuments of artistic women in the Dutch Republic (1650–1750).’ The anonymous reviewers for Ashgate were immensely helpful in helping us tease out the precision of our argument, and editor Erika Gaffney has been a particular help through all stages of the process. We thank Cedric Beidatsch, Rudolf Dekker, Femme S. Gaastra, Manfred Horstmanshoff, Heidi A. Müller, and Jet Pijzel-Dommisse for their helpful advice, discussions and exchange of literature on various aspects of the project. We would especially like to thank Lisa Keane Elliott and Alicia Marchant for their research work and participation in this project over several years. We are grateful to the galleries, museums, and individuals that have been involved in providing us with image permissions for this work, and particularly wish to thank Mechtild Beckers, Manon Billiet, Iris Labeur, Norbert Ludwig, Elisabeth Rijkels, Alastair N. Ross, Anne Schulte, Peter Stigter, and Caro Verbeek. We also thank the editors of the journals Cultural and Social History and Parergon for permission to reprint articles which form part of Chapters 2 and 4. We are grateful for the financial support of a University of Western Australia Research Development Award which supported the first research work towards this project and for a publication grant from the Research and Research Training Committee, Faculty of Arts, the University of Melbourne, that provided support at its completion. Finally, Sue thanks Tim, Fionn and Cai for their unpaid labour as argument analysts, image spotters, and front cover decision-makers. Jenny thanks Ted for travelling to various location with her, and especially for talking about canals and architecture in Amsterdam. Jenny and Sue thank each other for patience, good humour, and making the process an enjoyable testimony to the value of collaborative work in the humanities.

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Introduction As cold visitors wrapped in coats and scarves approached Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum in winter several years ago, they were confronted and enticed inside by an enormous image on the building’s exterior of a woman in a paradoxically cosy, domestic setting (Figure I.1). A blown-up detail from the c. 1650 painting A young woman warming her hands over a brazier (allegory of winter) by Cesar Boetius van Everdingen, this image and its re-use presents and reconstructs ideas about women and the past. Indeed, women feature prominently in the images of the medieval and early modern Low Countries that are presented to visitors. Likewise, they appear frequently on the covers and pages of both scholarly and popular texts that analyse this region and period. Academic historian Lisa Jardine, whose books often appeal to broad, non-specialist audiences, uses the 1656 painting The Procuress by Delft artist Jan Vermeer on the cover of her latest book, Going Dutch. The design focuses attention on the woman’s flushed face and the male hand creeping around to her breast, tantalizing readers with ideas about the relationship between Dutch identity, women, sexuality, and Golden Age art. Our book asks what the use of sources such as these mean for understandings of the past that are produced in scholarly, art, heritage, and cultural tourism domains. What are the intersections between the selection of source materials used, and the narratives developed, in these different spheres? How do art, heritage or tourist interpretations of the past and women’s experiences in it impact upon scholarly histories? Conversely, how does academic scholarship influence narratives about and also for women created in other contexts such as heritage and tourism? In this text, we argue that if a key goal of feminist historical scholarship is to document and include women’s diverse experiences in order to develop richer interpretations of the past, then we need answers to questions such as these, exploring the here and now as much as the past and its evidence. We need to understand the relationships between different narratives, different interpretive contexts, and the sources that they use as they conceptualise, authorise, and canonise versions of the past, and we need to identify how the processes of source selection and interpretation are themselves gendered. Our aim in this book is therefore to study the production and use of sources in various contexts to create narratives of the past. We examine sources created by early modern women of the Low Countries across a range of media to document their thoughts and experiences. In addition, we analyse sources in which early modern women were represented by their contemporaries. Adopting an explicitly  Lisa Jardine, Going Dutch: How England plundered Holland’s glory (London, 2008). The 2009 paperback edition replaces the cover with a close-up of traditional blue and white Dutch tiles showing a boat and windmill.



Fig. I.1

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Exterior of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, showing (to the left) Cesar Boetius van Everdingen, A young woman warming her hands over a brazier (allegory of winter), painting, c. 1650. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

feminist analysis, we suggest that understanding the practices through which meanings are made for the past is critical to enable the advancement of sophisticated and complex histories of women and gender. The chapters that follow explore different historical aspects of women’s experiences and the ways that they are presented in academic, museum, heritage, and cultural tourism domains. We argue that the way these contexts have analysed and employed diverse sources has been vital for how women’s experiences in the early modern period have been understood to date. Each chapter examines a series of sources, and we begin with those that are more frequently used in scholarly domains, such as letters, manuscripts, prints, and paintings. We then deliberately move towards more unusual sources, like dolls’ houses, cityscapes, building interiors, and laceworks, that are employed much less frequently in scholarly interpretations, but feature more prominently in other contexts in which history is produced, such as heritage sites and museums. We explore how particular sources serve as entry points to specific kinds of narratives or interpretive contexts, and how others can be employed in a wider and more layered or nuanced range of presentations of the past, and even used in complement, providing alternative access points for viewers, readers, and visitors.

Introduction



Not all sources have been regarded as equal in scholarly historical work. In order to analyse which sources are perceived as legitimate forms of evidence for the past in a given historical context, it is vital to understand how different interpretive contexts produce and validate knowledge. Debates about what knowledge is and can be have long engaged scholars of history, museology, and tourism. Increasingly sophisticated studies – albeit ones that rarely engage with medieval and early modern materials – have explored how interpretations and their sources depend on what creators, storytellers, designers, curators, or authors working with the past and their consumers, audiences, recipients, visitors, or readers think knowledge consists of. These are groups that may have different ideas about the ways in which knowledge can be verified (if, indeed, this is considered an aim at all). Our text teases out these debates by offering an analysis of the gendered practices of source selection and historical interpretation in scholarly and other domains. Crucially, this analysis highlights early modern women’s agency to narrate their own lives for their contemporaries and posthumously for modern audiences – and thus the rich opportunities for modern historians, curators, and tourist providers to do so. Scholarly Contexts In order to effectively analyse sources and the interpretations that have been made of them in varied historical contexts, we have employed an unusually broad range of methodological approaches. It is therefore crucial to articulate the key fields of practice that underpin our work. A critical context for our study is the extensive body of historical, literary, and artistic scholarship on women of the Low Countries in the late medieval and early modern periods. While this is a large field, there are surprisingly few studies, in English, French, or Dutch, which explicitly employ a wide range of sources in a broad analysis of women’s experiences during this period. Yet this was an era in which the region is traditionally perceived to have been at the height of its power and glory, and which generated an extraordinary



For an example of historical work informed by post-modern issues, see Alun Munslow, The New History (Harlow, 2003), and for a more traditional position, see Richard J. Evans, In Defence of History (London, 1997; new edition 2000). On new issues in museology see Eileen Hooper-Greenhill (ed.), Museum, Media, Message (London, 1995), and Peter Vergo (ed.), The New Museology (London, 1989). On tourism, see Dean MacCannell, The Tourist: A new theory of the leisure class (London, 1976); Nina Wang, ‘Rethinking Authenticity in Tourism Experience,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 26 (1999): pp. 349–70; Gordon Waitt, ‘Consuming Heritage: Perceived historical authenticity,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 27 (2000): pp. 835–62; Erik Cohen, ‘Authenticity and Commoditization in Tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 15 (1998): pp. 371–86; and Yvette Reisinger and Carol J. Steiner, ‘Reconceptualizing Object Authenticity,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 33 (2006): pp. 65–86.

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries



and varied range of cultural products. Instead, there is a vast range of close studies that explore the experiences of a particular female cohort or pursue a particular theme. Work has been conducted, for example, on the Dutch and Flemish beguines, maidservants, and prostitutes, and on women as workers more generally. Likewise, the emancipation of women in the Low Countries, especially in their legal and economic circumstances, has been a topic of vigorous debate. Our study contributes to scholars’ growing knowledge about female lives more broadly, by Two edited collections that incorporate a range of historical approaches and themes concerning women in the Northern or Southern regions, and during the medieval or early modern periods, are Els Kloek, Nicole Teeuwen and Marijke Huisman (eds), Women of the Golden Age: An international debate on women in seventeenth-century Holland, England and Italy (Hilversum, 1994); and Ellen E. Kittell and Mary A. Suydam (eds), The Texture of Society: Medieval women in the Southern Low Countries (Basingstoke, 2004).  Jeneke Quast, ‘Vrouwen in gilden in Den Bosch, Utrecht en Leiden van de 14e tot en met de 16e eeuw,’ in W. Fritschy (ed.), Fragmenten vrouwengeschiedenis (2 vols, Den Haag, 1980), vol. 1, pp. 26–37; Martha C. Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy in Late Medieval Cities (Chicago, 1986); David Nicholas, The Domestic Life of a Medieval City: Women, children and the family in fourteenth-century Ghent (Lincoln, 1985); Lotte van de Pol, Het Amsterdams hoerdom: Prostitutie in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1996); Eric Bousmar, ‘Du marché aux bordiaulx. Hommes, femmes et rapport de sexe (gender) dans les villes des Pays-Bas au bas moyen âge. Etat de nos connaissances et perspectives de recherche,’ in Myriam Carlier, Anke Greve, Walter Prevenier and Peter Stabel (eds), Hart en Marge in de Laat-Middeleeuwse Stedelijke Maatschappij. Handelingen van het colloquium te Gent (22–23 augustus 1996) (Leuven, 1997), pp. 51– 70; Walter Simons, Cities of Ladies: Beguine communities in the medieval Low Countries, 1200–1565 (Philadelphia, 2003); Annette de Vries, Ingelijst Werk. De verbeelding van arbeid en beroepin de vroegmoderne Nederlanden (Zwolle, 2004); Annette de Vries, ‘Toonbeelden van huiselijkheid of arbeidzaamheid? De iconografie van de spinster in relatie tot de veerbelding van arbeid en beroep in de vroegmoderne Nederlanden,’ Tijdschrift voor sociale en economische geschiedenis, 2 (2005): pp. 103–25, Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market: Women’s work in the Dutch textile industry, 1581–1810,’ International Review of Social History, 51 (2006): pp. 89–216; and Danielle van den Heuvel, Women and Entrepreneurship: Female traders in the Northern Netherlands c. 1580–1815 (Amsterdam, 2007).  Martha C. Howell, The Marriage Exchange: Property, social place, and gender in cities of the Low Countries, 1300–1550 (Chicago, 1998); Ellen E. Kittell, ‘Guardianship over Women in Medieval Flanders: A reappraisal,’ Journal of Social History, 31/4 (1998): pp. 897–930; Marc Boone, Thérèse De Hemptinne and Walter Prevenier, ‘Gender and Early Emancipation in the Low Countries in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period,’ in Jessica Munns and Penny Richards (eds), Gender, Power and Privilege in Early Modern Europe: 1500–1700 (Harlow, 2003), pp. 21–39; Shennan Hutton, ‘“On herself and all her property”: Women’s economic activities in late-medieval Ghent,’ Continuity and Change, 20 (2005): pp. 325–49; Kristi DiClemente, ‘The Women of Flanders and their Husbands: The role of women in the Liber Floridus,’ Essays in Medieval Studies, 23 (2006): pp. 79– 86. Also see the material summarized in Laura van Aert, ‘Trade and Gender Emancipation: Retailing women in sixteenth-century Antwerp,’ in Bruno Blondé, Peter Stabel, Jon Stobart and Ilja Van Damme (eds), Buyers and Sellers: Retail circuits and practices in medieval and early modern Europe (Turnhout, 2006), pp. 297–313. 

Introduction



deliberately bringing together a wide array of women whose experiences and identities have left traces that can inform historical narratives. The writings and experiences of individual women, by contrast, have been a more consistent focus of scholarly publication. These include biographical studies of ‘great women’ such as Isabel of Portugal, the third wife of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Studies of the lives and works of other late medieval and early modern females foreground religious women, such as the mystic Hadewijch of Antwerp or prophets and Pietists such as Antoinette Bourignon and humanist scholar Anna Maria van Schurman. Such studies frequently analyse the ways that women represented themselves and their worlds. We uncover new texts, including letters and memoirs, that likewise tell us what women had to say, and what opportunities they had to present their views. A second important context for our study is scholarship that analyses the production of history in academic, public, and popular domains, and how these domains intersect. Historians have long debated how they should engage with domains beyond academic lectures, tutorials, and textual presentations of their scholarship, and the rise of the ‘celebrity historian’ attests to the continued vitality of historical interest among non-specialist audiences. Ludmilla Jordanova has argued that the scholarship of trained historians is crucial to understanding broader domains and, further, that it is the responsibility of historians to attend to practices of ‘public history.’ Many scholars now disseminate some of their research through radio broadcasting, podcasts, texts designed for a general readership, presenting and researching for television documentaries, curating exhibitions, advising historical film productions, and creating personal websites. Yet the nomenclature ‘public’  On the key cultural patronage role of Isabel, see Claudine Lemaire and Michele Henry, Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne, 1397–1471: Exposition Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er, 5 octobre–23 novembre 1991, exhibition catalogue (Brussels, 1991); Charity Cannon Willard, ‘The Patronage of Isabel of Portugal,’ in June Hall McCash (ed.), The Cultural Patronage of Medieval Women (Athens GA, 1996), pp. 306–20; Eric Bousmar, ‘La noblesse, une affaire d’homme? L’apport du féminisme à un examen des représentations de la noblesse dans les milieux bourguignons,’ in J.-M. Cauchiés (ed.), Images et représentations princières et nobiliaires dans les Pays-Bas bourguignons et quelques régions voisines (XIVe–XVIe s.). Rencontres de Nivelles-Bruxelles (26 au 29 septembre 1996) (Neuchâtel, 1997), pp. 147–55; Monique Sommé, Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne: Une femme au pouvoir au XVe siècle (Villeneuve d’Ascq, 1998); and Aline S. Taylor, Isabel of Burgundy: The duchess who played politics in the age of Joan of Arc (Madison WI, 2002).  Joyce Irwin, ‘Anna Maria van Schurman and Antoinette Bourignon: Contrasting examples of seventeenth-century Pietism,’ Church History, 60/3 (1991): pp. 301–31; Emilie ZumBrunn and Georgette Epiney-Burgard, Women Mystics in Medieval Europe, trans. Sheila Hughes (St Paul MI, 2003).  Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice (London, 2000); on public history see her Chapter 6.  John Arnold, Kate Davies and Simon Ditchfield (eds), History and Heritage: Consuming the past in contemporary culture (St Mary, 1998); and on exhibitions see Ludmilla Jordanova, ‘Objects of Knowledge: A historical perspective on museums,’ ibid.,



Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

or ‘popular’ history implies that what scholars produce in the academy is private or in some way less engaged with contemporary interests and cultures. We prefer to conceptualize historical understanding as a range of narratives, interpretations, and presentations that occur in varied forums for differing purposes and audiences. Interpretations that we examine in this study range from those produced in scholarly books and articles, gallery displays, and museum signage to those which appear at heritage sites and in tourist literature. A third context that shapes our analysis stems from the burgeoning, intersecting fields of museum and heritage studies with which, we suggest, academic historians could productively engage in greater depth. In the chapters to follow, we analyse a range of sources as diverse as paintings, dolls’ houses, and heritage interiors in terms of their specific content but also, where possible, in terms of the curatorial and institutional strategies and decisions that underpin their interpretive presentation in museum, gallery, tourist, and other contexts. Audiences engage with such materials on a variety of levels, from the intellectual to the sensual, aided by presentation strategies, and this interaction is now receiving scholarly attention.10 Likewise, museums and other cultural institutions are also increasingly articulating broader, often socially complex missions (particularly when they rely to some extent on public funds), and undertaking audience development for financial as well as wider, cultural reasons.11 This involves balancing the symbolic and actual ownership of cultural items by local residents alongside the perceived needs of visitors, and has led to a rethinking of audience engagement from museum and heritage perspectives.12 Clearly, there are many complex issues that must be taken into account when deciding which stories, issues, and also historical periods to prioritize.13 pp. 22–40, and also Vergo (ed.), The New Museology. We would also point to Natalie Zemon Davis, who advised on the set of Le Retour de Martin Guerre (1982, directed by Daniel Vigne); on this experience see her ‘“Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead”: Film and the challenge of authenticity,’ The Yale Review, 76/4 (1987): pp. 457–82; and Simon Schama’s work on documentaries for television; Simon Schama, ‘Television and the Trouble with History,’ in David Cannadine (ed.), History and the Media (Houndmills, 2004), pp. 20–33. 10 For example, the sensory, ‘whole body’ interpretations of the past that sites increasingly seek to promise visitors has been critiqued by historians such as Jordanova, ‘Objects of Knowledge,’ pp. 25–6. 11 See, for example, this report for the Arts Council England: Heather Maitland (ed.), Navigating Difference: Cultural diversity and audience development (London, 2006). 12 Martin Selby, Understanding Urban Tourism: Image, culture and experience (London, 2004), p. 50, drawing upon Gerry Kearns and Chris Philo, Selling Places: The city as cultural capital past and present (Oxford, 1993). 13 Brian Graham, ‘Heritage as Knowledge: Capital or Culture,’ Urban Studies, 39 (2002): pp. 1003–17; Sheila Watson, ‘History Museums, Community Identities and a Sense of Place: Rewriting histories,’ in Simon J. Knell, Suzanne MacLeod and Sheila Watson (eds), Museum Revolutions: How museums change and are changed (London, 2007), pp. 160–172. See also Gregory Ashworth, Brian Graham and John Tunbridge, Pluralising Pasts: Heritage, identity and place in multicultural societies (London, 2007).

Introduction



Strategies of exhibition and display have not developed ahistorically, but are themselves constructed in ways that reflect current concerns, even if audiences are not always aware of or exposed to the processes by which such decisions are made.14 Some new museology theorists would argue that such exposure should be a central curatorial aim. Charles Saumarez Smith, for example, has argued that the ‘best museum displays are often those which are the most evidently selfconscious, heightening the spectator’s awareness of the means of representation, involving the spectator in the process of display.’15 Museums, galleries, and heritage sites often seek to educate audiences in a variety of ways, about the past, about themselves, about the politics of display and narration, but always through experiences that are enjoyable and accessible. Where does the presentation of medieval and early modern women’s experiences fit alongside such imperatives? Through an examination of varied sources, settings, and themes of the past, we explore the significance of gender as a factor in the development of a variety of modern interpretive sites, subjects, and strategies. The depiction of women in the art of the Low Countries has been the subject of particular interest to scholars of gender, art, and culture and a mainstay of popular exhibitions.16 Simon Schama devotes a chapter of his influential 1987 book, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, to images of the housewife and whore.17 Wayne E. Franits and Nanette Salomon have 14 David Dean, Museum Exhibition: Theory and practice (London, 1994), and HooperGreenhill (ed.), Museum, Media, Message. 15 Charles Saumarez Smith, ‘Museums, Artefacts, and Meanings,’ in Vergo (ed.), The New Museology, pp. 6–21, see p. 20; and also Warren Leon, ‘A Broader Vision: Exhibits that change the way visitors look at the past,’ in Jo Blatti (ed.), Past Meets Present: Essays about historical interpretation and public audiences (Washington, 1987), pp. 133–52; and Michael Wallace, ‘The Politics of Public History,’ in ibid., pp. 37–53. 16 On the Burgundian era, see Eric Bousmar, ‘Iconographie et genre. Le cas des Pays-Bas bourguignons (XVe siècle): quelques pistes et résultats de recherche,’ in Etudes féministes en Belgique 1997–2000. Vrouwenstudies in België. Actes du colloque/Akten van het colloquium (Brussels, 2002), pp. 127–36; Dagmar Eichberger (ed.), Women of Distinction: Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria, exhibition catalogue (Leuven and Turnhout, 2005); Andrea G. Pearson, Envisioning Gender in Burgundian Devotional Art, 1350–1530: Experience, authority, resistance (Aldershot, 2005); and also the broader studies of northern art included in Alison G. Stewart and Jane L. Carroll (eds), Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Gender and Northern art in medieval and early modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003). For Dutch art, see Patricia Phagan, S.W. Pelletier, and William U. Eiland (eds), Images of Women in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art: Domesticity and the representation of the peasant (Athens GA, 1996); Yvonne Bleyerveld, Hoe Bedriechlijk dat die Vrouwen Zijn: Vrouwenlisten in de beeldende kunst in de Nederlanden circa 1350–1650 (Leiden, 2000); and Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips, Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and people in historical perspective (New Haven, 2003). 17 Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age (London, 1987). Schama’s interpretations of the position of women in the Dutch Golden Age have not been unchallenged by feminist scholars. See for example



Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

examined male-authored representations of women in two typical recent studies.18 Individual female artists, notably Judith Leyster, have also been recovered through curatorial work and academic scholarship, and integrated into wider analyses of female painters of the period.19 Feminist researchers have explored the complex intersections of museum culture and art history, and museums as particular sites of debate in feminist historiography, sometimes seen as exclusionary of women and women’s histories and activities.20 These are debates that have made us think more deeply about the ways that traces of the past can be conveyed through different media. For, as Didier Maleuvre has argued: Art warrants a different historical thinking because the work of art makes history in an essentially different way than other artifacts do. Art constitutes a caesura of history, hence of experience and of the subject: it cuts into the very concept of the subject of culture in a way that calls into question ideas of immanence, naturalism, and authenticity.21

The vexed issue of what versions and levels of ‘reality’ might be embedded within artworks has special relevance in relation to the early modern imagery of the Low Countries. Intensely detailed portraits, illusionistic still life imagery, and genre scenes of taverns, kitchens, and the like all explicitly recall the everyday and have made the concept of ‘realism’ crucial to understanding Dutch and Flemish art. Over the last few decades, art historians have vigorously debated whether typical artworks of this period should primarily be viewed as symbolic allegories or the contributions to this field by authors in Kloek, Teeuwen, and Huisman (eds), Women of the Golden Age. And for his work on Rembrandt and Rubens (Simon Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes (New York, 1999)), criticised from an explicitly feminist perspective, see Mieke Bal, ‘Women’s Rembrandt,’ in Griselda Pollock and Joyce Zemans (eds), Museums after Modernism: Strategies of engagement (Oxford, 2007), pp. 40–69. 18 Wayne E. Franits, Paragons of Virtue: Women and domesticity in seventeenthcentury Dutch art (Cambridge, 1993); Nanette Salomon, Shifting Priorities: Gender and genre in seventeenth-century Dutch painting (Stanford, 2004). 19 James A. Welu and Pieter Biesboer, Judith Leyster: A Dutch master in her world (New Haven, 1993); Frima Fox Hofrichter, Judith Leyster: A woman painter in Holland’s Golden Age (Doornspijk, 1989); and Fredrika H. Jacobs, Defining the Renaissance Virtuosa: Women artists and the language of art history and criticism (Cambridge, 1999). 20 The debates are briefly summarised in Jordanna Bailkin, ‘Picturing Feminism, Selling Liberalism: The case of the disappearing Holbein,’ in Bettina Messias Carbonell (ed.), Museum Studies: An anthology of contexts (Oxford, 2004), pp. 260–272, see p. 261. 21 Didier Maleuvre, Museum Memories: History, technology, art (Stanford, 1999), p. 3. This has been a feature of the work of feminist scholars: see for example, Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (eds), Feminism and Art History: Questioning the litany (Boulder CO, 1982); see particularly ‘Art History and its Exclusions: The example of Dutch art,’ pp.183–99; Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (eds), The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and art history (New York, 1992) and Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (eds), Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist art history after postmodernism (Berkeley, 2005).

Introduction



instead as scenes that aspire to ever-increasing levels of reality in depicting life in the Dutch Republic.22 This is particularly important in assessing the representation of women. Is the image of a kitchen maid at work under the eye of a male visitor a celebration of industry, a warning against immorality, or a cosy scene designed to remind buyers of their own homes? Or, indeed, might it imply all of these possibilities, but prioritize some over others? Historians are increasingly using visual sources for their potential to open up new historical questions and to reach different and wider audiences.23 Our study builds upon such scholarship by exploring visual images as one of a range of important sources that offer evidence for distinct narratives of the past; sources that move particularly easily from scholarly texts to museum spaces. Finally, there is a broad literature on heritage and cultural tourism that analyses the modern presentation of discrete sites and material objects in order to gauge their meanings to past and modern cultures. Scholars of tourism, leisure, and historical geography have been at the forefront of research into the presentation of history in touristic and heritage domains.24 They have explored the contributions that a variety of stakeholders, from operators to tourists themselves, play in the shaping

For overviews of these debates see Wayne E. Franits (ed.), Looking at SeventeenthCentury Dutch Art: Realism reconsidered (Cambridge, 1997); David Freedberg and Jan de Vries (eds), Art in History, History in Art (Santa Monica, 1991); and J. Bruyn, ‘A TurningPoint in the History of Dutch Art,’ in Ger Luijten and Ariane van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish art 1580–1620, exhibition catalogue (Amsterdam, 1993), pp. 112–21. 23 Peter Burke, Eyewitnessing: The use of images as historical evidence (London, 2001); and Charles Zika, ‘Writing the Visual into History: Changing cultural perceptions of late medieval and renaissance Germany,’ in his Exorcising our Demons: Magic, witchcraft and visual culture in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2003), pp. 523–79. 24 The commodification of history into a consumable product – heritage – has been a point of focus within recent literature, as the past has become an increasingly valuable component of experiential cultural tourism. See Greg Richards, ‘Production and Consumption of European Cultural Tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 261–83; Jan van der Borg, Paolo Costa, and Giuseppe Gotti, ‘Tourism in European Heritage cities,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 306–21; Peirce Lewis, ‘Taking Down the Velvet Rope: Cultural geography and the human landscape,’ in Blatti (ed.), Past Meets Present, pp. 23–9; and Elizabeth Collins Cromley, ‘Public History and the Historic Preservation District,’ in ibid., pp. 30–36. The most significant heritage studies are David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985); David Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History (London, 1996); Patrick Wright, On Living In An Old Country: The national past in contemporary Britain (London, 1985); Robert Hewison, The Heritage Industry: Britain in a climate of decline (London, 1987); John Urry, The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and travel in contemporary societies (London, 1990); and Nezar AlSayyad, Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global norms and urban forms in the age of tourism (London, 2001) 22

10

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of narratives of the past.25 Tourism has been perceived as partly concerned with people’s search for the authentic outside of their everyday lives.26 The literature that has explored this concept has focused predominantly on the reception of objects, sights or sites as authentic by tourists, and the implications of this both for host cultures and for tourists’ constructions of identity.27 Heritage and museological studies have also been concerned with the articulation of past and place since the late 1990s, although their focus is generally on the ways in which place-based heritage impacts on the resident or citizen rather than the foreign visitor.28 Yet, in an important theoretical paper, Mary-Catherine E. Garden observed that scholars’ inability as yet ‘to grasp how heritage sites work and what they “do” over time will impact on our understanding of heritage as a social construction and will have a notable effect on the ways in which we understand how both heritage and heritage sites change and grow over time.’29 Furthermore, she argues that: Rather than locating an analysis in whether a site is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or whether it offers a ‘real’ version of the past, it is much more useful and rewarding to consider how a site uses the components of its tangible landscape to create a distinct place of the past.30

Following her work, one key aspect of our study will be to examine how ‘distinct places of the past’ are presented to visitors to the Low Countries today. To date, little attention has been paid to the Netherlands or Belgium in the literature of tourism and heritage research. The Low Countries are rarely recognized in scholarly literature as a destination of special interest within European cultural tourism. Analyses of Italy, France, and England are instead dominant. We argue, however, that a study of the heritage and tourism programmes of the Low 25 Martin Young, ‘The Social Construction of Tourist Places,’ Australian Geographer, 30 (1999): pp. 373–89; Martin Young, ‘The Relationship between Tourist Motivations and the Interpretation of Place Meanings,’ Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 1 (1999): pp. 387–405; Gaynor Bagnall, ‘Performance and Performativity at Heritage Sites,’ Museum and Society, 1/3 (2003): pp. 1–33; and Mike Crang, ‘Magic Kingdom or a Quixotic Quest for Authenticity?,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 415–31. 26 MacCannell, The Tourist. 27 See note 2, above. 28 David Uzzell, ‘Creating Place Identity through Heritage Interpretation,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 1 (1996): pp. 219–28, see p. 228; on heritage for residents of Dutch cities see Elke Ennen, ‘The Meaning of Heritage According to Connoisseurs, Rejecters and Take-it-or-leavers in Historic City Centres: Two Dutch cities experienced,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 6 (2000): pp. 331–49; and Emma Stewart and Val Kirby, ‘Interpretive Evaluation: Towards a place approach,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 4 (1998): pp. 30–44, see p. 44. 29 Mary-Catherine E. Garden, ‘The Heritagescape: Looking at landscapes of the past,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12 (2006): pp. 394–411, see p. 395. 30 Ibid., p. 408.

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Countries addresses particularly valuable issues. Firstly, the medieval and early modern period is a central focus of tourists’ historical encounters with the Low Countries; these periods are presented as the pinnacle of their influence, from which the ‘glory’ of the Golden Age emerged. Secondly, the Low Countries should hold particular significance for feminist historians because of the high visibility of many potential historical sources from this period that are female-focused (artwork, dolls’ houses, and beguine dwellings, for example). Finally, some tourism research has suggested that ‘while women adopt particular gendered roles as tourists or are reified and objectified within postcards, tourist brochures and sex tourism, we [that is, women] are frequently invisibilised within heritage tourism.’31 The Low Countries, we suggest, provide an opportunity to study a possibly unique situation: a region with a cultural heritage sector that is frequently sustained by a strong visual presentation of women. Sources, Data, and Methods This study employs a complex set of methods to assess the diverse range of sources and contexts outlined above. Although the study of early modern women is increasing, it is still relatively rare that understanding of women’s experiences is analysed through their own forms of self-expression. In this text therefore we use a wide variety of often under-utilized sources, from written evidence such as memoirs and letters, to painted and printed artworks, and other material objects such as dolls’ houses, clothes, furnishing, interior spaces, and tombs. Our interest in gendered expressions of self in these sources engages with current scholarship about ego-documents that has emerged from Germany and the Netherlands in particular.32 Scholars such as Ariane Baggerman, Rudolf Dekker, and Lotte van de Pol have been vital in creating methodologies for analysis of ego-documents 31 Cara Aitchison, Nicola E. McLeod, and Stephen J. Shaw, Leisure and Tourism Landscapes: Social and cultural geographies (London, 2000), p. 127. On this point see also Cara Aitchison and Carole Reeves, ‘Gendered (Bed)Spaces: The culture and commerce of women only tourism,’ in Cara Aitchison and Fiona Jordan (eds), Gender, Space and Identity: Leisure, culture and commerce (Brighton, 1998), pp. 47–68; V. Kinnaird and D. Hall, ‘Understanding Tourism Processes: A gender-aware framework,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 17 (1996): pp. 95–102; and Annette Pritchard and Nigel J. Morgan, ‘Privileging the Male Gaze: Gendered tourism landscapes,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 27 (2000): pp. 884–905. 32 For Germany, see for example Claudia Ulbrich, ‘Zeuginnen and Bittstellerinnen. Uberlegungen zur Bedeutung von Ego-Dokumenten für die Erforschung weiblicher Selbstwahrnehmung in der ländlichen Gesellschaft des 18. Jahrhunderts,’ in Winifried Schulze (ed.), Ego-Dokumente. Annäherung an den Menschen in der Geschichte (Berlin, 1996), pp. 207–26; and Claudia Ulbrich and David Sabean, ‘Personenkonzepte in der frühen Neuzeit,’ in C. von Braunmühl (ed.), Etablierte Wissenschaft und feministische Theorie im Dialog (Berlin, 2003), pp. 99–112.

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and personal narratives in Dutch history.33 Recent work has shown a continuing preference for study of textual materials. These are of interest to us here, but we would also argue that a wider variety of source types warrant more attention.34 These include, in our study, a mixture of textual and non-textual sources produced by women, including an elite woman’s courtly advice manuals and memoirs, women’s familial and political letters, female-authored account books, and works commissioned by female patrons. We support our analysis of the female voices and experiences that these offer through a careful reading of male-authored sources which indicate expectations of women. We use the words and images produced by contemporary travellers, artists, and authors, evident in archival records, testaments, and material goods to highlight diverse facets of women’s representation, presentation, and experiences. Our analyses of all such sources are conscious of the constraints on expression in the relevant media or genres. As feminist scholars, we are attentive to questions of methodology that underpin analysis of gendered identities and notions of power. Women rarely controlled the production of historians’ sources, and gender ideologies inflect those that remain in important ways for male and female historical subjects.35 A further significant aspect of our analysis is the examination of what might best be termed the ‘afterlives’ of women from the late medieval and early modern period. We argue that many of the male-authored sources from that period continue to inform modern presentations of women’s experiences by historians in various fields, as well as institutional and independent tourism providers, in ways that deserve closer interrogation by feminist researchers. Our methodology for these sources combines content analysis of historical narratives presented in literature available to visitors on-site, such as brochures, pamphlets and signage detailing town walking tours and site guides, with an ethnographic interpretation of Dutch and Belgian sites as visitor-scholars ourselves.36

Rudolf Dekker (ed.), Egodocuments and History: Autobiographical writing in its social context since the middle ages (Hilversum, 2002); Lotte van de Pol, ‘Research of Egodocuments in the Netherlands: Some thoughts on individuality, gender and text,’ in Gabriele Jancke and Claudia Ulbrich (eds), Vom Individuum zur Person. Neue Konzepte im Spannungsfeld von Autobiographietheorie und Selbstzeugnisforschung (Berlin, 2005), pp. 233–40; and Arianne Baggerman and Rudolf Dekker (eds), Egodocumenten: Nieuwe Wegen en Benaderingen (Amsterdam, 2004). 34 Daniela Hacke, ‘Conference Report: Ego-documents of women in early modern German cities. 19 Feb. 2001,’ published 15 April 2004, see http://www.h-net.org/announce/ show.cgi?ID=127288. 35 Our approach is guided by the groundbreaking analysis in Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 1550–1720 (Oxford, 1998). 36 On place meaning-making in such texts, see James S. Duncan and Nancy Duncan, ‘(Re) reading the Landscape,’ Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 6 (1988): pp. 117–26; and for similar approaches see Seyhmus Baloglu and Ken W. McCleary, ‘A Model of Destination Image Formation,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 26 (1999): pp. 808–99. 33

Introduction

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Various members of our research team travelled separately to the Low Countries to encounter historical tourism and heritage sites as visitor-scholars, adopting a phenomenological methodology. Our approach was informed by the work of David Crouch and others on embodiment, especially in thinking through the distinctions between how tourists experience destinations and how scholars analyse tourist locations.37 Both the authors of this book undertook exploration of most of the sites included in this text twice each, and we also employed two further historians, Alicia Marchant and Lisa Keane Elliott, to collect additional data from sites, museums, places, and galleries, in the cities and countryside of the Low Countries. On location, the team collected tourist materials such as guidebooks, brochures, and advertisements produced by tourist bureaux, art galleries, museums, town councils, private operators, and monument owners that were made available to the English-speaking tourist visiting the Low Countries, and which offered historical representations. We focus on English-language materials that most broadly represent the non-local, traveller-tourist sector.38 These include signage, brochures, and didactic panels deploying historical images and artworks, and other media through which a sense of the past was used to engage the traveller. We created photographic diaries of signage, street art, memorials, and other relevant touristic features, and documented use of interactive screen-based as well as audio materials available on-site. We made notes of the ways in which different visitors interacted with objects and sites. In all, hundreds of textual documents, thousands of photographs, and the notes from our respective experiential diaries were analysed for this study. As we have worked on this project in formal and informal ways over the last five years, we have shared accounts of personal travel narratives and the ways that they have changed our approach to the project. Book Structure We have chosen the term the ‘Low Countries’ to reflect our wide-ranging coverage that begins with the fifteenth-century Burgundian Empire (governed largely from Flanders), continues through the separate entities of the Dutch Republic and

David Crouch, ‘Tourism Representations and Non-Representative Geographies: Making relationships between tourism and heritage active,’ in Mike Robinson et al. (eds), Tourism and Heritage Relationships: Global, national and local perspectives (Sunderland, 2000); David Crouch, ‘Places Around Us: Embodied lay geographies in leisure and tourism,’ Leisure Studies, 19 (2000): pp. 63–76; see also Soile Veijola and Eeva Jokinen, ‘The Body in Tourism,’ Theory, Culture and Society, 6 (1994): pp. 125–51; and Chris Rojek and John Urry, Touring Cultures: Transformations of travel theory (London, 1997). 38 Indeed, materials are often only available in Dutch and/or French, as well as English, so that English is, it seems, generally assumed to be a common language for all tourists who do not read Dutch or French. 37

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Spanish Netherlands in the seventeenth century,39 and finishes with the most recent presentations of medieval and early modern women in scholarly, museum, heritage, and cultural tourism contexts in the Netherlands, Northern France and Belgium. As the scope of this material indicates, we do not intend to comprehensively examine one region or period, but instead to present and analyse a range of focused case studies chosen for their ability to reveal facets of the way sources can speak for, by, or about women in historical interpretations. Each chapter therefore studies a set of source types from a thematic perspective in order to articulate the processes by which women’s experiences and selfexpression are or could be brought to bear on historical narratives. While historic and modern sources are examined in synergy within each chapter, our focus moves from predominantly early modern concerns to modern ones over the course of the text, and as such, from sources more familiar to historical scholars to those that have had relatively little impact on academic interpretations. In Chapter 1, we focus on elite women’s voices and experiences in narratives of the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands. The chapter explores the kinds of representations that are created about the past using women’s own voices and experiences of this period and interrogates what source materials can be used in this way. Chapter 2 investigates how visual sources can be used to support or develop narratives about women’s urban labour in the textile trades. Both the industry and artistic conventions were undergoing change at the turn of the sixteenth century. We analyse Leiden artist Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg’s late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century painting cycle of The Old and New Trades as a contemporary presentation of female involvement in the textiles trade, and explore the use made of van Swanenburg’s images within modern presentations of women’s work and place in the Golden Age. Shifting to an elite context, the third chapter looks at women’s production of correspondence in order to secure financial and moral support for the widow and children of William the Silent after his assassination. It explores how articulations of grief by William’s widow, Louise de Coligny, helped to place the Nassau dynasty at the heart of the history of the fledgling Dutch Republic and to support a narrative of Orange sacrifice to the State that survives today. Yet presentations of the family constructed from the texts, images, and objects in museum displays, we argue, too often overlook such female dynastic work and prioritize the contribution of Nassau men to the family’s history. Our fourth chapter examines dolls’ houses curated and exhibited by early modern Dutch women who, in doing so, found a way to represent their domestic experiences. Yet perhaps these objects offered a significant opportunity for women to present their domestic roles and responsibilities, and we contrast their presentation to that found In the case of the Dutch Republic, Jonathan Israel characterizes the post-1702 period as one of decline. Jonathan I. Israel, The Dutch Republic: Its rise, greatness, and fall 1477–1806 (Oxford, 1995), p. 956. In the southern Netherlands, the rule of the Spanish and then Austrian Habsburgs was interrupted by French invasion in 1701 and a change to a policy of greater accommodation with the north. Ibid, p. 976. 39

Introduction

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in early modern conduct and emblem books for girls and women. The chapter further analyses the ways in which modern curation of the houses in museums today produces yet another version of early modern domesticity. We then shift focus with three final chapters that place contemporary interpretive practices in heritage buildings, modern places, and museums at centre stage. Chapter 5 offers a comparative analysis of the homes belonging to artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Peter Paul Rubens, open to the public today in Amsterdam and Antwerp respectively. We propose that the women associated with these artists have themselves become important cultural figures who are used as ways to access aspects of the lives of women in the past. In the sixth chapter, we examine the use of sites and spaces such as beguine houses and other urban domestic structures in developing narratives of the past. The use of place as a source for understanding historical experience, we argue, appears to provide opportunities for exploratory and unusual presentations of women’s lives, including those often nameless women who lived in communities. Finally, Chapter 7 proposes that modern-day female visitors are encouraged to feel part of a continuity from the early modern to the present, by connecting subjectively with historically inspired images and objects, such as jewellery, craft objects, and clothing, that are traditionally gendered female. We argue that representations of the past in popular culture resonate through visitors’ purchase of souvenirs that seem to offer a means of access to the lives of early modern women. Throughout the process, we have tried to remain alert to our own experiences as scholars, as tourists, and as women. By analysing a diverse range of materials from sometimes unusual methodological perspectives, we hope to open up ideas about encountering women from the past that develop most fruitfully through comparison of sources in different media and interpretations created in varied contexts. While we have regretfully left many women’s experiences to one side as we worked on this project, we have discovered other female voices that we never expected to find and stories that are only now finding ways to be heard.

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Chapter 1

Writing Elite Women into the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands We travelled regularly to the Netherlands and Belgium while working on the research that unfolds in the following chapters. On one such trip, Sue was locating images and monuments depicting women in Bruges, and particularly women connected to the cultural and political flourishing of the Burgundian and Habsburg courts, which brought the Low Countries to wider European prominence. While visiting the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw church, her four-year-old daughter Fionn asked if she could help with the research. Sue explained that she was looking for images of ‘old-fashioned ladies’ but said that apart from the ‘big duchess lying down’ there were not many in the building. ‘But what about her, mummy?’ Fionn asked, pointing at a triptych. Yes, but they weren’t really the sort we were looking for, Sue replied, explaining that since her husband was pictured alongside her, it was really more about him. ‘What about that one? She looks like she’s a mummy,’ Fionn pointed to a memorial stone described on the plaque as ‘Jan van de Velde and family.’ Well that was really more about her husband too and what he wanted to say about himself, Sue answered. ‘Why don’t those ones count?’ Fionn asked. It was a question, we realized, which demanded a response. This chapter is our answer. It explores the kinds of narratives that are created today about the past using women’s own voices and experiences from this period. What sources are used in different narrative contexts such as museums, galleries, churches, and academic books and articles, and why is this the case? How does such source selection and presentation affect the stories that can be told about women’s lives in the late medieval Low Countries? In asking these questions, we open this book with a chapter that positions our overarching, key historiographical argument at the foreground of the analysis. We argue that curatorial and academic historical practices intersect in important ways that have not been hitherto analysed in terms of their implications for scholarship on early modern women. We consider here how scholarly historical vision is produced – by which we mean how some original materials are in the line of sight of scholars while others are not – and examine the impact on scholarly interpretations of contemporary narratives about the past created in domains such as art and heritage tourism. To do so, we explore how a range of sources such as artworks, monuments, and written texts that were produced by and for women from the late medieval period are used to produce modern narratives about the Burgundian and Habsburg period for popular, touristic, and academic consumption. In the first section of this chapter we explore why only certain women have entered into historical interpretations of the Burgundian and Habsburg period, where they are typically visualized as individual and exceptional women of power,

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rather than embedded in a wider analysis of female possibilities for action and political endeavour. We then move to examine what alternative and rarely used textual sources such as memoirs and letters produced by women could elucidate about their experiences. Recent exhibitions and catalogues are combining textual, visual, and material sources, we suggest, in ways which provide rich and productive opportunities to develop new interpretations of the period. In the third section, we explore how historical scholarship on ego-documents could enrich the presentation of material sources, especially visual ones, commissioned and thus in important respects produced by women, in art history and museological contexts where they have tended to be viewed in isolation. In each section we consider how sources are used in modern settings and presented to form interpretations of the past, and we consider how the connections among different contexts shape the narratives that can be developed. We suggest that to date a relatively limited view of female experiences has predominated, and that this could become more nuanced and detailed through an increasing interaction of sources and contexts, and a willingness to think more widely about what aspects of women’s achievements and lives are worth paying attention to. Women in Power The duchesses of Burgundy, and especially the biographical details of their lives, have featured prominently in both academic scholarship and more popular presentations of medieval women in the Netherlands. Women such as Isabel of Portugal, third wife of Philip the Good, and Margaret of York, third wife of Charles the Bold, have become iconic figures. The challenges faced by women as rulers and as regents have been articulated through the life stories of Mary of Burgundy and her daughter Margaret of Austria. Bookshops across Burgundy and Flanders are filled with richly illustrated texts on the various duchesses, their covers drawing upon the many well-known portraits of the women concerned. The titles offer an indication  See Monique Sommé, Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne: Une femme au pouvoir au XVe siècle (Villeneuve d’Ascq, 1998); Aline S. Taylor, Isabel of Burgundy: The duchess who played politics in the age of Joan of Arc (Madison WI, 2002); and Dagmar Eichberger (ed.), Women of Distinction: Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria, exhibition catalogue (Leuven and Turnhout, 2005).  Eleanor Tremayne, The First Governess of the Netherlands: Margaret of Austria (New York, 1908); Max Pierre Marie Bruchet, Marguerite d’Autriche: Duchesse de Savoie (Lille, 1927); Ghislaine de Boom, Marguerite d’Autriche-Savoie et la pré-Renaissance (Brussels, 1946); Jane de Iongh, Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, trans. M.D. Herter Norton (New York, 1953); Georges-Henri Dumont, Marie de Bourgogne (Paris, 1982); and Ursula Tamussino, Margarete von Osterreich: Diplomatin der Renaissance (Graz, 1995); Jean-Pierre Soisson, Marguerite: Princesse de Bourgogne (Paris, 2005); as well as the wonderfully titled novel: Pamela Hill, Here Lies Margot: A novel based on the life of Margaret of Burgundy, who knew all the rulers of 15th century Europe and married three of them (New York, 1958).

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of the way the duchesses’ lives are often presented through their involvement in contemporary European high politics. Isabel of Portugal is successively a ‘woman in power in the fifteenth century,’ ‘the Duchess who played politics in the age of Joan of Arc’ and most recently, a ‘woman of power at the heart of Europe in the Middle Ages.’ Mary of Burgundy, whose short life complicates the biographical approach, becomes the passive foil for contemporary events. Mary’s story is that of ‘the Revolt of Ghent,’ she is a ‘princess in chains,’ then ‘witness to a great enterprise at the birth of European nationalities,’ and represents ‘the fragility of the times.’ These women, we are told, were no mere pawns of their fathers, brothers, sons, or husbands. Each is lauded for her political acumen, tenacity, and ingenuity. Isabel of Portugal ‘earned a reputation as a formidable diplomatic, political, and financial player.’ Margaret of Austria, queen, princess, duchess, and regent in the service of Habsburg ambitions, was ‘the most willing, the most determined, the most cultivated’ of all the great women who graced the European political stage of her era who ‘together, founded a new European order.’ Feminist scholarship may perhaps take some credit for these texts, having prioritized the recovery of documents and objects by and about women that underpin such biographical works. Indeed, feminism may also contribute more broadly to the number of female travellers seeking publications and especially souvenirs, as we explore in more detail in Chapter 7. An earlier generation of scholars of Burgundy such as Johan Huizinga, Otto Cartellieri, and Joseph Calmette generally had little to say about individual women of power. Feminist research has, however, highlighted the particular ways in which the various duchesses were able to manoeuvre politically through social and cultural means, and recent biographies such as those discussed above, by contrast to the earlier scholarship, often discuss the struggle of female access to power, or female forms of power, although they are rarely, if ever, explicitly grounded in a feminist theoretical paradigm.

Sommé, Isabelle de Portugal; Taylor, Isabel of Burgundy; and Daniel Lacerda, Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne (1397–1471): Une femme de pouvoir au coeur de l’Europe du Moyen Age (Paris, 2008).  George Payne Rainsford James, Mary of Burgundy; or the revolt of Ghent (2 vols, New York, 1837), vol. 1; André Besson, Marie de Bourgogne: La princesse aux chaînes (Paris, 1958); Yves Cazaux, Marie de Bourgogne: Témoin d’une grande entreprise à l’origine des nationalités européennes (Paris, 1967); and Marie-Françoise Barbot, Marie de Bourgogne ou la fragilité des jours (Haroué, 2006).  Taylor, Isabel of Burgundy, p. 7.  ‘la plus volontaire, la plus déterminée, la plus cultivée,’ ‘ensemble, elles fondent un nouvel ordre européen,’ Soisson, Marguerite: Princesse de Bourgogne, p. 8.  Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages: A study of the forms of life, thought and art in France and the Netherlands in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (London, 1955; first published 1924); Otto Cartellieri, The Court of Burgundy: Studies in the history of civilization (New York, 1929); and Joseph Calmette, Les grands ducs de Bourgogne (Paris, 1949). 

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Scholars have shown how artistic patronage and artistic representations offered women ways to exercise and display power. Dagmar Eichberger, Lisa Beaven, and Andrea G. Pearson have explored some of the possible meanings behind Margaret of Austria’s commissions for diptychs depicting herself and her mother. They have also examined the display of her portraits in distinct spaces, arguing that such images demonstrate a woman’s approach to her devotional practices as well as particularly female challenges of articulating connections to family, alliances, authority, and power. Eichberger has considered how Margaret raised her own status through collecting art and demonstrated both her piety and taste through a careful selection of objects and images. Through attentively ‘reconstructing’ the modes of display for this collection, she demonstrates the value of analysing display and spatial strategies of presentation for feminist research concerned with women of power.10 Eichberger’s research also informed her related exhibition project with curator Joris Capenberghs, part of the larger project Mechelen 2005, A City in Female Hands developed by Kris Callens.11 This year-long programme included Charity Cannon Willard, ‘The Patronage of Isabel of Portugal,’ in June Hall McCash (ed.), The Cultural Patronage of Medieval Women (Athens GA, 1996), pp. 306–20; Jennifer Spreitzer, ‘Framing Mary of Burgundy,’ Chicago Art Journal, 4 (1994): pp. 2–13; Dagmar Eichberger, ‘A Renaissance Princess Named Margaret: Fashioning a public image in a courtly society,’ Melbourne Art Journal, 4 (2000): pp. 4–24; Dagmar Eichberger, ‘A Noble Residence for a Female Regent: Margaret of Austria and the “Court of Savoy” in Mechelen,’ in Helen Hills (ed.), Architecture and the Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 25–46; Dagmar Eichberger, ‘Car il me semble que vous aimez bien les carboncles. Die Schätze Margaretes von Österreich und Maximilians I,’ in Elisabeth Vavra (ed.), Von Umgang mit Schatzen (Vienna, 2007), pp. 139–52; Jean C. Wilson, ‘“Richement et pompeusement paree”: The collier of Margaret of York and the politics of love in late medieval Burgundy,’ and Ann M. Roberts, ‘The Horse and the Hawk: Representations of Mary of Burgundy as sovereign,’ in David S. Areford and Nina A. Rowe (eds), Excavating the Medieval Image: Manuscripts, artists, audiences: Essays in honor of Sandra Hindman (Aldershot, 2004), pp. 109–33 and pp. 135–50; and Laura D. Gelfand, ‘Regency, Power, and Dynastic Ritual Memory: Margaret of Austria as patron and propagandist,’ in Ellen E. Kittel and Mary A. Suydam (eds), The Texture of Society: Medieval women in the Southern Low Countries (Basingstoke, 2004), pp. 203–25.  Dagmar Eichberger and Lisa Beaven, ‘Family Members and Political Allies: The portrait collection of Margaret of Austria,’ Art Bulletin, 77 (1995): pp. 225–48; Dagmar Eichberger, ‘Margaret of Austria’s Portrait Collection: Female patronage in the light of dynastic ambitions and artistic quality,’ Renaissance Studies, 10 (1996): pp. 259–79; and Andrea G. Pearson, ‘Productions of Meaning in Portraits of Margaret of York,’ in Andrea G. Pearson (ed.), Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe: Gender, agency, identity (Aldershot, 2008), pp. 35–54. 10 Dagmar Eichberger, Leben mit Kunst, Werken durch Kunst. Sammelwesen und Hofkunst unter Margrete von Oesterreich, Regentin der Niederlande (Turnhout, 2002), see especially pp. 58­–141, and pp. 372–434. 11 Eichberger (ed.), Women of Distinction. See http://www.mechelen2005.be/. Many activities were aimed at a tourist and larger English-speaking scholarly market, as the English edition of the catalogue demonstrates. See Kris Callens, ‘“City in Female Hands” and “Women of Distinction,”’ in Eichberger (ed.), Women of Distinction, pp. 15–16. 

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town walks with a ‘specific focus on female, rather than the usual, rather male, history’ attesting to ‘an evolving conscience of the female contributions to the history of the city,’ while another, the Digitale Voormoeders project, worked with a range of university scholars and with equal opportunity sponsors.12 The tourist marketing of Mechelen as one in female hands during 2005 owes its development to the research of feminist scholarship and attests to the rich possibilities of such interactions between scholars, curators, tourist providers, and municipal councils. In addition to elucidating elite women’s actual strategies of achieving, exercising, and maintaining power, feminist scholars have also argued for a new vision of political history that articulates the importance of gender to even the most traditional concepts of political action.13 Yet elite women’s particular political roles, strategies, and access to power, and their production of conventional historical evidence such as written sources, have rarely been integrated into broader political histories of the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands. The rich correspondence of Margaret of Austria with her father, the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, during her time as governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, has, for example, received much less recent attention from historians than her artistic patronage has from scholars of visual culture.14 On first reading, the letters may appear disappointing for scholars seeking evidence of female political participation comparable to that of male rulers. Margaret appears to present herself to Maximilian as the obedient instrument of her father’s will. Many of the letters are not concerned with what might be perceived as the key political events of her day but instead with placements or recognition for loyal subjects.15 However, the social aspects of politics have recently been emphasized through feminist studies of the importance of cultures of networks, gossip, and intimacy, which offered women distinctive forms of political action, and a means of access to the institutional structures of the

‘specifieke focus op het vrouwelijke thema, naast de gebruikelijke, eerder mannelijke, geschiedenis,’ and ‘De publieksomgang in Dames met Klasse en de uitwerking van een Historische Vrouwenwandeling, als aanzet tot een evoluerend bewustzijn van de vrouwelijke bijdragen aan de geschiedenis van de stad, zijn daarvan geslaagde voorbeelden.’ Kris Callens, Feitelijk in Vrouwenhanden (Mechelen, 2006), quotations p. 35 and p. 16. See http://www.mmmechelen.be/pdf/feitelijkinvrouwenhanden_eindverslag.pdf. 13 See Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford, Women in Early Modern England, 1550–1720 (Oxford, 1998), p. 346, and Janet Nelson, who has argued for the power of medieval queenship as lying in the household domain at court in her ‘Medieval Queenship,’ in Linda Elizabeth Mitchell (ed.), Women in Medieval Western European Culture (New York, 1999), pp. 179–207, see p. 205. 14 There are only 5 references to it in Soisson’s biography, Marguerite: Princesse de Bourgogne, for example. 15 See Correspondance de 1’Empereur Maximilien Ier et de Marguerite d’Autriche, sa fille, gouvernante des Pays-Bas de 1507 à 1519, ed. A. Le Glay (2 vols, New York, 1966; original publication: Paris, 1839). 12

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political realm.16 In this light, we suggest that Margaret’s patronage of individuals at court, and her networks and alliances to subjects, may deserve closer study as signs of her own political force. Certainly, we are yet to see political studies of the whole period written in ways that encompass the full spectrum of political engagement even of the duchesses, let alone a broader cohort of women.17 The production of biographically-based studies, as one of the more significant contributions to the field by both academic and popular authors alike, has had both advantages and disadvantages for the study of elite women and power. On the one hand, it has opened up new evidence and information of women’s experiences as political figures, and demonstrated the broad popular and academic interest in their stories. On the other, it has perhaps tended towards the isolation of individual women and positioned them as exceptional figures, rather than providing opportunities to understand female experiences of politics and power more broadly. Textual Sources for Women’s Narratives of Their Experiences Exhibitions including visual images of late medieval women provide another means by which their stories remain present in historical narratives.18 Their images are marketed through items such as magnets, calendars and postcards for sale in museum and gallery gift shops. Visual sources do indeed articulate elite women’s expressions and experiences of power, as the scholars discussed above have shown. However there are other sources for women’s lives that receive much less attention in exhibition and tourism contexts as well as within academic scholarship. Significantly, these include important sources that elite women 16 Kristen B. Neuschel, Word of Honor: Interpreting noble culture in sixteenthcentury France (Ithaca, 1989); Sharon Kettering, ‘The Patronage Power of Early Modern French Noblewomen,’ The Historical Journal, 32 (1989): pp. 817–41; Sharon Kettering, ‘The Household Service of Early Modern French Noblewomen,’ French Historical Studies, 20 (1997): pp. 55–85; Elaine Chalus, ‘Elite Women, Social Politics, and the Political World of Late Eighteenth-century England,’ Historical Journal, 43 (2000): pp. 669–97; and Elizabeth Horodowich, ‘The Gossiping Tongue: Oral networks, public life and political culture in early modern Venice,’ Renaissance Studies, 19 (2005): pp. 22–45. 17 A first attempt to explore the impact of feminist research is Eric Bousmar, ‘La noblesse, une affaire d’homme? L’apport du féminisme à un examen des représentations de la noblesse dans les milieux bourguignons,’ in J.-M. Cauchiés (ed.), Images et représentations princières et nobiliaires dans les Pays-Bas bourguignons et quelques régions voisines (XIVe–XVIe s.). Rencontres de Nivelles-Bruxelles (26 au 29 septembre 1996) (Neuchâtel, 1997), pp. 147–55. 18 See, for example, Margareta van Oostenrijk en haar Hof, exhibition catalogue (Mechelen, 1958); Françoise Baudson, Van Orley et les artistes de la cour de Marguerite d’Autriche, exhibition catalogue (Bourg-en-Bresse and Brou, 1981); and, more recently, Claudine Lemaire and Michele Henry, Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne, 1397– 1471: exposition Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er, 5 octobre–23 novembre 1991, exhibition catalogue (Brussels, 1991).

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themselves produced, such as letters and memoirs as well as commissioned objects, architecture, and monuments. We argue that documents like these, which present women’s own expressions of their lives – that is, ego-documents – could provide exciting new interpretive angles in academic as well as exhibition, heritage, and tourism narratives about elite women of this period. Historians and archivists currently understand ego-documents as sources that bear the explicit imprint of authorship, that contain autobiographical content, and that potentially provide insight into historical subjectivities. Defined by Jacques Presser as ‘those documents in which an ego deliberately or accidentally discloses or hides itself,’ the term ego-document has been applied to a diverse range of historical source materials, from judicial records and autobiographies, to diaries, family archives, household inventories, and personal correspondence.19 Rudolf Dekker has previously suggested that few ego-documents by women remain outside of the context of religious texts such as conversion narratives of pietistic women.20 While historians have focused upon written forms of expression like these, they have not typically looked at women’s patronage, their commission of self and other portraits, in addition to many of their other forms of written expressions, as forms of ego-documents. We suggest that a re-conceptualisation of women’s expressions that sees a greater variety of genres as ego-documents would allow scholars to more effectively bring early modern women’s articulations and presentations of identity to bear on narratives of the past. Using one detailed example, we explore here the potential for such sources to add to our understanding of elite female engagement in Burgundian and Habsburg political structures. Studies of politics in the Low Countries to date have had relatively little to say about the role of elite women in shaping the ritual and propaganda for which the Burgundian court was renowned.21 Yet the manuscript Rudolf Dekker, ‘Jacques Presser’s Heritage: Egodocuments in the study of history,’ Memoria y Civilización, 5 (2002): pp. 13–37. 20 Rudolf Dekker, ‘Getting to the Source: Women in the medieval and early modern Netherlands,’ Journal of Women’s History, 10 (1998): pp. 165–88, see p. 176. See also van de Pol, ‘Research of Egodocuments in the Netherlands.’ 21 Walter Prevenier and Wim Blockmans, ‘Propaganda and the Legitimation of Power,’ in their The Burgundian Netherlands (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 214–40; Peter J. Arnade, Realms of Ritual: Burgundian ceremony and civic life in late medieval Ghent (Ithaca, 1996); Lawrence M. Bryant, ‘Making History: Ceremonial texts, royal spaces, and political theory in the sixteenth century,’ in M. Wolfe (ed.), Changing Identities in Early Modern France (Durham, 1997), pp. 46–77; Wim Blockmans and Esther Donckers, ‘Self-Representation of Court and City in Flanders and Brabant in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries,’ in Wim Blockmans and Antheun Janse (eds), Showing Status: Representation of social positions in the late middle ages (Turnhout, 1999), pp. 81–112; and Rolf Strom-Olsen, ‘Dynastic Ritual and Politics in Early Modern Burgundy: The baptism of Charles V,’ Past and Present, 175 (2002): pp. 34–64. Perhaps the work of Eric Bousmar has most critically engaged with gender in the Burgundian court context: Eric Bousmar, ‘La place des hommes et des femmes dans les fêtes de cour bourguignonnes (Philippe le Bon – Charles le Hardi),’ in J.-M. Cauchiés (ed.), Fêtes et cérémonies aux XIVe–XVIe siècles. 19

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work of a fifteenth-century Burgundian noblewomen, Eleanor de Poitiers, detailing matters of precedence and ceremony at the fifteenth-century Burgundian court, provides unique evidence for the meanings and practice of ritual conduct in the ducal household, particularly that of Philip the Good and Isabel of Portugal. Here we will highlight some of the ways in which a female ego-document can shed light on women’s participation in court politics. We argue that it highlights the complexities and significance of the culture of honour which women and men negotiated on a daily basis at the fifteenth-century Burgundian court. Importantly, by comparison to contemporary male authors Georges Chastellain (1415–75) and Olivier de La Marche (1425?–1502), oft-cited chroniclers of the court’s elaborate ritual practices, Eleanor de Poitiers’ text provides an additional insight into the importance of gender in the determination and application of such ritualized codes.22 Eleanor de Poitiers (1444/46?–1509) composed Les Honneurs de la Cour in the 1480s, as a result of her first-hand observations of Burgundian court life.23 Her parents, Jean de Poitiers, seigneur d’Arcis-sur-Aube in Champagne, and Isabel de Sousa, a descendent of a bastard branch of the royal house of Portugal, were both in the service of the dukes of Burgundy.24 Eleanor’s mother was ladyin-waiting to Isabel of Portugal, and Eleanor herself entered court at the age of seven and in 1458 became a demoiselle d’honneur to Isabel of Bourbon, countess of Charolais.25 Eleanor later became dame d’honneur to Jeanne de Castille, when Rencontres de Lausanne (23 au 26 septembre 1993) (Neuchâtel, 1994), pp. 123–43; Eric Bousmar and Monique Sommé, ‘Femmes et espaces féminins à la cour de Bourgogne au temps d’Isabelle de Portugal (1430–1457),’ in Jan Hirschbiegel and Werner Paravicini (eds), Das Frauenzimmer. Die Frau bei Hofe in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit. 6. Symposium der Residenzen-Kommission der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen [...], Dresden, 26. bis 29. September 1998 (Stuttgart, 2000), pp. 47–78, as well as Boone, De Hemptinne and Prevenier, ‘Gender and Early Emancipation in the Low Countries.’ 22 For the establishment of this argument, see an earlier work by Susan Broomhall, ‘Gendering the Culture of Honour at the Fifteenth-Century Burgundian Court,’ in Stephanie Tarbin and Susan Broomhall (eds), Women, Identities and Communities in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, 2008), pp. 181–93. 23 The text’s modern editor, Jacques Paviot, ascribes to it the somewhat misleading title Les Etats de France. Previously it has been known as Les Honneurs de la Cour. The Burgundian traditions derived from the French protocols of precedence, although Burgundian rituals did differ significantly and were noted by contemporaries as more rigorous than those observed at the French court. Jacques Paviot, ‘Les Honneurs de la cour d’Eléonore de Poitiers,’ in Geneviève Contamine and Philippe Contamine (eds), Autour de Marguerite d’Ecosse: Reines, princesses et dames du XV siècle. Actes du colloque de Thouars (23 et 24 mai 1997) (Paris, 1999), pp. 163–79, see p. 165. 24 Jacques Paviot, ‘Les Honneurs de la cour d’Eléonore de Poitiers,’ see pp. 163–4; and also duplicated in his modern edition of the text, ‘Eléonore de Poitiers, Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ Annuaire-Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de France (1996/1998): pp. 75–137. 25 Although we would normally use surnames for female historical figures, just as for men, in some cases we use first names, as here, to avoid confusion with a location of the same name, such as Poitiers.

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the latter married Philip the Fair, son of Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy, in October 1496. Eleanor opens her text by explaining that it will document, from her observations at the court of Burgundy, ‘the honours which must be done and undertaken in the court of princes, each according to his estate, without increasing, exceeding or diminishing them.’26 Both memoirs and conduct texts for women proliferated in the late medieval period, although few texts in either genre were composed by female authors. Eleanor’s work is not an historical text in the interpretive and analytical style of Georges Chastellain nor the reflective style of Olivier de La Marche in his memoirs of ducal court life intended to inform Philip the Fair.27 Nor is her work a courtesy book of moral and social precepts for women at court, drawing on biblical, historical, and fictional exempla as did earlier Francophone composers of female conduct texts such as Geoffroy de La Tour Landry, Le Mesnagier de Paris, and Christine de Pizan.28 Eleanor’s text, we suggest, is rather an innovative hybrid composition: an eye-witness historical account of court life designed to provide real-life examples and instruction on ceremonial ritual. The importance of lavish spectacles and elaborate court ritual to the maintenance of prestige and rank in the Burgundian Empire has been widely noted by historians, and few would contest the ability of such activities to carry significant political meanings.29 Certainly fifteenth-century contemporaries stressed the importance of correct observation of court protocol, and saw such matters as essential to ‘des HONNEURS qui se doivent faire et entretenir es cour des princes, chacun selon son estat, sans les croistre, exceder, ne diminuer,’ Eleanor de Poitiers, ‘Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ ed. Paviot, p. 84. 27 Georges Chatellain, Oeuvres, ed. J.C. Kervyn de Lettenhove (8 vols, Brussels, 1863–66); Olivier de La Marche, Mémoires sur la maison de Bourgogne, ed. J.A.C. Buchon (Paris, 1836). On Chastellain’s role as official chronicler to the Burgundian dukes, see Graeme Small, Georges Chastelain and the Shaping of Valois Burgundy: Political and historical culture at court in the fifteenth century (Woodbridge, 1997). See also for the moral aspects of Chastellain’s work, Hélène Wolff, ‘Histoire et pédagogie princière au XVe siècle: Georges Chastelain,’ in Louis Terreaux (ed.), Culture et pouvoir au temps de l’Humanisme et de la Renaissance (Geneva, 1978), pp. 37–49. 28 Geoffroy de La Tour Landry, Livre du Chevalier de la Tour Landry pour l’enseignement de ses filles (1370s), translated as The Book of the Knight of the Tower, ed. M.Y. Offord, trans. William Caxton (Oxford, 1971); Le Mesnagier de Paris (1390s), ed. Georgina E. Brereton and Janet M. Ferrier, trans. and notes Karin Ueltschi (Paris, 1994); and Christine de Pizan’s Le Livre des Trois Vertus (1405), translated as The Treasure of the City of Ladies, trans. Sarah Lawson (London, 1985). See Kathleen Ashley and Robert L.A. Clark, ‘Medieval Conduct: Texts, theories, practices,’ in Kathleen Ashley and Robert L.A. Clark (eds), Medieval Conduct (Minneapolis, 2001), pp. ix–xx; see pp. x–xi. 29 Prevenier and Blockmans, ‘Propaganda and the Legitimation of Power’; Bryant, ‘Making History’; Blockmans and Donckers, ‘Self-Representation of Court and City in Flanders and Brabant,’ p. 110; and Strom-Olsen, ‘Dynastic Ritual and Politics in Early Modern Burgundy.’ 26

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the good management of the court structure.30 Ritual acts such as hierarchies of precedence and ceremonies of honour conduct, which operated with the dukes as the centrepiece of the court structure, enabled the nobility who served at the ducal household to negotiate and reinforce their own position in the social and political hierarchy of Burgundy.31 The system of service by term, in which courtiers rotated through half-yearly positions in the ducal household, not only expanded the number of nobles who had contact with the duke but also had two important consequences that are relevant to our analysis here.32 Firstly, it meant that ritual conduct had to be continually re-learned and re-negotiated by successive groups of nobles entering the courtly arena, and it created the possibility for certain courtiers who remained in key, non-rotating positions to become authoritative memory banks in matters of appropriate ritual behaviour, precedence, and honour conduct, as Eleanor’s text demonstrates. A second consequence of service by term was crucial to the gendering of honour culture at court, as the ducal household became the primary location where nobles could play out social and political power struggles. It was in this forum that the nobility encountered each other and positioned themselves through ritual acts. The household, its daily routines of food, sleep, and hygiene, and longer-term lifecycle events such as births, lying-ins, christenings, marriages, funerals, and so on, became critical demarcations of social and political status in their accompanying ritual acts. Historians such as Huizinga and Cartellieri took a limited view of the historical utility of Eleanor’s account, suggesting that it described the feminine domain of the court, and that more generally noblewomen’s roles at the court were restricted to a private sphere.33 Where Eleanor’s work has been cited by more recent authors, it has been used for its ability to shed light on the activities of women at court (Aline S. Taylor in her biography of Isabel of Portugal) or for documentary evidence of clothing and furnishing seen in artistic representations 30 For further discussion of the comparative aspects of their works of court hierarchy, see Cartellieri, The Court of Burgundy, pp. 52–74. For analysis of the rhetorical style of Burgundian court chroniclers more generally, although excluding Eleanor de Poitiers’ work, see Pierre Jodogne, ‘La rhétorique dans l’historiographie bourguignonne,’ in Terreaux (ed.), Culture et pouvoir au temps de l’Humanisme et de la Renaissance. 31 On ritual theory, see Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York, 1992), p. 197 where she argues that ‘ritualization is first and foremost a strategy for the construction of certain types of power relationships effective within particular social organizations.’ 32 On service by term, see Werner Paravicini, ‘The Court of the Dukes of Burgundy: A model for Europe?’ in Ronald G. Asch and Adolf M. Birke (eds), Princes, Patronage, and the Nobility: The court at the beginning of the modern age c. 1450–1650 (London, 1991), pp. 69–102; and C.A.J. Armstrong, ‘Had the Burgundian Government a Policy for the Nobility?’ in his England, France and Burgundy in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1983). 33 Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages; Cartellieri, The Court of Burgundy; Arnade, Realms of Ritual, p. 24; and Bousmar, ‘La Place des hommes et des femmes.’

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(Rijksmuseum curator Fritz Scholten on contemporary pleurant statues).34 We argue that such ‘domestic’ events, clothing and furnishing were all in fact public and political in the Burgundian ducal household and that gender itself played a key role in the structure of court politics. Significantly, Eleanor’s text insists that it was women who were key stakeholders in the maintenance and memory of conduct rituals. She provides many examples of women’s acknowledged expertise and authority in matters of ceremony, and their role as mediators of Burgundian conduct codes for incomers to the household community. As foreigners to the Burgundian court, Isabel of Portugal and her ladiesin-waiting such as Isabel de Sousa had to educate themselves in the intricacies and specificities of Burgundian court ritual. As Eleanor noted, ‘the honours of Portugal and those of France and hereabouts are not all the same.’35 Isabel of Portugal was an astute diplomatic ally to her husband, Philip the Good.36 She was acutely aware of the significance of ceremonial aspects of court life and had identified a number of expert noblewomen to advise her. Attendant women upon whom foreign princesses relied to acculturate them into the household community could play a powerful political role. The B manuscript of Eleanor’s text, held at Besançon, is followed by a copy of a letter sent from Margaret of Burgundy to her sister-in-law Isabel of Portugal, written in 1430. In the letter, Margaret indicates that she is responding to Isabel’s request for information regarding appropriate Burgundian decoration and embellishment of the lying-in and child’s room, as well as conduct and precedence during the baptism ceremony. (Isabel’s first child, Antoine, was born 30 December 1430.)37 Margaret’s response indicates precisely the localized context of ritual behaviour at court that made it so important for Isabel to understand with precision what was required of her. As Margaret, at the time married to Arthur of Brittany, count of Richemont, wrote: ‘what I know of it, it is not according to the way of Brittany.’38

See for example Taylor, Isabel of Burgundy, who employs her work as evidence of Isabel of Portugal’s activities, and Frits Scholten, Isabella’s Weepers: Ten statues from a Burgundian tomb, trans. Lynne Richards (Amsterdam, 2007). 35 ‘les estats de Portugal et ceux de France et de pardeça ne sont point tout un,’ Eleanor de Poitiers, ‘Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ ed. Paviot, p. 106. 36 See Richard Vaughan, Philip the Good (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1970), pp. 114–20, 171–2, 339–40, who cites Eleanor’s work as evidence of Isabel’s skilful diplomatic negotiations, pp. 119–20. On the key cultural patronage role of Isabel, see Isabelle de Portugal, duchesse de Bourgogne, 1397–1471; Cannon Willard, ‘The Patronage of Isabel of Portugal’; Monique Sommé, ‘La participation de la duchesse Isabelle de Portugal et des femmes au Banquet du Faisan,’ in Marie-Thérèse Caron and Denis Clauzel (eds), Le Banquet du Faisan, 1454: L’Occident face au défit de l’Empire ottoman (Arras, 1997), pp. 257–71; and Bousmar and Sommé, ‘Femmes et espaces féminins à la cour de Bourgogne.’ 37 For the full text of the letter and instructions, see Eleanor de Poitiers, ‘Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ ed. Paviot, pp. 119–25. 38 ‘en ce que j’en scais, ce n’est que selon la facon de Bretaigne,’ ibid., p. 125. 34

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Eleanor evidently saw herself as one of the female repositories for ceremonial and ritual knowledge about the Burgundian court, in the tradition of a predecessor, Jeanne de Harcourt, Madame de Namur: who ‘(as I heard it said) was the most knowledgeable woman in the kingdom of France on all the honours, and had a large book where everything was written.’39 Eleanor framed her discussion of the rank to be observed by court ladies by recording her own vantage point on the system: ‘When I came to the court, I was only seven. I saw Mademoiselle de Bourbon there (who was later Countess of Charolais) with Madame Isabel of Portugal.’40 Her proximity to the most important women at court established Eleanor as one who could know and observe ceremony at the highest levels, but she also noted in the text times when she was privy to the private opinions of the duchess Isabel and her attendant ladies: ‘I heard Madame the duchess Isabel say, when Madame de Charolais her step-daughter gave birth to Madame d’Autriche, that no princess should have a chamber of green silk au tour, except the queen of France.’41 Eleanor reinforced her opinions by recalling the voices and views of authoritative women around her, thus portraying herself as someone deeply embedded in court life, who could witness and interpret at first hand the intricacies of its ritual. Furthermore, Eleanor embedded herself in a tradition of female historical memory of court etiquette. A frequent figure of reference for Eleanor was her mother, Isabel de Sousa, a lady-in-waiting to the duchess Isabel. Eleanor cited some examples before her own time, by explaining: ‘I heard Madame my mother say what she had seen before.’42 Eleanor’s knowledge of the meeting between Marie d’Anjou, queen of France, and the duchess Isabel at Châlons in Champagne in 1445, derived from her mother, who was in attendance. On this occasion, the duchess had been at pains to show deference to the royal family of France: but it seemed, seeing how Madame la dauphine acted, that she wanted to keep Madame the duchess from bowing right to the floor, but my said lady wanted to do it, as my mother told me, who saw all these things.43

‘(comme j’ouys dire) estoit la plus sçachante de tous estats que dame qui fut au royaume de France, et avoit un grand libvre où tout estoit escrit,’ ibid., p. 89. 40 ‘Quand je vins en cour, je n’avois que sept ans. Je y vis demeurer madamoiselle de Bourbon (qui depuis fut comtesse de Charrolais) avec madame Isabel de Portugal,’ ibid., p. 84. 41 ‘J’ay ouy dire a madame la duchesse Isabel, du temps que madame de Charrolois sa belle fille accoucha de madame d’Austriche, que nulles princesses ne debvoient avoir la chambre de soye verde au tour, fors la royne seulement,’ ibid., p. 106. 42 ‘J’ouy dire a madame ma mere qu’elle avoit autrefois veu,’ ibid., p. 88. 43 ‘Mais il sembloit a voir la maniere de madame la dauphine, qu’elle eut voulu garder que madame la duchesse ne se fut pas agenouillée jusques a terre; mais ma ditte dame le vouloit faire, comme m’a dit madame ma mere, laquelle a veu toutes ces choses,’ ibid., p. 90. 39

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By contrast, when the duchess greeted Isabel of Lorraine, Queen of Sicily, Eleanor explains how each was concerned to reinforce her rank, careful not to give more honour than the other was prepared to give: ‘as my mother said, neither was in danger of breaking her laces from bowing to the other.’44 Isabel de Sousa’s memories of these encounters also demonstrated the international diplomatic significance of such ritual behaviour, underpinning Eleanor’s leitmotif about the importance of appropriate ceremonial conduct. Importantly too, Eleanor’s work can bring new insights to bear on current scholarly debates about the gendering of late medieval conduct ideologies of bourgeois and aristocratic groups. Felicity Riddy has recently argued that a focus on women’s honour and reputation in late medieval conduct texts was significant to a distinct bourgeois identity and Kathleen Ashley contends that ‘the emergent bourgeois ideology of the early modern period differs from an aristocratic ideology where masculine conduct and honour are symbolically central.’45 We would argue, however, that Eleanor’s text indicates that aristocratic women also discussed, debated, and moreover valued their own opinions of, etiquette during the late medieval period. Eleanor’s frequent references to elite female authority figures at court whose views reinforced her own served two purposes: firstly, they supported Eleanor’s overarching claim that matters of ceremony were highly important to observe correctly, and secondly, they underscored that these were matters which other central women at court also debated intensely. Indeed, reading Eleanor’s work of the 1480s alongside instructional conduct texts by French female authors Christine de Pizan (Le Livre des Trois Vertus, 1405) and Anne de France (A la requeste de treshaulte et puissante princesse ma dame Susanne de Bourbon, composed around 1504), highlights a continuity in elite women’s concerns to establish and maintain female ceremonial and honour codes throughout the late medieval and early modern period.46 Eleanor, like Christine and Anne, demonstrates how courtly women perceived that they had codes of honour, which could be fashioned and maintained through court ceremony and the proper display of rank, and which were central to their individual subjectivities. Maintaining aspects of the honour culture of the ducal household, by upholding and performing ritual acts according to their status, clearly mattered to noblewomen’s social identity. Such acts constituted an important means by which women participated in the Burgundian political realm. ‘Et comme ma mere dit, il n’y eust nulle d’elles deux qui rompit ses aiguillettes de force de s’agenouiller,’ ibid., p. 90. 45 See Felicity Riddy, ‘Mother Knows Best: Reading social change in a courtesy text,’ Speculum, 71 (1996): pp. 66–86; and Kathleen Ashley, ‘The Miroir des Bonnes Femmes: Not for women only?,’ in Ashley and Clark (eds), Medieval Conduct, pp. 86–105, see pp. 101–2. 46 Les Enseignements d’Anne de France, ed. A-M. Chazaud (Moulins, 1878). See also Roberta L. Krueger, ‘Chascune selon son estat: Women’s education and social class in the conduct books of Christine de Pizan and Anne de France,’ Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, 24 (1997): pp. 19–34. 44

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Eleanor’s text also reveals the problematic interplay between honour and gender codes in the creation and negotiation of ritualized precedence and ceremony at court. There is clear disparity between Eleanor’s instructions and the performance of ritual in practice. It is evident that certain people had sufficient power to override the precedence rules, at least momentarily. Eleanor’s work, for all its insistence on the correct application of rank order, provides us with many instances of circumvention in its actual practice. For example, she relates how, when Philip the Good encountered his two sisters in Brussels, he placed his older sister, Mary of Burgundy, Madame de Cleves, in the position of preference over his younger sister, Agnes of Burgundy, Madame de Bourbon, even though the latter had married a man of higher rank. As Eleanor observes, ‘otherwise one knows well that Madame de Bourbon ought to go first because of Monsieur de Bourbon who is greater than Monsieur de Cleves, because he [Bourbon] is of the house of France.’47 In situations where the duke was the superior ranking participant, he could change the code of honour according to his own principles of respectful behaviour or personal whim. Moreover, it is clear from Eleanor’s text that the gender of participants in a particular ceremonial context mattered to how women and men could negotiate the honour codes. When the situation was reversed, and it was women who wished to break the rules that provide them with more precedence than a lesser-ranked nobleman, they did not appear to have had the same power to apply their personal codes of respect. Eleanor recounts that her mother told her what Madame de Namur said about Duke Philip’s first wife, Michelle de France, daughter of the king of France: ‘Duke Jean, father of this duke Philip, wanted to serve her spices, but she did not want to suffer it. However he always bowed to the floor before her, and called her Madame.’48 The service of spices by one court member to another was part of a series of intricately ordered etiquettes of the Burgundian courtly household. Michelle, although the superior participant in this exchange because of her proximity to the house of France, could not impose her desire to lessen the distance between herself and her father-in-law. We would argue that this female ego-document provides unique insights as to how the opportunities and situations in which women could manipulate the codes of precedence differed from those of men. Seniority of age appears to have been a particular means by which rank conventions might be subverted. Eleanor relates how the duke’s daughter-in-law, Isabel of Bourbon, countess of Charolais, seeks advice on how best to receive the much older and highly respected Jeanne de 47 ‘autrement l’on sçayt bien que madame de Bourbon fut allée devant à cause de Monsieur de Bourbon quy estoit plus grand que monsieur de Cleves, à cause qu’il estoit de la maison de France,’ Eleanor de Poitiers, ‘Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ ed. Paviot, pp. 86–7. 48 ‘le duc Jean, pere d’icelluy duc Philippe, la vouloit tousjours servir d’espices; mais elle ne le vouloit souffrir. Toutefois il s’agenouilloit tousjours jusques a terre devant elle, et l’apelloit “Madame”,’ ibid., p. 91.

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Lalaing-Quiévrain, mademoiselle de Penthièvre, ‘and I remember that a council was held to know what honour Madame de Charolais would do for her.’ The countess is advised to circumvent the correct formalities, and not make Mademoiselle de Penthièvre complete the full series of ceremonial greetings. ‘And in truth, she [the countess] did a great honour to Madame ... for she was a great lady of her time.’49 For certain parties, in some contexts, the code of conduct was malleable. High-ranking men, like the duke, could oblige women or lesser-ranking men to support their view of precedence and ritual practices. In general, women could successfully manipulate the correct rank proceedings only, it seems, in situations where the other participants were women. Eleanor’s exploration of marital circumstances and rank at the Burgundian court offers another instance in which the complex functions of gender in court ritual are revealed. A particular dilemma for women in matters of ceremonial conduct was their order of precedence after marriage. Did a husband’s standing define his wife’s rank, regardless of her own birthright? Eleanor takes her cue from what her mother recounted that Madame de Namur has explained to her: ‘according to the honours of France, all wives must go according to their husbands, however great they were, except daughters of a king.’50 Eleanor recounts what her mother has told her about problematic seating arrangements at the wedding dinner of Charles VII: Madame de Namur was seated at the dinner at the end of all the countesses, except one. And when it came to the middle of the dinner, the king came to where she was sitting and said to her that she had sat long enough as the wife of the Count of Namur and that for the rest of the dinner, she must sit as his cousin; and he made her sit at the table of the Queen.51

Philip the Good, as we have seen above, in order to privilege his older sister above his younger but better married sister, had ignored the view that wives took their husband’s rank. Clearly he was not the only nobleman to see women’s birthrights as signifiers of their rank even after their marriage. Eleanor’s work, we suggest, also documents instances where there is confusion and discomfort about women taking precedence over male authority figures, even if this is what the codes of honour and status stipulate. She describes ‘Et me souvient que l’on tint conseil pour sçavoir quel honneur madame de Charrolois luy feroit ... Et a la verité elle fit grand honneur a madame ... car ell’estoit belle dame de son eage,’ ibid., pp. 87–8. 50 ‘selon les estats de France, il falloit que toutes femmes allassent selon les marys, quelques grandes qu’elles fussent, osté filles de roy,’ ibid., p. 88. 51 ‘madame de Namur fut assise au disner en bas de toutes les comtesses, reste une. Et quand ce vint au milieu du disner, le roy vint ou ell’estoit assise et lui dit qu’elle avoit esté assez assise comme femme du comte de Namur et qu’il falloit que le demeurant du disner, elle fut assise comme sa cousine germaine; et la fit asseoir a la table de la royne,’ ibid., pp. 88–9. 49

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seeing Jean de Melun, seigneur d’Antoing, hold his daughter’s serviette with which she washed her hands at dinner, and to bow almost to the ground before her. Hélène de Melun, Madame d’Eu, had married well. However, this reversal of the conventional authority of a father over a daughter sat uncomfortably with members of court, and Madame d’Eu was viewed as disrespectful to her father’s authority. Eleanor reports the murmurs of wise people who said ‘that it was folly for Monsieur d’Antoing to do it, and greater still for his daughter to suffer it.’52 Thus, although Madame d’Eu was correctly following the requirements of the status code which placed her in a position of precedence above her father, it is clear that court observers expected her to reject this superiority to privilege an underlying notion that a father’s authority over his daughter be preserved and recognized. Thus, no matter how advantageously a woman might marry, court commentators’ criticisms suggest that it was not appropriate for her to usurp her father’s familial primacy. Eleanor’s text shows high-ranking noblewomen using complex and contextspecific combinations of compliance and subversion of the codes of behaviour to suit their aims. Kathleen Ashley and Robert L.A. Clark have recently argued for a more fluid understanding of medieval conduct that recognizes combined strategies of resistance, compliance, or subversion. In reality, they contend, ‘one could perform some combination of these options, creating new subject positions and new forms of conduct in the process.’53 Noblewomen, as Les Honneurs de la Cour described, did fashion new guidelines within the parameters set by custom; guidelines which were often in conflict to those designated by men. Yet it is less clear whether these new forms of conduct represent a measure of resistance (and thus power) for women at the Burgundian court. Notably, it seems that where women could and did break custom, it was under different circumstances to men. Women could alter the required displays of rank (usually to raise or flatter a participant in a ceremony) in situations where their actions affected other women. When noblewomen did disregard appropriate courtly conduct in mixed-sex environments, it was usually only in ways which flattered male authority figures. Eleanor de Poitiers’ historical record of Burgundian court life is an important source for understanding the gender politics of courtly honour culture. As an egodocument, it speaks to Eleanor’s own sense of identity as an authoritative voice for memories of public life, situating herself and her writings in a long-held tradition of female advisers and educators on matters of courtly ritual. Our detailed textual analysis of a little known female ego-document demonstrates how such sources can provide new perspectives on women’s access to power in the later medieval period. Clearly, further attention to the identification and analysis of similar written ego-documents by late medieval women could produce fruitful insights for academic scholarship. Although such resources are underutilized, historians are nonetheless accustomed to integrating textual evidence of 52 ‘c’estoit folie a monsieur d’Antoing de le faire, et encor plus grande a sa fille de le souffrir,’ ibid., p. 86. 53 Ashley and Clark, ‘Medieval Conduct: Texts, theories, practices,’ p. xvi.

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this type. However, in museum and heritage domains, representing voices from written sources remains something of a curatorial and touristic challenge (and one not limited to women). How can written sources and scholarly analyses of them be presented for museum and touristic consumption in order to enrich their narratives of women’s historical experiences? Some texts can be displayed as material objects of importance in their own right, where their meaning is derived from their cultural significance or proximity to historical figures (the Magna Carta or US Declaration of Independence might form such examples), but the contribution to an understanding of the past to be garnered from most documents requires more detailed textual engagement. One of the more exciting approaches to this challenge of scholarly and curatorial interaction is through the combination of written and visual sources that can document the activities of women in new ways. In 2005, the Bruges exhibition Portrait and document was organized by the State Archives as part of the cultural festival activities in the city. Its aim was to bring together documents that clarified and enhanced the context of portrait and their sitters, portraits that in return could provide a face to otherwise anonymous texts.54 These were ‘made flesh and blood’ by the documents that gave them identity.55 Through fragments of an anonymous painted panel, land contracts, and judicial documents, the exhibition revealed aspects of the life of Anna Willemszoon, the widow of Hugues Crabbe and then Christoffel de Winter, and mother of Abbot Johannes Crabbe. Both mother and son are now identifiable as those individuals depicted with their patron saints on the painted triptych by Flemish artist Hans Memling.56 The excitement of such fresh discoveries is a highlight for museum visitors and scholarly reviewers alike. In her review of the 2005 exhibition, Memling’s Portraits (which was staged successively in Madrid, Bruges, and New York), Jeanne Nuechterlein noted the display of ‘documents about the colourful life of Anne Willemszoon, mother of the Cistercian abbot Jan Crabbe who commissioned one of Memling’s earliest triptychs, the panels of which are now dispersed between Vicenza, New York, and Bruges.’57 Exhibitions, especially those that are high-profile, international and well-resourced, can bring scattered and diverse types of source materials together. In doing so new analytical insights can emerge from the interactions between historical and art historical scholars, and curatorial experts, about women as well as men of the past. Noël Geirnaert, Portret en Document (Bruges, 2005), p. 5. ‘Ze krijgen echter pas vlees en bloed door de documenten.’ ibid. 56 Ibid., p. 13. On this analysis, see also Noël Geirnaert, ‘Commentary: Some 54 55

experiences of an archivist in Bruges,’ in Maryan W. Ainsworth (ed.), Early Netherlandish Painting at the Crossroads: A critical look at current methodologies (New Haven, 2001), pp. 40–45. 57 Jeanne Nuechterlein, ‘The Mystery of Jan van Eyck: The early Netherlandish drawings and paintings in Dresden and Memling’s portraits,’ Renaissance Studies, 20 (2006): pp. 408–19, see p. 415. See Till-Holger Borchert (ed.), Memling’s Portraits, exhibition catalogue (New York and London, 2005).

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In a different way, published exhibition catalogues and museum texts can also draw upon the nuances of documentary evidence in order to produce new narratives in ways that are not possible to display or to use for detailed discussion in the museum environment. One example can be seen in the catalogue presentation of the Hospice Comtesse at Lille, the name of which ‘perpetuates the memory of its foundress Jeanne de Constantinople, countess of Flanders, whose role was critical for the towns of Lille, Flanders and Hainault.’58 Jeanne established the autonomous hospital, consecrated to the Virgin Mary, within the site of her palace grounds in Lille in 1237. The museum’s lavishly illustrated book juxtaposes discussion of its history against images and quotations from early documents that are not on display but held in local regional archival deposits. These include the parchment 1237 Act of Foundation,59 the 1239 Rules for the administration with original seals,60 and 1245–50 statutes for the hospital.61 While the creation of the hospital may itself be read as a form of ego-document, these associated textual sources in Jeanne’s name provide readers with a powerful sense of her self-fashioned identity and authority. The Act of Foundation identifies Jeanne’s motivations as the salvation of her own soul as well as those of her ancestors and successors, and as a memorial to her first husband, Ferrand of Portugal.62 Contextualizing herself within family lineage was key for Jeanne, as it would be for later Burgundian women. Moreover, Karen S. Nicholas has argued that in their support for female monastic institutions, beguinages, and hospitals, Jeanne and her sister Marguerite followed a different model of patronage from that of Flanders’ male rulers.63 Through exhibitions and their catalogues, diverse forms of evidence from written texts to visual and physical objects can be brought together to offer new interpretations of elite women’s practices of power that are accessible to scholarly and also more general audiences. Evidently, written sources do exist to explore women’s experiences and their own perceptions of this period, although to date they appear all too rarely in academic, museum, or tourism contexts. We suggest that increasing attention to these rich and unique sources of evidence could create a broader understanding of elite women’s lives and self-perceptions. In addition, the identification and study of such texts by scholars could influence narratives constructed about the past in other exhibition, tourism, and popular contexts, enriching the presentation of ‘perpétue la souvenir de sa fondatrice Jeanne de Constantinople, comtesse de Flandre, dont le role fut capital pour la ville de Lille, la Flandre et le Hainaut.’ Aude Cordonnier, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse: Miroir de Lille et des Pays-Bas, XIIIe–XXe siècle (Tournai, 1994), p. 17. 59 Ibid., p. 25. 60 Reproduced in ibid., p. 55. 61 Reproduced in ibid., p. 62. 62 Karen S. Nicholas, ‘Countesses as Rulers in Flanders,’ in Theodore Evergates (ed.), Aristocratic Women in Medieval France (Philadelphia, 1999), pp. 111–37, see p. 25. 63 Ibid., p. 132. 58

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Burgundian and Habsburg women in these domains. These in turn are likely to offer richer, nuanced interpretations of historical experiences through the interaction of the objects they bring together, which may similarly stimulate new scholarly approaches and analyses. For, although there are challenges to their use of written ego-documents, museums and galleries appear increasingly prepared to find ways to consider how such texts can contribute to, or re-write, our understanding of the past, and how they might be better integrated with presentations of visual and material culture. Material Sources for Women’s Personal Narratives Are there other sources such as commissioned art, architecture, and monuments that might also provide opportunities to assess women’s self-presentation? In this section, we explore how material objects surrounding mourning and funeral practices from the Burgundian and Habsburg period can inform us about elite women’s lives. Many years ago Johan Huizinga brought to scholarly attention the highly ritualistic ceremonial life of the Burgundian court in which mourning ‘dramatized the effects of grief.’64 More recent scholarly study of the material culture of mausoleums and funeral objects has highlighted the extensive involvement of elite women in the Netherlands in such activities.65 Here we examine the potential of elite women’s commissions of monuments for themselves or their relatives to be used as ego-documents, and explore the scholarly and museum contexts in which such objects are currently interpreted. Academic studies have contributed much to our knowledge of women’s patronage of large material objects such as tombs, architecture, and smaller artworks. Art historical scholarship has thus revealed that various Burgundian duchesses were deeply involved with the creation of large-scale funeral monuments for themselves and others. Moreover, they have shown that women’s opportunities for such commissions determined both how and what they commissioned during 64 Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages, p. 52, and the more recent discussion of Burgundian funeral ceremony by Malcolm Vale, ‘A Burgundian funeral ceremony: Olivier de la Marche and the obsequies of Adolf of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein,’ English Historical Review, 111 (1996): pp. 920–38. 65 Marie-Françoise Poiret, Le monastère royale de Brou: L’église et le musée (Paris: editions du patrimoine, 2000); Marie-Françoise Poiret, Le monastère de Brou, le chef-d’oeuvre d’une fille d’empereur (Paris: CNRS editions, 1994); Alexandra Carpino, ‘Margaret of Austria’s Funerary Complex at Brou: Conjugal love, political ambition, or personal glory?’ in Cynthia Lawrence (ed.), Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, collectors, and connoisseurs (University Park, 1997), pp. 37–52; Laura D. Gelfand, ‘Margaret of Austria and the Encoding of Power in Patronage: The funerary foundation at Brou,’ in Allison Levy (ed.), Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 145–59; and Ethan Matt Kavaler, ‘Margaret of Austria, Ornament, and the Court Style of Brou,’ in Stephen J. Campbell (ed.), Artists at Court: Image-Making and Identity, 1300–1550, exhibition catalogue (Boston, 2004), pp. 124–37.

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Fig. 1.1 Tomb of Margaret of Austria, Royal Monastery of Brou, Bourg-enBresse. Photo courtesy of Alastair N. Ross. their lives. For example, recent analyses of Margaret of Austria’s tomb at Brou have identified expressions of female power that might be seen as particular to Margaret (Figure 1.1). Alexandra Carpino has observed that its representations feature Margaret not as a widow, but as a wife and particularly as an independent ruler, portrayed in royal regalia.66 Laura D. Gelfand argues that as Margaret gained in social and economic power as regent of the Netherlands, the scale of her monument at Brou increased. After 1512, changes increasingly featured her matrilineal family heritage.67 How then might our knowledge of Margaret’s developing opportunities for self-presentation echo or enhance our interpretations of other women’s opportunities for expression during this period? Through their organization of funeral monuments, women as well as men could present a narrative about their own identity. Historical analyses could potentially interpret such material objects as forms of ego-documents to reveal new perspectives on women’s sense of identity. Tantalizing evidence for such an interpretation exists within art historical scholarship. For example, Ann M. Carpino, ‘Margaret of Austria’s Funerary Complex at Brou,’ p. 51. Gelfand, ‘Margaret of Austria,’ pp. 152–3.

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Roberts’ analysis of the tomb of Mary of Burgundy, the mother of Margaret of Austria, offers evidence of Mary’s own attempts to secure a presentation of herself through her sepulchre, although Roberts herself attributes responsibility for the program to Mary’s husband Maximilian I. Roberts sees in its design, especially its elaborate genealogies, his motive of upholding Mary’s position as the rightful heir to the Burgundian patrimony through both her patrilineal and matrilineal heritage.68 However, Roberts also notes that Mary, who died unexpectedly in 1482, had already specified in her will that she wished to buried in the OnzeLieve-Vrouw in Bruges, of which she was a patron.69 Although her mother was buried in Antwerp, her father in Nancy, and other relatives at Saint Donatien in Bruges, Roberts argues that Mary’s choice may have also reflected her particular devotion to the Virgin, her ‘special protectress’ who was mentioned several times in her testament. Mary’s will requested burial ‘honorably according to her station’ and anticipated the construction of a ‘sepulchre or sarcophagus’ underneath ‘a large and beautiful image of the Virgin Mary.’70 In such ways, although her focus is Maximilian’s program for the monument, Roberts’ study offers strong evidence that Mary’s stipulation of a sepulchre in her testament may indeed have reflected her personal preoccupations. Elite women could certainly use funeral monuments to signal their own sense of identity. Moreover, elite women could be instrumental in providing mausoleums for family members in ways that suggest the importance of this form of artistic patronage for understanding their own identities. The mausoleum of Isabel of Bourbon, wife of Charles the Good, was commissioned by her daughter Mary of Burgundy and perhaps it is here that Mary’s representation of herself can best be found. Isabel had died when her daughter was a child of eight, but at age 18, Mary commissioned a mausoleum fitting for her mother, to be installed in Saint Michael’s Abbey in Antwerp. At the time of her death, Charles had been embroiled in war with France, and then two years later, he was courting Margaret of York as his next bride. Frits Scholten argues that Mary in particular had dynastic reasons to wish to promote her mother’s memory, as she was the last of the Burgundian line.71 After her marriage to Maximilian saw Burgundy incorporated into the larger Habsburg dynasty, reminder of her matrilineal heritage was perhaps particularly significant to her and the political motives of the couple. Although Isabel’s mausoleum is no longer complete, ten of its pleurant statues, five male and five female figures, are deposited in the Rijksmuseum

Ann M. Roberts, ‘The Chronology and Political Significance of the Tomb of Mary of Burgundy,’ The Art Bulletin, 71 (1989): pp. 376–400; see also Ann M. Roberts, ‘The Posthumous Image of Mary of Burgundy,’ in her Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe: Gender, agency, identity (Aldershot, 2008), pp. 55–70. 69 Ibid., p. 378. 70 Ibid., p. 379. 71 Scholten, Isabella’s Weepers, p. 17. 68

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in Amsterdam.72 Visitors to the Netherlands now encounter these statues out of their original church contexts, presented primarily as artistic rather than commemorative objects (although they are both). Such objects, we suggest, offer fruitful opportunities to draw upon history, art history, and heritage scholarship in order to understand the implications of such objects in their original context as well as their later cultural uses. Pleurants could represent either generic mourners (even though they do not always appear sorrowful to present-day eyes), as on the tombs of Philip the Good and John the Fearless, or individual identities, as in the mausoleum for Louis of Mâle.73 Isabel’s pleurants are of the latter kind, representing both saints and aristocratic figures.74 It is now unclear which individuals the remaining pleurants represent. Even in the absence of the larger monument from which they derive, we argue that these objects could be examined as a set of ego-documents which speak to Mary’s desire to contextualize both herself and her mother in a broader religious as well as family heritage. Moreover, Isabel’s pleurants could be brought to bear on a broader narrative about elite women’s access to forms of self-representation at this period. Funeral monuments such as these were not, of course, exclusively female modes of self-presentation. Anne McGee Morganstern has analysed the ways in which the Burgundian dukes were also preoccupied with restoring the tombs of ancestors and preparing their own.75 However, elite women and men’s choices of, and self-expression through, such objects are likely to be at least subtly different, in ways that articulated different understandings of their lives and experiences. Such representations were, moreover, by no means limited to the ducal family. During the same period, a substantial number of portraits, altarpieces, and devotional objects were being commissioned for a wider group of the elite and upper middle class, some of which represented women, or were directly commissioned or organized by women. Scholars of visual culture are already familiar with interpreting objects such as these as expressions of patrons’ identities, but to what extent are they interpreted as demonstrating specifically female expressions of identity? Unlike written ego-documents, where it remains a challenge to transmit their existence and meaning beyond academia to other narrative-making contexts, we suggest that for material objects such as memorial stones, triptychs, and funeral monuments, the relationship between scholarly and other narrative contexts is quite different. We suggest that academic interpretation of such sources is sometimes influenced, The bronze portrait and black marble cover are now at the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp. For an earlier view, and detailed discussion, on the origins of these pleurants, see Jaap Leuwenberg, ‘De Tien Bronzen “Plorannen” in het Rijskmuseum te Amsterdam, hun herkomst en de voorbeelden waaraan zij zijn ontleend,’ Gentsche bijdragen tot de kunstgeschiedenis, 13 (1951): pp. 13–59. 73 Scholten, Isabella’s Weepers, pp. 24–25. See discussion by Ann M. Roberts of pleurant traditions in Burgundian funeral monuments, Roberts, ‘The Chronology and Political Significance of the Tomb of Mary of Burgundy,’ p. 390. 74 Scholten, Isabella’s Weepers, pp. 27–9. 75 See Anne McGee Morganstern, Gothic Tombs of Kinship in France, the Low Countries and England (University Park, 2000), and in particular, Chapters 2 and 8. 72

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perhaps unconsciously, by their modern-day presentation in other exhibition, heritage, and tourist domains where the focus is principally on the male subject, and only incidentally on female identities. We return here to four-year-old Fionn’s question: ‘Why don’t those ones count?’ Modern Understandings of Memorials and Paintings Low Countries churches, in fact, contain myriad examples of such material sources that might be used to create meaningful and more complex narratives of women’s experiences. Just as images of women in churches as saints are common, so too are real identifiable women in triptychs, memorial stones, and other objects. However, even when both male and female figures are depicted with their patron saints, in equal size and scale on either side of the central panel of a triptych, it is not uncommon for such pieces to be labelled on the modern signage only by the dominant male represented in such images. For example, in the Onze-LieveVrouw church in Bruges, the fifteenth-century memorial stones embedded in the side-chapels are labelled only by the male family members, as ‘Gedenksteen van Jan van de Velde en echgenote,’ ‘Gedenksteen van Lodewijk de Baenst (jr) en familie,’ or ‘Gedenksteen van Lorenz Baenst en familie,’ for example.76 This is despite the fact that both husband and wife are equally prominent on the left and right hand side of biblical scenes at which they are (figuratively) present. Women were clearly represented in a range of devotional contexts during this period, and these representations remain accessible for a potential analysis of presentations of female experiences and identities. Yet the curatorial presentation of such objects commonly emphasizes male activities and subject matter, influencing popular as well as scholarly perceptions of the works. For example, the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels shows the portrait of William Moreel (?–1501) and his wife Barbara van Vlaenderberch (?–1499) by Hans Memling, probably made in the early 1480s.77 These were most likely made as wings for a triptych. Moreel, seigneur of Oostcleyhem, was an eminent official in Bruges, where he had taken office as a burgomaster, dealing in spices and representing the Bank of Rome in Bruges.78 The back of the panels records the 76 On the history of the De Baenst family, see Frederik Buylaert, ‘Sociale Mobiliteit bij Stedelijke Elites in Laatmiddeleeuws Vlaanderen: Een gevalstudie over de Vlaamse familie de Baenst,’ Jaarboek voor Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis, 8 (2005): pp. 201–51. 77 The date of this painting is a matter of debate within recent art historical scholarship. See Dirk De Vos, Hans Memling: The complete works, trans. Ted Alkins (Ghent, 1994), p. 131; and Borchert, Memling’s Portraits, pp. 168–9. 78 Ephrem, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium: A guide to the collections of ancient art and modern art, trans. Steve Dept (Brussels, 1999), p. 34. On the Moreel family origins, see W.H.J. Weale, ‘Généalogie de la famille Moreel,’ Le Beffroi, 2 (1864–65): pp. 179–96; and the discussion in Maximiliaan P.J. Martens, ‘Patronage,’ in Bernhard Ridderbos, Henk Th. van Veen, and Anne van Buren (eds), Early Netherlandish Paintings: Rediscovery, reception, and research (Amsterdam, 2005), pp. 345–77.

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Fig. 1.2 Hans Memling, Triptych of William Moreel (and his wife Barbara van Vlaenderberch), Altarpiece for the altar of Saints Maurus and Giles in the Church of Saint James in Bruges, 1484. Groeningemuseum, Stedelijke Musea Brugge © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW. full names of both wife and husband, with each of their coats of arms painted on the back of the other’s panel – thus linking each to the other. A later, intact triptych of the Moreel family now hangs in the Groeningemuseum, painted by Memling in 1484 (Figure 1.2). Archival research has revealed that van Vlaenderberch and Moreel made a foundation in the church of Saint James, Bruges, in 1485 by which they were permitted to endow an altar to St Maurus and Giles and to be buried before it.79 This triptych was that altarpiece. Van Vlaenderberch is shown with their eleven daughters and her patron saint St Barbara, while Moreel is represented on the left with their four sons and his patron saint St William of Maleval. The two saints sharing the central scene with St Christopher are Maurus and Giles, referencing each of the donors’ names.80 This triptych is the earliest surviving portrait of a whole, large family in the Low Countries.81 Van Vlaenderberch and Moreel are both represented in the image, yet modern scholarship on the triptych, even that interested in gender representations, has focussed predominantly on masculinity and male presentations. It is true that male and female donors are not represented equally in this particular triptych. As Andrea G. Pearson observes, the male side of the family is emphasized – patron saints of a number of the sons are represented, but not those of the daughters.82 Pearson Ibid., p. 356. Irene Smets, Groeninge Museum and Arentshuis, Bruges: A selection of the finest

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works, trans. Ted Alkins (Ghent and Amsterdam, 2000), p. 25. 81 Ibid., p. 25. 82 Pearson, Envisioning Gender in Burgundian Devotional Art, 1350–1530: Experience, authority, resistance (Aldershot, 2005), p. 100. See also, on gendered presentations, Bret Rothstein, ‘Gender and the Configuration of early Netherlandish Devotional Skill,’ in Pearson (ed.), Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe, pp. 15–34.

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further notes that Moreel’s hands are elevated over those of van Vlaenderberch, ‘suggesting the primacy of a father and husband over wife and mother,’83 a hierarchy Memling used consistently in his oeuvre. She interprets this image as a strong statement of ‘a masculinity grounded in wedlock and procreation.’84 Turning to a scholarly analysis of the triptych’s representation of women, Jeanne Nuechterlein has remarked on the undifferentiated, even anonymous quality of the portraits of van Vlaenderberch and her daughters, in comparison both to the other known portrait of her, and to the triptych’s male figures, arguing that ‘she has become entirely generic (her daughters, too, all look more or less identical); perhaps it was a form of public flattery, or just an artistic shorthand.’85 However, are there other ways in which this image could be read: perhaps, we suggest, as a presentation of van Vlaenderberch’s identity at this period of her life, not simply as its effacement? How could such images be interpreted to tell us about their female as well as their male subjects? These images are significant to our understanding of elite women during this period not only because they simply depict identifiable women, but also because those women might also have manipulated such opportunities for their own expressions of identity and experiences. Just as it was important for the dukes of Burgundy to display their lineage, genealogical display was also a form of cultural enactment for other individuals too. Jean C. Wilson has argued that such images could be emblematic not only of social standing, but also of (male) authority, and as such were commonly commissioned at a rise to power, or ascendancy in the public realm.86 Yet the Moreel and van Vlaenderberch triptych also reflects women’s achievements and identities: those of the woman’s family of origin, her marriage, her religious devotion, her production and care of a husband and children as contributions to the public identity of the family. These may have been achievements that women were as eager to celebrate and record as their husbands. Van Vlaenderberch was a woman who was already represented in an earlier portrait with her husband. Now here she was shown at a different stage of her life with her brood of children. Indeed, further daughters were carefully added after the original composition to reflect the couple’s continued reproductive success.87 Perhaps the generic quality of her portrait was not an attempt to render her less important or interesting than her husband. While Moreel is noticeably older in the second triptych with his children, it is possible that the purpose of van Vlaenderberch’s particular depiction was to render her as youthful as her daughters. Given the paucity of extant documentation, women’s opportunities to create images that reflected their own expressions of identity and experiences must 85 86

Pearson, Envisioning Gender in Burgundian Devotional Art, p. 100. Ibid., p. 99. Nuechterlein, ‘The Mystery of Jan van Eyck,’ p. 418. Jean C. Wilson, Painting in Bruges at the close of the Middle Ages (University Park, PA, 1998), pp. 52 and 54. 87 It does not however represent the entire family: two further daughters were born after the last additions. De Vos, Hans Memling, p. 241. 83 84

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Fig. 1.3

Master of the Holy Blood, Triptych of Jossine Lamsins, Joachim Christiaens, and their patron saints, surrounding a central panel depicting the Virgin with Child and Saints Catherine and Barbara, c. 1520–25. Groeningemuseum, Stedelijke Musea Brugge © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW.

largely be read, as for men, through the composition itself. A fascinating example which suggests a strong degree of female authorial control is the Master of the Holy Blood triptych of Jossine Lamsins, Joachim Christiaens, and their patron saints, surrounding a central panel depicting the Virgin with Child and Saints Catherine and Barbara (c. 1520–25), acquired by the Groeningemuseum in Bruges in 1991 (Figure 1.3). The altarpiece was originally commissioned by Lamsins and her first husband, Jan van Cattenbrouck. When Lamsins remarried after his death in 1529, the portrait of her first husband, his patron saint St John the Baptist and blason were painted over with those of her second husband Christiaens, city councillor and orator of the deanery in Bruges, including his patron saint Joachim; amendments revealed by recent infra-red analysis.88 The intention that the triptych serve as a memory of van Cattenbrouck was either not assumed, or rejected, by his widow and her second husband. This is all the more unusual because contemporary triptychs represented re-marriages for men by depicting both female partners (Gerard David’s contemporary triptych of Jan de Trompes and his two wives and Maximiliaan P.J. Martens and Maryan W. Ainsworth, Bruges et la Renaissance: de Memling à Pourbus, Exhibition ‘de Hans Memling à Pierre Pourbus,’ Bruges, Memlingmuseum – Oud-Sint-Janshospitaal, 15 August – 6 December 1998, exhibition catalogue (2 vols, Paris, 1998), vol. 2, p. 55. 88

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children is one such example). In the background scenes, references to the life stories of the donors’ respective patron saints, St John the Baptist, Joachim, and Jodocus, keep all three visually present in the image. Lamsins remains apparently unaltered between marriages, devoutly reading her richly illustrated religious text with her patron saint Jodocus behind her. Martens and Ainsworth observe that the addition of a second lamb to the image could reference either Lamsins’s family name or the heraldic symbols of Joachim Christiaens, which featured the animal.89 This representation of Lamsins hints at another possibility for a woman to have her changing life stages visually represented, through a different means from that used in the van Vlaenderberch images. The representation of an individual woman like Barbara van Vlaenderberch that depicts her proudly raising her family respectably, according to her social standing, or of the devout wife and widow Jossine Lamsins, do not form a visible part of scholarly interpretation of such triptychs nor more broadly of historical narratives of this period. Yet to incorporate these perspectives and presentations is not to suggest that women controlled the production of such images, or that they were equally represented within them. Certainly some of the curatorial practices that have obscured the visibility of these women from Burgundian historiography have occurred within churches, museums, and galleries, and this has likely influenced what scholars see from the past. However, we must also ask ourselves whether, as feminist scholars, we have been perhaps less interested in these women and their stories because they did not explicitly challenge the contemporary status quo but rather fulfilled the expectations of their culture in terms of marriage, motherhood, and devotion, and visibly celebrated those achievements through their available forms of self-representation. In practical terms, both curatorial practices and historical methods enable relative ease of access to some sources through their description, cataloguing, and other methods of storage and display, but render others much more of a challenge to inclusion in the historical record. It certainly takes less effort to discover the name of Jan van de Velde than that of his wife; it is much easier to continue to refer to the work, and then to think of it, simply as ‘Jan van de Velde and spouse.’ But we risk a great deal – too much, we would argue – by doing so. This chapter has argued that curatorial practices and historiographical choices can be intricately intertwined, with important consequences for our understanding of women’s lives in the past. Narratives about late medieval women produced for domains such as art and heritage tourism both stem from and inform academic writing about women of this period. Museological practices have shaped historiographical choices, highlighting some objects of study such as the funeral monuments or pleurants of women in power, but obscuring others such as discussion of women’s representations and expressions of identity in triptychs. It may have taken a fouryear-old to make us consider why we were not seeing some women in our narratives of the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands, but it also made us recognize the Ibid.

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processes by which academic attention can be focussed on those things that are signed for us. And so too have historians’ views about what is worth documenting influenced what curators have decided to present in different domains. Mechelen as a city in women’s hands is, for example, underpinned by the new scholarly research emerging about individual elite women’s expressions of power. While new research has extended the ways such individuals are seen as valid historical subjects in their own right, not just as appendages to their husbands, fathers, or sons, we now need to develop what their lives mean for the writing of both female experiences more broadly and of the period as a whole. This can best happen by increasingly combining the insights of historians, art historians, and curators, for the objects that provide us with women’s own attempts to present themselves and their experience and which can underpin thematic analysis, are found across all three domains.

Chapter 2

Visualizing Women’s Work in the Textile Trades at the Dawn of the Golden Age The representation of women’s work in the domestic realm has been the focus of extensive scholarship by art historians of Dutch Golden Age genre painting. Their research has highlighted the importance of gendered artistic representations that implied a separation of private female and public male spheres of influence within the Dutch nation; also a widespread trope in moral literature. More recently, social and cultural historians have begun to contribute to our understanding of this dynamic period by examining the reality of female labour both within and beyond the home. Their conclusions suggest that realities for working women by no means matched their representation in contemporary art. Yet historians, as well as museums and galleries, frequently employ visual sources in a range of ways to support or create their interpretations of female labour experiences. What consideration is given in these domains to the representative value of such images? How do they function as evidence for women’s working experiences? In this chapter, we investigate some of the implications of the use of visual sources to create and sustain narratives about women’s work that are developed within historical scholarship as well as in museums and galleries. We explore these issues through a case study focussing on a series of images of female and male labour in the textile industry in Leiden, created at the turn of the seventeenth century. Because of the ways in which it has been presented, as well as its iconographical content, we suggest that the series by Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg (1537– 1614), collectively known as The Old and New Trades (c. 1594–c. 1612), offers particularly important insights into both early modern and modern understandings of gender and labour as well as their artistic representation. Images as Evidence for Historical Realities Images can send powerful messages because of their apparent immediacy to viewers. In this section, we explore the ways in which van Swanenburg’s series has been understood and employed in contemporary academic and museological contexts. This series deserves special attention, we argue, due to its striking This chapter extends a previously published work: Jennifer Spinks and Susan Broomhall, ‘Representing women’s labour at the dawn of the Golden Age: Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg’s Old and New Trades (c. 1594–c. 1612),’ Cultural and Social History, 7/1 (2010): pp. 9–33. 

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presentation of female workers, a presentation that has widened the audience for the images. This presentation, we contend, was unusual for its era, and has not been examined by the historians who have been interested in the series. Instead, van Swanenburg’s Old and New Trades series has typically been interpreted by scholars as primarily offering descriptive evidence of the contemporary practice of the textile trades (although not in terms of gendered work tasks). Detailed studies from a textile history perspective by K.G. Ponting and Frank van Deijk use the images in just this way. The work of art historians who have studied van Swanenburg’s techniques and oeuvre have tended to sustain this historical analysis of his series because of their focus on the precision of his ‘realist’ approach. While Rudolf Erik Otto Ekkart praises van Swanenburg’s originality and complexity in this series, he also highlights the ‘devoted attention with which the artist observes all the operations and equipment to bring together a reproduction of near exact documentation.’ Fine rendering of all the technicalities of the trade it may be – and such aspects do concern us here – but van Swanenburg’s realism appears to have largely prevented scholars from exploring the symbolic level of these images. In a book that considers van Swanenburg’s paintings as part of a larger study of textile-related images, Linda A. Stone-Ferrier also emphasizes the accurate depiction of industry in the series. She argues that it was innovative for a guild-like structure to request imagery representing the tangible activities of an industry. Yet despite several assessments of the level of realism in the representation of the textiles industry in the series, there has been surprisingly little analysis of its striking depiction of working women. One recent study of images of labour by Annette de Vries examines the allegorical value of spinning in this series, opening

 K.G. Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ Textile History, 5 (1974): pp. 128–51, and Frank van Deijk, ‘Een Ooggetuige van Belang? Isaac Claeszoon Swanenburg en zijn weergave van de Leidse saaiproduktie,’ Textielhistorische Bijdragen, 33 (1993): pp. 7–42.  Rudolf Erik Otto Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, 1537–1614: Leids schilder en burgemeester, exhibition catalogue (Zwolle, 1998), p. 152.  The vexed and interrelated issues of realism and symbolism in art and the limits of iconographic interpretation are polemically examined at some length in David Freedberg and Jan de Vries (eds), Art in History, History in Art (Santa Monica, 1991). While the period c. 1600 is generally seen as a turning point in Low Countries art, the debates there and elsewhere are centred on the later seventeenth century. See also Wayne E. Franits (ed.), Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art: Realism reconsidered (Cambridge, 1997); and J. Bruyn, ‘A Turning-Point in the History of Dutch Art,’ in Ger Luijten and Ariane van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish art 1580–1620, exhibition catalogue (Amsterdam, 1993), pp. 112–21.  Linda A. Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles: The weave of seventeenth-century Dutch art and society (Ann Arbor, 1985), pp. 1–40.

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up interesting questions about the potential for idealization in such images, but she does not examine the full sequence of paintings in the series. More recently, these images have become almost iconic, conveying powerful messages about the place of women in contemporary historical scholarship through their use in a range of significant feminist texts. In 2005, van Swanenburg’s painting of spinners (Figure 2.1) was used both as the cover image on the special issue on women’s work in the early modern period edited by Ariadne Schmidt for the journal Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis, and as the cover of Women’s Roles in the Renaissance by Meg Lota Brown and Kari Boyd McBride. The visibility of women’s work was placed at centre stage of a new interpretation of early modern Europe more generally when the same image of spinners appeared on the cover of 2006 edition of Cambridge University Press’s Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789 by feminist (and textile) historian Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. However, such broadly focused texts have made limited attempts to integrate the image into the analysis it accompanies, implying by default that its own presentation of women working is either straightforward for the viewer to interpret, or that it represents an accurate reflection of historic labour. The implicit feminist potential of the imagery which such publications tap into and usefully gesture towards is exciting, but it remains unexamined and unintegrated in any substantial way. In a similar way, the curatorial approach to these paintings today in the Leiden Lakenhaal Museum presents them to modern tourists as sources that bear witness to a functional, pragmatic narrative about the cloth trade of the seventeenth century. The van Swanenburg paintings dominate a large room, the former Grand Guilds Room, which was once a hall for the inspection of cloth and ‘the most important part of the “Lakenhalle.” It was here, from 1640 on, that thousands of fine cloth fabrics were controlled annually for quality.’ This room invites visitors to learn more about the history of the textiles trade through encountering a variety of paintings and objects from the heyday of the industry in the early modern period. Just as this series of paintings has most interested scholars for the light that they shed on the processes of the textiles industry in early modern Leiden, the museum utilizes information panels explaining the technical processes of the industry, and surrounds the large paintings with contextualizing images and object that immerse the visitor in the textiles industry. These include a loom, weights and seals, baskets of wool, and a large spinning wheel of the type depicted by van Swanenburg. The accompanying panel informs the visitor that this is just the type of wheel seen Annette de Vries, Ingelijst Werk. De verbeelding van arbeid en beroepin de vroegmoderne Nederlanden (Zwolle, 2004); on van Swanenburg see pp. 211–15.  Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis, 2/3 (2005); Meg Lota Brown and Kari Boyd McBride, Women’s Roles in the Renaissance (Santa Barbara, 2005).  Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789 (Cambridge, 2006); for a brief comment on the image see p. 426.  Text panel, room 19 (Grand Guilds Room), Lakenhaal Museum, Leiden. 

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Fig. 2.1 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 421. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. in the painting by van Swanenburg. The mixture of objects of varying levels of artistic skill and sophistication, in a space that is historically rich, undoubtedly forms a layered and informative experience for the visitor. The imposing paintings anchor the presentation of the Grand Guilds Room that forms an entry point to the four smaller rooms which run off it, including the historically significant Syndics Room and Seal Room. Finally, the visitor is encouraged through signage and objects to imagine the final stages of the industry, with samples checked for quality and deals signed off by the syndics, with the group of 1675 represented in a painting of that year by Jan de Baen. Despite the striking predominance of female labour in the paintings, the gallery materials simply state that ‘women and children combed and spun the wool,’ and do not elaborate on women’s work in Leiden.10 Again, the implication is that these paintings unproblematically echo or thematize ‘real’ working activities. In both academic and museological environments then, van Swanenburg’s images Text panel, room 19 (Grand Guilds Room), Lakenhaal Museum, Leiden. Another significant female presence in the room is found in a painting by seventeenth-century artist Susanna van Steenwijk-Gaspeel, who depicted the Lakenhaal itself at the height of its prosperity in 1642. 10

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are seen as presentations of a historic reality, rather than artistic interpretations that responded to (amongst other things) ideas about female labour in his own era. As we shall argue, however, the presentation of women in van Swanenburg’s paintings, and the positive symbolic value that their participation appears to be given in the industry at a time of expansion and success, should instead raise more complex questions about how we write the history of female participation in the workforce of early modern Leiden. Art, Women, and Historical Contexts Art historical scholarship, particularly that of scholars attentive to issues of gender, however, provides a rich and critical context for interpreting van Swanenburg’s images, and for identifying what we suggest appear to be unusual characteristics of his presentation. Golden Age genre painting has long been seen as presenting a gendered division of economic and moral participation in the Dutch nation state, between women’s domestic responsibilities and men’s public duties.11 Women could be shown to be enjoying the new public spaces of the burgeoning Dutch state, as recipients of its glory, but their contribution to its success was firmly located in the home. More recently however, art historians have begun to argue that the gendered dichotomy of public/private in the artwork of the Golden Age is rather more complex than earlier scholarly interpretation had generally admitted. Elizabeth A. Honig has proposed that market scenes, for example, represent a liminal space between public and private, ‘where only women’s behaviour could guarantee a virtue that spatial coordinates no longer provide.’12 The boundaries of the domestic were, it seems, extendable. Further complicating our understanding of the representation of the public/ private dichotomy of genre painting, Annette de Vries has argued that contemporary iconography of female work had implications that went beyond simply women’s lives and the domestic sphere. She concludes that images of spinners spoke not 11 See for example, Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age (London, 1987), Chapter 6; Wayne E. Franits, Paragons of Virtue: Women and domesticity in seventeenth-century Dutch art (Cambridge, 1993); Elizabeth Alice Honig, ‘The Space of Gender in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting,’ in Franits (ed.), Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, pp. 187–201; and Nanette Salomon, Shifting Priorities: Gender and genre in seventeenth-century Dutch painting (Stanford, 2004). 12 Honig, ‘The Space of Gender,’ p. 198; and her ‘Desire and Domestic Economy,’ Art Bulletin, 83 (2001): pp. 294–315. On the visual associations between domestic spaces and women’s bodies in seventeenth-century Dutch art, see also Martha Hollander, An Entrance for the Eyes: Space and meaning in seventeenth-century Dutch art (Berkeley, 2002), pp. 161–76, which argues for some masculine roles within this environment, and also for some potential interaction between public and private spaces: ‘While women are at ease in the domain of the house and the courtyard, the masculine outer world is not only visible but accessible, just a step away’ (p. 176).

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just to feminine virtues of domestic industry, but to wider understandings of vices and virtues such as inactivity and diligence. The female labour of spinning, she suggests, was a metaphor for the new work virtues of the Dutch Republic more generally.13 As Cordula Grewe has argued, the labour of spinning was most obviously depicted as a morally upright activity when it had a clearly marked allegorical function, and the tools of spinning were held by a woman who was not a poorly paid professional spinner but a woman of comfortable means. A spinner who worked for a living presented a more dubious image, and – not coincidentally – was almost never the commissioner of her visual representation.14 Thanks to the iconic value of the spinner, women were almost never represented participating in other aspects of the textile industry.15 However, Martha Moffitt Peacock has recently offered a reading of women’s domestic labour in seventeenth-century art that moves away from the moralizing tropes emphasized in recent scholarship and argues that contemporary works such as Geertruydt Roghman’s prints, which show women engaged in tasks such as sewing and spinning are representative of the increasing visibility of women’s independent contributions to economic life, precisely because they are popular genre scenes that propel the image of the female at work into a larger public sphere through print.16 At the same time, a growing body of studies by social and cultural historians is also providing evidence that women’s economic contributions took place both in and beyond the home. A significant preoccupation of feminist historical scholarship in recent years has been to trace a narrative of women’s increasing or decreasing emancipation in their working life, as guild and other legal conditions restricted or opened up opportunities to women as wives, widows, and independent agents.17 As Ellen E. Kittell and Mary A. Suydam argue in a recent study of women in the Low Countries, women were active in many aspects of this highly urbanized, emerging capitalist society, the reasons for which we cannot afford to overlook in

Annette de Vries, ‘Toonbeelden van Huiselijkheid of Arbeidzaamheid? De iconografie van de spinster in relatie tot de veerbelding van arbeid en beroep in de vroegmoderne Nederlanden,’ Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis, 2 (2005): pp. 103–25, p. 125; and De Vries, Ingelijst Werk; on spinning see pp. 210–249. 14 Cordula Grewe, ‘Shaping Reality through the Fictive: Images of women spinning in the Northern Renaissance,’ Revue d’Art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review, 19 (1992): pp. 6–19, see especially p. 13. 15 See de Vries, Ingelijst Werk, p. 12. 16 Martha Moffitt Peacock, ‘Domesticity in the Public Sphere,’ in Alison G. Stewart and Jane L. Carroll (eds), Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Gender and Northern art in medieval and early modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 44–68. 17 A summary to this feminist historiography can be found in Laura van Aert, ‘Trade and Gender Emancipation: Retailing women in sixteenth-century Antwerp,’ in Bruno Blondé, Peter Stabel, Jon Stobart, and Ilja Van Damme (eds), Buyers and Sellers: Retail circuits and practices in medieval and early modern Europe (Turnhout, 2006), pp. 297–313. 13

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an analysis of their experiences.18 The evidence of increasing study on women’s labour in the early modern period, as well as analysis of its representation in contemporary art, has nuanced the principle of separate spheres of gendered participation offered in Golden Age art and literature. The notion of domesticity could be extended to incorporate women’s work beyond the home, where female virtue, a moral cornerstone of the nation, might be demonstrated through women’s public visibility in trade, as we suggest in this chapter. In what ways, then, can we read The Old and New Trades by Leiden artist Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg as a representation of the reality of women’s working experiences at this period? Women’s labour seems to be central to this series of paintings celebrating the success of the New Draperies in Leiden. The series affords an opportunity to interpret a contemporary male representation of women’s experiences, and to articulate ideas about domesticity, the recognition of urban women’s economic contribution, and its depiction in painting at the dawn of the Golden Age.19 Van Swanenburg’s Old and New Trades series appeared at a critical point in Dutch art, when the mannerist imagery which had dominated the sixteenth century, with its often physically exaggerated human bodies and dramatic subject matter drawn from mythology, the Bible, and history, was giving way to the more self-consciously realistic, detailed, domestic, and genre-oriented art of the Golden Age. While it may be possible to argue that not all genre paintings concealed a didactic intention but could also be intended merely as pleasurable images, in the case of van Swanenburg’s series the paintings do not seem to be simply intended to depict a number of practical functions within the New Draperies, but were intended to be read at a moral and allegorical level. Paradoxically, while van Swanenburg’s attention to this range of activities lends the series an intensified semblance of realism, it simultaneously extends the allegorical possibilities for representing women at work. We argue that the valorisation of industry emerges from a focus on working women, in a way that is more multi-faceted than prior representations of spinners alone, and which was more adventurous than many later Golden Age images in its willingness to locate morally upright women in public spaces, as we explore in more detail below. That this was idealized cannot be contested: textile workers were generally low-paid, and the flourishing world of the industry that van Swanenburg was commissioned to present in the paintings is primarily a communal one designed to reflect the rise of the New Trades in late sixteenth-century Leiden. We propose that van Swanenburg’s paintings should not be read as evidence for women’s working emancipation or increased visibility in the early modern Low Countries, but rather as a contemporary social commentary on some of the same issues that scholars are grappling with in historical literature today: what was the place of urban women in early modern working life?

18 See Introduction to Ellen E. Kittell and Mary A. Suydam (eds), The Texture of Society: Medieval women in the Southern Low Countries (Basingstoke, 2004), pp. xi–xxv. 19 We are explicitly locating this series with the artistic trends of the period most clearly described in Luijten and van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age.

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Van Swanenburg’s Old and New Trades Series Leiden’s economy had relied for several centuries on the cloth trade, in particular the production of the heavy cloth called drapery, made from English wool.20 The town, amongst the four largest in Holland, produced mid-quality cloth. Like other inland towns of the northern Netherlands, it experienced economic difficulties in the sixteenth century (with the rising price of English wool from the 1530s), suffering decline by the 1570s. This low point paralleled the discord across the Netherlands and the siege of Leiden in 1574. Yet Leiden’s industry took on new characteristics from the 1580s, led by religious refugees from the Southern Netherlands (first Flemish, most important in the period considered here, and then Walloon),21 a new supply of raw wool from continental Europe and a focus on producing lighter cloths. Van Swanenburg’s paintings were produced for the Saaihal which governed the production of sayes, a light wool-worsted cloth mix and the mainstay of the rise of the New Trades in late sixteenth-century Leiden.22 Before the 1630s, these lighter woollen cloths formed a significant part of the textile industry’s revival.23 Ponting notes that in 1584, for example, Leiden produced a recorded 26,620 cloths, of which 23,047 were sayes.24 When van Swanenburg painted his series of the Old and New Trades, then, it was in the context of a revitalized textile industry that would ultimately lead to a great upturn in Leiden’s fortunes during the seventeenth century.25 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg is best characterized as a minor but successful artist in a flourishing period of artistic work in the Netherlands. His work has received relatively little analysis beyond a recent exhibition catalogue from his home city of Leiden.26 Yet he was a versatile and occasionally innovative artist, Martha C. Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy in Late Medieval Cities (Chicago, 1986), pp. 49–94; Leo Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands, 1500–1800,’ in N.B. Harte (ed.), The New Draperies in the Low Countries and England, 1300–1800 (Oxford, 1997), pp. 173–95; and Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ pp. 131–6. 21 Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, p. 67. Thanks to this immigration, the population grew from c. 13,000 in 1581 to c. 26,000 in 1600. See Jonathan I. Israel, The Dutch Republic: Its rise, greatness, and fall 1477–1806 (Oxford, 1995), p. 309. 22 D.C. Coleman, ‘An Innovation and its Diffusion: The “New Draperies”,’ The Economic History Review, 22 (1969): pp. 417–29, see p. 423. Coleman provides a detailed overview of the varied types of cloth made as part of the New Trades; on this complicated issue see also Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands,’ pp. 184–9. 23 Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, p. 52. 24 Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ p. 134. 25 Ibid., p. 128. 26 For this study of van Swanenburg, see Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg. Van Swanenburg was included in Karel van Mander’s Schilder-Boek of 1604, although confused with the artist Isaack Claessen Clock. See Karel van Mander, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters: From the first edition of the Schilder-Boek 20

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producing designs for prints, stained glass windows, silver work, tapestries, and medals, as well as paintings, which were his main area of activity.27 Van Swanenburg was clearly an important citizen during Leiden’s revival of cultural, intellectual, and economic activities. He was active in civic duties from 1576 when he became a member of the Vroedschap (city council). This intensified between 1586 and 1607, when he was schepen (alderman) 13 times and burgemeester (mayor) five times.28 In 1597, he was appointed weesmeester, a master of the city orphanage from which the textile industries would draw a significant part of its labour force.29 The vision of Leiden depicted in the Old and New Trades series was one created by a senior, well-regarded member of the community. The Old and New Trades series was commissioned in several stages by the body that coordinated the activities of those working within all facets of sayes production and trade.30 Commencing with the revival of the industry in the 1580s, each textile type was overseen by its own neringen, a trade body with a board of governors responsible for regulating the manufacture and sale of individual cloth varieties. Van Swanenburg was commissioned in 1594 to prepare a series of paintings for the governors’ chamber in the Saaihal (sayes hall). These paintings represent various aspects of the industry: shearing, combing, spinning, warping, weaving, fulling, and dyeing. These different occupations were often also controlled by ambachts, formally constituted guild-like craft organizations that controlled individual professional activities of the textile industry in Leiden and worked under the larger structure of the neringen. The vision of women at work in this series was primarily intended for a select male, rather than public or specifically female, audience, due to the location of the paintings within the exclusive environs of the governors’ chamber. The Saaihal itself was a relatively new space, located on the Steenschuur, although the building had previously been the St. Jacobsgasthuis. Its use as Saaihal dates from the 1580s, and it was primarily employed for inspecting the quality of cloth, for sales, and possibly also for sealing cloth, or at least stamping it. A new wooden section on the tower was put in place around 1592 or 1593, and the commissioning of the paintings was

(1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema (5 vols, Doornspijk, 1994–1999); for the text see vol. 1, pp. 228–9, and for commentary see vol. 4, pp. 43–4 and vol. 5, pp. xxxii and 54–5. Van Swanenburg receives little attention within broader studies of this period such as Luijten and van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age. 27 See Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 17–18. 28 See Sterling A. Lamet, ‘The Vroedschap of Leiden 1550–1600: The impact of tradition and change on the governing elite of a Dutch city,’ Sixteenth Century Journal, 12 (1981): pp. 14–42. On van Swanenburg’s political career see Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 21–4. 29 Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, De Draad in Eigen Handen: Vrouwen en loonarbeid in de Nederlandse textielnijverheid, 1581–1810 (Amsterdam, 2007), pp. 260–277. 30 For the details of the commissions and payments see Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 26–9.

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evidently part of establishing the status of the New Trades in a prominent, if less publicly visible, way.31 The first of three paintings of the series were commissioned and completed between 1594 and 1596: Het ploten en kammen (shearing and combing); Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (spinning, warping and weaving); and Het vollen en verven (fulling and dyeing). Van Swanenburg seems to have been paid 198 guilders for this stage of the commission. No precise written instructions exist for the series, and we cannot know the extent to which the imagery was directed by the neringen, or prepared and suggested by the artist. The 1596 reckoning book briefly indicates payment for three paintings depicting the work of the neringen.32 Both the fact of payment and the later commissions suggest that both parties were content with the agreement and the outcome. By 1601 five paintings were completed and hung. The two new paintings seem to have been allegorical representations: De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude et de Nieuwe Neringhe (the Patroness of the City with the Old and New Trades); and Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe (Granting the City Ordinances to Trade). By November 1607, six paintings were in position: these include one painting that is now lost, and its subject matter is not known.33 In 1612, a final painting was completed, Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol (washing the fleeces and grading the wool). Although the last painting, it represents the very first stage of the wool industry process in Leiden, in which fleeces were washed and sorted. That these images were known to contemporaries is evident. For example, Jan Jansz. Orlers’ 1614 Beschrijvinge der Stad Leyden refers to the Saaihal’s several beautiful paintings, made by the hand of Master Isaac Nicolas Swanenburg, who has been burgermaster of this city: the paintings depict, first, the ruin of the old Leiden draperies, the establishment of the new draperies by the incoming Flemish, followed by all the handwork with which these industries are accomplished and performed.34

It seems likely that the series was well regarded within the community as an important group of paintings promoting the sayes trade by a well-respected artist. The scene of Het ploten en kammen (Figure 2.2) is presented in an interior space that is nonetheless public in tone and open to the public spaces of quay and bridge visible in the background. The effect is to present the viewer with a complex scene that overtly blurs the boundaries between public and private spaces. In the foreground, wool is sheared from fleeces, beaten to remove dirt and

33 34

Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, p. 26. Ibid. Ibid. Jan Jansz. Orlers, Beschrijvinge der Stad Leyden (Leyden, 1614), p. 123, cited in Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, p. 10. Translation from Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles, p. 234, note 5. 31 32

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Fig. 2.2 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het ploten en kammen, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 420. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. short hairs, sprinkled with oil, and combed and hung out to dry.35 There appears to be one certain female figure in the central scene – a woman who vigorously beats wool with a stick, her sleeves rolled up like those of the two men who stand on either side of her. The youth at the centre of the painting is most likely male, but is one of the most striking examples of androgynous-looking figures in this series, in which the strong bodies of male and female work side by side, in similar dress and with similar physical types. The trousers and work aprons of the men in the foreground render those figures unambiguously male, but in the middle ground and background the situation is somewhat less clear. Some men wear open shirts, again clearly denoting their gender, but others wear buttoned jackets and ruff collars that are common to both males and females across this series. The youth may have hair gathered into a feminine bun, though s/he does not wear a cap or head-dress. Young children also appear in the scene, apparently assisting – one lifts up a basket of wool – and adding to the sense that this is ultimately an enterprise that occupies man and woman, child and adult, alike. Child labour became crucial to the industry in seventeenth-century Leiden, where children were contracted out

See Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ p. 144.

35

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by orphanages as well as by parents.36 By depicting children prominently in most scenes, the soon-to-be weesmeester van Swanenburg may have been highlighting both a reality of the Leiden trade but also celebrating what was perceived to be a public social benefit stemming from the textile trades. Beyond, another female is visible on the bridge in the townscape outside. Together with a male figure, she stretches out fleeces, or possibly shorn wool, across the public bridge. Her work within the industry is small in the context of the image, but public and highly visible in the context of the townscape. Here, men and women work together in public, and – while this has not received attention from scholars – the striking visibility of their shared work effort appears to be celebrated in the painting. Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (Figure 2.1) is the most compositionally striking and daring of the series. Van Swanenburg’s depiction of the central female figure from behind, bent over yet turning back to look at the viewer in an unusual pose, evidently reflects the pictorial if not the thematic influence of mannerist art. This painting, and perhaps the series as a whole, may have been influenced by the 1555 engraving Spinning-room with eight women by Dirck Volkertsz. Coornhert after Maarten van Heemskerck, with its strongly muscled female figures in exaggerated poses.37 Reflecting what was the core female contribution to the industry, women dominate van Swanenburg’s scene and are assisted by secondary men and children. One woman spins, and turns around to gaze at the viewer. The keys hanging from her belt denote status and responsibility.38 More directly highlighting women’s supervision and training of other cloth workers, a woman and a boy wind yarn in the background.39 To the left of the girl spooling wool, the central figure also turns back to engage the viewer as she works her spinning wheel. Her distinctive location and posture within the scene lead the viewer’s attention directly to her and then further out into the public space of the square behind. The semi-interior space stretches out in a continuum with the public space of the square in the background. This space is most likely the Oosterlingenplatz, today the Garenmarkt, where German merchants came to trade. Here, van Swanenburg depicts women apparently trading bundles of wool.40 They echo the figure of the black-hatted woman with her large bundle of wool at the left of the painting’s main scene. Indeed, women constitute the vast majority of the visible figures who move around the square and engage in economic activity as they sell wool. Several wear broad-brimmed black hats of a type identified by Dana Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market: Women’s work in the Dutch textile industry, 1581–1810,’ International Review of Social History, 51 (2006): pp. 89–216, see p. 201, and Meerkerk, De Draad in Eigen Handen, pp. 260–277. 37 de Vries, ‘Toonbeelden van Huiselijkheid of Arbeidzaamheid?’ and for this print, see p. 114. 38 Ibid., p. 115. 39 Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ pp. 145–6. 40 Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles, p. 8. 36

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Fig. 2.3 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het vollen en verven, painting, 1594–96, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 422. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. L. Chapman in the broader Dutch context as particular markers of status, while at least two further women holding bundles wear the long, black, ‘very costly’ cloaks known as huiks, often worn together with the black, broad-brimmed hats.41 With Het vollen en verven (Figure 2.3), van Swanenburg also experimented, showing the fullers semi-naked with strong and for the most part muscular bodies that would fit well in mannerist paintings by better-known contemporaries such as Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem or Hendrick Goltzius. Again, though, the image is fundamentally concerned with prosaic working activities. The fullers’ semi-naked bodies lend drama to the scene but also reflect their work, as two of them tread the cloth in a large tub. Alongside these artfully semi-naked, mannerist male figures, the main female is dressed in contemporary clothing and is notably respectable, engaged in the work of laying out cloth alongside the tub. Her confident expression marks her out as a crucial figure in the scene, and a central participant in the dynamic interactions formed by the foregrounded figures’ active Dana L. Chapman, ‘Dutch Costume in Paintings by Dutch Artists: A study of women’s clothing and art from 1600 to 1650,’ PhD dissertation, The Ohio State University, 1986, pp. 130–135. On the pairing of such cloaks and hats, see Maria Meyer, Das Kostüm auf niederländischen Bildern. Zum Modewandel im 17. Jahrhundert (Münster, 1986), pp. 65–6. 41

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bodies. Within the interior, another woman is actively discussing what might be accounts. The pointed fingers on the page form a key element in this vignette within the larger image. Beyond, in the public space of a square, two more blackhatted women are party to robust business negotiations involving the sale of cloth. In each of these paintings, the smaller vignettes elaborate and amplify the central activities of the wool trade, and women are explicitly included in both interior and exterior scenes. We suggest that while the spinning image (Figure 2.1) is the best known and most accessible of women at work in the series, other paintings by van Swanenburg from this series also present scenes of women at work which deserve more substantial analysis than they have hitherto received. Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol (Figure 2.4) represents the first stage of the processes depicted in the series, as wool arrives in Leiden and is washed and sorted for processing. This painting was in fact completed in 1612, and so while it represents an early stage, it forms a kind of coda to the series.42 Despite the importance of women in the other scenes, here there are few women involved in the central commercial activity of washing and sorting fleece. Only one figure at the centre of the image is likely to be female, indicated by her body shape and what appears to be an earring, and as the only older adult without a sizeable moustache and beard.43 She is an older woman, labouring to wheel fleeces away in a barrow. Women appear more prominently in the exterior aspect of the image. On the opposite quay, two women – one wearing an expensive huik, or cloak – carry baskets and are followed by children playing with a hoop. One dark, slightly bent female figure echoes the bodyline of the older woman wheeling fleeces in the interior scene of the workshop. Further along, a woman and child are about to cross a bridge. Behind them, a woman appears to greet a man at the entrance to an inn. Standing at the threshold of the space, she might be a servant or proprietor negotiating with a customer, tradesman, or salesman. These women do not appear directly engaged in aspects of the textile trades, as we have seen with the images that van Swanenburg had painted earlier (although the male workers are). Female participation in this image appears much less obvious than in previous images. However, in the chronologically concluding scene, van Swanenburg may have been signalling that the prosperity, pleasures, and peace of Leiden, of which the urban activities of the women and children beyond the workshop are symbolic, were directly linked to the success of the New Draperies. Two further paintings by van Swanenburg, De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude et de Nieuwe Neringhe (Figure 2.5) and Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe (Figure 2.6), depict women as idealized representations of Leiden and the Old Stone-Ferrier suggests that the workers are portraits of specific neringen members, but does not discuss this in any detail. Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles, p. 6. 43 Ponting refers to this figure as a male; Ekkart is less specific. See Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ p. 142, and Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, p. 43. This seems to be another example of the androgynous figures sometimes deployed by van Swanenburg in this series. 42

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Fig. 2.4 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol, painting, 1607–12, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 419. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. and New Trades.44 Here, the female roles are unambiguously allegorical, and the figures are depicted as outside the realm of the everyday, and accompanied by playful putti. An elderly woman represents the Old Trades. She is a dignified but worn-out figure, leaning on a walking stick and holding an hourglass. The city of Leiden is visible in the background, and the soldiers in armour behind her suggest that war, and perhaps most particularly Leiden’s famous siege of 1573/74, have contributed to her decline. Two doves overhead allude to the relief of the siege. Her worn body is contrasted to that of the vigorous young woman, representing the New Trades, who sweeps in on the right, a weaver’s knot hanging from her belt, and ushered in by Father Time. The younger woman is contrasted to the old in her vigour and beauty, and is intended to take over the various tools and (literally) material culture of industry, with which the putti are playing.45 The Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 45–51; Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ pp. 147–50; and Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles, pp. 3–6. 45 One wears a Hermes hat with wings, signifying travel, and holds a money-bag that seems to droop. The industry, it seems to be implied, is ready to be financially revived 44

60

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Fig. 2.5 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude en de Nieuwe Neringhe, painting, 1596–1601, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 423. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. scene is presided over by a female representation of the city of Leiden, identifiable by the arms of the city on her clothing. In the companion painting Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe (Figure 2.6), this personified representation of Leiden hands the book of city ordinances to the female representation of the New Trades. The latter wears the same sandals and pink dress as she does in the first painting, although her over-dress has been updated. She has, literally, been re-clothed in the new cloth of Leiden, and has the words ‘DIE NERINGHE’ embroidered on the hem of her robe. The word neringhe here seems to refer to the New Trades in a broad sense, but also to the formal body that controlled the sayes industry and whose governors had commissioned the paintings. The woman embodies or echoes, in allegorical form, the group of men who stand on an invented neoclassical terrace directly behind her and enact the work of industry and government. The scene is evidently intended to recall for viewers a public space in Leiden, even if it is an idealized one. The transactions of women selling cloth in the marketplace seen elsewhere in the series are transformed here into a more elevated transaction, but one underpinned by the labour and trade represented in the series as a whole. The woman and the group of men both embody the envisioned success and prosperity of the New Trades, albeit in distinct allegorical and descriptive ways, and in an environment where in through trade and with the crucial economic input of Flemish migrants to the success of the New Trades.

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Fig. 2.6 Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe, painting, 1596–1601, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, inventory number S 424. Photo courtesy of the collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. reality women were denied full formal access to industry structures. The presence of female figures as allegories for the town, trades, and virtues in these paintings is perhaps less remarkable than the vigorous representation of working women found in the rest of the series.46 Nonetheless, their centrality to these paintings emphasizes the inclusion of female figures in the series as a whole, and must have created a strong impression on visitors to the governors’ chamber in the Saaihal. Women, Textiles, and Work Although the iconography of this series has been explored by other scholars, the specific representation of women has received very little attention. The series has previously been used primarily to understand the technical processes of the textile 46 For examples of contemporary imagery of women as allegories of virtue see Sara F. Matthews Grieco, Ange ou diablesse: La représentation de la femme au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1991), pp. 132–53 and 166–72.

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trade in Leiden, but in a way that paid little attention to the gendered allocation of work. We argue, however, that this is a vital context for understanding van Swanenburg’s presentation of women. Cloth production, as distinct from many other crafts, was an important area of work for women during this period. Leiden, as the most significant location for cloth production in the Netherlands, and indeed in Europe, was a location in which trade work opportunities existed for women. Most women involved in the late medieval textiles industry were piece workers who lived in the surrounding countryside rather than the town itself. Some were married women, while others were women living in religious communities. As the industry developed, however, putting-out work became less common, and small-scale entrepreneurs were more likely to run workshops and manufactories with workers under their supervision. Increased specialization saw more technically demanding jobs reserved for men, and the bulk of activity shifted to the urban environment.47 Patterns of female work in Leiden changed over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in ways that would ultimately see women of all but the lowest classes retreating from labour outside the home, either towards domestic management befitting their social status, or towards low-status, supervised work because of economic necessity.48 Nonetheless, there was a long tradition of female participation in the textile trades when van Swanenburg was completing his Old and New Trades series, and more fluid participation in the workforce across various class structures, even if it is likely that only widows were ever permitted formal membership of the guild-like ambachts, as was the case elsewhere in the Netherlands.49 Studies by N.W. Posthumus and Jenneke Quast have argued for the importance of female labour to Leiden’s medieval and early modern textile industries.50 Recent studies by Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk and Martha C. Howell present increasingly detailed examinations of women’s participation, with Meerkerk focussing upon

Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands, 1500–1800,’ pp. 174–84; Robert S. Duplessis and Martha C. Howell, ‘Reconsidering the Early Modern Urban Economy: The cases of Leiden and Lille,’ Past and Present, 94 (1982): pp. 49–84; on Leiden see pp. 51–63; and N.W. Posthumus, De Geschiedenis van de Leidsche Lakenindustrie (3 vols, ‘s-Gravenhage, 1908–39). 48 Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, p. 94. 49 Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, ‘Textile Workers, Gender, and the Organization of Production in the Pre-Industrial Dutch Republic,’ in Megan Cassidy-Welch and Peter Sherlock (eds), Practices of Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Turnhout, 2008), pp. 215–35, see p. 222. For an overview of patterns of women’s guild participation, see Ariadne Schmidt, ‘Women and Guilds: Corporations and female labour market participation in early modern Holland,’ Gender & History, 21/1 (2009): pp. 170–189. 50 Posthumus, De Geschiedenis van de Leidsche Lakenindustrie, see especially vol 3, p. 574; and Jeneke Quast, ‘Vrouwen in Gilden in Den Bosch, Utrecht en Leiden van de 14e tot en met de 16e Eeuw,’ in W. Fritschy (ed.), Fragmenten vrouwengeschiedenis (2 vols, Den Haag, 1980), vol. 1, pp. 26–37. 47

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lower-paid work, while Howell emphasizes women’s access to those sectors of the industry that were less regulated.51 As the New Trades developed in Leiden, women and children became increasingly important sources of inexpensive labour.52 The migrant workers in the early years of the New Trades tended to be desirable, skilled workers employed in higher-status, higher-paid activities such as weaving. Women dominated lower-status spinning, and also worked as combers.53 Women’s participation in the structured professional groups of the ambachts declined in the sixteenth century, any formal participation in these groups often restricted to widows or removed altogether. Despite the dissolving of the weavers’ ambacht in the 1560s, weaving remained men’s work, with the occasional exception of lower-status linen weaving. Women were, however, more likely to work in those areas that fell outside the ambacht structure in Leiden, alongside men although in lesser numbers: occasionally as dyers, and above all as drapers – that is, those who engaged in the production and sale of cloth at a trade level.54 Meerkerk analyses women’s participation in the late sixteenth-century textiles industry using a 1581 registration of heads of households, and concludes that women were primarily employed in the lower-paid sectors.55 More than 80 per cent of women in this source worked as spinners, and about seven per cent worked as combers; both low-paid, low-status wool preparation jobs. However, this is a problematic source, as Meerkerk points out, as it only looks at the occupation of heads of households, a category that excludes many women. It was evidently true that women were primarily employed in the lower-paid aspects of the industry. Yet the data offered by the 1581 survey should be read in tandem with Howell’s wide-ranging research, Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market’; Meerkerk, De Draad in Eigen Handen, especially pp. 132–4, 163–70, and 186–200; Meerkerk, ‘Textile Workers, Gender, and the Organization of Production in the Pre-Industrial Dutch Republic’; Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, pp. 49–94; and Martha C. Howell, ‘Women’s Work in the New and Light Draperies of the Low Countries,’ in Harte (ed.), The New Draperies in the Low Countries and England, 1300–1800, pp. 197–216. Women’s participation in the Low Countries textile trade is also examined in Els Kloek, ‘Vrouwenarbeid aan Banden Gelegd? De arbeidsdeling naar sekse volgens de keyrboeken van de oude draperie van Leiden, ca. 1380–1580,’ Tijdschrift voor Sociale Geschiedenis, 13 (1987): pp. 373–402, and J. Van Gerven, ‘Vrouwen, Arbeid en Sociale Position. Een voorlopig onderzoek naar de economische rol en maatschappelijke positie van vrouwen in de Brabantse steden in de late Middeleeuwen,’ Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, 73 (1995): pp. 961–4. 52 Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market,’ p. 212. 53 Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market,’ pp. 198–201; Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, pp. 56–61 and 70–71; and Howell, ‘Women’s Work in the New and Light Draperies of the Low Countries,’ p. 198 and pp. 213–14, note 4. 54 Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, pp. 73–4. Women increasingly worked as dyers in the seventeenth century. See Howell, ‘Women’s Work in the New and Light Draperies of the Low Countries,’ p. 200. 55 Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market,’ pp. 198–201. 51

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which provides many examples of women’s participation at different levels. The neringen and ambachts were not the only organizations that represented the activities of industry workers. In 1552, for example, a group of 92 drapers met to elect six Kantoormeesters. While none of the elected leaders were women, and women’s access to structured organizations was clearly limited, 33 of the group – just over one-third – were female drapers.56 Our analysis above of these paintings demonstrates that van Swanenburg depicts women at work in all the areas of industry in which we know they participated, with the exception of wool combing, which was women’s work in the sixteenth century, but shifted into the male work sphere in the seventeenth century.57 This exception may reflect pressure from male combers and their representatives to depict this aspect of the industry as male in van Swanenburg’s images. We suggest that women are most prominent in the Old and New Trades series in two professional roles: firstly, as low-paid, lower-class spinners, a role often associated with women in art, but given an unexpected inflection in the painting representing spinning (Figure 2.1) as van Swanenburg presents several of the women as relatively commanding; and secondly, as higher-status drapers across a wide class range – a still more innovative and unexpected aspect of the iconography of the series. Women also work alongside men in dyeing and fulling, and in wool preparation. Indeed, much of the cumulative effect of the series is of men and women working together, inside and outdoors, at many levels of activity, in furthering the New Trades. The accuracy of the gendered nature of textile labour in the paintings has not previously been assessed, and our analysis of it is therefore worth recording here. We would further suggest that analysing the symbolic value of women’s labour is of still more significance, not least because it cannot be assessed in any straightforward way. Were van Swanenburg’s images of highly visible female involvement in Leiden’s textile industries harking back to a bygone era, or signalling a new moral possibility for female labour at the dawn of the Golden Age? How might this be connected to other currents in the visual culture that he drew from and helped to shape? How, finally – and in the light of debates about the contested status of women in public places identified by scholars like Elizabeth A. Honig58 – might we assess the meaning of such public but morally upright working female bodies? Reading Women’s Work in van Swanenburg’s Images Van Swanenburg’s civic duties and artistic commissions made him an important figure in shaping Leiden’s public identity at this time. It seems significant, then, that he should depict women so prominently in urban economic and social development, Howell, Women, Production, and Patriarchy, pp. 72 and 88. Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market,’ pp. 203–4. 58 Honig, ‘The Space of Gender.’ 56 57

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both through the interior scenes of industry as well as external scenes of everyday Leiden visible through doorways and windows. There were few iconographical models available to van Swanenburg that might help to explain his depiction of women’s labour. He would certainly have been exposed to the important work of Pieter Bruegel, or more particularly the engravings after his work by Pieter van der Heyden, published in Antwerp by Hieronymus Cock in the mid-sixteenth century – exactly when van Swanenburg was living in Antwerp and training as an artist. In its subject matter the Old and New Trades series recalls the workaday outdoor scenes that are typified by the imagery of Bruegel, and which also later influenced the genre scenes of taverns and markets in the Golden Age. Bruegel’s marketplace and public square scenes depict women as involved in the daily economic life of their communities and are often intended as moralizing allegories. His 1559 series of the Seven Virtues includes images of women labouring in public spaces, as well as engaged in more domestic duties, while being simultaneously represented allegorically as personifications of the Virtues.59 Yet, ultimately, few representations of women at work appear to exist that could have provided van Swanenburg with the precise template for his depiction in the Old and New Trade series. This series was van Swanenburg’s most flamboyant work, and evidently also drew upon his training in Antwerp, which allowed him close contact with important mannerist artists.60 He would certainly have been aware of the spectacular mannerist images being produced in nearby Haarlem in the late sixteenth century. The muscularity of van Swanenburg’s figures clearly demonstrates these artistic conventions but what seems unusual in the series is that the bodies are not only clothed, but in contemporary garb. Other contemporary artists who painted in the mannerist style, such as Karel van Mander, Abraham Bloemaert, Joachim Wtewael or Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, generally depicted classical themes where the figures were nude or draped in the light garb of antiquity.61 Van Swanenburg paints in the Dutch mannerist style but with a markedly contemporary inflection. To be sure, when van Swanenburg commenced the series, the style was still in vogue, but its influence, mostly concentrated in Haarlem, was already fading by 1600.62 During this period, Wouter Kloek concludes, Leiden was no vanguard

59 See, for example, the harmonious village scene of men and women at work represented in Prudentia, or the women helping to care for the sick and poor in Charitas. See Nadine M. Orenstein, Pieter Bruegel the Elder in The New Hollstein Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts, 1450–1700 (Oudekerk aan den IJssel, 2006), pp. 38 and 40–41, respectively. 60 Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, p. 15. 61 See examples of their work in Wouter Kloek, ‘Northern Netherlandish Art 1580– 1620: A survey,’ in Luijten and van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age, pp. 15–111, see pp. 15–24. 62 Ibid., pp. 20–23.

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for new artistic movements.63 Certainly, van Swanenburg’s decision to apply its conventions to a modern theme deserves closer inspection. Van Swanenburg’s array of at times androgynous working bodies include youthful, slender-armed boys as well as women with well-developed muscles and sturdy limbs. Often, little distinction is made between one sex and the other, except by the clothing they wear. Some figures, such as the woman in the centre of the workshop in Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol (Figure 2.4), are indistinct, with little to determine gender other than the impression of a full skirt, hairless face, and the glimpse of an earring. The striking similarity of male and female bodies amongst van Swanenburg’s textile workers suggests intentional symbolism. If the female labour of spinning could be a metaphor for the new work virtues of the Dutch Republic more generally, as De Vries has argued, could van Swanenburg have been suggesting that, in labour, male and female bodies could be almost equal? Of course there were some distinctions between the sexes in terms of the activities to which they contributed within the trades, but there are also examples within this series of men and women engaged in a single form of labour, and these activities were both physical (beating the fleece in Het ploten en kammen; Figure 2.2) and intellectual (such as trading in the streets and recording the accounts in Het vollen en verven; Figure 2.3). Clearly, the mannerist conventions with which he worked were a strong influence, but there are also other explanations for the physicality of van Swanenburg’s workers. Unlike later images of women’s domestic labour by Johannes Vermeer or Pieter de Hooch, in which fully clothed women appear almost to glide across the canvas in peaceful settings, these bodies convey a sense of vigour. Here, male and female bodies move in co-ordinated physical labour, limbs entwined, arms beating out a rhythm on the fleece that matches the exigency of the relentless pace of the trade. In the hands of other artists, these barely covered female limbs might be highly sexualized, yet one has the impression here more of simple bodies in motion than of sexual beings. Indeed, motifs that likely connote respectability can be found on several of the female figures: from the earrings worn by two of the women,64 to the keys denoting women’s household responsibilities prominently displayed by the female spinners. Van Swanenburg offers a vision of a public, physical, female body very different from that offered by other contemporary artists. That van Swanenburg was interested in representing the moral value of men and women working side by side finds further support in another of his paintings: De gelijkenis van het onkruid onder het tarwe (the New Testament parable of separating the wheat and the chaff, or tares; Matthew 13), thought to have been completed around 1600.65 It represents male and female figures, both young and Ibid., p. 28. See Chapter 7 for a further discussion of pearl earrings. 65 This painting, held in the Rijksmuseum, was attributed to van Swanenburg in the 63 64

late nineteenth century. See Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 54–5 and http:// www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-862&lang=en.

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old, labouring side by side in the field, although elevated into a relatively ambitious composition through the presence of putti and several almost nude male figures. The strong, almost androgynous male and female workers in motion recall the idealized visions of the Old and New Trades series. Van Swanenburg’s bodies appear to move to the beat of an economic drum, rather than the rhythm of sexual desire. A town in which men and women worked together was rendered virtuous: its economic and moral success achieved in one and the same action. Yet van Swanenburg’s bodies in motion yield further insights. Anne Jensen Adams has argued in a study of seventeenth-century Dutch portraiture that ‘men and women were conscious of the body as an eloquent vehicle for personal expression and an indicator of social distinction, a trope that had a long and distinguished history.’66 She proposes that the stillness detectable in such images might have been an attempt to show the desirable elite neo-Stoic notion of tranquillitas. In reverse, peasants might be shown in motion, often exuberantly dancing.67 In the same way, we suggest that van Swanenburg’s gesturing, working bodies may have been making an explicit comment about their social status. Herman Roodenburg’s study of status indicators through posture concludes that ‘the postures that we encounter in many seventeenth-century paintings were far from neutral, nor were their meanings very much concealed.’68 While a stooping posture was often used to caricature peasants, van Swanenburg’s leaning, bending, and straining bodies seem to be offered as part of a positive moral message – indicating the hard work and industry of their owners. Although art handbooks such as Gerard de Lairesse’s Groot schilderboek (1707) would recommend that figures be portrayed (including through their posture) according to their dignity,69 van Swanenburg seems to imbue his lower-status figures with dignity through their work and the postures it gives them. Moreover, Leiden in this period was a town in transition. Labour within the textile industries was changing, with increasing specialization and entrepreneurial leaders forming the dominant trends. These changes would lead eventually to the high point of the industry in the 1660s before one final, slow decline. Yet, as Noordegraaf observes, the impact of new trade (and class, religious and gender) relations after 1580 has been little explored to date.70 Van Swanenburg’s series, with its androgynous bodies working in harmony, may provide us with some clues. While international supply and demand were crucial factors in the growth of Leiden’s industries, so too were local conditions in the city. A great pool of labour Anne Jensen Adams, ‘The Three-Quarter Length Life-Sized Portrait in SeventeenthCentury Holland: The cultural functions of Tranquillitas,’ in Franits (ed.), Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, pp. 158–75, see p. 167. 67 See Luijten and van Suchtelen (eds), Dawn of the Golden Age, pp. 609–10. 68 Herman Roodenburg, ‘How to Sit, Stand, and Walk: Toward a historical anthropology of Dutch paintings and prints,’ trans. Franits, in Franits (ed.), Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, pp. 175–86, see p. 184. 69 Cited in ibid., p. 180. 70 Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands,’ p. 193. 66

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existed and was growing at this time. The large influx of skilled immigrants from the southern Netherlands had a profound effect on the textile industry’s fortunes. Women provided labour at many levels, and an increasing use of child labour from around 1600 supplied further workers; indeed child labour was so cheap as to eventually supplant work by women.71 Both boys and girls carried out simple tasks, and boys in particular were likely to be trained in specialized work as they reached adolescence.72 In the first three of van Swanenburg’s images, we see workers, supervisors, male, female, labouring together in a common setting. This rich supply of skilled and unskilled labour contributed to the flourishing New Trades. Additionally, there were no specifically craft-based guilds in Leiden at this time. Where professional structures existed, they were divided according to cloth type, not labour specialization. The high demand for labour, combined with the lack of representation for workers through a guild structure, means that organized labour disturbances do not appear to have been especially common in Leiden during the establishment of the New Trades. This was in contrast to an earlier periods such as the 1540s, for example, which had seen significant labour unrest,73 the dissolution of the main ambacht in the 1560s,74 or indeed comparable cities like Augsburg which saw more substantial conflicts over job distribution between the sexes during the 1590s.75 In Leiden, at the dawn of the Golden Age, the overall picture is one of relative economic and political stability within an industry overseen by the council, structured through the neringen, and supplied with plentiful labour. The final image of van Swanenburg’s series echoes this clear-cut hierarchy, and foregrounds the greatest beneficiaries of the industry’s success, as the male governors oversee the productivity of the workers’ community (Figure 2.6). Here, they gather on the terrace of the idealized governmental building and watch approvingly over the state of the trade. This image of the triumph of the New Trades emphasizes the contribution of the governors; a contribution that was invisible in the other images but was nonetheless perceived to be critical to controlling the orderly organization of the industry from beyond the workshop. The state of the industry at this time mirrors the balance of worker types in van Swanenburg’s images, all of whom contributed to the growth and prosperity of the town in their various capacities. While embedded in a strongly hierarchical and patriarchal system, the trades did not at this period preclude women (and indeed, children) labouring alongside men. While in reality small-scale disputes were certainly likely, and widespread individual poverty and exploitation undeniable,76 73 74 75 71

Ibid., p. 182. Meerkerk, De Draad in Eigen Handen, pp. 275–7. Duplessis and Howell, ‘Reconsidering the Early Modern Urban Economy,’ p. 62. Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands,’ p. 181. Merry E. Wiesner, ‘Spinsters and Seamstresses: Women in cloth and clothing production,’ in Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan and Nancy J. Vickers (eds), Rewriting the Renaissance: The discourses of sexual difference in early modern Europe (Chicago, 1986), pp. 191–205 and 359–63, see pp. 200–201. 76 Noordegraaf, ‘The New Draperies in the Northern Netherlands,’ p. 182. 72

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these workers were shown by van Swanenburg in a seemingly harmonious and prosperous division of labour that must have compared favourably to the uneasy decades of the mid-century. Van Swanenburg, as a member of this patrician class, created a compelling depiction of this prosperous environment; a depiction that might thereby help to reinforce that state of affairs. Gender, economic, and social stability are assured under (quite literally) their watchful eyes. However, it is also possible that van Swanenburg’s androgynous figures were not intended to represent independent workers engaged in commercial and trade practices, but rather women and children as members of familial communities. After all, family workshops were a crucial environment for textile production, with many women participating in unpaid labour as daughters, wives, and widows. As Meerkerk has observed, ‘there are hints that craftsmen’s wives and daughters in fact received training informally in their husband’s or father’s professions,’ although this did not entitle them to conduct business on their own account.77 The importance of women to family businesses, indeed to the textile trade, is indicated even by van Swanenburg’s own familial and commercial interrelationships. Moreover, for women workers themselves, family could be an important means of movement up the textile trades. As Howell has argued, the ‘family production unit was, indeed, the vehicle for women’s access to high-status jobs in market production.’78 Work opportunities for women were tied intimately to marital and familial identities. Furthermore, if these were family workshops, van Swanenburg’s images might also be depicting the family textile production unit as Leiden’s exemplar moral household. The chastity of its female members was assured because they were participating in the urban economic realm from the safety of their own home (or at least familial workshops that could be seen as a conceptual extension of their domestic environment). In this way, the familial, moral, civic, and domestic responsibilities of women could all coalesce through the act of their participation in textile production and trade. Neither unambiguously allegorical, nor a direct portrayal of daily life, van Swanenburg’s unusual and complex Old and New Trades series seems to simultaneously capture the spirit of a society and an artistic world that was seeking to establish new norms, even if his vision was not to be influential in the following decades. As the century progressed, women’s labour beyond the home was increasingly removed from visual images as the aesthetic tropes of the Golden Age, particularly the gendered public/private dichotomy, formed an increasingly cohesive pattern across contemporary art and literature. Van Swanenburg’s vision is different from the more morally, physically, and spatially narrow representations of labouring women that we see later in the century. Already in 1602 van Swanenburg was himself reworking the theme of his Old and New Trades paintings in a series of ten drawings prepared as a set of stained glass window designs. They were commissioned by the neringen as a gift for the town clerk Jan van Hout, who had Meerkerk, ‘Segmentation in the Pre-Industrial Labour Market,’ p. 201. Howell, Women, Production and Patriarchy, p. 94.

77 78

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been a great supporter of the New Trades.79 These are simpler images than the large-scale paintings, but it is notable that women are also restricted to a smaller range of activities within them. They are shown spinning in a closed room, standing to one side while men weave and wind wool, and are absent from the drawings showing fulling, dyeing, and the final inspection of cloth. While the two allegorical representations of the Old and New Trades remain unchanged,80 there are no scenes of women active as drapers in public places. In the scene showing wool being combed, a woman stands in the background, and holds a child who is clearly too young to work. These drawings already reflect a changing view of the textile community and a diminution of the symbolic importance of women as a presence within it; an idea also suggested by their reduced presence in the final painting of the series completed in 1612, showing wool being washed (Figure 2.4). Rather than a straightforward representation of the realities of the textile trades, we ask, then, to what extent van Swanenburg himself was perhaps offering an individual and quite innovative vision of contemporary women’s labour in the series of paintings, one that placed female contributions to the town’s textile prosperity in full view of contemporary and future audiences. The emerging trend of the seventeenth century was certainly to remove women from the visual presentation of the textile trades. Yet, at the dawn of the Golden Age, van Swanenburg’s complicated and quasi-androgynous images integrate women as crucial symbolic participants in the urban morality and economy. They remind us that the development of later artistic conventions was not inevitable. Perhaps, from this perspective, van Swanenburg was conceptually and artistically more innovative than he has traditionally been perceived to be. Images are an important source for interpretations of women’s working conditions in the Low Countries which are developed within historical scholarship as well as in museums and galleries. However, our detailed case study of how van Swanenburg’s images have been used for historical and museological interpretations of female labour suggests that the implications of the use of visual sources deserves closer attention. Scholars and curators alike have often been beguiled by the ‘realistic’ vision offered in these images, and have focused upon the evidence that they furnish for the technical processes of the Leiden textile trade. Yet this approach could go further still to examine in close detail the accuracy of van Swanenburg’s representation of the specific contributions made by women and men. However, even more importantly, the symbolic value of his representation of women offers revealing insights into how a leading civic authority and artist could consider gender and labour during the early modern period. Van Swanenburg See Ekkart, Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, pp. 33–56 and 160; Ponting, ‘Sculptures and Paintings of the Textile Processes at Leiden,’ pp. 148–9. 80 Similar imagery was repeated in the 1650s in three paintings by Leiden artists Abraham Lambertsz. van den Tempel: Minerva crowns the Maid of Leiden of 1650, and Mars banishes ‘Nering’ and The Maid of Leiden welcomes ‘Nering’ of 1651. These paintings celebrate the laken industry through allegorical female forms and are also today in the Lakenhal museum. Stone-Ferrier, Images of Textiles, pp. 30–34. 79

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Historical wall panel incorporating the central figures from Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg, Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (detail), Marktsteeg, Leiden, collection Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, the Netherlands. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

seems to have been prepared to move from realistic to symbolic levels in his paintings, as did many of his contemporaries, and we would argue that we should too, rather than becoming fixated on one level at the expense of another. Above all, the realism of his depiction of the textile trade should not blind us to his innovative presentation of female and male bodies at work together in a Leiden that was prospering from a form of female labour that could be shown as part of the public good. The power of this combination of apparent realism and symbolic messages has seen this series achieve an iconic if under-examined status in urban and gender historiography. Indeed, it is significant that Leiden still uses van Swanenburg’s images in the presentation of the town today. A large-scale composite historical wall panel coordinated by the Leiden Lakenhaal Museum currently presents van Swanenburg’s series, amongst other images, to passers-by on nearby Marktsteeg (Figure 2.7). It represents the triumph of a narrative – perhaps van Swanenburg’s own? – of the city’s past that recognizes the contribution of anonymous women, and specifically of female labour.

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Chapter 3

Memorializing Grief in Familial and National Narratives of Dutch Identity During the extensive restoration of the monument in 2001 a little box of lead was found in the monument beneath the lying marble statue of William I. It is said that the widow of William I of Orange, Louise de Coligny (his third wife) [sic] had stored the heart of her husband in a box of lead. The box has been left unopened and has been placed back into the monument. ‘It will be the singular consolation of my widowhood to see that the memory of such great personages to whom I have the honour of belonging is engraved in the hearts of good people.’ Louise de Coligny to William Davidson, 1585.

Today, the House of Orange-Nassau is that of the Dutch royal family, and the colour orange, symbolic of their name, is associated with the Dutch or Protestantism the world over. The origins of this family’s association with the Dutch nation are continually reinforced in publicly presented narratives of familial sacrifice and grief. We suggest that this is the result of the self-presentation of the Orange-Nassau family during the early modern period, as the dynasty negotiated their place in the fledging Dutch Republic. In this chapter, we explore how this relationship to the Dutch nation, and the nature of the narratives developed, has been shaped in part by a range of sources which were designed to create and sustain it. Significantly, some of these sources remain accessible to public view today, and we argue that this has had ramifications for how the dynasty, its power, and the state have been understood. A wife and nine daughters mourned William of Nassau, Prince of Orange (1533–84), but their inclusion in touristic, heritage, and academic narratives is far from equal to that of the dynasty’s patriarchs. Here we explore what sources underpin the access of men and women to representation in the dynasty’s story and how these texts and objects intentionally obscured some family members to prioritize others. We bring together sources such as familial letters, public monuments, and national relics that are more commonly treated in different historical contexts, to examine how each functioned in producing early modern narratives and now hold different uses in public interpretations today. See http://www.essentialvermeer.com/delft/delft_today/oude_and_nieuwe.html. 24 October 1585: ‘Ce me sera une singulière consolation en ma viduité de voir

 

que la mémoire de si grands personages auxquels j’ai cet honneur d’avoir appartenu est demeurée engravée au coeur des gens de bien,’ cited in Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange (1555–1620), ed. Paul Marchegay, notes and introduction Léon Marlet (Geneva, 1970; original edition: Paris, 1887), p. 23.

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The Orange-Nassau Women The concept and practice of family was critical to political structures in early modern Europe. A leading scholar of the patrimonial political system of the Netherlands, Julia Adams, has argued, however, that the ‘family values of dominant men, are of predominant interest here, because they mattered more than women’s subcultures for high politics.’ Recently though, Nassau letters have received increasing attention in analyses focussed on their literary style, emotional expression, and political networking, as well as for what they reveal about women’s reproductive knowledge, female reading practices, and dynastic strategy. Scholars have emphasized the roles women played in the Orange-Nassau family, through their actions, their marriage alliances, and especially through their letter-writing practices, which served as an important mechanism of communication among widely dispersed family members. This research suggests that their status within and beyond the family as wives, widows, mothers, step-mothers, and daughters created distinct modes of behaviour and expression. Julia Adams, ‘The familial state: Elite family practices and state-making in the early modern Netherlands,’ Theory and Society, 23 (1994): pp. 505–39, see p. 511.  Evelyne Berriot-Salvadore, Les femmes dans la société française de la Renaissance (Geneva, 1990), pp. 119–55; Jane Couchman, ‘La lecture et le lectorat dans la correspondance de Louise de Coligny,’ and Eugénie Pascal, ‘La lectrice devenue scriptrice: Lecture épistolaire dans les réponses d’Elisabeth à Charlotte-Brabantine de Nassau,’ in Isabelle Brouard-Arends (ed.), Lectrices d’Ancien Régime (Rennes, 2003), pp. 399–408, and pp. 409–18; Jane Couchman, ‘“Give birth quickly and then send us your good husband”: Informal political influence in the letters of Louise de Coligny,’ in Jane Couchman and Ann M. Crabb (eds), Women’s Letters across Europe, 1400–1700: Form and persuasion (Aldershot, 2004), pp. 163–84; Susan Broomhall, Women’s Medical Work in Early Modern France (Manchester, 2004), pp. 232–56; Jane Couchman, ‘Lettres de Louise de Coligny aux membres de sa famille,’ and Susan Broomhall, ‘Lettres de Louise-Julienne, d’Elisabeth et d’Amelie de Nassau à Charlotte-Brabantine de Nassau (1595–1601),’ in Elizabeth C. Goldsmith and Colette H. Winn (eds), Lettres de femmes: Textes inédits et oubliés du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 2005), pp. 89–99 and pp. 135–77; Eugénie Pascal, ‘Princesses épistolières au tournant du XVIe au XVIIe siècle: Consommatrices de culture, mécènes et/ou propagandistes?,’ in Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier with the collaboration of Eugénie Pascal (eds), Patronnes et mécènes en France à la Renaissance (Saint-Etienne, 2007), pp. 101–31; Simon Hodson, ‘The Power of Female Dynastic Networks: A brief study of Louise de Coligny, princess of Orange, and her stepdaughters,’ Women’s History Review, 16 (2007): pp. 335–51; Susan Broomhall and Jacqueline Van Gent, ‘Corresponding Affections: Emotional exchange among siblings in the Nassau family,’ Journal of Family History, 34/2 (2009): pp. 143–65; Susan Broomhall and Jacqueline Van Gent, ‘In the Name of the Father: Conceptualizing Pater Familias in the letters of William the Silent’s children,’ Renaissance Quarterly, 62/4 (2009): pp. 1130–1166; and Susan Broomhall, ‘Letters Make the Family: Nassau family correspondence at the turn of the 17th century,’ in Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (eds), Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Aldershot, 2009), pp. 25–44. 

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In this vein, substantial scholarly attention has begun to focus on widowhood as a life stage in which women could exercise more public or visible forms of power than during other periods of their lives. A large body of work has analysed widows of middling ranks, exploring theories and realities of widows’ legal rights, inheritance entitlements, ability to transfer property and artisanal guild entitlements, and to remarry, much of which depended on complex regional customary rights. At the elite level, noble widows have been studied for their achievements as influential marriage negotiators and art and architectural patrons; their power derived, as Adams has observed, ‘from their position as agents of the patrilineage.’ We commence our analysis in this chapter, therefore, by examining the involvement of William’s widow, Louise de Coligny (1555–1620), in forging a connection for the Orange-Nassau family to the Dutch Republic and her reasons for doing so. On 10 July 1584, William the Silent was shot by the Catholic assassin, Balthasar Gerards, at his family home, the Prinsenhof, in Delft. He died several hours later, surrounded by his sister Catherine, his wife Louise, and seven of his nine daughters. We explore here how Louise, mother of William’s youngest child Frederick Henry, was a key narrator of the Orange-Nassau family’s grief and author of its history and identity within the Dutch nation. We suggest that she conveyed her experiences of grief to a variety of correspondents for reasons that were at once personal and political. Moreover, this chapter examines how her role in building a heritage for the Orange-Nassau dynasty that was deeply Lyndan Warner and Sandra Cavallo (eds), Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (New York, 1999); and Allison Levy (ed.), Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003).  Robert Jacob, Les époux, le seigneur et la cité, coutume et pratiques matrimoniales des bourgeois et paysans de France du Nord au moyen âge (Bruxelles, 1990); Henri Dubois, ‘Les feux féminins à Dijon aux XIVe et XVe siècles (1394–1407),’ in Michel Rouche and Jean Heuclin (eds), La femme au moyen âge (Maubeuge, 1990), pp. 395–405; Marianne Danneel, Weduwen en Wezen in het Laat-Middeleeuwse Gent (Louvain, 1995); Martha C. Howell, The Marriage Exchange: Property, social place, and gender in cities of the Low Countries, 1300–1550 (Chicago, 1998); Ariadne Schmidt, Overleven na de Dood: Weduwen in Leiden in de Gouden Eeuw (Amsterdam, 2001); Laura van Aert, ‘Tussen Norm en Praktijk: een terreinverkenning over het juridische statuut van vrouwen in het zestiende-eeuwse Antwerpen,’ Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis, 2/3 (2005): pp. 22–42; Laura van Aert, ‘The Legal Possibilities of Antwerp Widows in the Late Sixteenth Century,’ The History of the Family, 12/4 (2007): pp. 282–95; and Ariadne Schmidt, ‘Survival Strategies of Widows and their Families in Early Modern Holland, c. 1580–1750,’ History of the Family, 12/4 (2007): pp. 268–81.  Julia Adams, Familial State: Ruling families and merchant capitalism in early modern Europe (Ithaca, 2005), p. 93.  The significance of this event as a tipping point for the trajectory of early modern Europe has been explored recently in a book by historian Lisa Jardine aimed at a broad public readership. See Lisa Jardine, The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The first assassination of a head of state with a hand gun (London, 2006). 

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embedded in the nation’s memory and identity was vital for her own political and financial survival. Louise’s actions in the wake of William’s death deserve much closer attention from scholars and producers of historical narratives, as she was instrumental in defining the Orange-Nassau family identity as both one with shared needs and interests, and one with a mutually dependent relationship with the Dutch Republic itself. Louise’s presentation of her emotions – and above all, her sense of loss – occurred in a form typical of early modern aristocratic women’s communication strategies and opportunities. Correspondence was a critical means for articulating perceptions about family identities in powerful and persuasive ways. As we proposed in Chapter 1, recent analyses of the social aspects of politics have revealed women’s particular engagement with political action through networking, gossip, and other communicative strategies. Some scholars have explored the gendered constraints as well as advantages of epistolary communication, such as the social and cultural contexts in which letters could be used by female and male correspondents, in addition to the generic and rhetorical constraints of the letter as a form. Jane Couchman has argued convincingly that Louise was able to offer careful and sophisticated political advice and highlights her strategy of mixing the familial with the political, interspersing detailed political advice with family gossip as a way to break down barriers between herself and her powerful male relatives and step-sons.10 Building upon Couchman’s analysis of Louise’s epistolary strategies, we shift focus here to a close analysis of how and why Louise did so in the context of her situation immediately after William’s death. The eloquent and easy style of her epistolary prose that scholars have noted was here applied to a subject and cause that entailed her very survival. At William’s assassination in 1584, all but the last of his children was left without either parent. His daughters Maria, Anna, Louise-Juliana, Elisabeth, Roger Chartier, Alain Boureau, and Cécile Dauphin, Correspondence: Models of letter-writing from the middle ages to the nineteenth century, trans. Christopher Woodall (Cambridge, 1997); Marc Fumaroli, ‘Genèse de l’épistolographie classique: rhétorique humaniste de la lettre de Pétrarque à Juste Lipse,’ Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France, 78 (1978): pp. 886–900; Fay Bound, ‘Writing the Self? Love and the letter in England, c. 1660– c. 1760,’ Literature and History, 11 (2002): pp. 1–19; Judith Rice-Henderson, ‘Erasmus and the Art of Letter-Writing,’ in James J. Murphy (ed.), Renaissance Eloquence: Studies in the theory and practice of Renaissance rhetoric (Berkeley, 1983), pp. 331–55; Claudio Guillén, ‘Notes Towards the Study of the Renaissance Letter,’ in Barbara R. Lewalski (ed.), Renaissance Genres (Cambridge MA, 1986), pp. 70–101; Toon Van Houdt et al. (eds), Self-Presentation and Social Identification (Leuven, 2002); Jane Couchman and Ann M. Crabb, ‘Reading Early Modern Women’s Letters,’ in Adele Seeff and Susan Amussen (eds), Attending to Early Modern Women (Newark, 1998), pp. 100–102; Goldsmith and Winn (eds), Lettres de femmes; and Karen Cherewatuk and Ulrike Wiethaus, Dear Sister: Medieval women and the epistolary genre (Philadelphia, 1993). Kristen B. Neuschel, Word of Honor: Interpreting noble culture in sixteenth-century France (Ithaca, 1989), discusses the key function of letters for networks and maintenance of honour. 10 Couchman, ‘“Give birth quickly and then send us your good husband”.’ 

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Catherina-Belgica, Charlotte-Brabantine, and Amelie were initially resident in the Prinsenhof in Delft. As William’s widow, Louise was to continue to care directly for four of his youngest daughters as she moved within the Northern Netherlands with her infant son, Frederick Henry.11 Maria and Anna went to live with Maria’s maternal family while Catherina-Belgica was sent to her god-mother, William’s sister.12 William left little for his offspring because he had personally financed much of the military endeavours of the breakaway provinces. Moreover, a substantial portion of his territories was at that time inaccessible, lying in Spanish-held lands to the south. With few immediate resources, and five children under nine years of age, it was vital for Louise to secure financial as well as moral support for the Orange-Nassau dynasty from both familial and political communities. In the weeks that followed William’s death, Louise began to write to a range of stakeholders in whose interests it was to uphold the dignity and memory of the Orange-Nassau family. These correspondents did not, however, share a common perspective. Through her letters, we suggest that Louise sought to bind her readers in a shared vision of William’s contribution and achievements to family and political goals, in order to secure support for her own needs and those of his children. In doing so, we argue that she became a critical protagonist in cementing the name of the Orange-Nassau to the past, present, and future of the Dutch Republic and to the Protestant cause. A crucial point of contact for Louise was the new Nassau family patriarch at Dillenburg, William’s younger brother Jan. As Couchman has argued, Louise’s letters to Jan at this time were intended to reiterate their connection and also to emphasize his superior position and his duty to support her.13 Moreover, we suggest that Louise developed a detailed and elaborate expression of her grief as a means of creating an intimate emotional connection to William’s brother. In the month of William’s death, in July 1584, she wrote to Jan: ‘I felt and still feel so much the affliction that it has pleased God to send me that I forgot all duty towards my relatives and good friends, the sadness giving me no relief nor leisure to think of anything else.’14 Louise expressed her loss in terms which implied trust and intimacy with Jan, using words such as confess and reminding Jan of their blood-like familial bond as brother and sister: ‘as I have never felt such a great sickness, and I confess to you, Monsieur my brother, that I well needed 11 The only detailed biographical study of Louise de Coligny remains Jules Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, 2 vols in 1 (Geneva, 1970: original publication: Paris, 1890). 12 For further details on the correspondence between William’s children after his assassination, see Broomhall and Van Gent, ‘Corresponding Affections.’ 13 Couchman, ‘“Give birth quickly and then send us your good husband”,’ p. 166. 14 20 July 1584: ‘j’ai senti si avant et sens encore l’affliction qu’il a plu à Dieu m’envoyer que j’ai oublié tout devoir vers mes parents et bons amis, ne me donnant la tristresse aucune relâche ni loisir de penser à autre chose quelconque,’ in Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, p. 7.

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extraordinary consolation.’15 At the same time, she reminded Jan of his duty to his brother’s widow and children, seeking to evoke pity for the widow and children in their financial difficulties: ‘as now this little family, as much me as all the children, have no other father in this world but you, and I pray you most humbly to show to us your paternal affection.’16 In a subsequent letter of 5 September 1584, Louise made Jan a participant in her grief, but also implied their joint loss, binding them together in a shared emotional history of grief: ‘But I feel so much more obliged to you for the good and fruitful consolations that you do for me, as much for feeling by these how much this shared calamity particularly touches you as principally for the fruit and consolation that I have received from it ... and as you are he who is closest to the late Monseigneur, I could not receive better instruction from anyone than you.’17 Adapting contemporary ideals of stoic mourning, Louise’s letters to Jan articulated instead the immoderacy of her grief in ways that implied to her ‘brother’ and ‘father’ that she was weak and dependent, and in need of his support, protection, and instruction. The emphasis placed on grief in Louise’s letters matched the reports of eyewitnesses who attested to her anguish. Her eldest step-daughter Maria van Nassau wrote to Jan on 1 July to inform him of William’s death and described Louise as profoundly afflicted. Indeed Maria observed that Louise had been reduced to such a lamentable state that she was unable to write to Jan herself.18 Louise was also visited by William Herle, an English agent, who wrote to his government that he had found Louise in a darkened room, in a state of desolation and anguish.19 Importantly, it seems that Louise’s emotional state, particularly her grief, was a matter of widespread familial and political interest. The financial dependence of William’s children and Louise upon the Nassau patriarch was increasingly clearly expressed in correspondence to Jan. William’s secretary Bruninck had written to Jan as early as 27 July 1584, articulating the disastrous financial situation of William’s household at Delft. His tone, of a subordinate male to the head of household, was similar to that of Louise. He expressed his hope that Jan would: 15 5 September 1584: ‘comme je n’ai jamais senti un si grand mal, aussi je vous confesse, Monsieur mon frère, que j’ai eu bien besoin de consolations extraordinaires,’ ibid., p. 9. 16 26 July 1584: ‘comme maintenant cette pauvre famille, tant moi que tous les enfants, n’avons en ce monde autre père que vous, aussi je vous prie bien humblement de nous vouloir, en nos affaires, montrer votre affection paternelle,’ ibid., p. 8. 17 5 September 1584: ‘Mais je me sens beaucoup advantage votre obligée pour les bonnes et fructueuses consolations que vous me faites, tant pour sentir par icelles combien cette calamité commune vous touche en particulier que principalement pour le fruit et consolation que j’en ai reçus; ... et comme vous êtes celui qui touchez de plus près à feu Monseigneur, aussi je n’ai reçu de personne meilleure instruction que de vous,’ ibid., p. 9. 18 Archives ou correspondance inédites de la Maison d’Orange-Nassau, ed. Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (9 vols, Leiden, 1835–1847), vol. 8, p. 441. 19 Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, p. 138.

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excite good and honourable people to give all true help to Madame the desolate widow of His Excellency and to Messieurs and Mesdemoiselles, his children; not being able to this effect to omit to say to Your Lordship how much this poor desolate household will need in this, its extreme necessity, your good advice, counsel and assistance.20

Bruninck’s description emphasized the entirely dependent situation of Louise and William’s children upon external financial and moral support. Initially Louise had declined to discuss her pecuniary concerns directly with Jan, deferring instead in her letter of September 1584 to male interlocutors: ‘I write nothing to you regarding the affairs of this house nor of mine in particular, for I have communicated sufficiently about it with the lords your consellors carrying these letters.’21 However, by late October of the same year, Louise began to express rather more explicitly her desperation at the lack of immediate financial support directed to her: ‘however much I solicit with all my might those who have been commanded to see to the conduct of the affairs of this house, until now I have not been able to obtain any response.’22 Importantly, Louise emphasized to Jan that her concern was not only for the remaining children of William in her care, but also for the good name and repute of the House of Orange-Nassau, a concern that she argued ought to be duly shared by Jan himself: ‘I do what I can to maintain myself with the dignity of the house in which I have had the honour to be allied, and I will continue to do as much as is in my power, for my regard as well as for the little children who I have kept close to me.’23 Louise identified the fact that that public visibility of their continued high status was critical to the status of the whole dynasty. Moreover, she pointed out that she had employed her own natal family resources to this cause: ‘I have withdrawn from France some means, without which it would have been completely impossible to support such an expense as that which I have had to make.’24 27 July 1584: ‘excitera gens de bien et d’honneur pour donner tout vray secours à Madame la désolée vefve de Son Excellence et à Messieurs et Mesdemoiselles, ses enfants; ne pouvant, à cest effect obmettre de dire à Vostre Seigneurie combien ceste povre désolée maison auroit, en ceste sienne extrême nécessité, besoin de son bon advis, conseil et assistance,’ cited in Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, vol. 1, p. 141. 21 5 September 1584: ‘Je ne vous écris rien touchant les affaires de cette maison ni pour les miennes en particulier, car j’en ai communiqué suffisamment avec les seigneurs présents porteurs vos conseillers,’ in Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, p. 9. 22 28 October 1584: ‘combien que j’aie sollicité de tout mon pouvoir ceux qui ont été ordonnés pour la conduite des affaires de la maison, si est-ce que jusques à présent je n’en ai pu obtenir aucune réponse,’ in ibid., p. 10. 23 28 October 1584: ‘Je fais ce que je puis pour me maintenir avec la dignité de la maison en laquelle j’a eu cet honneur d’être alliée, et le ferai encore tant qu’il sera en ma puissance, tant pour mon regard que des petits enfants que j’ai retirés près de moi,’ in ibid. 24 28 October 1584: ‘j’ai retiré de France quelques moyens, sans lesquels il m’eùt été du tout impossible de soutenir une telle dépense que celle qu’il me faut faire,’ in ibid. 20

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By December, Louise’s message to Jan was becoming more forceful: ‘The affairs of this desolate house are in such a pitiful state that, if by your prudence and good counsel it is not soon provided for, I foresee a very great confusion.’25 Now, she argued, Jan as the pater familias had to assume personal responsibility for the woeful financial state of the Nassau family in the Northern Netherlands, as well as for the preservation of its memory and dignity: in the name of the friendship that was between the late Monseigneur and you and for the honour that I know you carry for his beautiful and dignified memory, that it please you to take care of these children and of me, who now have all an eye on you as our shared Father and that, if your affairs do not permit you to take the trouble to come here, that at least it please you to hurry here someone well instructed with your intention ... so that by your authority it might be pursued.26

Louise justified her ardent language and rather instructional tone to Jan in terms of the necessity of her dire straits: ‘for my own situation necessity pushes me,’ which required her to speak beyond her desired and usual position of deference.27 Moreover, Louise reminded Jan that she was a mother, and that her maternal responsibilities carried a certain expectation of protection and excuse for forceful speech in the protection of the young offspring of the Orange-Nassau dynasty. It ‘has been five months that I am with four of my step-daughters, my son and me, with a great entourage, without the children nor me having received a single denier.’28 Louise wrote from Leiden to where she had been permitted by the StatesGeneral to retire, as she explained: where I wished to come to remove myself from the place where I received my loss, even though in every place I carry my affliction and I will carry it all my life, the change of residence having no ability to diminish it, but still this place will be more odious than all others.29

19 December 1584: ‘les affaires de cette désolée maison sont en si piteux état que, si par votre prudence et bon conseil il n’y est bientôt pourvu, je prévois une bien grande confusion,’ in ibid, p. 12. 26 19 December 1584: ‘au nom de l’amitié qui étoit entre feu Monseigneur et vous et de l’honneur que je sais que vous portez à sa belle et très digne mémoire, qu’il vous plaise de prendre soin de ses enfants et de moi, qui avons tous aujourd’hui l’oeil sur vous comme sur notre Père commun et que, si vos affaires ne peuvent permettre que vous preniez la peine de venir ici, qu’au moins il vous plaise d’y dépêcher quelqu’un bien instruit de votre intention ... afin que par votre autorité il y puisse être pourvu,’ in ibid., p. 13. 27 19 December 1584: ‘pour mon particulier la nécessité me presse,’ in ibid. 28 19 December 1584: ‘il y a cinq mois que je suis avec quatre de mes belles-filles, mon fils et moi, avec un grand train, sans que les enfants ni moi ayons reçu un seul denier,’ in ibid. 29 19 December 1584: ‘où j’ai désiré de venir pour m’ôter du lieu où j’ai reçu ma perte, bien qu’en tous lieux je porte mon affliction et la porterai toute me vie, le changement de demeure ne pouvant y apporter de diminution; mais toujours ce lieu-là me sera odieux sur tous,’ in ibid., pp. 13–14. 25

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Articulations of her loss and expressions of grief were constantly reiterated through Louise’s letters. Although Jan and other maternal relatives of Louise and of William’s children wrote to the Dutch States-General on their behalf, they proved slow in providing the material support she sought.30 An expansion in Louise’s epistolary networks occurs at this period, and it seems that she turned also to the States-General and to other domestic and international networks to supplement their material resources. Over the course of the following year, the range of recipients of Louise’s letters began to expand, to include state administrators, councillors, and ambassadors whom she sought to influence her situation. These included Christian Huygens, secretary to the State Council of Utrecht, and father of Constantijn who would later devise the motto for William’s mausoleum; Floris Tin, the pensionary of Utrecht; François Hotman, humanist and ambassador for Protestants at the German courts; and a range of English correspondents including Robert Dudley, Lord Willoughby, Philip Sidney, and William Davidson, secretary to the Privy Council.31 Louise evoked the memory of Tin’s personal relationship with the House of Orange-Nassau in her letter of May 1585: ‘persuaded by the former friendship that you had with this house, I address myself more privately to you’ in order to ask for the rente owed to her son by Utrecht as a baptismal gift.32 As the years progressed, Louise referred regularly in her correspondence to the memory of her husband as a way of renewing or forging ties within the political communities of the Dutch Republic. To the provincial parliamentary body of Friesland, she wrote from Middelbourg in June 1588, thanking its members for their support: ‘I am grateful that you wished to honour through my son the memory of my late lord and husband.’33 To others, however, she could be rather more straightforward about her predicament and needs. To Huygens, at the time secretary to the StateCouncil of Utrecht, she wrote much more plainly and simply in her regular letters about her financial negotiations with Tin and the State of Utrecht for her son Frederick Henry’s pension.34 Likewise, her letter to Hotman, for example, is an acknowledgement of her understanding of the strategic use of letters but also their limitations: ‘There are some points in your letters about which I would respond more willingly by mouth than by writing.’35 See Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, vol. 1, p. 145, note 1. See Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange for the years 1585–

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1590, for Louise’s letters to Huygens, see letters commencing pp. 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 32, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 58, 68; to Tin, p. 19; to Leicester, pp. 22, 27, 28, 36, 38; to Davidson, p. 23; to Hotman, pp, 24, 31, 35. 32 18 May 1585: ‘persuadée de l’ancienne amitié qu’avez eue à cette maison, je m’adresse plus privément à vous,’ in ibid., p. 19. 33 3 June 1588: ‘je reconnois que vous avez voulu honourer en la personne de mon fils la mémoire de feu mon seigneur et mari,’ in ibid., p. 44. 34 See for example, 14 January 1585, in ibid., p. 15. 35 11 November 1585: ‘Il y a des points en vos lettres sur quoi je vous répondrois plus volontiers de bouche que par écrit,’ in ibid., p. 26.

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In November 1586, on the occasion of his recall to England, Louise wrote Robert Dudley, the Count of Leicester, a particularly long letter from Vlissingen. The letter highlighted Louise’s concern that Dudley and his sovereign, Elizabeth I, would rescind their promises to assist her, the Orange-Nassau dynasty, and the Dutch Republic generally. She proceeded to set out the precarious state of the Republic but also made little obfuscation as to her own financial insecurity, writing of ‘the few goods that remain to this house, which is overburdened with great debts.’36 She justified the articulation of her financial state, which might have been perceived as too frank for a woman to express, by explaining her over-arching concern for the good name of her husband’s house: I have searched and had searched by those who carry affection for me and for the memory of Monseigneur my late husband, what means could be found to help me, since the affairs of Messieurs the States are such that they cannot be satisfactory however much they are held and obliged to recognized the great services of Monseigneur … their powers are very much inferior to their good will.37

Louise repeatedly explained that her pleas for financial security were not for personal security but were instead an act of duty to the dynasty to which she was allied: ‘For however much until present I have tried to maintain the dignity of the house to which I have had the honour to be allied, I see now that my principal study must be to avoid poverty and necessity.’38 During the same period, she continued to correspond with the male leaders of the Nassau family itself. Louise retained the most explicit articulations of her sorrow for her letters to Jan. In July 1586, she wrote: ‘For, however much it has pleased God to exercise on me so many sorts of visitations, such that it would seem that I should be hardened [to them], yet I must confess my weakness is such that the new afflictions put to mind incessantly the memory of the previous ones.’39 In April 1589, she apologized to him for a lack of recent letters but spoke of a bond that went beyond paper communication, one forged through blood and 36 4 November 1586: ‘le peu de biens qui restent à cette maison, qui est surchargée de grandes dettes,’ in ibid., p. 41. 37 4 November 1586: ‘j’ai cherché et fait chercher par ceux qui me portent affection et à la mémoire de feu Monseigneur mon mari quels moyens se pourroient trouver pour me secourir, puisque les affaires de Messieurs les Etats sont telles qu’ils ne peuvent satisfaire comme ils sont tenus et obligés de reconnoître les grands services de feu Monseigneur ... leur puissances est de beaucoup inférieure a leur bonne volonté,’ in ibid., p. 40. 38 4 November 1586: ‘Car combien que jusqu’à present j’aie essayé d’entretenir la dignité de la maison à laquelle j’ai eu cet honneur d’être alliée, je vois maintenant que ma principale etude doit être à éviter pauvreté et nécessité,’ in ibid., p. 41. 39 29 July 1586: ‘Car, combien qu’il ait plu à Dieu m’exercer en tant de sortes de visitations, tellement qu’il sembleroit que je devrois être comme endurcie, si est-ce que je dois confesser mon infirmité être telle que les nouvelles afflictions me remittent incessamment en mémoire les precedents,’ in ibid., p. 34.

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adversity.40 Louise was also careful to court and insert herself within the networks and minds of the next generation of Nassau patriarchs, writing increasingly to her step-son Maurice, and Jan’s son Wilhelm-Ludwig.41 In June 1590, Louise outlined for Wilhelm-Ludwig the continued poverty in which his cousins lived. She explained how their primary source of support was the payment by the State of Friesland of their portion of the 9,000 florins that the States-General had agreed to provide them a year ago. She wrote rather bitterly to him: ‘it is a little thing for them and for us a lot in this state to which it has pleased God to reduce me.’42 When in July 1590 Louise perceived that an opportunity had arisen for Maurice to help the family, she reminded him as a ‘most affectionate mother’ of his duties and responsibilities to his siblings by invoking the memory of his father William: ‘since God does you the grace to open up this means, I beg you, do not be lazy to understand it. Monseigneur your father would have profited from it, as I am certain that you will do also, considering how much it is in the interests of you and your house to do so.’43 Moreover she implied to Maurice that her own son by William, Frederick Henry, would soon support (and perhaps challenge) his authority within the family: ‘If your little brother was ten years older, he would serve you in this and in other things.’44 Over the 1590s, William’s daughters in her care began to be married to partners in the German states and France, reducing some of Louise’s immediate expenses. In addition to the place she certainly forged for herself within the wider Nassau dynasty through the decade following William’s death, Louise had also helped to create a memory for William within the Dutch Republic. In this volley of letters to family and statesmen, Louise had crafted a memory of William and the House of Orange-Nassau that bound them to the nation and the nation to them (and of herself as a mother to the nation through her care of its children). Louise had little means to create other forms of public memory of William and thereby to secure her position and that of her children. She lacked access to acknowledged power within the family or beyond, as well as financial resources, and these circumstances made her use of an epistolary strategy all the more important. Study of her letters is thus crucial in order to understand Louise’s involvement in the construction of a familial and national narrative in which the Nassau family’s bodily and financial sacrifice See, for example, 28 April 1589, in ibid., p. 45. On the shifts in paternal authority over this period, see Broomhall and Van Gent, ‘In

40 41

the Name of the Father.’ 42 2 June 1590: ‘c’est peu de chose pour eux et pour nous sera beaucoup en l’état où il a plus à Dieu me réduire,’ in Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, p. 53. 43 17 July 1590: ‘puisque Dieu vous fait la grâce de vous ouvrir ce (56) moyen, je vous supplie, ne soyez point paresseux d’y entendre. Monseigneur votre père en eût bien fait son profit, comme je m’assure que vous ferez aussi, considérant combien vous et votre maison y avez d’intérêt,’ in ibid., pp. 55–6. 44 17 July 1590: ‘Si votre petit frère avoit dix ans davantage, il vous serviroit en cela et en autre chose,’ in ibid., p. 56.

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had enabled the nation state. Louise translated her sorrow into the grief of a nation, because it suited her immediate purposes to do so. By rendering the Dutch States patriarchs of the same order as Jan, Louise gave them responsibilities as well as recognition and obedience. Analysis of her emotional and epistolary expressions suggests new ways of conceptualizing the political. It was in such ways, we argue, that Louise contributed to making this branch of the Nassau family Dutch. Louise in Historical Narratives Louise de Coligny has received relatively little attention in broader scholarly and public histories of this family or period. During the early modern era, political and historical texts focused particularly on the Orange-Nassau men. Only Louis Aubery du Maurier, the French diplomat and historian, Catholic convert, and advocate for religious tolerance, author of Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de Hollande et des autres Provinces Unies (1687) embedded a range of biographical sketches, including Louise de Coligny, alongside William, his sons Philips Willem, Maurice and Frederick Henry, as well as van Oldenbarnevelt, van Aerssen and Grotius.45 Until the nineteenth century, historical texts of the Orange-Nassau family rarely included examination of William’s wives. The nineteenth-century biography of Louise by Jules Delaborde, author of a series of studies of early French Protestant noblewomen, remains a fundamental source.46 However, much of his analysis, as well as more recent feminist scholarly interpretation, is based on careful reading of the subtle nuances of Louise’s letters. If, as we have explored in Chapter 1, written texts pose something of a challenge to the historical narratives presented in museums and galleries and for tourism, how has Louise been integrated into narratives of the Orange-Nassau family designed for modern tourists and museum visitors? Our analysis of interpretations of Louise produced in these domains suggests that she is consistently presented in one of two particular historical contexts, examined below. An important prompt, support, or evidence for these readings comes from visual imagery of Louise. In these, Louise is almost without exception depicted in widowhood; a doughty widow in heavy black attire, such as the print engraved by Willem Jacobsz. Delff after Michiel Jansz. Mierevelt (Figure 3.1). While we have not been able to definitively connect the commission of such imagery directly to Louise, the potential for clothes, interior decoration, portraits, and prints such as these to convey mourning were well used by contemporary women, and Louise appears to be no exception. Her precise role in developing and disseminating visual images of her grief remains an intriguing future possibility for analysis in her contribution to the Orange-Nassau presentation of sacrifice to 45 E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier, ‘Willem van Oranje in de Historiografie van de Zeventiende Eeuw,’ in E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier and A.E.M. Janssen (eds), Willem van Oranje in de Historie 1584–1984 (Utrecht: HES, 1984), p. 55. 46 Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange.

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This figure has intentionally been removed for copyright reasons. To view this image, please refer to the printed version of this book

Fig. 3.1

Willem Jacobsz. Delff after Michiel Jansz. Mierevelt, Portrait of Louise de Coligny, engraving, 1627, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN227468001. © Trustees of the British Museum.

the nation.47 Visual cues are clearly important aspects of modern narratives about her that rely on such images and comment on the sartorial decisions that these demonstrate. One narrative in which Louise appears surrounds the context of William’s assassination in the Prinsenhof in Delft. Here, in an act of what might be termed ‘women’s intuition,’ Louise is claimed to have ‘sensed’ in advance the danger presented by William’s assassin, Balthasar Gerards, warning William that she found him sinister. For example, a portrait of Louise de Coligny by Michiel van Mierevelt, now held in the Prinsenhof Museum, is contextualized by a didactic panel that explains: ‘After the murder of William of Orange, Louise always wears a black cap on her head as a symbol of mourning. According to posterity, Louise warned her husband about Balthasar Gerards, because she did not trust his creepy 47 A broader analysis of portrait presentations in the early modern Nassau dynasty is currently being conducted by Susan Broomhall and Jacqueline Van Gent for their forthcoming study Gender, Power and Identity in the Orange-Nassau Family, 1544–1814.

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manner.’48 Such a tale can be sourced to the contemporary relation on the death of William by the Prince’s counsellor Villers, which was printed in pamphlet form by Albert Hendrix in Delft. Villiers recorded that Gerards, addressing the prince, asked him for a passport and asked for it, as it appeared to Madame the princess, with an uncertain and trembling voice, so much so that the said lady asked Monseigneur the prince who he was, and [observed] that he had a unpleasant manner.49

In this interpretation, Louise’s female intuition presages Gerards’ actions. The second interpretation of Louise presented to the modern visitor also invokes foremost her femininity rather than particular political acumen. In this narrative, she is the mother-carer. In the Prinsenhof again, under the display entitled ‘The Four Wives,’ a portrait of Louise is positioned with those of William’s other wives. The women are thus already defined historically for the visitor by their relation to him, and in terms of their looks rather than any other documentary sources. This is true of many men as well, where portraits appear to be deemed a way for visitors to access character. These are relatively widely available for major historical figures and do not seem to be expected to require ‘translation’ in the same way as textual sources. Louise’s connection to William as his wife is reinforced in the specific wording of the interpretive panel which records that ‘after the death of William, Louise takes over the raising of his children.’ As the visitor traverses Delft to the exhibition on the Orange-Nassau dynasty located inside the Nieuwe Kerk, where Louise and William are both buried, Louise is again positioned in relation to the other wives of the Prince of Orange. A series of interpretive panels combine portraits and text on which each woman is presented in terms of the strategic diplomatic alliances of her marriage and of the children she ‘leaves behind’ to the family. Of particular value here is a panel commentary on Louise which describes both her emotional and financial state at William’s death: ‘With her son Frederick Henry and a number of stepchildren for whom she is a loving mother, the widow is left behind in distressed circumstances.’ We suggest that this memory is, in fact, one which Louise herself created. Louise’s skilled use of rhetoric and correspondence are not features emphasized by museum commentary and curation choices; instead, it is her passive image. However, we suggest, it may be argued that these interpretations reflect the success of Louise’s own identitymaking strategy after William’s death. We have argued that the articulation of mourning by women in the House of Orange-Nassau, most particularly William’s widow Louise de Coligny, helped to define the pre-eminent place of the dynasty in the Republic. Yet the interpretation Didactic panel text, Prinsenhof. ‘s’adressant audict prince, lui demanda un passeport, et le demanda, comme il fut

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apperçeu par Madame la princesse, avec une voix mal assurée et tremblante; tellement que ladite dame demanda à Monseigneur le prince qui il estoit, et qu’il avoit mauvaise contenance,’ in Delaborde, Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange, vol. 1, p. 125.

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of her mourning in museums and galleries embeds it as a private, familial matter, with no direct relevance to state politics and national identity. On the one hand, this signals the achievement of Louise’s chosen presentation of her identity as a self-effacing widow acting in the interests of her husband’s memory and his family. On the other hand, it also suggests an unwillingness by many modern curators and institutions to imagine Louise as a participant in familial and national politics whose instrument of intervention was the letter, and whose articulations of loss, loyalty, and grief were strategic political as well as personal expressions. Holes, Loss, and Absence: Material Objects of Grief and Mourning ‘There is a connecting thread running through the Rijksmuseum’s collection and it is coloured orange,’ wrote Harm Stevens as the opening line of his book on the Royal House of the Netherlands published by the Rijksmuseum.50 The House of Orange-Nassau forms part of the foundational narratives of the Dutch nation. In particular, the personal dedication and sacrifice of William the Silent, Prince of Orange, as the leader of the fledgling breakaway states is a vital aspect in this chapter of the nation’s story, one reinforced by the nation anthem, the Wilhelmus.51 This story tells of how, in its founding days, men of the Nassau dynasty dedicated themselves, or were sacrificed, to the nation in military and political arenas, from the assassination of William himself, the deaths of his brothers Adolph, Henry, Louis, and relatives Ernst Casimir and Henry Casimir on battlefields, to the governance and military leadership of William’s sons Maurice and Frederick Henry. In the early modern period, portraits of the leading men of the Orange-Nassau dynasty could be found gracing the products of the manufacturers of Delft’s significant tile industry. Then, as now, such portraits, produced for a wide range of media, performed two particularly significant functions: acting as a record for posterity of a person’s physical appearance, and providing less tangible but nonetheless valued insights into an individual’s character or personality.52 These formed part of an industry of memory, producing objects that celebrated and historicized Protestant and Dutch national identity. Monochromatic portraits of William after a print by Cornelius de Visscher and depictions of his sons in blue and white indicate something of the range of visual sources that shaped contemporary

50 Harm Stevens, Shades of Orange: A history of the royal house of the Netherlands, trans. Lynne Richards (Amsterdam, 2001), p. 1. 51 See Johan Huizinga, De Nederlandse Natie: Vijf opstellen (Haarlem, 1960); Willem Frijhoff, Natie, Vaderland en Daarbuiten: Over vaderlandgevoel en internationalism ten tijde van Willem van Oranje (Delft, 2000); and Coos Huijsen, De Oranjemythe: Een postmodern fenomeen (Zaltbommel, 2001). 52 On the complexities of portraiture, see especially Joanna Woodall, ‘Introduction: Facing the subject,’ in Joanna Woodall (ed.), Portraiture: Facing the subject (Manchester, 1997), pp. 1–25, and especially pp. 10–16.

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public perception and consumption of the dynasty.53 Full-length images in Delft blue tiles of Maurice and Frederick Henry showed them as celebrated commanders in the revolt against Spain.54 A 1654 portrait of Frederick Henry could be emblazoned across a decorative faience plate.55 What are the selection strategies of displaying these objects in their own time and in museums, galleries, and heritage and tourist sites today? How do they function as sources through which the history of the Orange-Nassau family and the nation can be articulated? Images and stories about the House of Orange-Nassau are spread across the modern-day Netherlands. More tangible objects, forming what has been described as a collection of ‘Nassau martial relics,’ also support and sustain these narratives of nation building.56 These objects appear to gain some of their interpretive power through explicitly bodily connections to Nassau men, and through the emotional response that they continue to evoke for visitors. The vision of the bloodied linen shirt held in the Rijksmuseum has striking impact on visitors who are told that it was probably worn by Henry Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz, stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe, when he was mortally shot at the siege of Hulst (1640; Figure 3.2).57 In another display case lies a ‘hat with bullet hole’ worn by his father Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz during the 1632 siege of Roermond, part of a campaign led by his cousin Frederick Henry.58 A single round hole of a musket ball, surrounded by traces of blood and cranial fluid on the felt, are a concrete memorial to the death of this Nassau, the stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe. Alongside the hat are several other items of clothing that belonged to Ernst Casimir, including his brown riding cloak, ‘probably worn at the siege.’59 Today, they have been brought together in the same cabinet with the imposing fullscale portrait of Ernst Casimir by Wybrand de Geest.60 These objects, we argue, still embody the authoritative Nassau men to whom they once belonged, whom they depict, or with whom they are associated, bestowing on them a form of power to make meaning for the family and the nation, and to subordinate other objects which could offer other insights or new narratives. In the Prinsenhof in Delft, two holes pierce the wall; the concrete remains left by two of the three bullets that passed through William’s body in 1584. The presence of these holes shattering the otherwise anonymous and ordinary wall is emphasized by a frame, visually signalling their importance to the visiting public who find themselves confronted with a particularly vivid presentation of historical place. These holes form the ultimate material object of absence for this family and, 55 56 57 58 59 60 53 54

C.H. de Jonge, Dutch Tiles, trans. P.S. Falla (London, 1971), p. 39. Ibid., p. 40. See also http://www.tegels-uit-rotterdam.com/oranjevorsten.html. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=BK-1999–92&lang=en. Stevens, Shades of Orange, p. 11. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=NG-NM-1104&lang=en. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=NG-NM-7445&lang=en. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=NG-NM-1097&lang=en. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-570&lang=en.

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Bloodied linen shirt probably worn by Hendrick Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz, stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe, when he was mortally shot at the siege of Hulst, 1640, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number NG-NM-1104. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

as we argue in this section, the foundation of a broader culture of material objects which acquire relic-like status. The connection between identity and memory (for both the House of Orange-Nassau and the Dutch nation) is facilitated through such objects of remembrance which are often linked to highly emotionally-charged events. Moreover, we contend that these memorializing and sacralizing processes for particular objects are profoundly gendered ones, in which, for this family, bullet holes, blood stains, and male clothing feature prominently. These national origin stories were given narrative shape and visual form immediately on William’s death. Hendrik Goltzius’s widely distributed and well known combined etching and engraving of the funeral procession of William, which was held in Delft on 3 August 1584, almost a month after his assassination, shows the procession of noblemen, political figures, stewards, chamberlains, and halberdiers, among others, in a series of 12 prints which form an impressive five-metre frieze. The names of the key participants are carefully recorded within the image, and William’s coat of arms is shown carried in the procession along

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with other signs of his aristocratic elite male status – his rapier, sword, tunic, and ceremonial helmet. Sixteen-year-old Maurice, alone of William’s children, walked ahead of the coffin.61 Both in practice and image, the first major funeral processions of the new nation paid careful attention to display the family’s lineage and social and political connections, as well as its male heirs, the dynasty’s future.62 In doing so, it was reminiscent of the elaborate funeral ritual and display of the earlier Burgundian and Habsburg eras discussed in Chapter 1, even if these messages were now conveyed and memorialized in new forms such as through procession and print. In 1609, just after the signing of the Twelve Year Truce that brought a measure of stability to the Dutch Republic, Hendrick de Keyser was commissioned by the States-General to produce a lavish marble and bronze monument befitting William. The traditional Nassau family vault at Breda was then under Spanish occupation. Delft, the city in which William had died and lain in temporary state since his death, was chosen as the site for his mausoleum. The city would later hold the remains of his sons Maurice and Frederick Henry, his wife Louise de Coligny (who died 13 November 1620), and daughter Catherina-Belgica. William’s mausoleum became almost instantaneously an iconic symbol for the Dutch nation. Indeed, even William’s first simple tomb at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, under a small canopy which had served as his grave from 1584 until the completion of Keyser’s monument in 1622, had warranted a visual record by Hendrick Goltzius, who had engraved the simple wooden coffin draped in a cloth.63 William’s extravagant mausoleum would become the object of many paintings and portraits that had appeal to a broad patriotic (as well as specifically Orangist) clientele.64 As Angela Vanhaelen has argued, the monument ‘gave concrete form to the abstract concept of the Fatherland itself, allowing it to be represented before the people as a body politic.’65 Accordingly, the mausoleum’s depiction had deeply symbolic dimensions. In its first painted image, Bartholomeus van Bassen showed a proportionately enlarged mausoleum, still under construction in 1620, in an imaginary stylized whitewashed church. Citizens had themselves depicted 61 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=RP-P-OB-10. 418&lang=en. On Goltzius, see Walter L. Strauss (ed.), Hendrik Goltzius, 1558–1617: The complete engravings and woodcuts (New York, 1977). 62 For more on funeral display in the Burgundian and Habsburg era, see Chapter 1. Ideas about print and propaganda in the early modern period have recently been explored in Larry Silver, Marketing Maximilian: The visual ideology of a Holy Roman Emperor (Princeton, 2008). 63 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=RP-P-OB-10. 409&lang=en. 64 Examples include Gerard Houckgeest, Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of Willem the Silent, 1650, and Hendrick van Vliet, The Interior of the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of William the Silent, 1665. On the political dimensions of these images, see Angela Vanhaelen, ‘Recomposing the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century Delft,’ Oxford Art Journal, 31 (2008): pp. 361–81, see p. 374–7. 65 Ibid., p. 361.

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Fig. 3.3 Dirck van Delen, A family beside the tomb of Willem I in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, 1645, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number SK-A-2352. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. alongside his tomb, epitomized in Dirck van Delen’s image of a family of four visiting William’s mausoleum in 1645 (Figure 3.3).66 Equally, the design and decoration of the mausoleum was also symbolically critical to the narrative that the States-General wished to convey about William’s place in the Dutch nation. Vanhaelen has argued that the monument is a complex work signalling the careful balancing of power between the States-General and the Nassaus as stadtholders.67 An advisory board, including Daniel Heinsius of the University of Leyden as well as Constantijn Huygens, was appointed to determine suitable symbolic visual iconography as well as textual inscriptions for the grave.68 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-2352&lang=en. Vanhaelen, ‘Recomposing the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century Delft,’ p. 367.

66 67

See also Haitsma Mulier, ‘Willem van Oranje in de Historiografie van de Zeventiende Eeuw’; and Henk van Nierop, ‘Oranje Bowen: Willem van Oranje als zinnebeeld van de natie,’ in Henk van Nierop and Cynthia P. Schneider (eds), Willem van Oranje lezing 2001. Cultuur, samenleving en bestuur (Delft, 2001), pp. 7–25. 68 Ibid., p. 4. The significance of monuments to the construction of historical narratives, identity and memory has been discussed widely by scholars of other contemporary nations; see, for England, Peter Sherlock, ‘The Monuments of Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Stuart: King James and the manipulation of memory,’ Journal of British Studies, 46 (2007): pp. 263–89; Peter Sherlock, Monuments and Memory in Early Modern England (Aldershot, 2008); Nigel Llewellyn, ‘Honour in Life, Death and the Memory: Funeral monuments in early modern England,’ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6 (1996): pp. 179–200; Jean Wilson, ‘Elite Commemoration in Early Modern England: Reading funerary monuments,’ Antiquity, 74 (2000): pp. 413–23; and Elizabeth Valdez Del Alamo (ed.), Memory and the Medieval Tomb (Aldershot, 2000).

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Contemporaries had well developed cultural literacy for such monuments, formed through publications such as those of Hans Vrederman de Vries (1563) and Cesare Ripa (1593), which displayed symbolic emblems, images, mottoes, and ornaments and were used as popular handbooks for both architects and commissioning customers alike.69 The inscription, accredited to Huygens, attributes the paternity of the Dutch nation to William, specifically contrasting it to his paternal responsibilities to his family: ‘Father of our Nation, who held service to the Netherlands/ In greater esteem than the well-being of himself and his family.’ Moreover, this is directly followed by mention of William’s personal financial sacrifice for the good of the Republic: ‘And who twice financed two mighty armies from his own resources in order to oust the tyranny of the Spaniards,’ an act in which the role of the States is secondary: ‘With the assistance of the States of the Netherlands.’70 Finally, the inscription explicitly signals the hereditary claim of the Orange-Nassau dynasty to national leadership by reference to William’s son Maurice, ‘his Son and Heir to his virtues,’ whose career as a statesman was, however, more insecure and contested than his early military achievements.71 Thus, William’s mausoleum attests to the role of William, the Dutch states, and the House of Orange-Nassau in forging the nation – a narrative that is perhaps surprisingly dominant even in modern contexts. From early on, then, the connections of the Orange-Nassau dynasty to the nation were presented as a form of inheritance through the male line. The Prince Maurice römer is one such example, both an important piece in the Rijksmuseum collection and in the historiography of the House of Orange-Nassau. Made in 1606, it is a delicate green glass cup engraved with the arms and motto of Prince Maurice, by whom it was likely commissioned (Figure 3.4). Next to the Prince’s arms is a pollarded tree with three branches. As a CD Rom presentation of the collection sold by the Rijksmuseum explains: The trunk symbolises the assassinated William of Orange, the three branches are his sons, Philip William, Frederick Henry and Maurice. A motto, inscribed here, accompanies the emblem of the pollarded tree: ‘Tandem fit surculus arbor’ (In time, the shoot becomes a tree). It expresses an optimistic belief in the country’s political future. This hope rested on the younger generation of the House of Orange.72

But William also had nine daughters, who did not, it seems, form part of the hopes of the next generation of the House of Orange-Nassau for contemporaries and M. Gout, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe: Mausoleum of Prince Willem of Orange in the New Church in Delft, trans. B. Gout (Rijswijk, n.d.), p. 12. 70 Ibid, p. 5. 71 On the relationship of Maurice to the state, see Vanhaelen, ‘Recomposing the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century Delft,’ p. 367; also Herbert Rowen, The Princes of Orange: The Stadtholders in the Dutch Republic (Cambridge, 1988). 72 Rijksmuseum, The Glory of the Golden Age, CD Rom (Deventer: Diskcomm Multimedia, 2000). And see also Stevens, Shades of Orange, p. 7. 69

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Fig. 3.4 Römer with the arms and motto of Prince Maurice, glass, 1606, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-NM-697. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. whose absence is still notable because it is not deemed noteworthy for modern commentary upon such objects. It seems that their experiences continue to be obscured in the presentation of the relationship of the House of Orange-Nassau to the nation in such major national institutions. In September 1625, another funeral for an Orange-Nassau patriarch took place in Delft, captured in widely circulated prints. The funeral procession of William’s second son, Maurice, Prince of Orange, stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel, and Groningen, was depicted in a striking, large single image, comprised of four combined sheets, engraved by Gilles van Scheyndel, and published by Claes Jansz. Visscher (Figure 3.5).73 Here a long line of mourners was shown processing through the Grote Markt of Delft towards the Nieuwe Kerk that is the resting place of the House of Orange-Nassau and Dutch Royal family to this day. Preparations for the lavish spectacle, carefully staged by the artist Jacques de Gheyn II who then controlled the circulated images of it, required a delay of some five months from Maurice’s death in April the same year. Once again, it was 73 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/RP-P-OB-15.078?id=RP-P-OB-15.07 8&page=3&lang=en&context_space=aria_themes&context_id=7107.

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Fig. 3.5

Gillis van Scheyndel, Funeral Procession of Prince Maurice at Grote Markt in Delft, engraving (detail of lower left-hand panel), 1625, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number RP-P-OB15.078. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

the men of the Orange-Nassau family who were shown in mourning for the family patriarch. Maurice’s legitimate and illegitimate brothers and some of his brothersin-law were depicted in the procession, but none of his sisters (even though his sister Emilia had been at his bedside at the Binnenhof when he died).74 Likewise, militia, political leaders, ambassadors, and courtiers were assembled, followed by horses bearing the arms of Maurice’s titles. Witnesses were assured of Maurice’s fulfilment of aristocratic models of masculinity through reminders not only of his military glory but also his sexual prowess.75 Banners that heralded Maurice as the http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/RP-T-1894-A-3023(R)?lang=en. For research into early modern masculinity, see Elizabeth Foyster, Manhood in

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Early Modern England: Honour, sex and marriage (London, 1999); and Alexandra Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003). Material on aristocratic codes of honour is also relevant here. See, for example, Neuschel, Word of Honour. On forms of masculinity in the Orange-Nassau family, see Broomhall and Van Gent, ‘In the Name of the Father.’

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protector of justice and religion were carried by the senior officer Jacques Wijts and two of Maurice’s illegitimate sons by Margaretha van Mechelen: William and Louis. De Gheyn had trained under the engraver Henrick Goltzius but also worked as a painter, draftsman, etcher, and engraver, fulfilling a number of commissions for Maurice and, later, Frederick Henry.76 As another artist, Pieter Jansz Post, would later do for Frederick Henry, these multidisciplinary artists stage-managed the highly visual ceremonial messages of these vital symbolic occasions, continuing a heritage of ceremonial presentation that women such as Eleanor de Poitiers had attempted to memorialize generations before.77 The intimate depiction of Orange-Nassau men in death also became the subject of particular visual reportage in paintings, drawings, and death masks, adding to the Protestant industry of memory surrounding the family. A poignant deathbed image by Christiaen van Bieselingen of William, lying on the simple rush matting floor where he was laid after the shooting, heightened the emotional immediacy of that event whilst simultaneously attesting to William’s humility in death.78 When Maurice died, Jacques de Gheyn not only controlled the depiction of Maurice’s funeral in print, but was responsible for the powerful, yet intimate image of Maurice on the day he died: Maurice on his deathbed.79 Later, Maurice’s embalmed body in his lace cap, ruff, and fur-trimmed shroud was shown by Adriaen van de Venne in his Maurice (1567–1625), Prince of Orange, lying in State (1625).80 Finally, a visually striking red and gold heraldic tunic, on loan from the Royal Historical Society, now graces a major exhibit on the family and the foundations of the Dutch nation in the Rijksmuseum.81 It was first worn at the funeral of Frederick Henry, son of William and Louise de Coligny, Prince of Orange, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel, who died in March 1647. These tunics embroidered with coats of arms provided an excellent opportunity

For a recent study of de Gheyn see Claudia Swan, Art, Science and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565–1629) (Cambridge, 2005). 77 See our discussion in Chapter 1. For a contextual range of illustrated examples, see John Landwehr, Splendid Ceremonies. State entries and royal funerals in the Low Countries, 1515–1791. A bibliography (Nieuwkoop and Leiden, 1971). See also discussion of NassauOrange funeral ceremony in Olaf Mörke, ‘Stadtholder’ oder ‘Staetholder’? Die Funktion des Hauses Oranien und seines Hofes in der politischen Kultur der Republik der Vereinigten Niederlande im 17. Jahrhundert (Niederlande Studien, Bd. 11) (Münster, 1997). On the careful presentation of political messages through such ceremonies, see Geert H. Janssen, ‘Political Ambiguity and Confessional Diversity in the Funeral Processions of Stadtholders in the Dutch Republic,’ Sixteenth Century Journal, 40/2 (2009): pp. 283–301. 78 http://www.gemeentemusea-delft.nl/gmd21012005/normal.aspx?m=prinsenhof&i dentifier=527&toplevel=thema’s. 79 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/RP-T-1894-A-3023(R)?page=1&lang =en&context_space=&context_id=. 80 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-446&lang=en. 81 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/NG-KOG-42?lang=en. 76

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for display of Frederick Henry’s aristocratic titles.82 The extravagant spectacle of his funeral held in May in Delft was designed by Dutch printmaker, artist, and architect Pieter Jansz Post. Four heralds dressed in the tunics walked in the funeral procession with the fifth tunic borne on a stick, symbolizing the deceased. The event was later captured for posterity through Post and Pieter Nolpe’s lavish watercolour memorial image book, Funeral of His Highness Frederick Henry (1651), in which individual male mourners in the colourful procession were named in the 29 prints.83 Frederick Henry’s sisters, wife, and daughters were not shown in attendance at this public ceremonial occasion. However, they could be represented in more ‘domestic’ mourning contexts. In the copperplate engraving by Cornelius van Dalen after Adriaen van de Venne, Departure from this life of His Royal Highness Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange etc. anno 1647 (Figure 3.6), Frederick Henry’s wife and daughters were depicted by his deathbed, accompanied by a range of delegates for the States and court officials.84 Violent male sacrifice, death, and the ritualized ceremony surrounding it, we argue, are key facets of the strongly visual way in which the Orange-Nassau family have been bound to the Dutch nation in museum, gallery, and touristic presentations as well as the dominant scholarly historiography. These are motifs that can be traced all the way back to the presentation of William’s own death. Indeed, all but one of William’s brothers died a violent death: three in battle and all at relatively youthful ages: Adolph at Heiligerlee, 1568, Louis and Henry at Mookerheide, 1574, then William in 1584.85 It is a narrative that both then and now appears to be largely about men, fathers and sons, to the point that a visitor might never know that William had daughters. It is a history that is both interpreted and presented through gendered objects of remembrance, recalling male sacrifice but also foregrounding male – at the expense of female – mourning. In conclusion, the House of Orange-Nassau is today at the heart of the Dutch nation. As we have argued in this chapter, this status was not achieved solely through male participation in warfare and bodily sacrifice, although these dominate both early modern and modern narratives. From the outset, the use of visual support such as prints in early modern propaganda for the Orange-Nassau family has been a critical facet of this aspect of nation building. For the funeral processions of William, Maurice, and Frederick Henry, prints served as a record 82 The complete coat of arms of the House of Orange-Nassau, as carried by Frederick Henry, is embroidered four times on the tunic, on the front and back and on both sleeves. The front and back and sleeves also display the combined coat of arms of Orange-Nassau. The four quarters show the arms of Nassau, Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, and Dietz. On the central shield are the arms of Châlon and Orange with an inescucheon bearing the arms of Geneva. The two additional shields support the arms of Meurs (above) and Buren (below). 83 See Stevens, Shades of Orange, p. 16, and also http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/ collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=RP-P-OB-67.996&lang=en. 84 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=RP-P-BI6748&lang=en. 85 Stevens, Shades of Orange, p. 3.

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Cornelis van Dalen after Adriaen van de Venne, Departure from this life of His Royal Highness Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange etc. anno 1647, engraving, 1647, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number RP-P-OB-76.483. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

for posterity, becoming a more widely circulated and far-reaching (albeit also more ephemeral) development of the role played by fixed monuments for the OrangeNassau and others such as the Burgundian ducal family. However, we suggest that the Orange-Nassau also became Dutch through women’s strategies, modes, and themes of persuasion: through letters and articulations of emotional states that also fashioned the national story. These aspects may be less easily presented in a museum context, but their lack of representation is also governed, we argue, by gendered processes of memorialisation and sacralisation, including Louise’s own strategy to foreground the absent and emerging patriarchs of the dynasty. It should not be forgotten that it was Louise who placed William’s heart in the lead box, forming an object which says as much about Louise, and her relation to him, as it does about William. This suggests that the challenge is not entirely one of material objects suitable for museum interpretation, but also of the narratives

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created and the objects used to support them. Louise’s lead box is conceived as a private emotional response with no place in a broader public display, although, by contrast, intimate images of Nassau men in death, their bloodied clothing, or bodily fluids are considered appropriate and important for the public to access. Objects that are seen to be significant in these narrative-making contexts are linked to men who sacrificed themselves, or, just as importantly, men who were their principal mourners, through commissioning and being depicted in mourning objects such as drinking vessels, mourning clothes, engravings, and funeral ceremonies. A deeper historical sense of the personal but also, perhaps more importantly, of the political dimensions of women’s mourning is still to emerge.

Chapter 4

Imagining Domesticity in Early Modern Dutch Dolls’ Houses Between 1674 and 1743, a small group of wealthy Dutch women created and collected exquisitely crafted dolls’ houses. The phenomenon appears to represent, in the Netherlands, a unique form of curiosity cabinet specifically created for women. In this chapter we explore what the possession of dolls’ houses meant for the four elite Dutch women whose cabinets are still extant, as well as the narratives to which they contribute today in their modern display contexts. We analyse how ownership was displayed, valued, and memorialized by these early modern female collectors and explore how these houses reflected the aspirations and identities of their owners. Although miniature dolls, furnishings, and houses were by no means unique to the seventeenth-century United Provinces, we argue that both their unusual female ownership and their role in contemporary museum interpretation have much to say about women’s opportunities to project their own perspective in their own time and ours. Two dolls’ houses formerly owned by Petronella Dunois (Figure 4.1) and Petronella Oortman (Figure 4.2) are a central component of the current display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. They form part of the temporary exhibition of highlights or acknowledged ‘masterpieces’ on display while the museum is under renovation. The dolls’ houses feature alongside Rembrandt’s Night Watch as the only two named items on the Rijksmuseum’s special online presentation of the current exhibition. The Rijksmuseum offers several different audio guide experiences for its visitors: the standard art-historical guide and a recent, more personalized version with reflections by the well-known Dutch actor, director, and artist Jeroen Krabbé. In a further indication of the status of the dolls’ houses within the collection (and moreover, a confirmation of their perceived interest and This chapter extends a previous published work: Susan Broomhall, ‘Imagined Domesticities in Early Modern Dutch Dolls’ Houses,’ Parergon, 24/2 (2007): pp. 49–68.  Jet Pijzel-Dommisse’s important text, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis: Interieur en huishouden in de 17de en 18de eeuw (Amsterdam and Zwolle, 2000), includes information about the wider evidence of women’s ownership of dolls’ houses in the United Provinces at this period. This chapter, however, focuses on those examples where the houses and archival sources still exist to be studied today.  Extant British baby houses date from the mid-eighteenth century (the Tate House on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, for example, dates from 1760) and are therefore not used comparatively in this study. See http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/ collections/dolls_houses/tatebaby/index.html.  http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/meesterwerken?lang=en. 

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Fig. 4.1 The Dolls’ House of Petronella Dunois, c. 1676, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-14656. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. value to visitors), these two audio guides are available for downloading on the Rijksmuseum website, along with the two guides to the collection’s most famous painting, The Night Watch. Within the gallery itself, the two dolls’ houses take up the greater part of a large room entitled ‘Dolls’ Houses.’ Here the visitors reads on the accompanying information panel that: A popular hobby among wealthy women was to keep a dolls’ house: a cupboard containing a miniature version of their own world. This was not a toy, but a prize exhibit that its owner would show off to visitors. The male counterpart was the cabinet in which gentlemen kept their private collections of prints and exotic objects.

The interpretive signage thus suggests that these objects may be understood as part of the contemporary trend to prepare scientific and curiosity collections, a phenomenon that will be discussed further below. Certainly, the expense of these houses was comparable to such elite collections. Interestingly, the audio http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/groepen?lang=en.



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Fig. 4.2 The Dolls’ House of Petronella Oortman, c. 1685–1705, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number BK-NM-1010. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. commentary by Krabbé discusses the costs of these houses, which could be as much as a contemporary canal house, concluding ‘so you see that these women’s vainglorious showing-off knew no bounds.’ Krabbé’s style on this audio guide is engagingly informal and so is his language, but it is striking that women’s activity as collectors should be presented as ‘showing off’ – while that of male collectors such as artists Rembrandt van Rijn or Peter Paul Rubens is valued as an important aspect of a man’s intellectual and artistic identity. These dolls’ houses also gain part of their meaning and significance for visitors through their contextualization by other objects in the same room. These include paintings such as Pieter de Hooch’s Interior with women beside a linen chest; Willem Buytewech’s Dignified couple courting; Jan Miense Molenaer’s Woman playing a virginal; and Gerard ter Borch’s Galant conversation, known as ‘The  http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/attachments/Audiotoursamples/poppenhuis_krabbe_ Eng.mp3.  See, for example, Jeffrey M. Muller, Rubens: The artist as collector (Princeton, 1989).

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paternal admonition’; paintings depicting, generally, women’s domestic lives. This juxtaposition of the dolls’ houses with such images is mutually reinforcing, we argue, in its presentation of women’s household experiences (even though at least some of the images are rather more genre-based pieces with ambiguous sexual interpretations). However, do either of these types of objects reflect anything of real life, or they are simply representing contemporary conventions? As Wayne E. Franits reminds us of seventeenth-century paintings of domestic scenes, they may furnish details of women’s reality, but they also (and perhaps more so) represent the cultural system in which the art was produced, including a range of symbolic conventions about women’s depiction. While this is not the focus of the narrative provided by the Rijksmuseum in its current display, situating male-authored artwork alongside what we suggest should be considered female-authored dolls’ houses could potentially allow for an interesting comparison of understandings of domestic life. The dolls’ house, we argue, is a particularly important object of study for creating narratives about early modern women because they hold such fascination for viewers, both in the Golden Age and for contemporary museum-goers. Krabbé talks of visiting the gallery as a child, climbing the stepladder to view the interior of the dolls’ houses, and of taking his own grandchildren to see them. He reflects on children’s attraction to these objects, remembering his own sense as a child that the dolls’ house felt to him ‘as if it was actually living there.’ It seems that these objects exert a child-like fascination for adult visitors too. A number of publications on the dolls’ houses can be found in the Rijksmuseum gallery shop, designed for both adult and young readers. One includes fold-out photographs that mimic the architecture of the dolls’ house, and describes the rationale for the construction of the house, and its continuing interest, in the following terms: Look, there’s Petronella Oortman walking through the streets of Old Amsterdam, her long skirt shimmering in the sun. She’s humming along with the music of the chimes in the clock towers. Petronella is in a good mood. Today, she’s going to look for a cabinet maker for whom she has an important job: to make a cabinet divided up into rooms just like a house … She wants it to be a showpiece that people will look at in wonder, the most beautiful doll’s house in the world. Not something to play with but a cabinet that is the exact representation of the world she lives in, the world of an elegant, 17th-century Amsterdam lady … Making and furnishing the doll’s house will be Petronella’s life’s work … Other seventeenthcentury doll’s houses have silver miniatures of all kinds of household objects. But they’re not good enough for her: in the real world, brooms are not made of silver so Petronella doesn’t want them in her doll’s house either. She wants them to be made of wood and bristle. Some of them are even worn down a bit on the sides, as if they’d been used a lot. It all looks so real and that’s exactly why this doll’s house has become so popular.10  On the collection, see Pieter J.J. Thiel et al, All the Paintings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1976).  Wayne E. Franits, Paragons of Virtue: Women and domesticity in seventeenthcentury Dutch art (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 196–7. 10 Christa Carbo, Het Poppenhuis. The doll’s house (Amsterdam, 2008).

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One souvenir item even combines both of the Rijksmuseum’s star attractions: the Rembrandt Dolls’ House, made entirely of paper. Its description relies upon two aspects of historical veracity – the tradition of dolls’ houses and of the reality of Rembrandt’s own home: The Rembrandt Dolls’ House faithfully reproduces the environment in which the artist and his family lived and worked. Some modifications were made not only to allow you to actually play with it, but also to put the model in the tradition of 17th-century ornate cabinets and dolls’ houses.11

The dolls’ houses are clearly part of the Rijksmuseum’s ongoing and new forms of engagement with adult visitors, too. In a recent edition of their glossy in-house magazine, Oog, for sale in the shop and other outlets in the Netherlands, contemporary designers have been asked to design new objects for the Oortman dolls’ house, photoshopped into the rooms.12 These are presented in full-page images; in one, a strange silver cloud-shaped chair appears in front of a Golden Age fireplace, and other equally modern design objects seem intended to engage the adult more than the child viewer. The enduring appeal of the dolls’ house within Dutch culture is perhaps also demonstrated through the recent retrospective exhibition of the internationally successful Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf.13 They presented their collections on adult female dolls of various sizes, and the centrepiece of the exhibition was a paradoxically and whimsically enlarged dolls’ house, the height of a very tall gallery, occupied by child-sized yet adultproportioned female dolls wearing the designers’ clothes. These outfits included a very recent series that played on the concept of the Dutch doll, with milk-pail references, folkloric clothing shapes and fabrics, and high-heeled wooden clogs painted with stereotypical Dutch designs. This play of the scale, space, dolls’ houses, design, fashion, and folklore seems to have brought together a number of self-consciously Dutch references, intended to appeal in particular to museumgoers interested in fashion, a theme we shall explore further in Chapter 7.14 The Rijksmuseum provides stepladders in front of its two large dolls’ houses, inviting the visitor to peek inside this foreign yet familiar domestic world. The architecture and visual attraction of the dolls’ house would seem to have a special appeal to the tourist in Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands such as Utrecht. The houses along the canals, which above all other things typify these cities, are themselves generally simple shallow architectural spaces, rooms Back cover text. See further discussion of the Rembrandt dolls’ house in Chapter 5. Agaath Garschagen, ‘Het Kleine Huis voor Grote Mensen,’ Oog, 5 (2008):

11

12

pp. 26–39. 13 The exhibition was developed by the Barbican gallery in London and then toured to the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. See Caroline Evans and Susannah Frankel, The House of Victor & Rolf, exhibition catalogue (London, 2008). 14 The Petronella Oortman dolls’ house is specially cited as a visual and conceptual inspiration and illustrated in the catalogue, see ibid., pp. 17–18.

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stacked one on another and with narrow staircases at the back of the buildings. Large windows open to the view of people strolling along the canals mimic the open, shallow spaces of dolls’ houses. The openness of the Dutch home to the outside viewer, with sheer or simply absent curtains allowing visual access to its interior spaces, has been analysed by sociologists as somehow intrinsic to the Calvinist character.15 There is no discernable private sphere away from public eyes in this society, such spaces suggest. The good Dutch housewife of today – like her Golden Age counterpart – has nothing to be ashamed of, and so should not hide her household behind curtains or blinds. Foreign visitors are surprised by the extent to which families in the Netherlands live their lives under the view of passers-by, brightly lit and seen through gleaming glass windows. Despite their resonance in so many ways for early modern and modern Dutch societies, there has been little historical or gender analysis to date on early modern dolls’ houses. Yet dolls’ houses created and owned by elite Dutch women would seem a rare primary source available for the study of how women might reflect or create ideas of household spatial arrangements, dynamics, and identities. Much of the existing literature on dolls’ houses has been written by museum curators whose detailed inventories and historical context of the individual miniature objects are invaluable resources for the field.16 In this context, published literature has debated appropriate preservation as well as display techniques for the surviving houses. With successive dolls’ house owners continuing to add to the original designs, the complications for modern museums determining which version of the house should be displayed are considerable.17 Dolls’ houses have also drawn scholarly attention from art historians, who are interested in what the cabinets may indicate about contemporary tastes and trends See Irene Cieraad, ‘Dutch Windows: Female virtue and female vice,’ in Irene Cieraad (ed.), At Home: An anthology of domestic space (Syracuse, 1999), pp. 31–52; and Hernan Vera, ‘On Dutch Windows,’ Qualitative Sociology, 12 (1989): pp. 215–34. 16 There is extensive recent curatorial research, for example, of the Dutch material by Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, and Heidi A. Müller for the Nuremberg material. The authoritative texts are Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis; and Heidi A. Müller, Ein Idealhaushalt im Miniaturformat. Die Nürnberger Puppenhäuser des 17. Jahrhunderts (Nürnberg, 2006). Although we have cited from the definitive works by Pijzel-Dommisse on most occasions, there is an earlier Dutch literature (containing some errors, clarifications, and debate about the owners of the houses) pertaining to these houses: I.H. van Eeghen, ‘De twee poppenhuis van Sara Rothé,’ ‘Het poppenhuis van Petronella Oortman,’ ‘Het poppenhuis van Margaretha de Ruyter,’ Amstelodamum, 40 (1953): pp. 106–11, 113–17, and 137–41; I.H. van Eeghen, ‘Het poppenhuis van Petronella de la Court,’ Amstelodamum, 47 (1960): pp. 159–67; C.W. Fock, ‘Het poppenhuis van Petronella Dunois,’ Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, 16 (1968): pp. 130–33; I.H. van Eeghen, ‘Het poppenhuis van Petronella Dunois,’ Amstelodamum, 56 (1969): pp. 54–7. 17 See for example the special edition of Mededelingenblad, 1–2 (1996), containing articles from the 1995 Haarlem symposium, Het Poppenhaus als Kunstkabinet: Conserven en verantwoord presenteren. 15

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in domestic furnishing and clothing. Here, dolls’ houses are typically presented as descriptive artefacts with authentic links to the historical realities of seventeenthcentury life.18 Thus, art historian Shirley Glubok writes that ‘[t]he dollhouse reflects the solid comfort of a wealthy burgher’s house on one of Amsterdam’s canals in the late seventeenth century.’19 In this way, Dutch dolls’ houses have been not infrequently cited as evidence to suggest the interior furnishings of early modern Dutch houses. Literature intended for tourists and museum visitors follows a similar pattern. The dolls’ house exhibition in the Rijksmuseum, we are told, ‘is a fantastic display of how they decorated their houses in the seventeenth century.’20 The accuracy of the objects in these houses, especially that of Petronella Oortman, as we shall explore, is a recurrent theme in the literature surrounding these houses. ‘They contain objects of which scarcely any full-scale examples have survived and they show us how not only fine ladies and gentlemen, but also a kitchenmaid and a laundry-maid were dressed.’21 In such ways, the dolls’ houses provide not only extant historical material objects but also a kind of early modern social portrait of the broader household community. Art historian Nanette Salomon has critiqued a similar trend in the perception of Dutch domestic painting, for, as she argues, these works, and Jan Steen’s vision of ‘domesticity’ particularly, ‘were far from disinterested and accidental reflections of contemporary mores but rather worked actively within a social construction to fabricate the shifting terms of the norm.’22 For both dolls’ houses and paintings, as we have also seen in Chapter 2 for van Swanenburg’s images of women working, visual immediacy has often been dangerously beguiling to scholars of the Golden Age. We want to question whether dolls’ houses can be read so neatly as historical mirrors providing descriptive evidence of upper-class homes and argue instead that they might be treated as historical texts which offer insights for early modern cultural and gender analysis. Concerning historic dolls’ houses, James E. Bryan has recently argued that they ‘function as virtual realities; they are representations of human environments wherein lives may be imagined, possessions held, and 18 T.H. Lunsingh Scheurleer, ‘The Dutch and their Homes in the Seventeenth Century,’ in Ian M.G. Quimby (ed.), Arts of the Anglo-American Community of the Seventeenth Century (Charlottesville, 1975), pp. 13–42. This is also illustrated in titles such as Flora Gill Jacobs’s A History of Doll Houses: Four centuries of the domestic world in miniature (New York, 1953; reprinted 1965). 19 Shirley Glubok, ‘The Dollhouse of Petronella de la Court,’ Antiques, 137/2 (1990): pp. 488–501, see p. 489. See also John Loughman and John Michael Montias, Public and Private Spaces: Works of art in seventeenth-century Dutch houses (Zwolle, 2000), p. 18. 20 Rijksmuseum, The Glory of the Golden Age, CD Rom (Deventer: Diskcomm Multimedia, 2000). 21 Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, trans. Patricia Wardl (Wormer, 1994), p. 6. 22 Nanette Salomon, ‘”There’s No Place like Home”: Jan Steen and domestic ideology,’ in her Shifting Priorities: Gender and genre in seventeenth-century Dutch painting (Stanford, 2004), p. 52.

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existence shaped in way perhaps unavailable in full scale.’23 In his analysis of miniaturization in The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard has argued that the smaller the space, the more the owner can feel that they possess and control it. As he contended, ‘values become condensed and enriched in miniature.’24 Read as an artefact of cultural history, what did possession of a dolls’ house mean for its female owner? What can the other materials documenting the early modern creation of dolls’ houses, such as depictions in art, notebooks, and inventories, reveal about the meaning and experience of ownership of these objects? How might we analyse a collection of these ‘texts’ to inform us about early modern concepts of domestic space and identities? Didactic Texts: Child’s Play and Elite Display Dolls’ houses promoted a variety of social messages, aimed at differing audiences. Certainly for children, dolls’ houses appear to have served as didactic tools for young girls in elite families, providing them with an instructional forum for the organization of household space, and allowing them mechanisms to role-play their responsibilities as the mistress of a patrician household. Simon Schama has argued that early modern Dutch culture was obsessed with the actions of children and that analysis of their games was an activity that engaged artists and humanists alike. Both writers and painters perceived children’s games as a forum for didactic messages.25 Emblem books, a popular genre in seventeenth-century Dutch culture, are an especially rich source for the exploration of these ideas.26 The engravings in Jacob Cats’ 1628 text, Kinderspel, showed girls playing house with dolls, and creating an imaginary kitchen with pots, pans, and utensils. Cats’ commentary offered Dutch women participation in the national project through their duties to clean and manage household space, Schama has argued.27 In this sense, patrician dolls’ houses were no more than a sumptuous extension of girls’ pastimes of

James E. Bryan III, Material Culture in Miniature: Historic dollhouses reconsidered (PhD thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003), p. 2. 24 Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (New York, 1974), p. 150, also cited by Bryan, Material Culture in Miniature, p. 21. On the cultural meanings of miniaturization, see also Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the miniature, the gigantic, the souvenir, the collection (Durham, 1993), pp. 37–69. 25 Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age (London, 1987), p. 504. 26 John Landwehr, Emblem and Fable Books Printed in the Low Countries, 1542– 1813: A bibliography (third edn, Utrecht, 1988). 27 Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, p. 511, though Schama’s interpretations of the position of women in the Dutch Golden Age have been challenged by feminist scholars; see our Introduction, note 17. 23

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household role-playing more generally. The earliest extant Southern German examples all appear to fall into this category.28 One example of a Nuremburg dolls’ house that was intended for the edification of children is that of Anna Köferlin, known to us now only through a pamphlet. In 1631, the childless widow from Nuremberg published a small advertisement charging visitors to see a dolls’ house that she had created. Among her claims, Köferlin suggested that the house could serve as a useful tool to demonstrate household duties and proper domestic order to young children. As her pamphlet argued: Therefore, dear little children, study everything carefully, how all is well ordered, so that it will provide a good lesson, and when finally you have your own house and God gives you your own hearth, which will become the work of your life and love, you will be able to organize everything in your household in a proper way. Then you will understand what your beloved parents have tried to tell you: that a house that is in disorder reflects the disorder of its housekeeper’s mind. Come and look at the Kinderhaus, children, both inside and out, look and learn how everything should be arranged in a house. See the arrangement of the living-rooms, the kitchen and the bedrooms, so that you will learn lessons for the future. See how complicated a well-ordered house is. Thus, when it comes to the appropriate time, many of you will have learned how to manage each thing. Look around you, look behind you, and see how many hundreds of items have been brought together for your instruction, from bedclothes to wardrobes, tin, copper and brass and everything correctly made, so that although very small, it could actually be used for its appropriate purpose. Every single piece that you see is absolutely necessary in a properly run home. It has living rooms, kitchen and bedrooms and even its corn loft. The stringed instruments, whether lutes or fiddles, can be played, with a flute or little pipe at hand, and if you are feeling joyful, you can make them sing. You will find in a corner, arranged in order, such books as would be found in a library, and there is also an armoury where all types of weapons can be seen, pistols, rapiers, daggers and whatever else is needed. There is also armour for men and horses, and every kind of weapon of war, which will be seen with so much wonder that you might forget yourself and stand with your mouth open in amazement.29 28 For details of the Nuremberg houses, see texts by Leonie von Wilckens, Das Puppenhaus: Von Spiegelbild des bürgerlichen Hausstandes zum Spielzug für Kinder (Munich, 1978); and more recently Müller, Ein Idealhaushalt im Miniaturformat. 29 ‘Darumb ihr lieben kinderlein,/ Beschaut alles gar Eben,/ Wie alles ist geordnet sein,/ Soll euch ein gut Lehr geben/ Daß wann ihr dermaleins zu Hauß/ Kompt, vnd euch Gott thut geben/ Eigenen Herd, daß ihr vorauß/ Bey all eurm Leib vnd Leben,/ Ordentlich vnd nach der gebu[e]r/ Jnn euerem Hauß halten/ Richtet vnd ordnet, dann wie ihr/ Wist, Daß die lieben Alten/ Pflegten zusagen: Inn eim Hauß/ Wo Unordnung regiret,/ So ist es bald mit selben auß,/ Unordnung wenig zieret./ So schaut nun an diß Kinder Hauß/ Jhr Kinder inn vnd aussen,/ Schaut an vnd lernet hevorauß,/ Wie ihr einmal solt hausen,/ Schaut wie alles ist ordinirt/ (So anderst recht wol ist geziert/ Jnn Ruch, Steuben vnd Kammer)/ Schaut, was doch für ein Kammer/ Haußrach, ein wolbestelltes Hauß/ Fordert, doch mit

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Interestingly, what is also suggested by both the image and text of Anna Köferlin’s pamphlet is that this dolls’ house at least was aimed at both boys and girls. She argued that both could draw knowledge from its form, and suggested that its furnishings might appeal to both sexes. Other dolls’ houses seem to have been intended quite clearly as adult possessions with little or no connection to a real or imagined juvenile audience. These houses were often made as exclusive commissioned artworks for individual male collectors. One of the best documented is that of Albrecht V of Bavaria, who in 1558 ordered a cabinet house to add to his collection of five miniature towns. Although Albrecht’s dolls’ house was destroyed by fire in 1674, it was inventoried and described on several occasions.30 Albrecht’s cabinet house was included amongst a range of miniature curiosities held in his Kunstkammer, in which 6,000 different objects were documented for the 1598 inventory, and appears to have represented the ducal family in a form of idealized court.31 The fame of such Southern German miniature houses extended across Europe. Lodewijk Huygens, son of the erudite scholar Constantijn, recorded in his diary in 1652 that the Lord Mayor of London reportedly held two Nuremberg houses amongst the possessions proudly displayed to his visitors.32 Here, the interest in miniaturization intertwined with contemporary fashions for scientific collections and other kinds of curios.33 It wenigem/ Kompt man zu zeitten auch wol auß/ So man sich gnu[e]gt am iengen:/ Sieht euch wol vmb, sieht hindersich/ Sechts allenthalben Eben/ Wieviel man der hundert stuck,/ Allhier zu sehen geben:/ Von Betgewand von Ka[e]ltern scho[e]n,/ Von Zin Kupffer vnd Wessing,/ So zugericht, daß ob scho[e]n klein,/ Jsts doch all zugerissen/ Auch zu dem allgemeinen brauch/ Ein jedes Stu[e]ck merck Eben/ Ein jede[m] bald hie, bald dort hin rang/ Thut einen Nutzen geben./ Es hat Stubn, Kammer, Kellr Kuch/ Darzu seinen Tra[e]nd Boden/ Darinn allzeit vollauff genug/ Ob schon nicht viel gerathen./ Von Seytenspiel findst du der gleich/ Zu kurtzweiligen Sachen/ Ein Jnstrument, Lauten vnd Geig/ Mit dem man kan auffmachen,/ Ein Flo[e]ten vnd Zwerg Pfeiff darbey/ Wirst du finden darinnen/ Damit, wann man will lustig seyn/ Eins zusammen kan stimmen./ Auch hast du dort an einem Eck,/ Fein nach der Ordnung stehen,/ Die Bu[e]cher wie ein Biblioteck/ Nach inander zusehen./ Ein Ru[e]stkammer auff all Manier,/ Rustung man da anschauet/ Von Bu[e]chsen Harnisch, Wehe Kappier, Daß eim fast darvor granet:/ Von Ku[e]rsten zu Roß vnnd Mann/ Von allerhand kriegswaffen,/ Mit verwundrung zusehen an,/ Daß Maul vergist, steht offen.’ For the broadsheet, see Dorothy Alexander and Walter L. Strauss, The German Single-Leaf Woodcut 1600–1700 (2 vols, New York, 1977), vol. 1, pp. 305–6. 30 The inventory of the cabinet made by Johann Baptist Fickler, in 1598, as part of Albrecht’s Kunstkammer, is provided in detail in Müller, Ein Idealhaushalt im Miniaturformat, pp. 8–12. 31 On Albrecht’s artistic collection, see Lorenz Seelig, ‘The Munich Kunstkammer 1565–1807,’ in Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor (eds), The Origins of Museums: The cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe (Oxford, 1985), pp. 76–89. 32 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 17. 33 The most detailed studies of this phenomenon remain those in Impey and MacGregor (eds), The Origins of Museums.

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was, after all, in this era that the scientific elite was marvelling at the new discoveries to be made in miniature through van Leeuwenhoek’s magnifying lenses, and that artists were experimenting with the science of visual effects to be gained from the camera obscura. It is tempting to see a continuum between the scientific pursuit of visual effect in art such as Samuel van Hoogstraten’s perspectyfkas of a Dutch domestic interior (late 1650s) and the appreciation of a scientific collector in the precise miniaturized art of a dolls’ house.34 On some occasions, intentions could also overlap, with luxuriously appointed dolls’ houses being commissioned by elite patrons as presents for children.35 Extant examples of the Southern German dolls’ houses appear to have been constructed for patrician families keen to celebrate their wealth by owning and sumptuously furnishing a cabinet house, which was then a child’s object of (careful) play. Another, no longer extant, dolls’ house was commissioned by Anna, the Electress of Saxony. In 1572 she ordered a model as a Christmas gift for her three daughters. The kitchen was particularly worthy of contemporary note, containing 71 bowls, 40 meat-plates, 106 other plates, 36 spoons, and 28 egg-cups, all made of pewter. While the house was intended as a mirror of the wealth of the family, it also offered an instructional dimension in which the girls could be taught to present the pewter as brightly polished as silver.36 In these situations, the objects served several purposes simultaneously, merging aims and interests of both adults and children. They were not only displays of affluence and didactic texts, but also objects of enjoyment for both their juvenile users and adult patrons, who, like Anna Köferlin and Anna of Saxony, delighted in organizing the details of their appointment. References to dolls’ houses in account books and inventories provide some indications as to the cost, and therefore intended use, of the individual objects. Cheaper, sometimes mass-produced, models are less well documented and seem more likely to have been intended as a child’s plaything. Exquisite handcrafted items, often by the leading craftsmen, designers, and artists of the day, individually detailed in notebooks, were more probably considered artworks for adult consumption in their own right. Yet even within dolls’ houses owned by women, miniature cupboards of dolls and furniture were located within the nursery of the dolls’ houses,37 as though their owners were well aware of the common understanding of the juvenile intent of such toys. Indeed it is this tension, between the adult object of luxury and the evident enjoyment of a child’s plaything, that we suggest makes the Dutch women’s dolls’ houses such a fascinating source for analysis of adult women’s realms of fantasy. Van Hoogstraten, Perspective box with Dutch Interior (held in the National Gallery, London), and discussion in Mariët Westermann, A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic, 1585– 1718 (New Haven, 1996), p. 84. 35 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, pp. 73–74. 36 Constance Eileen King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses (London, 1987), p. 34. 37 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 24 and illustration, Figure 12, p. 23. 34

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Women Owning Dolls’ Houses Our interest here, however, is not to know whether individual cabinets were created initially for children or adults, but rather to explore the interplay between adult and juvenile interests in how dolls’ houses were used in the hands of specific female owners in the United Provinces during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The phenomenon of female creation and possession does not appear to be replicated among German dolls’ house collectors, with the exception of the case of Anna Köferlin. It is these mercantile and elite adult women who created personal visions of households for what appears to be their own amusement, who are the focus of this chapter.38 Five particularly well-documented dolls’ houses, owned by four women, concern us here.39 First is Petronella de la Court’s dolls’ house, created c. 1674, now in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht40; a second example, created around 1676, was for Petronella Dunois and is now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Figure 4.1), where a third cabinet house, created between about 1686 and 1705 for Petronella Oortman, a wealthy widow who married an Amsterdam silk merchant, Johannes Brandt, is also to be found (Figure 4.2).41 The fourth and fifth dolls’ houses considered here belonged to Sara Rothé. She re-constituted her two extant houses from three cabinets she had bought at auction in 1743, and from other materials she sourced or specifically commissioned. One is now displayed in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, and the other is held by the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.42 The women who owned elaborate houses shared a number of characteristics: they were elite, some were related, and two had no children. Petronella Dunois was the daughter of a high official at the Stadtholder’s court in The Hague, and niece of Petronella de la Court.43 She married the Leiden regent, Pieter van Groenendijck, in 1677. Dunois’s house passed to a female cousin of her husband. Sara Rothé was born in Amsterdam in 1699, the daughter of a banker, and she married a wealthy merchant, Jacob Ploos van Amstel. The couple had no children, and at least one 38 Many more are documented in inventories as Pijzel-Dommisse indicates; see Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, pp. 18–22. 39 At least one further contemporary dolls’ house, that of Maria van Egmond van de Nijenburg, exists in the Westfries Museum. However, we have been unable to obtain sufficient visual and other evidence to include it in this study. See Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, ‘Het poppenhuis van Maria van Egmond van de Nijenburg,’ in L. Bas and V.J. Nobel (eds), Kleinbehuisd (Hoorn, 1998), pp. 15–18. 40 Images of De la Court’s house can be seen at: http://www.centraalmuseum.nl/page. ocl?mode=&version=&pageid=291. 41 Images of Dunois’s and Oortman’s houses can be seen at: http://www.rijksmuseum. nl/aria/aria_assets/BK-14656?lang=en; and http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/ BK-NM-1010?lang=en. 42 An image of the latter house is available on the children’s information sheet at: http://www.gemeentemuseum.nl/documents/upload/lees-erteltekst%20sara%20poppenhui s%202006%20(web).pdf. 43 Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 42.

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dolls’ house passed to Jacob’s niece Anna Margaretha in 1760.44 Not all luxurious cabinets belonged to childless wealthy women, however. Born in Leiden in 1649, into a well-to-do patrician family, Petronella de la Court married Adam Oortman, and lived in Amsterdam, where Oortman owned a brewery called The Swan. The cabinet passed to her third daughter, Petronella Oortman, upon her death in 1707.45 Indeed, another elite collector whose dolls’ house no longer remains, Wendela Bicker, wife of the Dutch statesman Johan de Witt, also documented a fine miniature house in her account book over the 12-year period from 1655 to 1667, while raising two sons and six daughters.46 Significantly, she was also noted by contemporaries as an exemplary cleaner and huisvrouw.47 These houses clearly mattered to their female owners in both financial and personal terms. Sizeable sums were spent on the creation and decoration of the houses, with artwork and furniture commissioned from the major contemporary manufacturers and artists. Jet Pijzel-Dommisse observes that Oortman spent a total of some 20,000 to 30,000 guilders on her house. In 1743, Rothé’s notebooks show that she spent 1,700 guilders on her dolls’ houses at a time when her total income in the preceding year had amounted to approximately 8,000.48 Dolls’ houses held value among a family’s financial assets. Another collector, Bicker, carefully noted the depreciation of her dolls’ house in accounts books spanning a 12-year period.49 Dunois’s dolls’ house was listed as a separate but significant contribution to her dowry.50 As financial assets, the houses were significant to their owners, but these women appear to have taken a particular interest in their houses that suggests that they cannot be read as mere investments. La Court specified in her testament that her dolls’ house, along with two atlases and family portraits, was to remain in her family for at least three years after her death.51 Rothé kept meticulous notebooks about all her transactions, commissions, and renovations to the houses, and all the contracts and negotiations appear to have taken place directly with her, rather

46 47

Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, ‘t Is Poppe Goet en Anders Niet (Haarlem, 1980), p. 12. King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, pp. 104–5. Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 391. For an account of Bicker in the context of her family, including her correspondence with her husband, see Herbert Rowen, John de Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland, 1625– 1672 (Princeton, 1978). Her domestic prowess is noted p. 102 and elsewhere. 48 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 13. 49 Excerpts from these texts is provided in Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, pp. 391–2. 50 Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 30. 51 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 13. On Petronella de La Court’s dolls’ house in the context of her broader collection, see Melinda K. Vander Ploeg Fallon, ‘Petronella de La Court and Agneta Block: Experiencing collections in late seventeenth-century Amsterdam,’ Aurora: The Journal of the History of Art, 4 (2003): pp. 95–108. 44 45

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than her husband.52 The artist Jacob Appel was commissioned to depict Oortman’s house as a significant artwork in the family’s possession, an image now on display in the Rijksmuseum next to the dolls’ house it depicts (Figure 4.3).53 Female owners may have perhaps been keen to emphasize the economic significance of their houses, as an investment of symbolic and real capital value, to justify the large expenditure that they consumed in playing with them. Moreover, it seems that each cabinet house about which we can gather documentation was either explicitly requested by their female owners to be, or was in fact, passed down the female line to daughters, cousins, or nieces. Early modern Dutch dolls’ houses, at least, appear to have been considered a matrilineal inheritance.54 The use of wills by women to create and sustain networks of support has been explored by Martha C. Howell, as has women’s practice of passing books to female kin; however, we suggest that the transmission of dolls’ houses as economically significant as these is also worthy of note.55 This was true not simply of the luxurious dowry objects such as Dunois’s cabinet, handed down in the female line until 1934,56 but also of those dolls’ houses which were intended as children’s toys. Dolls’ houses, of all kinds it seems, were female objects. Jet PijzelDommisse, whose many works extensively study the extant Dutch dolls’ houses, has examined evidence of those less expensive varieties. These too reveal a similar transmission of dolls and furnishings through female hands.57 Possession of dolls’ houses, as objects of juvenile amusement or art cabinets, could be material statements of status and wealth, whether for male or female owners, and whether they were princely or burgher in origin. They could be heirlooms worthy of special attention in accounts, inventories, marriage contracts, and wills, and in the Dutch evidence, of a particularly matrilineal succession. For their female owners, dolls’ houses could constitute significant economic collateral transferred between families, but one whose purpose appeared first and foremost as an object of luxury enjoyment. The Gemeentemuseum holds Rothé’s 1743 notebook and an inventory. This notitieboekje and inventarisboekje have both been published in Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Poppenhuis van het Haags Gemeentemuseum (The Hague, 1988). The Frans Hals museum has another inventory made by Rothé of the miniature silver from the three dolls’ houses she bought at auction in 1743. This has been published in Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, pp. 393–6. 53 This image can be viewed on line at the Rijksmuseum website: http://www. rijksmuseum.nl/images/aria/sk/z/sk-a-4245.z. 54 Insufficient documentation remains to determine the specific heritage of the German houses, beyond those cases of princely possession (Susan Broomhall’s personal correspondence with Heidi A. Müller). 55 Martha C. Howell, ‘Fixing Movables: Gifts by testament in late medieval Douai,’ Past and Present, 150/3 (1996): pp. 3–45; on books, see the evidence for southern Frenchspeaking regions in Susan Broomhall, Women and the Book Trade in Sixteenth-Century France (Aldershot, 2002), Chapter 1. 56 Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 30. 57 Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, pp. 23–4. 52

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Fig. 4.3

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Jacob Appel, The doll’s house of Petronella Oortman, painting, c. 1710, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inventory number SK-A-4245. Photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Visions of the Household Dolls’ houses conveyed messages of status about their owners. In the hands of the elite Dutch women for whom we have documentation of their role in shaping and creating one phase of the life of the dolls’ house, what kinds of identities did their dolls’ houses reveal, and to whom were these directed? By comparison to the other contemporary examples, these Dutch dolls’ houses do not appear openly pedagogical, as was the model presented by Anna Köferlin; nor were they lavish propagandistic texts, such as Albrecht V’s ‘idealised princely court.’58 Design of dolls’ house space appears to have differed between these Dutch examples created by women and the Southern German models of the early modern period. Some of these distinctions may have reflected the urban and architectural contexts of the houses’ construction as well as (or rather more than) particular owners’ wishes. For example, none of the Dutch dolls’ houses had areas such as stables and coach-houses, which were a consistent feature of the German models, nor did they have the corresponding male servant dolls, such as ostlers. Some of Bryan, Material Culture in Miniature, p. 43.

58

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these different spatial dynamics were based on the practical realities of Dutch urban life, in which horse and carriage were perhaps less likely to be found in canal-based cities, and where the State taxed households containing male servants heavily and therefore created a highly feminized domestic service economy.59 Nonetheless, a comparison between the division of household space in the Southern German cabinet houses (Table 4.1) with that expressed in the contemporary Dutch houses (Table 4.2) reveals some other discernable trends that are less obviously attributable to reflections of local and practical realities. Table 4.1 Rooms Listed in Contemporary Southern German Dolls’ Houses Name and Date Albrecht V 1558

Basement

Ground

First

Second Chapel Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Sewing room Kitchen 2 Nursery

Stables Cattle byre Dairy Pantry Wine cellar Coach house

Bathroom Dressing room Kitchen Courtyard Garden

Ballroom Parlour State bedroom

1611 House

Servant Dining room Garden

Dining /Living room Hall Kitchen

Bedroom Upper landing area Nursery

Stromer House 1639

Stables Stableboy’s room Provisions store Perishables storeroom Night Nursery Nursery apartment Store room 1 Store room 2 Stables Courtyard Merchant’s office

Male bedroom Main hall Kitchen

Main bedroom Upper landing area Reception room

Kitchen Reception rooms Reception/ dining

Kitchen/dining Dining room Hall Main bedroom

Stables Ostler’s room Servant eating area Provisions store Servant bedroom

Reception room Hall Kitchen

Bäumler House Late seventeenth century Kress House Late seventeenth century

Main bedroom Upper landing Nursery

59 Paul Zumthor, Daily Life in Rembrandt’s Holland, trans. Simon Watson Taylor (New York, 1959), p. 135.

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Table 4.2 Rooms Listed in Dutch Dolls’ Houses Name and Date Petronella de la Court c. 1674

Ground

First

Kitchen Lying-in room Garden

Reception room Merchant’s office Hall

Petronella Dunois c. 1676 Petronella Oortman c. 1686– 1705 Sara Rothé, The Hague c. 1743

Cellar Kitchen Dining room Best kitchen Cookroom Reception room Lying-in room Garden Kitchen

Lying-in room Reception room

Sara Rothé, Haarlem c. 1743

Kitchen Hall Dining room

Reception room Hall Lying-in room Music room Hall Art collectors’ room Reception room Hall Doctor’s room

Second

Third

Store room Nursery Bedroom Art gallery Linen room Peat loft Linen room Nursery Linen room Peat loft Nursery Curio room Linen room Nursery Music room Reception room Lying-in room

Laundry Storage area Nursery

From the tabulation of the rooms included in dolls’ houses at Tables 4.1 and 4.2, several features of significance are apparent. While each house contained a nursery room, all the female-owned Dutch houses also contained a specific lyingin room separate from the main bedroom, and each had a linen or laundry room. The appearance of the lying-in rooms as such a consistent feature of the Dutch cabinets has been documented as a unique trait of these houses in comparison to contemporary German models or indeed the later British examples.60 It is, furthermore, unusual because the contemporary evidence suggests that families typically created a lying-in room when the need arose, converting one of the warmest and most suitable rooms for public entertaining. The room was prepared as a visual spectacle of decoration intended for lavish receptions held in celebration of the new mother and child. Literature discussing the preparations and appropriate sumptuary decorations of such a space had a long history by the early modern period, and can be documented in women’s writings at least as far back as the fifteenth-century manual prepared for the Burgundian court by Eleanor of Poitiers, which we explored in Chapter 1. Was this, then, a particularly female view of the domestic sphere, captured in its moment of most jubilant celebration for the mistress of the household? It can be argued that female owners signified their awareness of the importance of their maternal role, particularly for the creation of domesticity, through the inclusion of lying-in rooms. In doing so, the Dutch houses thus created a particularity of time and atmosphere in the household as well as space. Pijzel-Dommisse, Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis, p. 61.

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The consistent presence of the linen room and laundry equipment in the Dutch dolls’ houses is equally noteworthy. Wealthy houses sent out their linen to be washed and bleached, and it was then returned to the house for drying and ironing. Often this might be undertaken as little as once a year, with maids hired specifically to carry out the household part of the laundry process. The less frequently the task was performed, the wealthier one was, since it required a more extensive stock of linen as it was progressively soiled through the year.61 Whereas art galleries and music rooms were rooms that signified wealth in contemporary Dutch patrician homes, in their dolls’ houses, women also added linen rooms as a particularly female view of luxury. Here, the extent and quality of the fabrics in the linen cabinet mattered in much the same way as their kitchens did in displaying a wealth of pewter and copper pots. Foreign travellers frequently noted the particular Dutch fixation on household cleanliness.62 Dutch women were instructed in both art and print that the cleanliness of their household was crucial to the continued moral order of the Calvinist state. By highlighting the presence of a household function which, like the lying-in ceremony, occurred as rarely as once a year, female owners were acknowledging social expectations about good order in the household, as well as demonstrating a utopian vision of domesticity. Dolls’ houses were a space of public display for all their owners, but the visions of the household that were offered to the viewer differed by social status and gender of their owners and organizers. Certainly the women who held the Dutch cabinets presented a luxurious vision of elite urban life. Sara Rothé’s merchant husband may have been a wealthy collector of objets d’art, but the couple was not wealthy enough to include a porcelain display room in their own home as their dolls’ house did.63 Yet luxury in dolls’ houses, we would argue, was genderspecific. In Albrecht’s cabinet, a lion and lioness inhabited the courtyard garden.64 His vision was clearly sumptuous, denoting extravagant courtly splendour. For both the German and the Dutch examples intended for girls or female owners, luxury was domestic in orientation, commonly constituted by well-appointed kitchens and extensive stocks of linen. Beyond the presence of specific rooms in the Dutch dolls’ houses that do not appear in the contemporary German cabinets, we suggest that there were also distinctions amongst the objects to be found within the dolls’ houses. Albrecht’s cabinet, for example, lacked logic in details of rooms that were not part of his personal realm. The second kitchen adjoining the nursery on the upper level was described as having an extravagant spit roast deer that was unlikely to be the kind of food needed for the nursery next door.65 By contrast, Petronella Oortman’s King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, p. 116. See, for example, the accounts reproduced in Zumthor, Daily Life in Rembrandt’s

61 62

Holland, pp. 136–7. 63 Valerie Jackson Douet, ‘An Eighteenth Century Dutch Dollhouse,’ Antiques, 146/1 (1994): pp. 86–93, see p. 93, note 8. 64 Bryan, Material Culture in Miniature, p. 54. 65 King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, p. 32.

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house made provisions for the sleeping arrangements of maidservants and nursery staff, even providing different fabrics for each of the maid’s beds. Each servant’s bedroom was carefully furnished with its own chair and chamberpot.66 Apart from the array of baby and cleaning-oriented objects contained in the Dutch houses, the presence of foot-warmers is particularly interesting. These were a specifically female item in a culture where women traditionally sat furthest away from the fire.67 Dutch women’s dolls’ houses thus contained objects that showed careful awareness of a female perspective on the household. Moreover, there were sexual and moral ambiguities in a number of the early German dolls’ houses that were completely absent from those organized by the Dutch women. For example, in the house of Albrecht V, the 1598 inventory noted that the bathroom contained dolls representing the housekeeper and her three daughters bathing.68 There are no records of Dutch houses with dolls shown in states of undress or in potentially compromising positions, even where their houses contained washrooms and toilets. Neither were the images in the artwork within the Dutch dolls’ houses morally ambiguous. By contrast, one of the earliest extant Nuremberg houses, the 1611 cabinet now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, contains a frescoed scene of a garden whose amorous tone is quite different from the artistic decoration of the Dutch houses. Here, couples kiss and fondle one another as they enjoy an outdoor meal, while a nun is escorted into the distance by a monk.69 The earthy tone of these German houses, as well as the greater range of male domestic servants and objects such as armoury, seems to show some intent to appeal to an adult viewing audience (one indicated by Anna Köferlin in her pamphlet) even if the ‘end consumer’ was expected to be the daughter of a patrician family. This unusual mixture of edification and bawdiness is absent in the later female-organized dolls’ houses in the Dutch Republic.70 Both social status and gender clearly affected decisions about the size, proportion, furnishings, and particularities of the houses. Most owners did not have room for a menagerie of animals in their dolls’ houses as did Albrecht, but signalled wealth in terms understood by their burgher status, such as provisions, artwork, and furnishings; and some even allocated space for servants’ eating, working, and sleeping. In particular, the Dutch women who owned dolls’ houses seem to have paid particular attention to the organization of household space in ways that expressed their relationship, knowledge, and expectations about their role as ‘good housewives’ and their responsibilities for cleanliness and reproduction. 68 69 70

Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 10. King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, p. 122. Bryan, Material Culture in Miniature, p. 52. King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, pp. 44–5. Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips provide a provoking view of how erotic images were viewed in seventeenth-century Dutch elite culture in their chapter, ‘Erotic Images in the Domestic Interior: Cultural ideals and social practices,’ in Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and people in historical perspective (New Haven, 2003), pp. 139–59, although they do not address the notion of women commissioning such work. 66 67

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Female Owners of Luxury Toys It seems clear that the Dutch dolls’ houses were important objects of amusement and entertainment to their female owners, but in what ways were they enjoyed? How did these women reconcile their full-time duties to the household with the reality that they spent time and resources devoted to toys? In fact, female dolls’ house owners acknowledged the importance of their domestic responsibilities within the very objects that distracted them from these duties. Women were aware of the conventional didactic role of dolls’ houses for young children and even played on this within their cabinets. Within Sara Rothé’s Haarlem house, for example, a scroll once to be found in the lying-in room reveals a poem from the popular emblem book, Emblemata of Sinne-werck by moralist Johan de Brune (first published in Amsterdam, 1624). The emblematic genre was highly popular in the Dutch Republic, particularly used by didactic authors such as Cats and de Brune. Early modern Dutch elite culture was highly literate in its symbols and motifs, so it seems likely that Rothé’s reference to one of the foundational works of the Dutch tradition was a deliberate intellectual pun on the potential of the dolls’ house to be both mirror and emblem. Moreover, the choice of the particular emblem from the Emblemata is intriguing.71 The illustration in the original text shows a child discarding a doll, and the accompanying text reminds the reader of the fickleness of human nature, where a child’s plaything could be loved passionately but quickly cast aside.72 All that one sees on earth Is doll’s stuff and nothing else. Man, whatever he thinks about He enjoys like a child He loves for a short time, That which he easily throws away later, Such is man, as one can see Not just once, but always a child.73

71 It was added to the second edition of de Brune’s work, published in 1636, and is not clearly established by his modern editor P.J. Meertens as de Brune’s own work, although Rothé may not have been aware of this. See Johan de Brune, Emblemata of Zinne-werck, ed. P.J. Meertens (Soest, 1970), p. 3, note 4. 72 An illustration of this emblem can be found in Annemarieke Willemsen, ‘KinderSpel en Poppe-Goet: 17de-eeuwse miniatuur – gebruiksvoorwerpen en hun functie,’ Antiek, 28 (1993–1994): pp. 392–9, see p. 397, Figure 5. 73 The text of Rothé’s scroll is reproduced in Pijzel-Dommisse, ‘t Is Poppe Goet en Anders Niet, pp. 9–10. ‘Al wat men hier op Aerden siet/ Is poppe goet en anders niet/ De mensch, al wat hij daar van vint/ Die speelter mee, gelijk een Kint/ Hij heeft het Lief een Korten tijt/ Dat hij daar naar Licht van hem smijt/ Zoo is de mensch dans als men vindt/ Niet tweemals, maar altijds een Kindt.’

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Rothé’s inclusion of the poem in her house suggested an intent not only to use the dolls’ house as a site for moral instruction, but also to play with the meaning of the dolls’ house as a poppe-goed itself. The poem signalled the house’s capacity both to reflect and to reconfigure contemporary society, whose concerns were often as transient and inconsequential as a child’s whim for a toy. However, the inclusion of this poem also suggested that Rothé’s dolls’ house could be defended as a retreat to the simple pleasures of childhood, giving it a harmless charm. This belied the significant evidence that indicates that dolls’ houses were not, for any of these women, a mere childish whim to be abandoned at a moment’s notice. Indeed, these were labours of love. It is worth observing that Rothé’s key message summarizing the dolls’ house’s value as both moral emblem and mere plaything should be found in the household space that held so much meaning to women: the lying-in room. Evidently, there was significant personal investment in these houses. In aspects of furnishing where women might have been expected to draw upon their own sewing and embroidery skills, so they did in their dolls’ houses. Petronella Dunois’s sheets in the linen room were embroidered with her monogram,74 and a pincushion displays her initials and the date 1676 (the year before her marriage).75 The initials of Petronella Oortman and her husband were intertwined on the coverlet on the lying-in bed, as well as on the napkins.76 This suggests that women felt a high degree of personal investment in the houses as well as the enjoyment that came from their involvement in the creation of its furnishings. In addition, it also diffused any potential criticisms that both collecting frivolous art objects, and the time spent in the make-believe world of the cabinet house, were inappropriate for elite women – criticisms unlikely to be have been levelled at Albrecht or male art collectors with curio cabinets in Germany and the Dutch Republic. Indeed, these women pre-empted such criticisms by demonstrating their household skills in the very works that drew them away from concentration on their domestic duties. Women sometimes also worked together to produce the domestic furnishings of the dolls’ houses. In doing so, they promoted harmonious female collaboration of a kind that contemporaries would have lauded. Sara Rothé’s notebook about her Hague house recorded that she had made the bed-hangings and coverlets for the lying-in room, the room with which she was most particularly occupied, with the help of her dressmaker Johanna.77 The Spanish rug under the tea table was made with Johanna, she noted,78 and Rothé and her cousin, the widow Hoogehuisje, had King, The Collector’s History of Dollhouses, p. 116. Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 30,

74

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figure b. 76 Ibid., p. 8, Figure b. 77 ‘De ses buitje valletjes om het ledicantje en de geboorduerde witte sattijne sprij die daar leijjt, heb iik genaaijt, en Johanna heeft daar ook 5 daage aan genaaijt à 6 st. daags,’ in Pijzel-Dommisse (ed.), Het Poppenhuis van het Haags Gemeentemuseum, p. 65. 78 ‘Op de vloer van de kraamkaamer leijt een genaaijde Spaanse mat, die ik selfs geteekent en ten deelen genaaijt heb; ik heb voor de sij en de daagen die Johanna daaraan genaijt hat betaalt,’ in ibid., p. 69.

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made the clothes for the doll that was probably considered the most important in her house: the mother in the lying-in room.79 Here, women contributed their sewing skills in the accomplishment of a shared domestic task, just as they might have done for the preparation of a lying-in room in real life. And, just as women would visit to discuss the health and progress of the newly born infant, Rothé, her cousin, and her dressmaker could attend to the progress of, and offer gifts for, Rothé’s ‘infant,’ the dolls’ house. Even the physical space within which the dolls’ houses were exhibited could be shared with other female domestic responsibilities. Most of the cabinets that contained dolls’ houses were based on the design for linen and clothing cupboards. The similarity between the cabinet that held Petronella Dunois’s dolls’ house and the miniature linen cabinet inside the dolls’ house is striking.80 Sometimes dolls’ houses and linen occupied one and the same cabinet. When Sara Rothé commissioned a cabinet to house her first Hague collection of dolls and rooms, she requested that the design also incorporate room for her own gloves, handkerchiefs, and lace collars.81 In such ways, the real and the imagined worlds of the household jostled for ‘performance space.’ Luxury toys about domestic duties recalled the early modern Dutch didactic and moral literature about childhood which saw elements of play as opportunities for learning. As conduct manuals such as those by Cats or de Brune demonstrated, Calvinist moral texts emphasized a kind of tension between the free will of childhood and the need to learn obedience.82 In the hands of female owners, dolls’ houses might be read as the struggle of elite women to manage these very same contradictory interests. They desired an expression of free will and escape into childhood concerns, but they knew that they were required to be obedient to husbands and attendant to household responsibilities. Making Movables Permanent Beyond the cabinet itself, we argue that notebooks and inventories composed by the female owners could preserve the memory of the fictive household even after its dispersal or re-creation by a new owner. Dolls’ houses existed in the textual and visual, as well as material, realm. Appel’s painting of Oortman’s cabinet house of c. 1710 offers a curious play on the notion of representing the household 79 ‘In deese kaamer sit op een stoeltje een poppetje, dat een kraamvrouwtje verbeelt met een blaauwe japon en een schouwermanteltje om, dit is door nigt Hoogehuisje en mij gekleet,’; ‘ik heb van was klijne poppekanneelkoekjes gemaakt en die in dit boovestaande trommeltje gedaan en dit en de kraamkamer geset,’ in ibid., pp. 69 and 64. 80 Pijzel-Dommisse, The 17th-Century Dolls’ Houses of the Rijksmuseum, p. 41, Figure c. 81 Shirley Glubok, ‘Glimpses of Holland’s Golden Age,’ The Connoisseur, 214 (1984): pp. 112–18, see p. 116. 82 Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, pp. 502–3.

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being represented (Figure 4.3). It not only recorded a significant economic asset belonging to the family, but also showed the house populated not by dolls but by living people. Thus, the dolls’ house through its representation in oil paint on canvas was at once preserved as an historic artefact and came to life as a dynamic, living entity. Moreover, the cabinet was clearly shown to be set within a physical space, so that the viewer was reminded that Appel’s dolls’ house was not a dislocated artistic work about a household, but was itself also situated within the ‘real’ household of Oortman’s own home. Just as Rothé, in her selection of the de Brune emblem, reminded the viewer of the ephemeral yet material dolls’ house which reflected and rejected the transience of human nature and the world, so too Oortman offered a complex vision of the house within that structured and deconstructed the household beyond. In further, less public, ways, other female owners also preserved the everchanging interiors of their houses at a given historical moment. Many of the dolls’ houses were meticulously inventoried. Several women, like Wendela Bicker, compiled careful accounts and inventories about the art investments that their houses represented. Sara Rothé’s notebooks listed the contents of her houses as she commissioned, added, or moved objects between rooms. Significantly, she embedded herself in the text of the notebook, now held in the Gemeentemuseum, using the personal pronoun as a journal of her contribution to the dolls’ houses’ artistic life. The text documented the occasions when she had actually carried out the embroidery or painting herself: ‘that I embroidered myself,’ she proudly wrote of one contribution to the lying-in room.83 Importantly, it was this room that deserved her particular attention, with bed-hangings, coverlets, rugs, and the landscape on the tea table in the lying-in room all of her own creation. Sara Rothé’s written texts about the cabinets testify not only to the significance of her personal contribution in the creation of the dolls’ houses, but also to the significance of the dolls’ houses in her perception of her own identity. In every sense they were intertwined and interdependent. By writing about the dolls’ houses, Rothé gave the cabinets more than a passing and material presence, they also gained a sense of permanence and material history. In conclusion, if we accept that dolls’ houses could provide a miniaturized forum in which to create a utopian, controlled version of the household space and its domesticity, what, then, can we conclude about the individual identities represented through the medium of the dolls’ houses, their notebooks and images, and identities and ideas about household space and relationships? It seems clear that women, like men, used the cabinet houses as a way of signalling (or inflating) their wealth and prestige, through the very existence of the cabinet, but also through its luxurious appointment and feature rooms such as art and porcelain galleries. Dutch women’s dolls’ houses demonstrate ways in which the quantity and quality of those furnishings could be used as signs of the family’s grandeur, particularly 83 ‘dat ik selfs met pintjes geplakt heb,’ Pijzel-Dommisse (ed.), Het poppenhuis van het Haags Gemeentemuseum, p. 65.

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through linen and kitchenware. In many ways, their houses appear to present little more than the conventional values of their era reflected in early modern Dutch artworks and prints, with their emphasis placed on the maternal, childbearing, and cleaning roles of the mistress of the house and her staff. At first glance, they may appear to indicate just how limited the aspirations of their female owners were. Dolls’ houses may seem to be, for owners like Rothé or Dunois, little more than infant-substitutes for childless women. However, such an analysis obscures an important feature of female-owned houses – the very fact that women created, collected, enjoyed, and transmitted them to future generations of women. Rudolf Dekker has observed how few conventional ego-documents by medieval and early modern Dutchwomen are extant to provide us with a sense of women’s self-image.84 Given the rich investment of energy and identity they demonstrate, perhaps we can add dolls’ houses and their surrounding documentation as another form of ego-document which women could create as a testament to their interests and sense of self for their own era and for future generations. Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett has argued that objects gain their meaning for contemporary societies ‘not from the original context of the fragments but from their juxtaposition in a new context.’85 Through their association with seventeenth-century paintings, these dolls’ houses are typically rendered little more than mirrors of domestic life, lacking an analysis that could speak to their full range of meanings as voices for women in early modern times. Female owners teased viewers of the dolls’ houses with their perceptive acknowledgement in various guises of the contradictory forces of desire for childish amusement on the one hand and recognition of mature responsibilities on the other, and of the contradictory nature of the dolls’ house as both an insignificant object of play and an evocative mirror of human nature. And perhaps more significantly than the ideals they convey within them, the Dutch dolls’ houses attest to the rare opportunity for the adult mistress of an early modern Dutch townhouse to create an object of play, to take time away from everyday domestic tasks, and to escape into a utopian world. For here was a world of fantasy, where the house was always clean under the attention of the maids, disciplined children played under the care of a orderly nanny, friends and neighbours enjoyed tea and conversation whilst paying their respects to the new mother, and the master of the house was rarely to be seen.

84 Rudolf Dekker, ‘Getting to the Source: Women in the medieval and early modern Netherlands,’ Journal of Women’s History, 10 (1998): pp. 165–88, p. 176. 85 Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Destination Culture: Tourism, museums and heritage (Berkeley, 1998), p. 3.

Chapter 5

The Rembrandt House and the Rubens House: Encountering Early Modern Women through Heritage Sites Amsterdam contains one of the most famous historical houses in the world: the building where Anne Frank lived in secret from 1942 to 1944. Unusually for a historical monument, this house does not glorify a man, but celebrates the life of an adolescent girl. If we turn to the early modern period, where might tourists encounter similar domestic spaces that document women’s experiences? In this chapter we analyse two parallel examples from the Southern and Northern Low Countries: the houses of the internationally renowned artists Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1649) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69). These houses have not previously been analysed by scholars as sources that produce historical narratives about women in their presentation as heritage sites. In some ways, these houses are like the dolls’ houses we considered in the previous chapter: they are museum objects on a grand scale; ones which can act as influential interpretive texts for historic women’s life experiences in museological contexts. We interrogate how these houses offer visitors interpretations not just of their male namesakes, but also of the women who were associated with them, and who today are also recognizable names and faces from the period. Here we examine the women personally connected to Rembrandt and Rubens, and how they are presented in environments in which the domestic and the professional overlap. We first identify the key characters and iconographic issues, and then analyse how women’s experiences are imaginatively represented through and in particular locations. Although historic homes have been examined by scholars of heritage and tourism, their readings have generally prioritized the presentation of national identity in such sites. Their scholarship has also focussed Aspects of the material on Rembrandt presented in this chapter have already appeared in Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks, ‘Finding Rembrandt? Place, history, experience and the individual,’ Dutch Crossing: A Journal of Low Countries Studies, 33/1 (2009): pp. 6–22.  Mónica Risnicoff de Gorgas, for example, writes of how ‘the highly symbolic value of historic house museums has led to their being used by different ideologies as simplified messages portraying cultural identity.’ See Mónica Risnicoff de Gorgas, ‘Reality as Illusion, the Historic Houses that Become Museums,’ in Bettina Messias Carbonell (ed.), Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts (Oxford, 2004), pp. 356–61, p. 358. 

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on a range of theoretical and methodological considerations such as how the apprehension of the past is altered by heritage reconstructions, and how different institutions prioritize different historical periods. In this chapter, these two houses are analysed for the first time in terms of firstly, their use as a source for historical interpretations, and secondly, the implications of this use for presentations of women. We draw upon insights from history, heritage, and tourism scholarship to develop our analysis of sources which include the presentation of each site, its interpretive signage, and the wide range of associated printed and audio materials produced for visitors. We analyse how these homes have been seen by curators as offering different possibilities as source texts and as such present different ways in which heritage narratives can include women. The Rembrandt House, for example, embeds historic women directly into its interpretations, perhaps even more so than is the case in Rembrandt’s art, where his turbulent personal life is presented primarily through his relationships with women. By contrast, the presentation of Rubens’s home in Antwerp employs many visual images of women that cumulatively develop a narrative of domestic concord and harmony in the body politic at large. Individual women, especially elite patrons, function in this interpretation to emphasize Rubens’s status. A wealth of art historical scholarship from the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries has shaped Rembrandt’s status as an important part of the collective heritage and national identity of the Netherlands. Exhibitions that feature his name guarantee international as well as local interest, and continue to explicitly engage with the interpretation of Rembrandt’s identity and uniqueness, as in Rembrandt: Quest for a genius. Even as recent academic scholarship has become more critical of the tendency to view historical periods through a small number of towering geniuses, these figures have not been marginalized, but instead studied in new, increasingly contextualized ways. A figure of the Golden Age of Dutch culture, representative of its artistic apogee, Rembrandt has often been used as a lens through which the Netherlands as a nation and a place can be understood. The details of these materials are footnoted at relevant points throughout the



chapter.

 The year 2006 was the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth, and it is unsurprising that there were many new scholarly, popular, and touristic interpretations of the man presented to the public. Our discussion of the Rubens and Rembrandt Houses in this chapter deliberately draws primarily upon popular publications and audio guides prepared for tourists, as we seek to analyse their presentation of the houses and personalities attached to them. We use scholarly publications on Rembrandt and Rubens where needed to corroborate or amplify particular issues.  See Ernst van de Wetering et al., Rembrandt: Quest for a genius, exhibition catalogue (Zwolle and Amsterdam, 2006).  See, as recent examples, Mariët Westermann, Art and Home: Dutch interiors in the age of Rembrandt, exhibition catalogue (Zwolle, 2001); and Penelope Hunter-Stiebel (ed.), Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art: Treasures from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, exhibition catalogue (Oregon, 2007).

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This notion was never expressed more clearly than by historian Johan Huizinga: ‘One understands Rembrandt from the Netherlands, and the Netherlands from Rembrandt.’ Similarly, Antwerp-based Rubens has been a critical part of Belgian identity, with festivals celebrating the artist created as early as 1840, just ten years after the country had gained its independence. Indeed, such is the recognition of Rubens’s name that the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brussels provides special signage directing visitors directly to his work within the museum. The Rubens House presentation is governed primarily therefore by an understanding of Rubens as, in the words of Frans Baudouin, art historian and honorary curator of the Rubens House, ‘not only one of the most prominent representatives of the art of his day, the Baroque, but also one of the most productive and brilliant artists who ever lived.’ Indeed Rubens was nominated ‘most popular Fleming’ by readers of a Belgian newspaper as recently as 2002.10 Artist, scholar, and diplomat, the entrepreneurial Rubens negotiating European politics in a sophisticated, intelligent and successful way is also the exemplary citizen of modern Belgium, carefully balancing an array of cultures in the pan-European negotiation, exchange, and unity that has Brussels at its centre. Encountering Heritage Houses The respective houses of Rubens and Rembrandt are significant for Belgian and Dutch international tourism. Independent commercial city guides aimed at English-speaking tourists present the Rubens House as second only in importance to Antwerp’s major art museum, the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. In the most recent Eyewitness guide to Brussels and other Belgian cities, a doublepage spread on the Rubens House includes a three-dimensional cut-away of the house. Two women are mentioned alongside several references to male artists. The Archduchess Isabella, with her husband Albert, is said to have been entertained by Rubens in the large studio. A photograph of the bedroom notes that: ‘The Rubens family lived in the Flemish section of his former home, with its small rooms and narrow passages. The portrait by the bed is said to be of Rubens’s second wife, Helena Fourment.’11 The Rembrandt House is given a relatively small entry in the comparable Eyewitness guide to the Netherlands, which covers a larger range of  Cited in Eddy de Jongh, ‘Bourgeois, Proletarian or Ideal Aryan: The malleability of a culture symbol,’ Rembrandt: 1606–1669 [M: NRC Handelsblad Special Issue (2006)], p. 62.  Véronique Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House in Antwerp, trans. Ted Alkins (Amsterdam and Ghent, 2004), p. 5. Svetlana Alpers, The Making of Rubens (New Haven, 1995), considers Rubens in terms of national identity.  Frans Baudouin, ‘Foreword,’ in Irene Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, trans. Peter Mason (Amsterdam and Ghent, 2004), p. 3. 10 Patrick de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp. Walking Tour, trans. Irene Schaudies (Antwerp, 2004), p. 19. 11 Eyewitness Travel: Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp (London, 2009), pp. 102–3.

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historical attractions for visitors to the city of Amsterdam. The entry shows a selfportrait engraving of Rembrandt with Saskia, and comments that the artist lived in the ground-floor rooms with Saskia, who died in the house in 1642.12 These presentations reflect the status and market share of cultural and heritage tourism within the broader tourism market of these nations.13 Nonetheless, whether they are mentioned as first-stop tourist sites or as one of many possible attractions, we suggest that not only the artists but also ‘their’ women are critical to the interest that these sites are expected to hold for visitors. Both houses have played an important role in national heritage and ideas about national identity. The establishment of the Rubens House (Figure 5.1) has formed part of contested notions of Belgium’s national heritage. The monument was mostly rebuilt in the middle of World War Two, as German authorities considered Rubens ‘one of them’ because he was born in Siegen, Westphalia. However, the site was culturally reclaimed in the immediate post-war period and officially opened on 21 July 1946, the day of the Belgian National Holiday.14 At the time of Rembrandt’s 300th anniversary in 1906, his former house was bought from private owners and turned into the newly formed Rembrandt House Trust. The trustees’ intention, as stated in 1907, was to return the house ‘to the state in which it may be deemed to have been when it was lived in by the painter Rembrandt van Rijn.’15 This was controversial. One member of the board, the painter and critic Jan Veth, expressed an opposing view that ‘Rembrandt should be allowed to speak for himself.’ He argued instead that the building should house an art gallery for Rembrandt’s works. Until 1998, this view prevailed.16 As Gary Schwartz observes, architect K.P.C. de Bazel created what can be aptly described as an ‘homage’ to Rembrandt.17 However, in May 1998 a new modern museum wing opened next door, providing a home for the works on paper and a range of paintings by Rembrandt and his contemporaries (Figure 5.2). This presents visitors with a distinctive contrast between the resolutely modern exhibition space for his and his contemporaries’ artworks and the old-world feel of the living spaces (which they can read as both (or either) representing an ahistorical domestic life and a true-to-life early modern building). A decision was then taken to reconstruct the old rooms, ‘founded on the conviction that, in an age where the sense of history seems to be disappearing in large parts of society, historic monuments are an evocative way of keeping our ties with the past alive.’18 A sense of the loss of history and of cultural roots as a driving force of modern society’s approach to tourism has been widely noted 12 Eyewitness Travel: The Netherlands (London, 2008), p. 78, and for the building facade see p. 65. 13 This issue is explored in the Introduction. 14 de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, p. 26. 15 Fieke Tissink, The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam, trans. Lynne Richards (Ghent, 2005), p. 21. 16 Ibid. 17 Gary Schwartz, Rembrandt’s Universe: His art, his life, his world (London, 2006), p. 131. 18 Director Ed de Heer, ‘Foreword,’ in Tissink, The Rembrandt House Museum, p. 5.

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Fig. 5.1 Rubens House, Antwerp, with the original Flemish section to the left, the Italianate addition to the right, and the gift shop in the foreground. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks. in the literature on heritage, although more recent studies have suggested that manifestations of the past have in fact consistently played a major role in the creation of cultural tourism.19 Certainly, relationships between past and present have been primarily mediated through institutions like the Rembrandt and Rubens Houses, and the decisions made by their patrons, staff, and boards of management, in response to both political and audience pressures. Discussion of curatorial practices in literature designed for tourists generally focuses, however, on accuracy derived from the utilization of historic sources. The notary’s inventory of Rembrandt’s house, taken in 1656 when he was declared bankrupt, as well as archaeological investigations of the site, have been used to provide data on the placement of objects in the house, and thus to support ideas about activities in the various rooms. These sources are cited in tourist literature as 19 David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985); Patrick Wright, On Living In An Old Country: The national past in contemporary Britain (London, 1985); Robert Hewison, The Heritage Industry: Britain in a climate of decline (London, 1987); Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Destination Culture: Tourism, museums and heritage (Berkeley, 1998); David Cannadine (ed.), History and the Media (Houndmills, 2004); and Greg Richards, ‘Production and Consumption of European Cultural Tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 261–83.

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Fig. 5.2 Rembrandt House, Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam. evidence for the accuracy with which his life can be constructed in the Rembrandt House. The Amsterdam city guide, for example, assures tourists who ‘really want to get to know Rembrandt’ that the reconstruction is based on accurate evidence of the inventory ‘which is how we know what Rembrandt’s house looked like.’20 In addition, Rembrandt’s own images about places have also become an important resource in the reconstruction process. For visitors, these provide a more tangible piece of evidence to compare past to present construction. For example, the visitor is told that Rembrandt’s c. 1642 drawing Saskia in bed was an important source of information for the salon, where one’s most expensive possession, the bed, was kept.21 ‘A drawing by Rembrandt shows us what the room looked like in his day: his wife Saskia is lying in it.’22 Similarly, Rembrandt’s Groote Schildercaemer has been reconstructed with the assistance of Rembrandt’s studio with a model,

20 ATCB (Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board), Rembrandt 400: Amsterdam 2006 (Hilversum, 2006), p. 21. 21 Tissink, The Rembrandt House Museum, p. 42. 22 Ibid., p. 41.

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c. 1655.23 There seems a kind of circularity by which tourists are asked to accept Rembrandt’s pictures of his home as historical evidence by which his home has been created, a visit to which will assist visitors in contextualizing the images he produced. While this may be problematic for scholars seeking independent evidence for authenticity, within tourist discourse Rembrandt’s art serves as an accessible and immediate form of historical evidence. For the Rubens House, in contrast to the material contextualizing and underpinning the Rembrandt House, the tourist literature does not emphasize historical accuracy but points instead to the inevitable gaps in the 1940s restorers’ knowledge of the original appearance of the home.24 ‘They did not aspire, however, to total historical accuracy, seeking instead to achieve an atmospheric evocation of Rubens’s living and working environment.’25 The small visitors’ leaflet is also explicit about the degree of creative reinterpretation in the current presentation: ‘When the municipality of Antwerp acquired the property in 1937, it was in need of a full restoration. In 1946, Rubens’s former home was opened to the public as a museum. Today, the portico and the garden pavilion are the only authentic remnants of the seventeenth-century complex.’26 This lack of insistence on the veracity of the reconstruction has two implications: visitors are directed towards artworks as forms of evidence for historical understanding, and are asked to take greater imaginative share in the experience. Tourist literature for both homes encourages visitors to ‘sense’ the presence of the great masters, their domestic companions, and the historical period more generally through encounters with their homes. ‘A visit to the Rembrandt House is a must for anyone who wants to meet the real Rembrandt. Nowhere else can you get so close to the most illustrious painter of the Golden Age.’27 There is no sense in which such interpretations should be replicable or verifiable, simply personally authentic or ‘real.’28 An illustrated pamphlet introducing the Rubens House to the visitor opens with the suggestions that an artist’s house is more than a home. Of course, the artist has lived, worked, celebrated and grieved under this roof with his family. But in a corner of the studio, in a glimpse of the garden or a shaft of light entering the room near the fireplace, something of the inspiration the artist found there lingers on.29

Ibid., p. 52. Although, since its re-opening, the Rubens House has had a close relationship with

23 24

the intensive program of scholarly research and publication conducted by the associated Rubenianum Institute. 25 Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House, p. 14. 26 Ben van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights (Antwerp, 2008), no pagination. 27 Ibid, inside cover. 28 On the issue of authenticity, see Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks, ‘Interpreting Place and Past in Narratives of Dutch Heritage Tourism,’ Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, 14/2 (2010): pp. 267–85. 29 Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, no pagination.

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Women feature prominently in the imagery used in this pamphlet, which is freely distributed and reproduces artworks drawn from items in the collection: Rubens’s second wife Helena Fourment; an Annunciation cropped onto Mary; Eve; and the Infanta Isabella. The curation of both these houses is critical to the construction of narratives about and meanings of the past. Yet both sites obscure the role of contemporary curation in meaning-making and instead insist upon their historic grounding, or privilege immersion and personal experience over an expository mode of display. This emphasis on an immersive, subjective mode of encountering the past employs the visitor’s own mind and body to animate the historic spaces, reflecting Kate Gregory and Andrea Witcomb’s observation that ‘heritage sites might be thought of as possible worlds which work through affective corporeal and imaginative engagement to develop historical understanding.’30 Tourism theorists have suggested that affective and bodily experiences are key to tourists’ understanding, of the host and their own cultures, as well as of themselves.31 As David Crouch has argued, ‘Tourism is a practice of ontological knowledge, an encounter with space that is both social and incorporates an embodied “feeling of doing”.’32 Academic historical studies tend to draw upon the verifiable data of archives, art, and archaeology about Rembrandt’s and Rubens’s living places to determine a shared scholarly interpretation of their characters and personalities. Tourist literature about historic sites such as the homes of Rembrandt and Rubens, by contrast, calls upon the traveller’s imagination, emotions, and bodily sensations to suggest that contemporary individual encounters with these places can act as a form of evidence for perceiving one’s own narrative of the past. It uses the embodied experience of these places to encourage the visitor to find a personal interpretation of an artist or other historical figure in the site; an interior journey of sorts embedded within their own larger travel narrative.

30 Kate Gregory and Andrea Witcomb, ‘Beyond Nostalgia: The role of affect in generating historical understanding at heritage sites,’ in Simon J. Knell, Suzanne MacLeod, and Sheila Watson (eds), Museum Revolutions: How museums changed and are changing (London, 2007), pp. 261–75, see p. 265. 31 R. Prentice, ‘Experiential Cultural Tourism: Museums and the marketing of the new romanticism of evoked authenticity,’ Museum Management and Curatorship, 19 (2001): pp. 5–26, see p. 8; also Alison J. McIntosh, ‘Into the Tourist’s Mind: Understanding the value of the heritage experience,’ Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 8 (1999): pp. 41–64. 32 David Crouch, ‘Surrounded by Place: Embodied encounters,’ in Simon Coleman and Mike Crang (eds), Tourism: Between place and performance (New York, 2002), pp. 207–18; see p. 211.

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Domestic Relationships: The Artists and the Women in Their Households The well-known figures of Rubens and Rembrandt are larger-than-life characters with compelling and frequently re-told personal stories that involve a cast of family members whom they regularly painted. These visual, familial networks are crucial to modern-day, non-specialist understandings of the artists and their work. That ‘their’ women are central to understanding these artists is almost a truism of contemporary representations of these artists intended for a wide public. One example is a new Australian opera by Andrew Ford and Sue Smith, Rembrandt’s Wife, which portrays Rembrandt’s artistic and personal struggles entirely in terms of his relationship with women, notably his bitter, failed relationship with Geertje Dircx and transition to a new relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels; the whole drama inflected with Rembrandt’s sorrow over the death of his first wife Saskia van Uylenburgh.33 In Peter Greenaway’s 2006 film Nightwatching, Rembrandt’s interaction with the women in his life are equally vital to the plot, not least because the film proposes that Rembrandt painted his most famous work, The Night Watch, because his pregnant wife Saskia insisted that he take the commission. Again, the narrative turns around his relationships with women: the ‘treacherous mistress’ Geertje Dircx, and the last ‘sentimental relationship’ with Hendrickje Stoffels.34 Rubens’s more peaceful adult life is perhaps less suited to such dramatizations, even though women are also part of how he is understood, as we explore further below. Pamphlets, booklets, and maps are all made available to tourists visiting Amsterdam and Antwerp, and guides, information panels, and audio guides are available within the houses of Rembrandt and Rubens. A pivotal way in which the psychological portraits of each man are drawn for the readers of such texts is through their relationships to women. Here we analyse which women are perceived to be most important to each artist’s life, and how that is presented in tourist-oriented literature. For some authors, Rubens’s conspicuously ordered and harmonious domestic life as an adult was partly a conscious reaction against the sexual politics that had deeply affected the household of his childhood. His father Jan Rubens had been legal advisor in Cologne to William of Orange’s second wife, Anna of Saxony, and had been thrown in jail after the two had an affair.35 See Rembrandt’s Wife, program (Melbourne, 2009). Press release notes for Nightwatching. The notes are available on the official website

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of director Peter Greenaway: http://www.petergreenaway.info/. 35 On this matter, academic studies are more detailed, perhaps reinforcing the point that Rubens’s public image, in contrast to Rembrandt’s, is of a socially successful figure. See Simon Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes (New York, 1999), pp. 13–38; and Jeffrey M. Muller, Rubens: The artist as collector (Princeton, 1989), p. 49. Maike Vogt-Lüerssen, however, suggests that the alleged affair may have been constructed by William to secure a divorce from Anna, see Maike Vogt-Lüerssen, Anna von Sachsen – Gattin von Wilhelm von Oranien (Norderstedt, 2008). Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, pp. 4–5, and de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, p. 15, do not dwell on any scandal attached to Rubens’s childhood, but instead on his access to elite society.

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Rubens’s father died in 1587, and his mother, Maria Pypelinckx, is presented in both popular and academic publications as playing an unusually active role in Rubens’s early life, not least because in the aftermath of his father’s jail term his mother was forced to work in business to keep the family afloat.36 Her sons were nonetheless well educated and received into elite circles.37 The 13-year-old Rubens spent several months as a page in the household of Marguerite de Ligne, before training as a painter in Antwerp.38 Negotiating relationships with powerful women would be important to his later success and is key to how visitors and readers are asked to understand him today. Tourist literature interprets Rubens through his adult relationships, notably with his two wives, whom he painted regularly and whose portraits are prominent in publications available to tourists today.39 His first wife, Isabella Brant (1591– 1626), died when the plague ravaged Antwerp in 1626. A letter by Rubens in which he reflected on his grief and the esteem in which he held his wife is highlighted in one tourist guide as providing key insights into Rubens’s character.40 Helena Fourment (1614–73) was Rubens’s second wife, a woman consistently referred to in the literature as ‘the sixteen-year-old Helena Fourment.’ In her popular account, Irene Smets cites Rubens’s own words: Rubens remarried in December 1630, four years after the death of his first wife. His bride was the 16-year-old Helena, the daughter of the tapestry merchant Daniël Fourment, a friend of the artist. ‘I have taken a young wife of honest but middle-class family, although everyone tried to persuade me to make a Court marriage. But I feared pride, that inherent vice of the nobility, particularly in that sex, and that is why I chose one who would not blush to see me take my brushes in hand. And to tell the truth, it would have been hard for me to exchange the priceless treasure of liberty for the embraces of an old woman,’ Rubens wrote to Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Pereisc a few years later.41

36 Muller, Rubens: The Artist as Collector, p. 49; de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, p. 15. Widows had an unusual degree of economic and legal clout in Antwerp, where the family lived again from 1589. On widows, see Laura van Aert, ‘The legal possibilities of Antwerp widows in the late sixteenth century,’ The History of the Family, 12/4 (2007): pp. 282–95. 37 Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House in Antwerp, p. 51. 38 Muller, Rubens: The Artist as Collector, p. 49. 39 See, for example, Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, pp. 9, 24, and 26; and de Rynck, Rediscovering P. P. Rubens in Antwerp, pp. 8 and 14. 40 Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, p. 21. 41 Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, p. 24. Muller argues that ‘Following Jan Rubens’s examples of learning, political activity, and aggressive intelligence, he [Peter Paul Rubens] conquered the destructive elements that had brought his father to ruin. He could enjoy “licit” pleasures whereas his father had been destroyed by illicit ones.’ Muller, Rubens: The Artist as Collector, p. 54.

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The young and nubile Helena Fourment – shown elsewhere in this same guide in a famous painting where she is almost nude, draped in only a fur – is pivotal to the story of Rubens developed for tourists.42 Rather ironically, while it is not such a visible part of the story, as a mature widow the financially astute Fourment did much to shape the version of the house that survives today.43 In his detailed tourist guide Rediscovering P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, Patrick de Rynck frames two passages in his chapter ‘who was Rubens?’ around a series of psychological questions: ‘Was Rubens an agreeable man? ... Did Rubens go through crises?’ It is notable that answers to both are to be found, for this author, through analysis of Rubens’s relationships to women, especially with his mother and his first wife.44 Visitor literature creates a psychological interpretation of Rubens through relationships to women in his childhood, working, and marital households. Another distinctly different set of relationships to women is also explored in the same popular biographical and museum literature. Here Rubens is presented as consciously pursuing a conspicuously intellectual manner of relating to female patrons. Amongst Rubens’s most important artistic patrons were Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella (daughter of Philip II), governors of the Spanish Netherlands between 1598 and 1633.45 Another of Rubens’s patrons during his most successful years as a painter was the French queen and regent, Marie de Médicis, who commissioned a large cycle of paintings on her life story in 1622.46 The visitor guide to the Rubens House includes a timeline that for 1631 simply states that Rubens ‘Hosts Maria de’ Medici at his home (the future Rubens house).’47 The visitor is encouraged to feel the presence of the French monarch in the house, conferring honour upon Rubens.48 These two powerful female patrons were crucial supporters of Rubens. An analysis of Rembrandt’s presentation through equivalent literature offers a different interpretation of his character and a different construction of his relationships to women. Rembrandt’s personal life and relationships with women are frequently interpreted as turbulent, in contrast to Rubens, as popular representations of Rembrandt in relation to his professionally well-connected first wife Saskia van Uylenburgh (1612–42), his housekeeper and mistress Geertje 42 For the c. 1638 painting Portrait of Helena Fourment (‘The Fur’), see Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, p. 26. 43 See our discussion later in this chapter. 44 de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, p. 20. 45 Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, p. 8, and see Alexander Vergara, Rubens and his Spanish patrons (Cambridge, 1999). 46 For a useful recent discussion see Sarah R. Cohen, ‘Rubens’s France: Gender and personification in the Marie de Médicis cycle,’ Art Bulletin, 85 (2003): pp. 490–522. 47 Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, no pagination. 48 Rubens’s many portraits of the Virgin Mary in Catholic Antwerp should be noted as a distinct aspect of his iconography, although it falls outside the scope of this chapter, which seeks to unpack ideas around ‘real,’ contemporary historical individuals.

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Dircx (c. 1610/15–c. 1656), and his young second wife Hendrickje Stoffels (1626– 63) indicate. Specific female patrons played a less significant role in Rembrandt’s life and in modern interpretations generally, although he certainly painted a number of prestigious portrait commissions of women. One of the best known is the 1639 portrait of 20-year-old Maria Trip, a member of an extraordinarily wealthy Amsterdam family, in a dress decorated with gold lace and jewels.49 Rembrandt’s 1641 portrait of Agatha Bas was used as the cover image for a 2006 Rembrandt House exhibition dealing with the connection between Rembrandt and the art dealers Hendrick and Gerrit Uylenburgh.50 Today, both art historians and visitors to galleries and heritage sites are much more concerned with Rembrandt’s domestic relationships than with his professional contact with female patrons. Moreover, both Rubens and Rembrandt created iconic portraits of themselves with their wives. For tourism publications, these images underscore interpretations of Rubens as comfortable and prosperous, and of Rembrandt as the often troubled creator of shadowy, intense images that promise insights into heightened emotional states. Rubens portrayed successive wives in the landscape imagery that was so fashionable in the period and which he laid out in his own home, at times depicting himself in his marital relationships in his domestic space, as for example in his The Artist and his Wife [Isabella Brant] in a Honeysuckle Bower of 1609, and Rubens in His Garden with Helena Fourment, c. 1631 (Figure 5.3), where Rubens promenades with his young wife and son in their fashionable Italianate garden. One well-known self-portrait presents Rembrandt raising a glass in a tavern with Saskia van Uylenburgh seated on his knee, and is sometimes known as The prodigal son in the company of a courtesan in a tavern, c. 1635, but also as Self-portrait with Saskia (Figure 5.4).51 It plays with the genres of portraiture, self-portraiture, and the rowdy tavern scene. More importantly, however, it tangibly presents the artist in a loving and affectionate partnership with his wife, and entices the viewer with a promise of insight into Rembrandt’s domestic life. In addition to portraits, both Rubens and Rembrandt also used their female household members as models for other, often mythological or biblical, roles. For both men, depiction of lovers seems part of the visual bounty of these two prolific artists, and their romantic life as an insight – however manufactured – into their households and personal lives that tourists, art-lovers, and specialists seem to crave. Scholars are undoubtedly subtly influenced in part by the rich visual aspects to these presentations aimed at visitors, with posters of blockbuster exhibitions or theatre productions featuring See http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/SK-C-597?lang=en. Rembrandt en Uylenburgh, Handel in Meesterwerken (Rembrandt and Uylenbrgh,

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dealing in masterpieces): 16.09–10.12 [2006]. See the catalogue: Friso Lammertse and Jaap van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son: Art and commerce from Rembrandt to De Lairesse, 1625–1675 (Zwolle, 2007). 51 For an analysis of this image and the genre of the couple portrait in Rembrandt’s work, and the tension between social relationships and the ‘interior life’ in his imagery, see David R. Smith, Masks of Wedlock: Seventeenth-century Dutch marriage portraiture (Ann Arbor, 1982), pp. 117–44.

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Peter Paul Rubens, Rubens in his garden with Helena Fourment (Helena Fourment with her son Nicholas), painting, c. 1631, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Photo courtesy of the bpk / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen.

women’s faces and experiences and appearing to offer new ways to understand old masters.52 Art historians have interpreted such images as particularly important for revealing facets – perhaps carefully constructed – of each artist’s character, and particularly their interest in sensual pleasure as well as their community status as married men.53 The many images of these women on display on-site and within texts suggest to visitors that these historic individuals have a tangible visual and physical presence in these homes. Women thus appear repeatedly in the imagery that pervades both scholarly and popular narratives of Rembrandt and Rubens. The biographical details of each artist, in particular, are intrinsically entwined with their relationships with women. 52 On the issue of deliberate self-awareness as a methodology for scholars working on heritage and tourism issues, see Nigel J. Morgan and Annette Pritchard, ‘On Souvenirs and Metonymy: Narratives of memory, metaphor and materiality,’ Tourist Studies, 5 (2009): pp. 29–53, and especially pp. 34–6. 53 On these paintings, for example, see Simon Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes, pp. 380–381 (on Rembrandt) and pp. 134–44 and pp. 181–4 (on Rubens). See also Julia Lloyd Williams, Rembrandt’s Women, exhibition catalogue (Munich and London, 2001).

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Fig. 5.4

Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-portrait with Saskia (The prodigal son), oil on linen, c. 1635, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden. Photo courtesy of the bpk / Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden / HansPeter Klut.

Our focus here is, of course, on women, and we shift focus now from the artists to these women, and the question of how they are depicted for today’s tourists. We need to think carefully about the ways in which they are presented and the extent to which visitors and readers are provided with interpretations of them as individuals. Examinations of the role of women in early modern art normally focus upon female artists, female patrons, the iconography of women in artworks, and female models.54 The women associated with Rembrandt and Rubens fit best in the last category. Saskia van Uylenburgh, Geertje Dircx, Hendrickje Stoffels, Isabella Brant, and Helena Fourment are, it seems, most commonly presented as simply foils to male artists that allow different aspects of the men’s lives and personalities to be illuminated. Yet the implications of their iconic status seems worthy of further analysis, not least because the plethora of images of these women in gift shops and publications indicates that tourists evidently find them of interest. For an example of this range of approaches in an early modern context, see Geraldine A. Johnson and Sara F. Mathews Grieco (eds), Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (Cambridge, 1997). 54

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Objects and Spaces: Locating Women in the Houses of Rubens and Rembrandt In this section, we examine the spaces and objects through which the analysis of women in the artists’ lives and homes are presented. Rubens and his first wife Isabella Brant purchased a property on Wapper Street in Antwerp not long after the artist’s return from Italy. From 1616 to 1621, he was often preoccupied with the redecoration of the house in a style that reflected his artistic and humanist links to Italy. This extended to an iconographic program that focussed on mythological deities and horticultural symbolism that Véronique Van de Kerckhof has interpreted as representing ‘fertility and love – qualities that best flourish in times of peace.’55 The acquisition and restoration of the Rubens House occurred against the background of World War Two, and Belgium’s subsequent reconstruction. The conceptualisation and presentation of Rubens as an artist concerned with peace has early modern but clearly also modern resonances that subtly underpin the interpretation of his domestic and working life which is offered to tourists. At times, this is given a specifically female inflection, as we will see. Significantly, the discussion of Rubens’s relationships to women is presented spatially in ways that connect women to domestic functions. The interpretation of these aspects of Rubens’s character are developed particularly in the more traditional Flemishstyled part of the house in which kitchens, bedrooms, and other familial rooms are to be found. These are architecturally and visually distinct spaces in the Rubens House; the older red-brick domestic area contrasting the Italian-inspired artistic workspaces that Rubens added, both historicized by their contrast to the yet more modern ticketing office and gift shop which stands at some distance from the entrance to the house (Figure 5.1). The visitor first encounters the interior of the Rubens House via a small entry room, which displays two prints by Frans Harrewyn’s print after Jacques van Croes that date from the eighteenth century and represent the house in the years 1684 and 1692 (Figure 5.5).56 The 1692 print focuses upon the new, Italianate wing, the garden, and the summer house. It also includes smaller scenes showing the interior of the chapel and of the main bedroom. The image encapsulates and presents to the viewer the idea that a house can present many aspects of its owners’ personality, in both public and private senses. We wish to explore here the extent to which that sense of an historical individual extends here to the women of the household as well as the famous artist Rubens. The most important female presence in the building is Rubens’s second wife, Helena Fourment, who appears in the dining room in a portrait from the Rubens Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House in Antwerp, p. 22. This was based on imagery commissioned by owner Canon Hillewerve. The partner

55 56

image from 1684 depicts the courtyard and buildings and does not include interior scenes. See de Rynck, Rediscover P.P. Rubens in Antwerp, pp. 22 and 26; and the British Museum website: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/.

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This figure has intentionally been removed for copyright reasons. To view this image, please refer to the printed version of this book

Fig. 5.5

Frans Harrewyn after Jacques van Croes, View of Rubens’s House in Antwerp in 1692 (‘Parties de la Maison Hilwerue a Anvers’), engraving, eighteenth century, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN470263001. © Trustees of the British Museum.

workshop. The audio guide quotes Rubens’s own words on his desire to marry someone from the middle class rather than the aristocracy, and his unwillingness to resign himself to celibacy after the death of his first wife.57 In an upstairs room, a necklace thought to belong to Fourment is displayed alongside a chain likely given to Rubens by the Danish king Christian IV.58 The listener is also offered the chance, by the touch of a button on the audio guide, to hear a further discussion of Rubens as a husband, utilizing the artist’s letters that described his grief at the death of his first wife, Isabella Brant, and his desire to remarry and enjoy the pleasures of married life. Marriage is presented as important to Rubens’s happiness; the happiness of his wives is not discussed. A portrait of Spanish king Philip III is used as the springboard into discussion about his sister, Archduchess Isabella, and her role in governing the region.59 The audio guide further adds that ‘We’ll come This quotation is also highlighted in Smets, Rubens in Antwerp, p. 24. Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, no pagination, entry 29. 59 Ibid., entry 27. 57 58

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across Isabella later in the tour,’ positioning her as an imaginative presence in Rubens’s home and workshop. Alongside Helena Fourment, Isabella is the most prominent female presence in the house, with a portrait of Albert and Isabella from the Rubens workshop hanging in the large studio that Rubens had built as part of the house renovations.60 Rubens concentrated these renovations on the spaces of the house that best showcased his professional activities.61 Perhaps for that reason, the visitor is encouraged to find Rubens the artist in the Italian-style wing, but to encounter his domestic life and by implication ‘his’ women in the older Flemish wing. Just as Rembrandt himself spent less effort renovating that wing, so too, less effort has been directed to presenting the history of the domestic lives and duties experienced within it. One guide simply turns the issue on its head by stating that The current layout of the rooms and their names are a reconstruction, as precise historical data are lacking: they are simply intended to offer an impression of 17th-century living. Consequently this guide does not focus on the actual rooms, but on the works of art they contain.62

One of the most notable aspects of a visit to the Rubens House is that domestic life, and women’s roles in the household, are much less prominent in the narratives that the house seeks to create about the early modern period than are seen in the Rembrandt House. The written and audio guide commentary for the kitchen, for example, serves only to emphasize indirectly Rubens’s economic success as an artist by itemizing the good quality Antwerp Majolica ware that is now on display. A historicized interpretation of daily life in the Rubens House – and the lives of its female residents – is not provided for the visitor in this room, nor is it, apparently, worthy of curatorial focus. The older, Flemish wing of the house includes the rooms designated for family use; rooms that today’s visitor is encouraged, at the urging of one guidebook, to consider intimate spaces: ‘Room by room, you move through the house’s private areas.’63 Yet these ‘private’ spaces are ones in which much female work and sociability occurred. These comprise the parlour (in which guests were received), kitchen and serving room (in which the communal work of women – of various social levels – took place), dining room (in which people came together to eat), and picture gallery (in which people were invited to admire Rubens’s art collection). The domestic spaces were certainly not, we suggest, exclusively used by the women of the household but were instead open to the use and scrutiny of

62 63 60 61

Ibid., entry 49. Ibid., entry 53. Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House in Antwerp, p. 24. Ibid., p. 24.

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neighbours, friends, and various forms of regulation, observation, entertainment, and friendship.64 The family spaces upstairs in the Flemish wing offer interested visitors some opportunities to reflect, albeit briefly, on family life and to some extent women’s lives in seventeenth-century Antwerp. In the richly illustrated Ludion guide, the bedroom is presented as the site of Rubens’s own death. Paintings alongside the smaller second sleeping area ‘allude to Rubens’s personal life’ and prompt a description of Rubens’s happy second marriage to Helena Fourment, while a painting of a dead child develops reflections on the high incidence of infant mortality during that period: ‘In 1623, he and his wife Isabella Brant lost their eldest daughter, Clara Serena, at the age of 12 … Rubens was even more afflicted three years later (1626) when Isabella Brant herself died of the plague.’65 The linen press prompts a comment in the site’s free leaflet for visitors that linen ‘was major part of a woman’s dowry and was considered a status symbol, a visible sign of the family’s prosperity. One of the most important duties of the lady of the house was to take care of the linen and ensure that it was properly stored.’66 It seems that domestic and daily life is less important than social status in the interpretation of women within the Rubens House. The nearby living room, for example, includes wedding portraits by Jacob van Utrecht of Rubens’s paternal grandparents. Here, his grandmother has equal space in the description: ‘Barbara Arents came from a noble family. In her right hand she is holding two violets and in her left, a rosary. These attributes symbolise her chastity and godliness.’67 Rubens’s female relations are presented with roughly equal standing to his male relations. Particular domestic objects are selected as prompts to engagement with Rubens’s women, engagements that serve to continue to locate historical understandings of women as best found within the household. The luxurious house itself is the clearest marker of Rubens’s status. His second wife Helena Fourment, who held control of the entire house after Rubens’s death in 1640, is not explicitly presented as playing any role in its development and extant For an overview of the extensive literature on women and debates about the private sphere, see Joan W. Scott and Debra Keates (eds), Going Public: Feminism and the shifting boundaries of the private sphere (Urbana, 2004); and Joan B. Landes (ed.), Feminism, the Public and the Private (Oxford, 1998); and on women’s use of domestic space in the Dutch Golden Age see Martha Hollander, An Entrance for the Eyes: Space and meaning in seventeenth-century Dutch Art (Berkeley, 2002). 65 Van de Kerckhof, The Rubens House in Antwerp, pp. 47–8. 66 Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, entry 35. As is also the case in the Rembrandt House, the furniture dates from the appropriate period but, except in rare cases such as a chair belonging to Rubens, is not the original furniture. On the familial and status issues attached to such items of furniture, see Hester C. Dibbits, ‘Between Society and Family Values: The linen cupboard in early-modern households,’ in Anton Schuurman and Pieter Spierenburg (eds), Private Domain, Public Inquiry: Families and life-styles in the Netherlands and Europe, 1550 to the present (Hilversum, 1996), pp. 125–45. 67 Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, entry 38. 64

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structure in the materials available to tourists. Yet, as his widow, Fourment held a comparatively strong legal position in early modern Antwerp, particularly in regard to the property and guardianship of their children.68 A guide for the visitor notes that after 1640, ‘Helena and their children lived in the house on Wapper Street for several more years, probably even some time after her second marriage to a wealthy aristocrat. Eventually the family moved to Brussels.’69 Fourment rented out the house between 1648 and 1660 to William and Margaret Cavendish, future duke and duchess of Newcastle, while they were in self-imposed exile during the English Civil War. In 1660, the house was sold; presumably with considerable involvement from Fourment, who did not die until 1673.70 As a widow of status and means, she preserved and controlled the fortunes of the house after Rubens’s death and therefore played a crucial role, we would argue, in how we encounter it today – a contribution which is not explicitly considered or presented for visitors. Finally, the Italianate portico of the Rubens House is also presented to modern visitors in connection with another woman from the seventeenth century. In the entry room to the artist’s studio in the Rubens House today, a painting is displayed by Gonzales Coques that depicts a young woman as St Agnes with the portico designed by Rubens placed in the background. The woman in the painting is thought to be Maria Agnes, daughter of Jacomo van Eycke and Cornelia Hillwerve, a wealthy couple from the merchant class who purchased the house in 1660. The portrait dates from around 1680, a year after Cornelia Hillwerve sold the house to her own brother following her husband’s death.71 Through this image, the visitor encounters the seventeenth-century house through another visual source that concerns the life of elite Antwerp women. Interpretation of historic women through the Rubens House site, we suggest, is dominated by their ability to highlight family status and a female-oriented iconography of harmony. This offers a sharp contrast to the historical narratives constructed not only about, but also through, women, in the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam, to which we turn next. Yet, as we shall see, domestic spaces and objects remain the prompts for introducing the daily lives of the women who lived with both these artists. While Rembrandt was born and received his early training in Leiden, it was in Amsterdam that he achieved his greatest artistic productivity and success. Rembrandt’s home from 1639 to 1659 on today’s Jodenbreestraat (formerly the Sint Antoniesbreestraat) remains standing and is now the Rembrandt House Museum. His own images depicting interiors within the house have become an important resource in the reconstruction process: as we saw above, the visitor is assured that Rembrandt’s Saskia in bed of c. 1642 depicts a bed like the one that is the central piece of furniture in this room, known as the salon; Rembrandt used

70 71 68 69

Van Aert, ‘The legal possibilities of Antwerp widows.’ Van Beneden, The Rubens House Highlights, entry 7. Ibid., no pagination. Ibid., entry 45.

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Fig. 5.6

Entrance Hall (with a wooden cupboard similar to that owned by Hendrickje Stoffels), Rembrandt House. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam.

it as a bedroom and living room.72 Additionally, the text in the Ludion guide for this room relates that: ‘Rembrandt married her in 1634 and she appears in many of his paintings. They had four children, only the last of whom, Titus, survived infancy. After Titus’s birth, Saskia increasingly had to keep to her bed; she was sickly and weak.’73 Married women in the early modern period, the visitor is here implicitly reminded, had life cycles in many ways controlled by fertility. Here image, material object, and text are used together to support the visitor’s encounter with Saskia as an individual with distinct life experiences, just like Rembrandt. The house where Rembrandt lived situates his art, but is also used to understand the man himself. The Director of the Rembrandt House stresses that ‘it gives visitors a far more intimate picture of the setting in which one of the world’s greatest artists lived and worked.’74 A large component of such an analysis is Tissink, The Rembrandt House Museum, p. 42. Ibid., p. 41. Similarly, Rembrandt’s Groote Schildercaemer has been reconstructed

72 73

with the assistance of Rembrandt’s studio with a model, c. 1655. Ibid., p. 52. 74 Ibid., p. 25.

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Fig. 5.7 Kitchen (with a bed for the maid), Rembrandt House. Photo courtesy of the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam. achieved through an interpretation of Rembrandt’s relationships with women who occupied the space. The potential for female independence in the household is presented to visitors in the entrance hall. The audio guide tells the listener that the lavishly carved, tall wooden cupboard which dominates the small room would be similar to that owned by Hendrickje Stoffels, in which she would have kept linen, silverware, and gold jewellery (Figure 5.6). It notes that these items were not sold during Rembrandt’s bankruptcy of 1656 because they were her own personal property.75 Furthermore, the house’s detailed guidebook encourages an imaginative encounter within Rembrandt’s living place, speculating in a section entitled ‘Life in the kitchen’: ‘Was it here that Geertje Dircx and Rembrandt quarrelled about a financial arrangement? With the arrival of Hendrickje Stoffels, Geertje became redundant both as a maid and as Rembrandt’s mistress.’76 This possible encounter is also repeated in the audio guide, encouraging the visitor to see Geertje alongside Rembrandt. The audio guide points out to visitors that the bed in the kitchen was probably slept in by the maid (Figure 5.7). As one of the first rooms entered on the tour, this places women prominently within the interpretive strategy employed in the house. Throughout the building, the tourist is reminded of Rembrandt’s intimate and emotional life, as well as everyday facets of his existence. This includes discussion of the excavated contents of the house’s cesspit.77 Indeed, in the Rembrandt House 75 For illustrations see Tissink, The Rembrandt House Museum, p. 30–31, although – unlike the audio guide – the text does not make any mention of Hendrickje Stoffels. 76 Ibid., p. 27. 77 Ibid., p. 29.

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This figure has intentionally been removed for copyright reasons. To view this image, please refer to the printed version of this book

Fig. 5.8 Rembrandt van Rijn, Saskia with pearls in her hair, 1634, engraving, Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum, inventory number AN22202001. © Trustees of the British Museum. shop, visitors can buy facsimiles of pipes, buckles and coins, and other objects that were unearthed during the excavation. Yet, the guide text notes: ‘Regrettably, the 1656 inventory does not tell us much about what was in the kitchen.’78 This implies to the visitor that a restored house cannot expect to attain accuracy concerning such objects, and consequently represent aspects of the life experiences of women in the household. It may be considered regrettable, but it is not seen as sufficiently critical to the meta-narrative of the site and its occupants to warrant further imaginative or speculative reconstruction. After exploring the house itself, visitors to the Rembrandt House can take away many tangible souvenirs of their visit. One postcard reproduces an engraving by Rembrandt of Saskia with pearls in her hair (Figure 5.8), and visitors can also ‘be inspired by Saskia’ and purchase pearl earrings marketed by association with the image.79 They can even purchase their own version of the Rembrandt house itself: Ibid. See http://rembrandthuis.isawebshop.com. We discuss pearl earrings, tourism, and

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souvenirs in more detail in Chapter 7.

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Fig. 5.9 Rembrandt dolls’ house, Piet Design. Photo courtesy of Piet Design. not as a decorative ornament, but instead a ‘Build your own Rembrandt Dolls’ House’ (Figure 5.9). The pre-cut paper design leads the maker through various aspects of the Rembrandt house: ‘Doors and windows can be opened. More than 50 pieces of furniture, objects and paintings complete the life-like interior.’80 Much like the early modern dolls’ houses of Petronella Oortman and Petronella Dunois, amongst others, that we explored in Chapter 4, the toy’s tiny objects and complex construction suggests that this is an object expected to engage adults. Yet a dolls’ house is an intriguing souvenir of a male artist, since these objects commonly give particular attention to traditionally ‘female’ activities, such as cooking and childcare. Here, the prominence given to Rembrandt’s studio and his collection reorients the dolls’ house as a more discernibly masculine space, although it retains space for women and for domestic rooms. It is notable, too, that women as well as men populate the dolls’ house, just as they both have a presence in the current interpretation of the Rembrandt House. Real historical characters as well as figures from famous Rembrandt paintings occupy the same space: ‘The human figures are derived from Rembrandt’s work The company specializes in historical paper souvenirs. See http://www.pietdesign.nl/.

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Fig. 5.10

Rembrandt dolls’ house images, Piet Design, detail (Hendrickje Stoffels looking out the window). Photo courtesy of Piet Design.

and represent people from various stages of his life.’81 Downstairs, a young girl enters the Sijdelcaemer (side room, ‘where Rembrandt received his clients’). She is the famous girl in gold and blue from The Night Watch. Jan Six, men from The Night Watch, Titus van Rijn, and even a dog can be positioned within the house. Saskia van Uylenburgh is also included, sitting up in bed in her last illness, and Hendrickje Stoffels is shown leaning out the window of the Kunstcaemer (here located above the artist’s studio rather than alongside it; Figure 5.10). In positioning ‘real’ people with those Rembrandt imagined through his art, are Rembrandt’s iconic figures rendered real, or are historic individuals made nothing more than cardboard toys, fictive protagonists to be manipulated for our own historical purposes? The dolls’ house serves as the ultimate post-modern heritage site – one you can make yourself and position artistic creations and historical individuals within. As we explore in more detail in Chapter 7, historically rich mementos that tourists find personally meaningful are an important market in the contemporary Low Countries. http://www.pietdesign.nl/.

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In conclusion, these two houses of early modern artists offer the possibility to explore the use of heritage sites as sources of evidence and as producers of historic interpretations in a comparative way. As ‘domestic’ spaces that are presumed, somewhat problematically, to be primarily female domains, these household sites have some authority to provide evidence or interpretive opportunities for early modern women’s experiences. The Rembrandt House offers a larger range of encounters with the domestic lives of real women, who are more marginal in Rubens’s home. Yet the narrative of Rubens’s career presented through his house gives more space to elite female patrons and their roles. Perhaps it is possible to say that the visitor encounters women more closely in the Rembrandt House, but more broadly in the Rubens House. Significantly, it is important to note that while aspects of women’s household experiences are presented in both houses, neither presentation strategy disrupts the primary task of presenting the male artists. Women are, however, seen as one way in which contemporary museological, curatorial, dramatic, and also recent academic narratives seek to understand old masters. In doing so, we suggest that these women have in their own ways become iconic and now offer entry points for encountering the lives of women in the seventeenth-century Low Countries. Moreover, from a feminist perspective, in some senses the history of ‘Rubens’s women’ is a more positive one than those associated with Rembrandt. While both Rembrandt and his second wife Hendrickje Stoffels ended up having to leave their grand home during their lifetime, Rubens’s second wife Helena Fourment remained living in their house. She successfully established a new life for herself, and sold the house to her own advantage and that of her children. It may be a less dramatic narrative, but one that suggests quiet success within the parameters of Fourment’s own society.

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Chapter 6

Sources and Settings: The Uses of Place for Tourism, Heritage, and History The 2008 calendar of tourist activities for Brussels included a tour entitled ‘Brux ... Elles, Une Ville au Féminin Pluriel,’ offering visitors a guided tour through sites that promised to articulate women’s role in the history of the city: ‘Artists and workers, beguines and nuns, queens and regents, oppressed or mistresses, they recount their condition, their role, their history, and that of their town ... Listen to the women of years gone by!’ This book has thus far explored a range of source types that are used to develop narratives about women’s lives and activities in the Low Countries during the late medieval and early modern period. In this chapter we examine landscapes and places as a source for understanding the past, sources that generally receive little attention in academic historiography. Yet, we argue, they too are crucial to the development of stories about the past and of women’s place in it, most particularly in tourism and heritage contexts. Our previous chapter examined two heavily curated heritage sites, while this chapter ranges across a broader and – for visitors – much more loosely articulated set of places. In this chapter we explore the ways in which places are used both as sources for constructing, and as opportunities for presenting, narratives about medieval and early modern women. Further, we analyse the interactions of these narratives with, and their implications for, scholarly interpretations. The past is crucial to the making of tourist and heritage sites for people to visit. Experiencing the historical dimensions of place is part – a large part – of a visitor’s understanding of new cultures encountered while travelling. Tourism providers often rely on specific locations to make sense of a past that is perceived (by the host, visitor, or both) as guiding their understanding of a broader culture. We analyse the inclusion of female protagonists in these constructions of the past for touristic purposes, and explore the interactions between academic histories and those place-driven narratives presented by tourism and heritage. From where do these respective domains derive ‘evidence’ for their narratives? What sort of evidence is considered valid in such presentations? Place is also important to how scholars understand the past – consciously or unconsciously. Tourist presentations, and experiences in places, contribute to the ‘Artistes et ouvrières, béguines et religieuses, reines et gouvernantes, soumises ou maîtresses, elles racontent leur condition, leur rôle, leur histoire et celle de leur ville ... Ecoutez les femmes d’autrefois!” Visites guidées à Bruxelles: Agenda 2008 [no publication details], p. 24. 

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shape of historical scholarship. Art historians and historical scholars often refer to the experience of being in place as part of the process through which they develop interpretations of historical experiences, events, and characters. Sometimes this occurs in reflective passages, as scholars try to ‘draw in’ the reader by recalling their personal memories, but it also appears on occasion to form part of the foundations, or authenticity, of their scholarly analysis. Through our analysis of individual places as sources for historical interpretations, we also want to explore what role touristic presentations of places have on the way scholars construct their narratives of the past and the experience of women within them. The presentation of history in cultural, heritage, and touristic domains has been an increasing point of academic focus. Scholars have argued that a variety of stakeholders, from operators to tourists themselves, are crucial in shaping these narratives of the past. Heritage and museology studies have, additionally, examined the ways in which place-based heritage interpretations impact on local residents. Elke Ennen, for example, found that heritage precincts were crucial to how Dutch residents created meaning for their lives. Research has shown For a lively example see Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age (London, 1987), p. 15, analysed in more detail in Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks, ‘Finding Rembrandt? Place, history, experience and the individual,’ Dutch Crossing: A Journal of Low Countries Studies, 33/1 (2009): pp. 6–22; see pp. 6–7.  We have explored other aspects of the relationship of place to past in ibid., and also in Broomhall and Spinks, ‘Interpreting Place and Past in Narratives of Dutch Heritage Tourism,’ Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, 14/2 (2010): pp. 267–86.  See especially Greg Richards, ‘Production and Consumption of European Cultural Tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 261–83; Jan van der Borg, Paolo Costa, and Giuseppe Gotti, ‘Tourism in European Heritage cities,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): 306–21; and Gianna Moscardo, ‘Mindful Visitors: Heritage and tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 23 (1996): pp. 376–97.  David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985); David Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History (London, 1996); Patrick Wright, On Living In An Old Country: The national past in contemporary Britain (London, 1985); Robert Hewison, The Heritage Industry: Britain in a climate of decline (London, 1987); John Urry, The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and travel in contemporary societies (London, 1990); Nezar AlSayyad, Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global norms and urban forms in the age of tourism (London, 2001); and Maria Lichrou, Lisa O’Malley, and Maurice Patterson, ‘Place-Product or Place Narrative(s)? Perspectives in the marketing of tourism destinations,’ Journal of Strategic Marketing, 16 (2008): pp. 27–39.  David Uzzell, ‘Creating Place Identity through Heritage Interpretation,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 1 (1996): pp. 219–28; and Catherine Palmer, ‘An Ethnography of Englishness: Experiencing identity through tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 32 (2005): pp. 7–27.  Elke Ennen, ‘The Meaning of Heritage According to Connoisseurs, Rejecters and Take-it-or-leavers in Historic City Centres: Two Dutch cities experienced,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 6 (2000): pp. 331–49. 

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how individuals and communities produce personal, local, and national identities through heritage sites and tourism. Moreover, these constructions are influenced not only by bodily experiences in particular places but also by the way objects, sights, or sites are deemed compelling evidence for the past, or, in the language of tourism research, ‘authentic.’ Erik Cohen has argued that authenticity is a negotiable concept between supply and demand (or provider and consumer), one in which objects or sites can even become authentic to either or both tourists and host cultures over time.10 Following MaryCatherine E. Garden’s call to further investigate what heritage spaces ‘do,’ we want to examine how a broad range of places can act as a material or primary source for local, tourist, and perhaps scholarly historical narratives.11 Our analysis does not seek to verify the ‘truth’ or ‘authenticity’ of historical narratives about sites, but rather investigates how diverse constructions of the past use place-based evidence to narrate female experiences, and what impact this has on the histories that can be presented about women. Whose voices can be heard through places? We explore how tourist operators use place to present women as part of a broader narrative of the identity and history of the Low Countries to international tourists. In doing so, we move from iconic, singular female figures of the past, to ways of encountering communities of women, and finally, to broader, often less tangible but nonetheless discernable, ways in which a female presence is conveyed through more ‘dispersed’ locations such as Amsterdam and Delft. We focus here on historical narratives presented in tourist materials such as guidebooks, brochures, signage, and advertisements produced by tourist bureaux, art galleries, museums, town councils, private operators, and monument owners. See Michael Pretes, ‘Tourism and Nationalism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 30 (2003): pp. 125–42; and the summary in Cara Aitchison, Nicola E. McLeod, and Stephen J. Shaw, Leisure and Tourism Landscapes: Social and cultural geographies (London, 2000), pp. 94–111. On heritage issues and place, see our discussion in the Introduction of this book. On related philosophical issues, see Edward S. Casey, Terence Young, Nicholas Entrikin, Barbara Hooper, and Theodore R. Schatzski, ‘Reflections on Place, Space, Self, and Body: An engagement with Edward S. Casey,’ special forum, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91 (2001): pp. 681–723; and J.E. Malpas, Place and Experience: A philosophical topography (Cambridge, 1999). On tourism and museums see R. Prentice, ‘Experiential Cultural Tourism: Museums and the marketing of the new romanticism of evoked authenticity,’ Museum Management and Curatorship, 19 (2001): pp. 5–26, see especially p. 8; see also Alison J. McIntosh, ‘Into the Tourist’s Mind: Understanding the value of the heritage experience,’ Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 8 (1999): pp. 41–64.  See our discussion in the Introduction, and also in Broomhall and Spinks, ‘Interpreting Place and Past in Narratives of Dutch Heritage Tourism.’ 10 Erik Cohen, ‘Authenticity and Commoditization in Tourism,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 15 (1998): pp. 371–86. 11 Mary-Catherine E. Garden, ‘The Heritagescape: Looking at landscapes of the past,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12 (2006): pp. 394–411, see p. 395. This is discussed at more length in the Introduction. 

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These offer historical representations, use historical images or artworks, and engage visitors through a sense of the past. Such texts are an important avenue of investigation because their successful presentation of locations depends on an ability to balance versions of place that must be recognizable to the local populace, with the expectations of visitors about places.12 Carola Simon has similarly used tourist brochures in her analysis of place marketing of the Dutch rural landscape, the Waterland.13 Place marketing is an important facet of the work of civic authorities in the Low Countries, as Dietvorst, Poelhekte, and Roffelson’s evaluation of place image in Nijmegen has explored.14 In their 1987 study of 160 local authorities in the Netherlands, Bartels and Timmer observed that one-third of their promotional expenditure was directed towards the creation of a favourable image for the locality.15 Tourism, of course, reflects wider debates in the Low Countries about what it means to be Dutch or Belgian. For the Netherlands, history and identity are usually defined by a notion of the country’s foundation in the sixteenth century, with William the Silent as a kind of cosmopolitan, liberal nationalist.16 This supports the Netherlands’ liberal attitude to sex and drug tourism, but also the heritage tourism that is emerging as an alternative tourist strategy for a different client market.17 For tourists with high educational qualifications, historical setting is considered an important characteristic appreciated in Dutch inner-city precincts.18 As Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has argued, ‘Heritage is one of the ways locations become a destination.’19 Simon’s analysis of materials promoting the Waterland area bears out this strategic use of place as she noted that James S. Duncan and Nancy Duncan, ‘(Re) reading the Landscape,’ Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 6 (1988): pp. 117–26; Seyhmus Baloglu and Ken W. McCleary. ‘A Model of Destination Image Formation,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 26 (1999): pp. 808–99; Wendy Beck, ‘Narratives of World Heritage in Travel Guidebooks,’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12 (2006): pp. 521–35, see p. 525; and Arturo Molina and Agueda Esteban, ‘Tourism Brochures: Usefulness and image,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 33 (2006): pp. 1036–56. 13 Carola Simon, ‘Commodification of Regional identities: The “Selling” of Waterland,’ in Gregory John Ashworth and Brian Graham (eds), Senses of Place: Senses of time (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 31–45. 14 A.G.J. Dietvorst, W. Poelhekte, and J. Roffelson, ‘Hoe mer Verscheiden Heid aan Attracties des te Aantrekk Elijker de Stad,’ Recreatie en Tourism, 11 (1987): pp. 441–5. 15 C. Bartels and M. Timmer, City Marketing: Instruments and effects (Athens GA, 1987); cited in Martin Selby, Understanding Urban Tourism: Image, culture and experience (London, 2004), p. 71. 16 Frank J. Lechner, Debating the Nation: History and the development of Dutch identity discourse (London, 2007), pp. 67–102. 17 Heidi Dahles, ‘Redefining Amsterdam as a Tourist Destination,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 25 (1998): pp. 55–69. 18 M. Jansen-Verbeke, ‘Inner-City Tourism: Resources, tourists and promoters,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 13 (1986): pp. 79–100. 19 Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Destination Culture: Tourism, museums and heritage (Berkeley, 1998), p. 153. 12

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14 per cent of the text used historical descriptions which invoked the longevity of the human presence on the nature of the landscape in this area, such as ‘The tracks of the past are clearly visible in the landscape’ or ‘The landscape of Waterland is like a history book.’20 Art historian Lucy R. Lippard once observed that tourists ‘make ordinary places extraordinary by their presence.’21 The attempt by place marketers to historicize locations can play a powerful role in how residents and visitors understand the past. Iconic Women in Place We begin our analysis with individual women and argue that the perceptions of their connections to particular locations have implications for the creation of heritage, tourism, and scholarly narratives of the past. Throughout the cities of the Low Countries, there are historic almshouses that are named after the men or women who commissioned and paid for their construction. We contend that these buildings can be interpreted as types of ego-documents that often display spiritual as well as social and cultural meanings for their authors. Given the relative paucity of sources articulating female voices, historians of women could further explore what possibilities alternative texts such as have for telling us about their creators, their motivations, aspirations, and experiences; for memories of these women are embedded and extant in such locations. That more almshouses were founded by men is not surprising, nor is the fact that the vast majority of those founded by women were created when their foundresses were widows or independent women. Examples can be found across the late medieval and the early modern period of these wealthy women who participated in creating a public memory of themselves, and whose activities are still remembered through contemporary visitor literature noting such buildings. For example, in Haarlem, tourist walks signpost Het Hofje van Guurtje de Waal, which was founded in 1616 by the daughter of a rich textile merchant, whose family escutcheon can be seen above the stone gate.22 In Alkmaar, Splinter’s court is so named for Margaretha van Splinter, who in 1646 was the benefactress of a set of eight almshouses at Lindengracht 2.23 Although many of the buildings have been restored, aspects of their architecture and decoration may elucidate a form of female contribution to urban spiritual movements of the period. Such almshouses vary in their display of the identities of their benefactresses, which range from conventional presentations of uxorial and widowed piety to expressions of independent female identities. In Gouda, for instance, the ’t Swanenburghs Hofje is named after a timber merchant called Swanenburgh whose Simon, ‘Commodification of Regional identities,’ see p. 39. Lucy R. Lippard, On the Beaten Track: Tourism, art, and place (New York,

20 21

1999), p. 5. 22 City Kompas, trans. C.M. Evertse (Haarlem, 1993), p. 23. 23 VVV Alkmaar, Walking Tour of the Town Among the Historic Buildings (Schagen, n.d), p. 7

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widow supplied the funds in 1692 to build 12 houses around a bleach field.24 By contrast, in Utrecht, on the Nieuwegracht 205, stands a row of mid seventeenthcentury free houses, designed to accommodate the city’s poor and needy citizens. These were built on the commission of a wealthy widow, Maria van Pallaes. Above the entrance door to the complex a dedicatory stone that is suggestive of van Pallaes’s motivations reads: ‘Niet achtend swerls gonst, maer plaets in chemels pleyn’ (Not in appreciation of earthly favour, but a place in heaven’s court). The coats-of-arms of both van Pallaes and her husband van Schroyestyn are present above the door of each house.25 This example shows the potential for women to display a complex mix of personal, social, and spiritual presentations of identity through such buildings and their decoration. Places can provide not just evidence for narratives of the past, but also the opportunity to present historical interpretations. Memories of particular women live on through historic buildings associated with them. The Hospice Comtesse in Lille, explored in Chapter 1, is a case in point, described for visitors as an ‘eyewitness to history.’26 In addition, artworks contained in the building contribute to the preservation of a public narrative for Jeanne and her sister Marguerite in Lille. A sculpture featuring the sisters with the Virgin was added at the time the Salle des Malades was renovated, echoing contemporary hospital developments in Burgundian territories such as Beaune.27 In 1632, wall frescos representing Jeanne and Marguerite were added and inscribed the sisters in words and images into the foundation of the complex.28 Seventeenth-century portraits of the sisters by Alexis du Rietz still hang in the parlour, and a series of tapestries created at the turn of the eighteenth century for the hospice, by Guillaume Werniers after cartoons by Arnould de Vuez, presents a visual biography of Jeanne. In such ways, the presence of Jeanne and Marguerite has remained vitally embedded in the physical space of the hospital over centuries, and, through the hospital’s name, in the memory of the town and region more generally. On occasion, there is a sense of ambiguity about whether a specific location acts as a setting or as evidence for interpretations of the past. In Gouda, individuals who signify important phases in the history of the town or highlight its character are remembered for the tourist through a range of visitable sites. For example, the guidebook for the Gouda Town Walk provides direction to the brick tower VVV Gouda, Gouda Town Walk: The secret of Holland (Waddinxveen, 1999), p. 8. Tommie Hendriks, Visit Utrecht, trans. Douglas J. Dunsheath and Arya Distelbrink

24

25

(Utrecht, 2005), pp. 12–13. 26 ‘Témoin de l’histoire’ in Aude Cordonnier, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse: Miroir de Lille et des Pays-Bas, XIIIe-XXe siècle (Tournai, 1994), p. 17. See discussion in Chapter 1. See also Geneviève de Cant, Jeanne et Marguerite de Constantinople: Comtesses de Flandre et de Hainaut au XIIIe siècle (Brussels, 1995) where the establishment of the Hospice-Comtesse is discussed briefly at pp. 168–70. 27 Cordonnier, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, p. 34. 28 Image reproduced in Cordonnier, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, pp. 60–61.

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foundations of the Kasteel Ter Goude as the physical remains of a connection to Jacoba of Bavaria, Countess of Holland and Zeeland (1401–36). The existence of this site allows for Jacoba’s inclusion in the town’s history, which is then presented to the reader as follows: From 1425 until 1428 it was the base of operations of the tragic countess Jacoba of Bavaria. Because she was an only child, her father, count William IV, had raised her as a knight. She was given away in marriage when she was still a child, but at the age of fifteen she became a widow and lost her father as well. From that time on, others disputed her rule of the counties of Holland, Zeeland and Henegouwen. Jacoba married again, hoping that her second husband could help her out, but he turned out to be a wimp. She annulled the marriage herself and tried her luck with number three, count Humphrey of Gloucester [incidentally, now Gouda’s twin city], who left her for someone younger. By then, her opponent, Burgundy duke Philips [sic] the Good had enough of it, and imprisoned her. Jacoba managed to escape, dressed in men’s clothes. Of the many cities who had supported her, only Gouda, Schoonhoven and Oudewater remained loyal to her. From this triangle of cities she tried to restore her position. Gouda’s marksmen had helped her to achieve two victories but a final victory was never achieved. In 1428, when Philips showed up at the gates of Gouda with his army, it was all over: Jacoba backed down and peace was declared. Gouda’s stubborn position reflected the important position the city had back then. The only tangible remnant of this adventure that’s left in the city is a gold chalice, which is kept in the City Museum. Jacoba eventually died in captivity when she was only 35 years old, but only after having been secretly married again to one of Philips’s political opponents.29

This interpretation of Jacoba’s actions seems almost intentionally pitched to read as a soap opera. Her political struggle to keep control of lands that were rightfully her own is described as nothing less than ‘an adventure.’ It seems that there are significant points in this presentation of Jacoba’s experiences that justify her entitlement to recognition in the town’s history. Firstly, Jacoba sacrifices herself for the good of her city. Secondly, Gouda is a city of such repute that Jacoba and others would fight for it. Talking about Jacoba thus emphasizes the historical importance of Gouda itself. In an interesting reversal, in the city’s other tourist brochures, Jacoba is similarly not so much the subject of history, but rather the opportunity to talk about the place, Gouda. A sixteenth-century reproduction of her portrait is the only image depicting an historic individual, female or male, used on the pages featuring ‘A Walk through Historic Gouda’ in the city’s primary tourist brochure, yet she is not mentioned in this walk at all.30 Using this image creates the unspoken impression that women form part of the history of Gouda,

VVV Gouda, Gouda Town Walk, p. 19. VVV Het Groene [Hart]. Gouda (Het Groene [Hart], 2006), pp. 11–13. The image

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can be seen at http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/SK-A-498?lang=en.

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although they do not appear as protagonists in the urban narrative that emerges from this particular text or the places that it recommends to visit. There are other uses of places connected to individual women that work as both a form of evidence for the past but also as a presentation of history. As with iconic men, a range of modern sites such as restaurants, bars, and taverns that are named after individual women also participate in keeping them alive in shared memory. Venues such as the Restaurant Marie de Bourgogne in Bruges, through their nomenclature, suggest that these figures are still meaningful to modern individuals. The twentieth century saw a marked increase in commissions for statues of historic women, such as the small bronze statue by Pieter d’Hont erected in 1955 of Trijn van Leemput (c. 1530–1607; see Figure 6.1).31 Famous for her role as a ringleader in the demolition of Castle Vredenburg in 1577, seen by locals as a symbol of Spanish domination, her statue stands complete with pickaxe and defiant gaze. In the early modern period (just as the modern), there was a fascination with women’s actions that rendered them like men, especially in times of war. The story of the women of Weinsberg, for example, who tricked Emperor Conrad III by carrying their husbands, brothers, and fathers out of the city on their backs in 1140, was in the early modern period re-situated to various Dutch cities. The women’s cunning and physical courage was depicted in several early modern paintings, such as Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg’s The faithful wives of Weinsberg.32 Similar themes of female military participation were reflected in the print engraved by Z. Dolendo after Jacques de Gheyn II (associated at this time with the city of Leiden) included in Daniel Heinsius’s 1606 Spieghel van de doorluchtige Vrouwen.33 Similarly, van Leemput’s participation was recorded by contemporaries Arnold Buchelius, fellow resident of Utrecht, in his Diarium (or Commentarius rerum quotidianarum) produced between 1593 and 1600,34 and Johan van Beverwyck in his Van de Uutnementheyt des Vrouwelicken Geslachts (1643).35 Trijn van Leemput exemplified in her own time the notion of the honorary male – a woman who surpassed her sex – prepared to engage with and beat men in a military context. Both she and Jacoba are honoured by their cities as individuals for actions The artist produced a number of public statues, including one of Anne Frank. The painting has been in private hands for many years and was sold by Sotheby’s

31 32

in Amsterdam in November 2008, see http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetail. jsp?lot_id=159469339. Also see our extended discussion of van Swanenburg in Chapter 2. 33 H. Van de Waal, Drie Eeuwen, Vaderlandsche Gescheid-Uitbeelding, 1500–1800: Een iconologische studie (2 vols, ‘S Gravenhage, 1952), vol. 1, pp. 254–5. 34 Ms. 798 in the Utrecht University Library. See this incomplete edition, with an extensive introduction: Arend van Buchell, Diarium, ed. G. Brom and L.A. van Langeraad (Amsterdam, 1907). 35 For a up-to-date summary of the scholarly literature see the in-progress ‘Online Dictionary of Dutch Women’ supported by the Institute of Netherlands History (entry on Trijn van Leemput – also known as Trijn Voornen – by Marja Volbeda): http://www.inghist. nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/DVN/lemmata/data/trijnvanleemput/en.

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Pieter d’Hont, statue of Trijn van Leemput, 1955, Utrecht. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

that rendered them ‘honorary males.’ This is no modern phenomenon but, rather, seems an unbroken continuity from medieval and early modern historiography. The interpretation of van Leemput’s place in the historical narrative of the city in the modern era may be the product of appreciation of some of the same virtues, especially in the post-World War Two occupation context, in which her statue was commissioned. However, it is significant that the Utrecht Archives also possess a copy of her signature, while the Centraal Museum still holds an early modern painting of her.36 Her inclusion in Utrecht’s history, as it is presented through place for locals and visitors, is made possible because she is one of the few early modern urban women to whom we can still put a name and a face. However, Trijn van Leemput remains little known beyond the Netherlands. Even within local contexts, the presentation of her contribution to the Dutch past is limited.37 Indeed, on the signage to her statue, van Leemput is not referred to directly by her own name but instead as ‘Leemput’s wife’ (‘vrouw’). Located at the Weerbrug, ten minutes’ walk from the central shopping strip and further from the Inventory no. 2296, Centraal Museum, Utrecht. See http://www.hetutrechtsarchief.nl/werkstukken/bovenbouw/trijn-van-leemput.

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museum district, the small statue is not likely to be stumbled upon by the casual visitor. And, significantly, the statue is located in the same area as a recent statue of Utrecht’s much better known female icon, the rabbit Miffy, or Nijntje, the children’s book character created by Dick Bruna. The Nijntje-Pleintje was established in 2005 to mark the 50th anniversary of Nijntje’s creation. The guidebook for Dutchspeaking visitors observes that ‘on this square two well-known Utrecht women are represented: Miffy ... and Trijn van Leemput.’38 Another Dutch-language leaflet produced by the tourist bureau that recommends places to visit in Utrecht with special connections to women directs visitors to these two statues as well as sites associated with the nun Suster Bertken (1429–1514), and the intellectual Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–78), the ‘Utretchtse Minerva.’39 In terms of iconic ‘women’ of the city, female historical protagonists such as van Leemput and van Schurman share honours with a fictive rabbit. Moreover, the interpretation of their life stories and associated sites are, unfortunately, not provided to foreign visitors. Van Leemput’s presence in varied contexts, it seems, is narrated largely for local audiences, as there is little tourist literature to enable a visitor to understand her contribution to the nation’s early modern past. In a variety of ways then, through sites that bear their name or through locations that are linked to them in the past or present, places can be used to incorporate iconic individuals into broader historical narratives. This has enabled a range of women who might otherwise have been obscured to be embedded in touristic narratives of the past. There is exciting potential for further academic interpretation of some of these sites as ego-documents that offer expressions of their female owners’ identities. In return, the communication of this scholarly research about early modern women could deepen their presentation in heritage and tourist contexts in ways that might engage not only locals but visitors as well. Locating Collective Women’s Experiences Women like Trijn van Leemput and Jacoba of Bavaria (and even Saskia van Uylenburgh and Helena Fourment, discussed in the previous chapter) have attained a distinctive, individual status, but often through being presented as acting like men or connected to important men. This brings them to prominence but also means that they represent limited facets of women’s lives in the past. We suggest that attention to the presentation of sites associated with communities of women can also yield important insights into heritage and tourism’s interpretive strategies, and that understanding these may assist scholars of women to create a dialogue with these domains through which influential new narratives of the past are made. ‘Op deze plek zijn twee bekende Utrechtse vrouwen afgebeeld: Nijntje ... en Trijn van Leemput.’ Margriet Hoogendoorn and Theo van Miltenburg, Tussen Kerk en Waterwerk. Een wandeling door de noordelijke binnenstad van Utrecht (Utrecht, 2006), no pagination, entry 14. 39 VVV Utrecht, Vrouwen van Utrecht (Utrecht, n.d.). 38

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Religious buildings for women are among the few physical spaces that offer a concrete physical heritage of female experiences. In the Low Countries, these include monasteries, beguinages, and hospital complexes. Many of these buildings are now used for purposes that differ from their original design. In Utrecht, for example, a collection of art that includes medieval and early modern works is housed in the Centraal Museum. The building incorporates and deliberately presents architectural elements that remain from the site’s former use as the Saint Agnes’s cloister, housing Augustinian nuns. The combination of several large halls with extensive corridors and small rooms, eccentric for a museum but evocative of communal living spaces, reminds visitors that they are in a historic location. The original use of the space thus subtly underpins the architectural refurbishment and the visitor’s experience today, although religious women’s lived experiences are not prominently represented in the literature or artworks on display.40 Other spaces have a still more complex history, with varied uses for the site. In contrast to the model above, a careful interpretive presentation highlights alternative historic uses of space in the former Saint Agatha’s convent in Delft, which later became Het Prinsenhof, the home to William of Nassau, Charlotte de Bourbon-Montpensier, Louise de Coligny, their daughters and son.41 This building was also the site of William’s death: facts that might have influenced the museum curators to focus solely on this, surely the best known of its historic contexts. Yet the site, now a municipal museum, employs its displays to remind the visitor of the range of its prior functions. Within these presentations of the site’s historic usages, women play a central role. Portraits of male clerics associated with the convent are described in relation to the nuns and articulated in an active vocabulary that keeps the women as the focus: ‘In 1538 the nuns chose the priest Cornelius Musius to be their rector.’ The sisters are described as selecting their spiritual leader, Jan Colman, and rector Cornelius Musius. A portrait of the Mother Superior, Isabella van Grijpskerke, depicted around 1550 in the only portrait of a nun from this order in the Netherlands, is used as a springboard to describe the daily activities of that role. The importance and prestige of the convent are noted in signage: they were the largest and richest of thirteen monastic groups in Delft. Interpretive panels in various rooms of the museum continue to remind the visitor of the relationship of the spaces to the original functions of the convent, such as that for the old kitchen. In addition, interactive screens in the museum present newspaper-like pages of early modern events and opinions, and include a ‘Web log of a nun’ in first-person narrative, and a ‘Prinsenhof poll’: ‘Was closing of the Convent a wise decision?’ (standing at 51.1 per cent in favour on 12 January 2009). Such museums have a strong pedagogical mission, working with schoolchildren, alongside a need to engage local adult visitors and international tourists. In such ways, female monastic experiences are integrated into a nuanced presentation of a physical space with many significant historical phases. 40 There is also an extensive art collection in the nearby Museum Catherijneconvent, which housed members of the Order of the Knights of St John. 41 See discussion in Chapter 3.

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Like convents, hospitals are one of the rare medieval and early modern sites that can be concretely associated with female workers. In the Sint-Jan Hospitaalmuseum in Bruges (now the Memlingmuseum), a series of seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury images depicting the work of hospital nuns, as well as infirmary and pharmacy spaces, connect the building to its original purpose and functions. In general, however, historical narratives of hospitals return to a focus on prominent, often elite individual figures, typically founders and patrons. The Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, perhaps the most famous example of such ‘medieval’ architecture, is a case in point. Although it was run on a daily basis by nursing sisters for more than 600 years, those individuals at the forefront of the museum’s story are the 1443 founders Guigone de Salins (1403–70) and her husband Chancellor Nicolas Rolin. Both are depicted in the Last Judgement polyptych by Rogier van der Weyden, created between 1446 and 1452 and still located in the building, Guigone kneeling at the right-hand side of the image while her husband prays to St Sebastian.42 As with some of the devotional images we examined in Chapter 1, coats-of-arms of both wife and husband are included on the work. The access to a name, an image and some traceable archival documentation makes Guigone a ready figure for tourist consumption, with both biographies and images, as well as other items, available in the museum gift and local souvenir shops.43 But what about the women who worked in the hospital? In Beaune, waxwork models depict nuns busy in the seventeenth-century kitchen that is stocked with nineteenth-century equipment. What does the visitor learn of their experiences? A study of information provided about such complexes in on-site brochures or site guidebooks indicates that details of female hospital labour are often quite sparse and typically not historicized. For example, a reader learns in relation to the Sint-Jan Hospitaal in Bruges that ‘Medical treatment did not amount to much ... Things began to improve a little in the 17th century, when greater attention began to be paid to anatomy, direct observation and hygiene.’44 Some of these hospitals, including those at Beaune and Lille mentioned earlier, retained their functions until very recent times (or indeed still do), and this perhaps makes it difficult to historicize women’s labour. After all, what historical era should be prioritized? The physical spaces of the hospital are often chronologically diverse: a medieval salle des pauvres, a pharmaceutical room containing typically seventeenthcentury medicinal jars, and nineteenth-century medical instruments and kitchens are commonly found within the same complex. Significantly, this presentation of female medical work mirrors scholarly commentary about medieval and early modern hospitals in which discussion of women’s labour has been critiqued by feminist scholars for often being equally imprecise and ahistorical, presenting their For an examination of the commission and its visual precedents see Bret Rothstein, Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 166–73. 43 Marie-Thérèse Berthier and John Thomas Sweeney, Guigone de Salins 1403–1470, une femme de la bourgogne médiévale (Précy-sous-Til, 2003). 44 Irene Smets, St John’s Hospital Bruges, trans. Ted Alkins (Amsterdam and Ghent, 2001), p. 22. 42

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caring work as undocumentable, unchanging, or natural.45 Yet hospital archives are among the most well preserved sources of information that document female labour, including many excellent collections in the Burgundian Low Countries.46 On this topic, extant sources allow deeper exploration of women’s medical vocations that could inform both touristic and academic historical narratives. In contrast to the historic hospital, beguines complexes, which often retain aspects of their original purpose, allow for different forms of engagement with women’s religiosity in guidebooks and on-site signage. The ‘Ten Wijngaerde’ complex at Bruges, established by Marguerite of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders in 1245 and now one of 13 UNESCO World Heritage-listed Flemish beguinages, is one example that allows the public to enter. On-site materials, typically prepared by the resident religious group, and city guides tend to focus on the historic physical and material objects in place. The museum flyer interprets the concrete spaces and their materials objects as ‘a beguine’s house of the 17th Century’ with kitchen, sitting room, cloister, bedroom, and dining room, and documenting particular items such as lacework.47 These spaces and objects are quite straightforward to discuss because they are tangible. But how do such sites and their support materials convey a sense of women’s religious motivations that underpin their creation? Such a flyer does not analyse the phenomenon itself, nor the significance of objects such as lacework to the economic success of the community.48 This literature does not directly engage with the considerable scholarship on the spirituality, organization, and public performance of beguines, nor the analyses of women’s experiences in later Catholic Reformation and English Catholic convents.49 However, the religious principles or experience that informed the beguines movement are articulated in spatial ways to the visitor. See further development of this argument in Broomhall, Women’s Medical Work in Early Modern France, Chapter 3. For the Low Countries, see also studies such as Anna Blanca Césarine Maria Delva, Vrouwengeneeskunde in Vlaanderen Tijdens de Late Middeleeuwen (Bruges, 1983), which presents a Flemish-language version of the Trotula that seems likely to have been authored by a practising midwife. 46 Broomhall is currently working on a study of sixteenth-century poverty that incorporates study of some of these records. 47 Information sheet made available to visitors; no publication details. 48 On lace, see further discussion in Chapter 7. 49 On beguines, important studies include Ernest McDonnell, The Beguines and Beghards in Medieval Culture: With special emphasis on the Belgian scene (New Brunswick, 1954); Walter Simons, Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the medieval Low Countries, 1200–1565 (Philadelphia, 2003); Mary A. Suydam, ‘Visionaries in the Public Eye: Beguine literature as performance,’ and Joanna E. Ziegler, ‘On the Artistic Nature of Elisabeth of Spalbeek’s Ecstasy: The Southern Low Countries do matter,’ in Ellen E. Kittel and Mary A. Suydam (eds), The Texture of Society: Medieval women in the Southern Low Countries (Basingstoke, 2004), pp. 131–52 and 181–202; and Joanna E. Ziegler, ‘Reality as Imitation: The role of religious imagery among the Beguines of the Low Countries,’ in Ulrike Wiethaus (ed.), Maps of Flesh and Light: The religious experience of medieval women mystics (Syracuse NY, 1993), pp. 112–26 and 177–9. On Catholic reformation, see Craig Harline ‘Actives and Contemplatives: The female religious of the 45

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Beguine sites are typically presented as offering an insight into the domestic life of historic women religious but, in contrast to hospitals, with a connection to the present day. Many complexes still provide homes for women. Some are interpreted as a kind of living history exhibit. As the City Guide to Bruges captions one picture of an interior: ‘Time appears to have stood still in the Benedictine Convent which evokes an overwhelming feeling of calm.’50 Furthermore, prominent signs at entrances request that visitors remain silent while within the complex. Visitors’ participation in the experience of silence becomes part of the way in which the beguine past becomes tangible to them in this place. In a way that scholarly texts cannot achieve – that is, through the experience of place – the principles of shared community, communal space and resources, and abnegation of individuality are rendered immediately tangible to contemporary visitors in the rows of side-byside similar, modest homes, as well as the experience of silent contemplation and retreat from the fast-paced modern world beyond the gates. A restaurant, the ‘Maximilian van Oosterijk,’ is directly outside the gate to Ten Wijngaerde (Figure 6.2). The visitor re-enters the modern world and is immediately confronted with a modern reworking of the beguinage left behind: in the upstairs dormer window, the bust of a nun is cheerfully adorned with sunglasses, rendering the city modern and also emphasizing differences between the lives of past and present women. Historic religious complexes of various kinds offer some of the most important physical spaces associated with the lives of women in the past. Our analysis of the interpretations presented within them indicates, we suggest, that space can be used as a form of evidence for narratives produced in the heritage and tourism domains about women’s experiences. In many ways, these narratives appear to operate in parallel rather than in convergence with scholarly work on the same subject, with little obvious interaction in terms of sources used or findings produced. Narratives displayed in guidebooks, interpretive signage, and on-site pamphlets do not make explicit any interaction with available scholarly analyses on these subjects in their development. In tourism and heritage presentations, it is the physical sites, visitors’ experiences within spaces, and the material objects found there that are critical tools for the construction of the stories of women’s experiences that such presentations offer. A Female Presence in Place We turn now from analysis of specific sites to the ways in which women are integrated within the spaces of historic environments, landscapes, or cities more broadly. Part of the tourist attraction of an urban precinct such as Amsterdam, from Low Countries before and after Trent,’ Catholic Historical Review, 81 (1995): pp. 541–67, and Craig Harline, The Burdens of Sister Margaret: Inside a seventeenth-century convent (revised edition, New Haven, 2001). On English convents in the Low Countries, see Claire Walker, Gender and Politics in Early Modern Europe: English convents in France and the Low Countries (Houndmills, 2003). 50 Bob Warnier, City Guidebook: Bruges, trans. Isabelle Esser (Ubstadt, 2006), p. 64.

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Fig. 6.2 Sculpture of a nun wearing sunglasses, opposite the beguine complex, Bruges. Photo courtesy of Susan Broomhall. a cultural tourism perspective (and embedded in its marketing strategies), is the perception of its intact seventeenth-century design. Significantly, it seems that the historic atmosphere of Amsterdam depends upon an appreciation of its domestic just as much as its monumental buildings. The seventeenth century witnessed unprecedented urban changes as towns grew rapidly as a result of migration, and money flowed to fund large-scale public architectural and artistic projects. This new urban landscape development was a popular theme of contemporary art, depicted by such artists as Pieter Saenredam, Gerrit Lundens, Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten, Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde, Jan van der Heyden, and Jacob Ruisdael in Amsterdam. In a city such as Amsterdam, residential developments were also particularly important. Expansion through immigration – from 22,000 in 1554, 50,000 in 1600, and 160,000 by 1650, reaching 220,000 in 1700 – was to re-shape the city with the creation of the Jordaan district, and the construction of the Grachtengordel around 1610 and its redevelopment in 1660.51 These include the Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht canals that ring the

51 Geert Mak, Amsterdam, trans. Philipp Blom (Cambridge MA, 2000), pp. 55 and 127.

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city centre and give Amsterdam the distinctive shape it exhibits today.52 Domestic residences thus form a large part of the remaining historical architecture of a city such as Amsterdam. Some of these elite houses – in addition to the Rembrandt House discussed in the previous chapter – are open to the public. The interiors of households one can visit in Amsterdam, such as the Museum Van Loon, offer an interpretation of the economic rise of the Dutch Republic presented through the grandeur and wealth of the family, who were co-founders of the Dutch East India Company. Yet it seems that women’s experiences are largely absent from the narratives created about these household spaces in which they (as well as men) lived, and for which they were held responsible.53 Interestingly, Amsterdam’s historic residential architecture has often been perceived by scholars as problematic in its presentation of cultural heritage, and the same could be said for most parts of the modern Low Countries. The Dutch Republic’s creation at the turn of the seventeenth century emerged from a culture that was merchant- rather than court-based, ushering in an era of economic expansion and global trade, new levels of domestic comfort, renovated urban precincts, and new patrons of art and architecture in Dutch cities. In European terms and especially compared to the grandeur of neighbouring France under the Bourbon monarchs, these urban re-development projects have been perceived as modest in the scholarly literature. Paul Zucker argued in his foundational study of town planning design, for example, that the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic had little to offer because of ‘the northern climate and the strong emphasis on domestic life [that] mostly prevented any desire for public spatial expression.’54 Indeed, Greg Richards has suggested in his analysis of European cultural tourism that ‘Amsterdam, the archetypal Calvinist city, today suffers from a lack of major monuments to attract tourists in comparison with Paris, London or the Italian cities.’55 Ashworth and Tunbridge summarize the city’s ‘tourist-historic resources’ within the compact city centre as dependant ‘principally upon an urban ensemble from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a whole, rather than spectacular individual buildings.’56 This is perceived to be problematic: it seems that domestic architecture is either not judged of interest to visitors or not seen to have a story to tell at all. Tourist providers are expected to struggle, like the tourism scholars, to present a compelling historical narrative about domestic architecture and experiences.

Ibid., pp. 106–12. See Chapter 4 for a discussion of how elite women’s household management could

52 53

be given cultural form in dolls’ houses that are extremely popular with tourists today. 54 Paul Zucker, Town and Square: From the agora to the village green (New York, 1955), pp. 4–5. 55 Richards, ‘Production and Consumption of European Cultural Tourism,’ p. 275. 56 Gregory John Ashworth and John E. Tunbridge, The Tourist – Historic City (London, 1990), p. 181.

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That scholars anticipate that tourism providers ‘suffer’ or will struggle to produce a compelling narrative of the past as a result of predominantly domestic historic spaces is surprising, given the strong focus within the visual arts and especially paintings of Dutch interiors and everyday domestic patterns. This generated a highly distinctive place-based corpus of images within the Netherlands, produced by internationally successful artists including Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch. Their images reflected contemporary fascination with and celebration by artists and patrons of the changing face of Dutch urban space, and for household space in particular.57 In fact, these same early modern images of women in the household are used prominently in public display in tourism and heritage contexts. As we discussed in our Introduction, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, currently undergoing renovations, for some time displayed a huge canvas print of a painting by Cesar Boetius van Everdingen of a women leaning over a brazier (Figure I.1). Similarly, the Mauritshuis in The Hague at times hangs a large-scale copy of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665–67) down one side of the building (Figure 6.3). In such ways, visitors are presented with visible reminders of historic women in the context of modern public spaces. They are presented as iconic of the Golden Age, and a promise of further visual and cultural riches to be discovered inside the museum. But what narratives are constructed with such images? As we noted in Chapter 2, women were highly visible in the genre of domestic interiors, in which they were depicted as the recipients of the new-found wealth of the Republic; beneficiaries of male labour in the public sphere. Is this what such images are used to say in our own time as well? We suggest that tourism in the Low Countries that is focused on an appreciation of urban precincts, largely comprised of residential space, generally incorporates images of both women and men. This powerful visibility suggests that early modern women were an important part of the past but also that this was principally moderated through their representation by men, and in ways that reinforce a much older notion that their domestic comfort reflects the increased wealth of the Golden Age. There is little attempt to provide tourist encounters on this grand scale with women’s own voices, experiences, or selfmade representations. It is certainly possible, however, for early modern art concerning women to be used in thoughtful ways to launch discussion of women’s experiences and to locate them in physical spaces. In Delft, for example, six ‘art cubes’ are scattered throughout the city, located in places that were significant in Vermeer’s life or places that he painted (Figure 6.4). Each cube contains information about the location, where relevant, and then provides analysis of several of Vermeer’s works. Much of Vermeer’s oeuvre depicts women in domestic scenes, and the cube texts add further visibility to women’s experiences by their documentation John Loughman, ‘Between Reality and Artful Fiction: the representation of the domestic interior in seventeenth-century Dutch art,’ in Jeremy Aynsley and Charlotte Grant (eds), Imagined Interiors: Representing the domestic interior since the Renaissance (London, 2006), pp. 72–97. 57

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Fig. 6.3

Exterior of the Mauritshuis, The Hague, showing a detail from Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, painting, c. 1665–67. Photo courtesy of B. de Praetere.

of facts or speculations about Vermeer’s sister, wife, and mother-in-law. His daughter Geertruyd Vermeer’s birthplace and baptism, as well as those of her brother Johannes, are recorded on Cubes 1 and 5. Cube 4 is situated near to his marital family home, where the brochure text for the Vermeer walk interprets Vermeer’s life experiences in relation to those of his female relatives: ‘For 15 years Johannes and his wife Catharina lived with his mother in law in a house that stood at the corner of the Oude Langedijk and the Molenpoort. There, each of their 15 children were born.’58 Although brief, the cube commentary opens discussion on the influence of female relatives on Vermeer’s life and oeuvre, their activities to support him, and speculates about their own experiences. Concerning The Art of Painting (c. 1662–68), the cube itself provides information on Vermeer’s studio and notes that ‘His mother-in-law inspired him. At least, her collection of paintings.’ Accompanying a reproduction of his Allegory of Faith (c. 1671–74), the cube commentary remarks that ‘His mother-in-law, very Catholic, probably devoted herself to obtain this “Catholic” assignment for her son-in-law.’ Finally, as to women’s own life experiences, one cube notes alongside an image of Girl with a Wineglass (1659–60), that, as Vermeer and Bolnes had 15 children, ‘Probably, VVV Delft, Vermeer in Delft: Vermeer Walk (Delft, n.d), p. 2.

58

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Vermeer tourism cube, Delft. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks.

Vermeer’s well-off mother-in-law never troubled about the empty-nest syndrome.’ Cube 6 makes note that after Vermeer’s death his wife Catharina Bolnes was left with ten of their living 11 children still minors. In such ways, Vermeer’s imagined domestic experiences and female relations and acquaintances are brought together for a rich, albeit speculative, presentation of the past that is engaged with women as much as it is with men. In addition, the cube texts use the images as a springboard to offer small insights into female experiences more generally. Cube 3, for example, contextualizes The Lacemaker (c. 1669–71) with the observation that: ‘In those days, lace-work was a favourite pastime of “damsels”.’ Cube 5 also highlights book and film presentations of the most popular Vermeer painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Moreover, in doing so, it highlights the role that places, as well as art, can play as a form of evidence for touristic narratives of the past. As the brochure text for the Vermeer walk suggests: ‘Partly because of his paintings, life in Delft in the Golden Age is still tangible. No wonder Delft was the location for the filming of “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.’59 In this interpretation, art and location work together to produce a form of evidence for accessing knowledge of the past, as well as a 59 [Klats publiciteit] Discover Delft’s other colours: Tourist Information Delft (Delft, 2006), p. 9.

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context for presenting it to contemporary audiences and visitors. In the following chapter we return to the iconic value of these paintings, especially the latter, in order to consider their role in the consumption of the past by modern tourists. The Delft cubes rely on the visitor’s familiarity with a range of iconic Vermeer paintings, most of which depict women. Indeed, female figures take pride of place in the window of the gift shop of Vermeer Visitor Centre in Delft, signalling just how iconic they are for visitors to the city, while, in a somewhat circular way, simultaneously reinforcing the visitor’s familiarity with them (Figure 6.5). In some ways, these images reproduced on the cubes across the city invite the visitor to experience the historical spaces of Delft through taking on the persona of the painted model, frequently female, rather than the painter himself. The graffitied, sometimes dirty displays informally re-present the imagery of Vermeer to encourage the visitor to re-imagine the historic streets of the town through the eyes of the artist and especially his models. It is noteworthy that none of Vermeer’s paintings remains today in Delft, even through the artist himself never left the town. Ironically, this allows flexibility in how and where reproductions of the images are located, since none are tied to a specific gallery or museum in the city today. Moreover, since it is difficult to establish precise physical locations for many scenes depicted, there is freedom to employ them to generate a loosely defined ambience and point of discussion for visitors. As such, the information on the cubes is almost entirely irrelevant to their physical placement. The women in the images are effectively gridded across the space of the city in a pattern of nonspecific resonances that take their final authority from one real figure – Vermeer. At the same time, the placement of these historic images in physical space prompts the visitor to create an historical experience of the space imaginatively as and through these painting’s female subjects. In this chapter, we have argued that place provides an important form of evidence for creating, and an opportunity for presenting, a range of narratives about women in the past. These are produced by and for use in different contexts, most commonly in heritage and in tourism. It seems that only rarely do these narratives offer nuanced, detailed interpretations of women for their audiences and visitors. Place is often employed in these domains as a historical source to support interpretations of the past which are relatively unchallenging and academically conservative, and which highlight triumphal eras such as the Burgundian Netherlands or Dutch Golden Age. Local and national narratives presented in tourism reinforce and create identities that in turn underpin and inform the stories that can be told, ones which have typically privileged male identities and obscured women’s voices and experiences, even when images of women are highly visible within them.60 Moreover, the materiality of place, buildings, and their objects Gregory John Ashworth and Peter J. Larkham (eds), Building a New Heritage: Tourism, culture and identity (London, 1994); Joanne P. Sharp, ‘Gendering Nationhood: A Feminist Engagement with National Identity,’ in Nancy Duncan (ed.), Bodyspace: Destabilizing geographies of gender and sexuality (London, 1996), pp. 97–108; and Nigel J. Morgan and Annette Pritchard, Tourism Promotion and Power: Creating images, creating identities (Chichester, 1998). 60

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Vermeer Visitor Centre, Delft. Photo courtesy of Alicia Marchant.

is often implied to ‘speak for itself’ as though experience of space and objects provides direct access to meaning without need for mediation. This masks the role that the dominant historiography plays in effacing women as actors, agents, and interlocutors in the historical record. We suggest that it is critical that feminist scholars explore the mechanisms, sources, and constraints in which these alternative domains produce historical interpretations. On the one hand, a deeper understanding would help academic historians develop ways to interact with such spheres through place, and to embed their nuanced and detailed interpretations about women’s experiences and using women’s own methods of production within tourism and heritage interpretative strategies. On the other, scholars may benefit from such interpretations and the objects and spaces that they bring into focus, leading to new and important insights. The creative deployment of Vermeer’s imagery in Delft, for example, or a visitor’s embodied apprehension of a beguinage, provide fresh ways of thinking about encountering the past. Tourism and heritage are much more than recipients of academic research; they can also provide an opportunity to reconsider what scholars know, and what we can know, about the past through place. With a greater effort to think through the use of place as a source, it may be that audience, visitor, scholarly, and student knowledge about women’s experiences in the past could all be enriched.

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Chapter 7

Purchasing the Past: Gender and the Consumption of Heritage Women are crucial to imaging and imagining the past in Low Countries tourism. Guidebooks, art cubes and postcards in particular appear to lay a high priority on representations of art depicting iconic women of all kinds: individuals such as duchesses and dukes of the golden eras of these regions, as well as obscure, anonymous, or even imaginary women who feature in well-known images by artists such as Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn. However, women do not just form the decoration for such souvenirs, a substantial proportion of which seem particularly directed to the female consumers of today. These items also form part of a narrative being produced through gift shops and consumer culture about the early modern past and women’s experiences and representations within it. In this chapter, we focus therefore on several key questions. Firstly, what kinds of gift items and souvenirs are marketed to female consumers and what narratives about the past are embedded in these marketing presentations? Further, we ask how the display of clothing in certain museum and heritage environments brings together the worlds of fashion-related commerce and an experience of the past. The items that we describe and analyze are not always inherently connected to the Golden Age of the Low Countries, but we argue that they become so, by way of the narratives in which they are contextualized, and the interpretations of the past that they help to construct for visitor and tourist consumption. In focusing upon these areas we draw upon the research and methodologies of the fields of textiles and fashion studies, especially in a museum context, and of tourism and consumption. This stimulating work rarely engages with early modern examples, however, and certainly not with the presence of women from the early modern Low Countries in modern-day tourism. This chapter, more speculative in mode than those which precede it, thus seeks to further debate in this area.

In terms of textiles, we have engaged particularly with Alexandra Palmer, ‘Untouchable: Creating desire and knowledge in museum costume and textile exhibitions,’ Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, 12 (2008): pp. 31–64, and Caroline Evans, Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, modernity and deathliness (New Haven, 2003; second printing 2007). Our discussion of textiles and lace ranges widely across many secondary sources and tourist materials that are generally not self-reflective about the field, but are nonetheless full of stimulating sources; these are given in the appropriate footnotes. 

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Gendering Tourist Consumption: Women, Gifts, and Sovenir Purchasing Over the course of this book, we have noted various items available in museum and art gallery gift and souvenir shops that represent or relate to medieval and early modern women of the Low Countries. In this section, we propose to explore what kinds of objects are presented in this form, for whom, and what narratives about the past and present are created through this consumer space. We examine how medieval and early modern women are presented in the gift shop context, what narratives they are used to construct for consumers, and the types of objects and materials that support these presentations. In the previous chapter, we explored the visual placement of women from the Golden Age on buildings – emblazoned across the exteriors of the Rijksmuseum and the Mauritshuis, to name just two examples. It seems likely that such images are at least partly intended to specifically attract the female cultural tourism client (just as Amsterdam’s red light district, a different form of tourism that also use women as ‘displays,’ is primarily aimed at men). Contemporary scholarship suggests that while women and men may visit museums in equivalent numbers, women patronize art galleries – our focus here – in greater numbers. How is the heritage of the medieval and early modern period packaged for consumers, especially for educated female visitors from higher socio-economic groups that form the majority of museum and gallery visitors? Scholars are increasingly exploring the way in which museums present information to the public as they negotiate a growing emphasis on leisure and entertainment functions. A particularly important confluence of art, culture, tourism and recreation opportunities has been identified in urban European environments. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a leader in the use of new technologies to engage its audiences, a strategy that has been pursued strongly during the closure of much of the collection for renovations from 2003 until 2013. The richly interactive Rijksmuseum website includes – alongside more standard, educationally focused material on highlights of the collection – downloadable podcasts by local celebrities such as Jeroen Krabbé, discussed in Chapter 4. At the

 Eileen Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and their Visitors (London, 1994), p. 85, and on categorizing visitors more generally see pp. 54–68; findings recently reinforced in Graham Black, The Engaging Museum: Developing museums for visitor involvement (London, 2005), p. 17.  Eileen Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and their Visitors; Eileen Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (London, 1992); Eileen Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture (New York, 2000); Eileen HooperGreenhill (ed.), Museum, Media, Message (London, 1995); and Peter H. Welsh, ‘Reconfiguring Museums,’ Museum Management and Curatorship, 20 (2005), pp. 103–30.  Irina van Aalst and Inez Boogaarts, ‘From Museum to Mass Entertainment: The evolution of the role of museums in cities,’ European Urban and Regional Studies, 9/3 (2002): pp. 195–209, see p. 195.

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museum, visitors can record themselves on camera and instantly email the short piece of video footage to friends and family around the world. The early modern period remains central to the museum’s self-promotion in these new forms as well as in its future directions. Wim Pijbes, current director of the Rijksmuseum, recently observed in the media that in the renovated museum ‘the central space will be devoted to Rembrandt and paintings by other masters – including the much-loved Vermeers – hung in rooms radiating out from it. The 17th century, after all, is what most visitors come to the Rijksmuseum to see.’ He intends to re-allocate some space from the library for educational programs instead, intended not just for children. ‘More and more, we are living in a visual world and visual literacy is one of our themes,’ he observed. ‘I want to teach people to look at art and at the same time to look at the world we live in.’ Pijbes’s views echo Irina van Aalst and Inez Boogaarts’s analysis that in museums today, audience functions are prioritized over conservation, archival, and research operations. The inclusion of a variety of commercial functions creates a kind of ‘cultural supermarket’ for visitors. Public funding forms only a portion of the income for almost all major galleries and museums, and they accordingly seek to raise revenue from visitors either through entry fees for permanent collections, special exhibitions, and associated gift shops. Certainly, blockbuster exhibitions exploit opportunities to profit from complementary merchandising. It is evidently the goal of many public institutions like the Rijksmuseum to combine entertainment and education productively. This happens, of course, in the gallery spaces, but the role of gift shops should not be neglected. For the gift shop, we argue, forms another venue for visitors to understand what they have seen, and more specifically a place where certain images and objects are transformed into purchasable objects that signal for the visitor which parts of the collection are to be considered most significant. The gift shop often becomes a particularly important site for knowledge transfer in situations where the visitor lacks the time, inclination, or funds to go inside the actual museum or gallery; the gift shop may be the only point of entry into presentation of the institution’s collections and even temporary exhibitions. These institutions have to compete for consumers and their entrance fees, so the gift shop – or its promise – must be an attractive beginning point, as well as a way to make money at the end of a visitor’s time in

 

‘Grand plans for Rijksmuseum,’ The Australian, 5 June 2009, p. 12. Ibid. Van Aalst and Boogaarts, ‘From Museum to Mass Entertainment,’ pp. 197 and 207. On the increasing importance and professional management of shops in galleries and museums, see Neil Kotler and Philip Kotler, Museum Strategy and Marketing: Designing missions, building audiences, generating revenue and resources (San Francisco, 1998), especially pp. 188–9.  Although it should be noted that, unusually, the Rijksmuseum gift shop is only accessible to the museum’s paying visitors.  

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the venue, reinforcing a satisfying experience and offering opportunities to share it with, or display it to, friends and family later.10 The Rijksmuseum, which charges an entry fee, attracts tourists who literally value cultural experiences. The Netherlands, as we have noted elsewhere, has a tourism profile that has an entrenched association with the sex and soft drug industries.11 Yet the region as a whole also trades heavily on its medieval and early modern streetscapes, architecture, cultural collections, and more intangible historical dimensions such as food, boutique alcohol products, and performing arts that resonate in historical terms.12 Industry and tourist literature often observes this challenge in marketing the region, and reports attempts for the different countries to demonstrate their unique qualities and increase their share of the visitor market, particularly given the rise of cheap airfares and trend towards weekend breaks rather than longer trips.13 The major target clients for this cultural tourism are mature-age couples: ‘a more sophisticated type of customer.’14 ‘Who will it suit?’ asks Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals of the Netherlands and Belgium, and recommends the cities ‘to couples who enjoy art, good food and a relaxing holiday’ as well as ‘Couples aged 45-plus looking for a city break or spa weekend.’15 Brussels is promoted in terms of its ‘good selection of hotels and restaurants, [which] coupled with a classic atmosphere, probably make couples the most obvious fit.’ Amsterdam, in turn, offers a depth of cultural and historical experiences: ‘Art and history buffs are well catered for in Amsterdam – the galleries are world-class and the city centre’s heritage has been admirably preserved.’16

10 For a discussion of these issues, see Timothy Ambrose and Crispin Paine, Museum Basics (London, 1993), pp. 58–9, who argue that ‘Shops and sales play an important role in museums of all sizes … They provide opportunities for visitors to take home a souvenir of their visit, help to provide more information about the collection, serve as a point of personal contact with staff and of course generate income for the museum. They therefore have an important public relations and educational role to play for the museum.’ 11 Heidi Dahles, ‘Redefining Amsterdam as a Tourist Destination,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 25 (1998): pp. 55–69. 12 For one example of the attempts to market in this direction, see Jane Archer, ‘Stop, Look and Stay A While: There’s lots to see and do in Benelux,’ Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals (September 2005): pp. 28–9. 13 ‘Belgium: Market profile,’ Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals (November 2004): pp. 50–52. Belgium has fewer than 7 million visitors annually, in contrast to more than 10 million visiting the Netherlands, particularly Holland. See Ben Lewerill, ‘Tale of Two Cities: Brussels v Amsterdam,’ Travel Weekly (UK) (20 March 2007): pp. 70–72; and ‘Netherlands: Market Profile,’ Travel & Tourism Forecast World (December 2005): pp. 213–18. 14 ‘EasyCruise Axes the Orange for New River Ship,’ Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (26 April 2006): p. 2. 15 Archer, ‘Stop, Look and Stay A While.’ 16 Lewerill, ‘Tale of Two Cities.’

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Shopping is an important part of contemporary leisure activities, including leisure travel. All tourism industries are closely articulated with manufacturers and vendors of souvenirs, which range from flags, novelty hats, t-shirts, and decorated beer glasses costing a few euros, to deliberately exclusive items like unique craft and design objects, designer clothing, gourmet food, and alcohol (beer as well as wine, especially in Belgium). In between is a market sector wanting inexpensive items that reflect cultural encounters and experiences: the Build-Your-Own Rembrandt paper dolls’ house is an example that would fit into this category.17 Studies indicate that women choose and buy the majority of souvenirs and gifts while on holiday.18 If women are the predominant souvenir purchasers while travelling, as well as forming the majority of visitors to art galleries, then it seems likely that a significant dimension of these spaces is designed to appeal to women. Historical narratives of women at these cultural sites, therefore, may be particularly constructed to appeal to an educated female clientele that travels and patronizes these heritage, art, and tourism domains. Although it is problematic to pose women as archetypal consumers, an examination of female shopping practices is thus important.19 Moreover, research suggests that the types of items that tourists purchase change as they gain greater familiarity with the destination. Travellers with different levels of experience buy distinct items imbued with different meanings. Some souvenirs represent the destination in a concrete way, perhaps depicting images redolent of the place, or activities only undertaken in this location (clogs, tulips, or art images). Other mementos capture a sense of the experiences one has in the destination, and these may or may not relate to the particularity of the location (such as items of clothes or jewellery that are not necessarily place-specific).20 Michael J. Ettema has noted that some people visit heritage sites to collect home furnishing ideas and in response museums put on craft classes and their gift shops sell objects for the home.21 Women, it has been observed, in particular favour clothing and textiles, selecting items according to aesthetic qualities such as style

See discussion in Chapter 5. See Luella F. Anderson and Mary Ann Littrell, ‘Souvenir-Purchase Behavior of

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Women Tourists,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 22 (1995): pp. 328–48; and M. JansenVerbeke, ‘Leisure Shopping: A magic concept for the tourism industry?’ Tourism Management, 12 (1991): pp. 9–14. 19 On the problematic but nonetheless compelling conflation of fashion, consumption, and the feminine, see Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the miniature, the gigantic, the souvenir, the collection (Durham and London, 1993), pp. 166–9. 20 See discussion of this literature in Dallen J. Timothy, Shopping Tourism, Retailing, and Leisure (Clevedon UK, 2005), pp. 104–5; and see also Nigel J. Morgan and Annette Pritchard, ‘On Souvenirs and Metonymy: Narratives of memory, metaphor and materiality,’ Tourist Studies, 5 (2009): pp. 29–53. 21 Michael J. Ettema, ‘History Museums and the Culture of Materialism,’ in Jo Blatti (ed.), Past Meets Present: Essays about historical interpretation and public audiences (Washington, 1987), pp. 62–93, see p. 74.

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and colour.22 In Anderson and Littrell’s study, women reported that they enjoyed wearing such items, used them as conversation pieces, and perceived them to hold special meaning.23 How then do such objects as clothing and jewellery articulate a sense of the past to female consumers? Current research about the meanings of objects in general (although not necessarily tourist objects) leads back to scholarly debates similar to those about ‘authenticity’ in the tourist experience.24 Likewise, souvenirs and other mementos are bound up with the issue of authenticity. As Susan Stewart observes, ‘the souvenir authenticates the experience of the viewer.’25 This meaning-making is a dialogic process: it is not just the consumer who makes their meaning, as they are also offered narratives and understandings of the past by the gift shop, in order to feel comfortable in consuming them. It can address a double past, that of the item and of the tourist, for, as Stewart argues, the ‘souvenir speaks to a context of origin through a context of longing, for it is not an object arising out of need or use value; it is an object arising out of the necessarily insatiable demands of nostalgia.’26 We now turn to examine how tourists today can ‘consume’ the past and, more precisely, how early modern history is made meaningful to the modern-day tourist consumer. 27 In the following sections we explore a range of objects offered to Soyoung Kim and Mary Ann Littrell, ‘Souvenir Buying Intentions for Self versus Others,’ Annals of Tourism Research, 28 (2001): pp. 638–57. See also M. Eckman, M.L. Damhorst, and S.J. Kadolph, ‘Toward a Model of the In-Store Purchase Decision Process: Consumer use of criteria for evaluating women’s apparel,’ Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 8/2 (1990): pp. 13–22, who found that, in their analysis of 21 previous studies, aesthetic criteria such as styling and colour have the greatest impact on selection of women’s apparel. 23 ‘The informants enjoyed wearing and using these items because they were authentic and, therefore, conversation pieces and sources of compliments.’ Anderson and Littrell, ‘Souvenir-Purchase Behavior of Women Tourists,’ p. 331, and also p. 341. 24 Melanie Wallendorf and Eric J. Amould, ‘“My Favorite Things”: A cross-cultural inquiry into object attachment, possessiveness, and social linkage,’ Journal of Consumer Research, 14 (1988): pp. 531–47; Russell W. Belk, ‘Possessions and the Extended Self,’ Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (1988): pp. 139–68; and Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton, The Meaning of Things: Domestic symbols and the self (Cambridge, 1981); see also Pamela J. Brown, ‘What Makes a Craft Souvenir Authentic?’ Annals of Tourism Research, 20 (1993): pp. 197–215; this term is also used in Anderson and Littrell, ‘Souvenir-Purchase Behavior of Women Tourists.’ 25 For a cultural history of the meaning and poetics of the souvenir, see Stewart, On Longing, pp. 132–51, and for this quotation see p. 134. 26 Ibid., p. 135. 27 The historical dimensions of consumer culture are not our concern in this chapter. For a useful introduction to this field of research, with a focus on the eighteenth century, see Ann Bermingham and John Brewer (eds), The Consumption of Culture 1600–1800: Image, object, text (London, 1995; paperback edition 1997). For recent gender-based analyses of consumer culture in a historical context see Ann Heilmann and Margaret Beetham (eds), New Woman Hybridities: Femininity, feminism and international consumer culture, 1880– 1930 (London, 2004). 22

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consumers and the narratives they propose about women’s experiences both in the medieval and early modern period, and now. Pearl Earrings Contemporary female tourism and the early modern world intersect, we argue, in a desire to access the past in a personal, subjective way. This desire is most clearly made manifest through purchase of a tangible item that can be worn on the body. Pearls are a case in point. The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague is home to one of the most iconic images of a woman from the early modern Low Countries: the Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665–67) by the Delft artist Johannes Vermeer. The small, jewel-like setting of the Mauritshuis building is structured in a manner that offers visitors intimate encounters with masterworks of the Golden Age. Its permanent collection includes three of the 36 known Vermeer paintings in the world, and the most famous of these – the Girl with a Pearl Earring – features prominently in its self-promotion. The Vermeer paintings are given pride of place in the museum, and the Girl with a Pearl Earring is central. It hangs in a room that is particularly focused on images of women, and is located between two paintings by Gerard ter Borch, the seventeenth-century painter best known for his ability to capture so precisely the sheen on luxurious fabrics. Ter Borch’s images are domestic scenes that represent the female sphere: one shows a woman combing through her child’s hair, and in the other a lone woman reading a letter.28 The direct backwards gaze of the girl in the Vermeer painting transfixes the viewer in a way that the other two scenes, with inward-directed gazes, do not. The audio guide informs the visitor about the rise of genre paintings in seventeenth-century art, and explains that many domestic scenes include women. It focuses on the mystery of the girl’s identity, and clarifies that she was not meant to be identified, but was instead a kind of character study known as a tronie. The Girl with a Pearl Earring is also critical to the Mauritshuis’s promotion of its collection. It is reproduced on a huge banner on the exterior of the building (see Figure 6.3), and it inescapably dominates the gift shop. Its presentation is partly related to the growing popularity of the painting to which the museum is responding rather than creating. In Tracy Chevalier’s 1999 novel of the same name, the painting is used as the starting point for a fictional story about Vermeer’s socially forbidden relationship with his maidservant, Griet, whom the story identifies as the young woman in the painting.29 The book has become a staple of Gerard ter Borch, Woman writing a letter, c. 1655, and Mother fine-combing the hair of her child, c. 1652–53 (also known as Hunting for lice). 29 Tracy Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earring (New York, 1999). The marketing of the novel suggests that it is primarily directed towards a female readership. Our research uncovered one with a decorated pink cover in a bookstore in 2009, with the promise that $1.00 from the sale would go to breast cancer research. 28

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book clubs, associated particularly strongly with female readers who often express a preference for books by female authors.30 The 2003 film version of the novel, starring Scarlett Johansson as Griet and Colin Firth as Vermeer, has rendered it an iconic image for still wider audiences.31 The book and painting are mentioned in the informational art cubes dotted around Delft, discussed in the previous chapter, although these erroneously cast Colin Firth in the role of maidservant Griet! The appeal of the painting in the aftermath of the book and especially the film is not restricted to an adult female market: the painting ‘starred’ in the recent film St Trinian’s of 2007, aimed squarely at teenagers; in an elaborate, fast-paced heist scene, a group of teenage girls try to steal the painting to raise money.32 In a parallel to the way that Rubens and Rembrandt are understood in wider culture through their relationships with women, as we explored in Chapter 5, a 1999 opera by Louis Andriessen presents Vermeer through the letters that he exchanges with his mother, his wife, and an invented Griet-like character who is his model: ‘These letters are the substance of the opera, dealing with domestic activities, the children, and marriage plans.’33 Artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such modern creative projects consistently suggest to audiences, are best understand through female characters and domestic settings. The image of the unidentified girl with the pearl earring has reached iconic status within popular history made for primarily female audiences. What ideas about the past and women are visitors reading into this image? This anonymous painting, bereft even of background details, seems to be a kind of blank slate onto which an imaginative perception of the past can be projected, as Chevalier herself indicates when describing how she researched her novel: Most of it, I confess, was done in my armchair. I read a lot (especially Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment Of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in The Golden Age) and looked at a lot of paintings. Luckily 17th-century Dutch paintings are mainly scenes from everyday life and so it was easy to see what houses looked like inside and how they were run. I also went to Delft for four days and just wandered around, taking it in. Vermeer’s house no longer exists, 30 The online site LitLovers lists the book as one of 30 ‘Ongoing Favourites’ for book clubs; see http://www.litlovers.com/litreads.html. On women in book clubs, see Elizabeth Long, Books Clubs: Women and the uses of reading in everyday life (Chicago, 2003); and see p. 120 for an expressed preference for female authors by some book club members. 31 Directed by Peter Webber. In Victoria, Australia, the Chevalier book has been listed in the secondary school English curriculum. See Andrea di Stephano, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Cambridge wizard student guide for VCE English students (Cambridge and Port Melbourne, 2003). 32 Directed by Oliver Parker. 33 Steven Ritter, ‘Review of Louis Andriessen: Writing to Vermeer (complete opera) Nonesuch 79887–2 (2 discs),’ Audiophile Audition: Web magazine for music, home and audio theatre (published on 23 December 2006), see http://www.audaud.com/article. php?ArticleID=2251.

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but there are plenty of 17th-century buildings still left, as well as the Market Square, the Meat Hall, the canals and bridges. It’s not hard to get an idea of what it was like then.34

Like other female audiences, viewers and visitors, the author used her own imagination to recapture and own the past, supported by the evidence of art and place sources. The painting is thus emblematic of that pleasurable historical reimagining, rather than something that is directly revealing or instructive about women per se in the past. The Mauritshuis caters to and reinforces the highly recognizable quality of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring in its gift shop, which is filled with objects covered with the unknown young woman’s image. Beyond inexpensive reproductions of the painting on postcards, posters, notebooks, magnets, and the like, the earring itself provides another avenue for identification with a woman from the past. The pearl seems to have become a talisman for a particularly female entry point into the history of the early modern Netherlands. Reproduction pearl earrings can be purchased in many museum shops, including that of the Rembrandt House. Rembrandt is not normally thought of as a Golden Age painter of luminous interior scenes in the style of Vermeer, yet one of his images selected for postcard reproduction in the shop is the artist’s 1634 etching Saskia with pearls in her hair (see Figure 5.8). As well as the decorations in her hair, a drop earring, either a pearl or similarly shaped jewel, hangs from her ear. The text accompanying a set of earrings for sale in the gift shop advertises that ‘In Rembrandts [sic] time it was customary for wealthy women to portray their wealth with pearls. These were not only used for earrings but also for necklaces, rings and in their hair.’35 The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam sells drop-pearl ‘Vermeer’ earrings – part of a set with bracelet and ring – which (perhaps for legal reasons) makes the carefully non-specific but evocative claim that they are, ‘inspired by the clean lines and vivid colours Vermeer used in his paintings.’36 The Mauritshuis, which holds the Vermeer painting in its collection, is able to label its pearl earrings ‘The pearl earrings of Vermeer’s Girl with the pearl earring.’37 Interestingly, these objects are often available online, becoming fashion and gift items with an increasingly tenuous connection to the location even though their place-based, historical resonance remains essential to their marketing. In such souvenir or gift jewellery, the advertising generally does not elaborate the historical significance of pearls for the consumer. An exception is the Rembrandt House gift shop example which does interpret the display of pearls 34 For the full interview, see http://us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/girl_with_ a_pearl_earring.html. 35 Also available online, ‘White pearls with zirkonia and silver. Be inspired by Saskia, Rembrandts wife.’ See http://rembrandthuis.isawebshop.com. 36 See https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/webwinkel. 37 See http://www.mauritshuis.nl/index.aspx?ChapterID=2421&ContentID=.

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as a sign of status and wealth in early modern times, perhaps with a subtext that the tourist might buy into this status at a symbolic level.38 Surprisingly, none of the marketing attempts to explain the iconography of the pearl. Perhaps it is because this is far from clear. As Mary D. Sheriff writes of an eighteenth-century portrait by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun of French monarch Marie Antoinette wearing pearls, ‘pearls have many possible meanings.’39 These could involve signifying lustfulness (related to Venus), female profligacy (related to Cleopatra), or could also ‘identify the dutiful bourgeois wife and mother in family portraits, and suggest that she is a “perle,” a valued person, a treasure.’40 Eddy de Jongh argues that in seventeenth-century imagery of the Low Countries pearls could symbolize virtue, religious faith, vanity, lust, and seduction.41 Further, he warns that they often have no deeper significance, especially in the case of portraits or similarly ‘natural’ (that is, expected) settings.42 Ultimately, perhaps the most fixed association with Vermeer’s pearl earring is that it is an example of virtuosic painting.43 Marketing of pearls therefore represents high culture, artistic quality, and Golden Age luxury, and speaks to a range of desires both about consumers’ understanding of the past, and their sense of identity in the present. The purchaser of these pearl earrings buys not only an interpretation of women’s experiences in the past, but also an opportunity to experience and project it in an embodied way themselves. Lace-Making, Women, and Museum Display Strategies Despite the increasing visibility of the Girl with a pearl earring in popular culture, another iconic Vermeer painting is The Lacemaker of 1669/70, held in the Louvre museum. This quiet, intimate, luminous image demonstrates the careful, painstaking work of the lacemaker, and conveys notions about women’s work in an occupation that remains strongly associated with the Low Countries to this day.44 38 Although certainly not at a real level; none of the earrings offered in art galleries that we surveyed cost more than 100 euros, and most cost much less. 39 Mary D. Sheriff, ‘The Cradle is Empty: Elisabeth-Vigée-Lebrun, Marie-Antoinette, and the problem of intention,’ in Melissa Hyde and Jennifer Milam (eds), Women, Art and the Politics of Identity in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 164–87, see p. 183. 40 Ibid. 41 Eddy de Jongh, ‘Pearls of Virtue and Pearls of Vice,’ Simiolus, 8 (1975–76): 69–97. 42 Ibid., p. 80. 43 The Mauritshuis audio guide and website stresses to visitors that it was painted in ‘little more than two brushstrokes.’ See http://www.mauritshuis.nl. 44 This recalls Martha Moffitt Peacock’s argument that seventeenth-century female artist Geertruydt Roghman’s prints of women involved in facets of work in the textiles industry should be read as expressing absorption in the task. Martha Moffitt Peacock, ‘Domesticity in the public sphere,’ in Alison G. Stewart and Jane L. Carroll (eds), Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Gender and Northern art in medieval and early modern Europe (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 44–68, see especially p. 52.

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Unlike the vigorous bodies seen in Isaac Claesz. van Swanenburg’s paintings of textile workers in Leiden, analysed in Chapter 2, the delicate, interior scene here exemplifies an idealized form of female ‘labour’ that fits better with Golden Age tropes.45 Lacemaking has a persistent historical association with women, who have traditionally been highly active as lace-makers, and remain most interested in it as makers, curators, and consumers.46 We argue that this particular connection among women, history, and material culture can also be extended to other quite literal forms of material culture: lace, fabric, and fashion. As we shall see, the historical and contemporary dimensions of lace are intertwined. Lace was important for the self-presentation of wealthy early modern men and especially women. While both men and women of means wore lace on their clothing in this period, women’s lace in seventeenth-century Holland was normally more elaborate, and in couple portraits women’s lace was more noticeably decorative and extended to the borders of collars and sleeves.47 Rembrandt’s 1639 portrait of the wealthy heiress Maria Trip, today in the Rijksmuseum, is interpreted for viewers on the museum’s website in terms of the extraordinarily expensive gold lace that decorates her sober, Calvinist black dress.48 Such portraits date from the period when lace was expensive, and so denote status as well as fashion, preceding later associations of lace with women’s clothing and especially underwear identified by historian Anne Hollander.49

See Chapter 2 for a discussion of van Swanenburg. On the case of Ghent, see Johan Dambruyne, ‘De Corporatief Georganiseerde

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Detailhandel in het Vroegmoderne Gent: langetermijnevoluties in het meerseniersambacht (zestiende tot achttiende eeuw),’ Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, 58 (2004): pp. 163–213. A survey of scholarly articles that reference the cultural associations of lace reveals an overwhelming association between women and lace; pertinent examples in a European context include Sibelan Forster, ‘Reading for a Self: Self-definition and female ancestry in three Russian poems,’ The Russian Review, 55 (1996): pp. 21–37; and Nicolette Makovicky, ‘“Traditional–with contemporary form”: Craft and discourses of modernity in Slovakia today,’ The Journal of Modern Craft, 2 (March 2009): pp. 43–59. On feminist re-appropriations of lace-making, see David Revere McFadden with Jennifer Scanlan and Jennifer Steifle Edwards, Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, exhibition catalogue (New York, 2008). Likewise, embroidery has well-established gender dimensions, also polemically represented from a scholarly feminist perspective in the seminal work by Roszika Parker, The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the making of the feminine (London, 1984). 47 For a particularly numerous range of examples, see Elmer Kolfin, The Young Gentry at Play: Northern Netherlandish scenes of merry companies 1610–1645 (Leiden, 2005); see pp. 66–95 for relevant paired or group portraits; and also R.E.O. Ekkart, Nederlandse Portretten uit de 17e Eeuw / Dutch Portraits from the Seventeenth Century, catalogue (Rotterdam, 1995), see especially pp. 26, 33, and 50–51. 48 http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_assets/SK-C-597?lang=en. 49 Anne Hollander, Seeing Through Clothes (New York, 1975), p. 213.

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As any visit to a souvenir shop in the Low Countries demonstrates, lace is one of the most popular traditional souvenir items purchased by tourists to the region, along with chocolates, clogs, and reproduction tiles in various guises. Lacemaking is particularly associated with Belgium, and various varieties of lace are named after the particular towns in which they were developed.50 Many towns in the country have specialized museums or significant lace displays housed within larger collections. In lace shops, locals and visitors can purchase reproductions and also thread, tools, and guides for making their own lace. In one shop window across from the Rubens House in Antwerp, the lace objects include the city’s coat of arms and a small scene depicting the little Antwerp boy Nello and his dog Patrasche, immortalized in the 1872 novel for children A Dog of Flanders by Marie Luise de la Ramée (Figure 7.1). Such objects are both iconographically and materially satisfying souvenirs. Visitors can also learn how to make it in the traditional way in short workshops held in Bruges, historically the most important centre of lacemaking in Belgium.51 Historical scholarship and curatorial strategies on lace-making deserve further attention. Lace is a material source with a particular set of challenges: it can be almost impossible to identify specific makers and designers, and the fabrics themselves are often physically fragile and light sensitive, so cannot be displayed permanently or even for long periods.52 Due to their fragility, lace and most other textiles have not become iconic staples in the museum-going experience in the way that Vermeer or Rembrandt paintings have. By contrast, sturdier wall tapestries, especially those commissioned by (often male) rulers, have received fairly extensive and high-profile scholarly attention in large catalogues produced for blockbuster exhibitions.53 The nature of lace and its display has implications for the presentation of lace exhibitions and labour within modern display institutions. Fashion curator Alexandra Palmer observes, for example, that costume and textile staff are expected to produce exhibitions every four to six months and argues that: this is an important reason for the low status of costume and textiles within museums. Costume and textile staff (principally women), tacitly accept the work of changing exhibits as a feature of the material (a sort of on-going childcare akin to changing diapers) and in fact capitulate in this program so as to professionalize the field, and women’s paid work in general, and to clearly follow best museum practice.54

For a survey of the history of lace-making see Santina M. Levey, Lace: A history (London, 1983); on the Low Countries in the early modern period see pp. 11–12 and 22–6; on different types of lace see Marguerite Coppens, Kant uit België van de Zestiende Eeuw tot Heden, Een keuze uit de verzameling van de Koninklijke Musea (Antwerp, 1981). 51 At the Museum Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Potterie in Bruges. 52 Palmer, ‘Untouchable.’ 53 See, for example, Thomas P. Campbell (ed.), Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of splendor, exhibition catalogue (New York and New Haven, 2007). 54 Palmer, ‘Untouchable,’ p. 54. 50

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Fig. 7.1 Lace for sale in a shop near the Rubens House, Antwerp. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Spinks. In this respect, it is interesting to note the innovative, interactive on-line exhibition presented by the Rijksmuseum titled Accessorize! which utilizes historical fashion objects within the collection. In this way, they can be displayed – albeit in a reduced way – to a larger audience without damage.55 What, then, is the history of lace as it is presented in these contexts? What do we learn about its historical makers, traders, or consumers? One of the most important collections of lace is located in the Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle in Brussels. When we collected material on the museum, the display included five cabinets with multiple examples of lacework and related objects – including particularly visually striking fans – and two large floor-to-ceiling glass cases against the wall in which two examples of larger lacework were displayed. The signage for this collection is very minimal and restricted to descriptions of the fans. As with many displays, the collection is strongest after the eighteenth century, indicating a difficulty in representing the work and styles of earlier centuries. Descriptions are 55 See http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/accessoires-webtentoonstelling?lang=en. A printed catalogue is also available: Bianca M. du Mortier and Ninke Bloemberg, Accessorize! — 250 Objects of Fashion & Desire (Amsterdam, 2008).

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focused largely on the development of style and techniques. Interestingly, there is little information offered in these spaces about the role of beguinages and convents in the development and production of lacework, much as we have seen for other forms of female religious labour in Chapter 6. Yet various tourist brochures signal that more than half the population of Antwerp was engaged in some aspect of lacework in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that it was a major industry of Brussels historically, and that it constituted a major aspect of the Low Countries economy in which the beguines were involved. Much of the historical narrative concerning lace in museums and guidebooks involves not its producers or traders but, rather, its consumers. This allows curators and authors to reproduce early modern portrait images to accompany the extant samples. Martine Bruggeman’s exploration of the Arentshuis Stedelijk Kantmuseum collection in Bruges begins in the sixteenth century, the earliest period of its extant items, and makes extensive use of portraits to show how lace of various styles was worn.56 The transfer of styles in lacework across Italy and the Low Counties is briefly touched upon, but its actual production is left unexplored. A similar approach is taken by the Brussels museum’s curators Corinne Ter Assatouroff and Martine Vrebos, in a text highlighting new acquisitions to the collection. Here the authors firmly link the display of lace to its context in fashion: ‘To present lace out of its context; that is, fashion, which it has always accompanied and to which it has always been submitted, would be utopian.’57 Why, we ask, is this the only context in which lace can be discussed? Are lace objects perceived as too small, non-figurative, or otherwise essentially less engaging for visitors? The idea of lace as a fashion item (rather than labour) is, it seems, an entrenched one, which may help to explain why a significant portion of visitors’ interaction with, and understanding of, lace occurs through shopping and fashion contexts. Importantly, it is not the case that research does not exist to furnish details of women and men’s experiences as producers and traders of lace in the early modern period. A range of scholars has explored the history of these industries and the specialized roles for women and men within them.58 Within texts intended to support museum collections, perhaps more than in the display spaces themselves, women’s roles as producers as well as creative designers and as commercial entrepreneurs can be articulated. Ter Assatouroff and Vrebos emphasize that linen mistresses were workers of some status, with moral as well as training responsibilities towards their female workers.59 They explain the process of Kant en Kostuum (Bruges, 1995). ‘Présenter la dentelle hors de son contexte, c’est-à-dire la mode, qu’elle a toujours

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accompagné et à laquelle elle s’est toujours soumises, relève de l’utopie.’ Corinne Ter Assatouroff and Martine Vrebos, Histoire de modes: Nouveautés inédites au Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle (Brussels, 2006), p. 3. 58 Coppens. Kant uit België van de Zestiende Eeuw tot Heden; Dambruyne, ‘De Corporatief Georganiseerde Detailhandel in het Vroegmoderne Gent.’ 59 Corinne Ter Assatouroff and Martine Vrebos, Brussels Lace in the Collections of the Museums of the City (Brussels, 2004), p. 3.

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specialization and its consequences for women’s labour, with intermediaries subcontracting the work ‘to women who were often illiterate.’60 The lace produced by these women was admired in other lace-producing regions of Europe: ‘the Brabant women of Antwerp, Malines and Brussels won the admiration of Italians, producing needlework pattern books that were distributed throughout Europe, for their skill in this art.’61 Moreover, Ter Assatouroff and Vrebos highlight the role of the celebrated Antwerp printer Christophe Plantin, who ran a profitable linen and lace business as well as his printing activities. Plantin is much better known to scholars and visitors alike for his work in the culture of print – which has perhaps been valued more highly not only for its influential reach but also as the more ‘intellectual’ aspect of his professional activities. Is it possible that lace’s associations with women’s work also render it less worthy of detailed scholarly exploration than humanist printing? Even more significant for our exploration of women’s experiences, the authors highlight the role of Plantin’s daughters Martine and Catherine who: assisted him with this business, covering Brabant in particular to visit manufacturers and workers. In Brussels, they dealt with a number of merchants who supplied them with huge quantities of items intended for the Paris market. In around ten weeks during the winter of 1574–5, Jacqueline Maskeliers supplied Martine Plantin with one hundred and ninety decorated ruffs, ‘three men’s coifs,’ and eighty-five ells of lace. Another Brussels woman, Linken de Roy, sent cut stitch embroidery ... She produced as many as eighty-nine trimmings at a time. As for Lisken Ackers, no doubt a Beguine collecting together the work of her colleagues, she produced wide-edged ruffs, needlepoint pieces proving that thus technique was used by the lacemakers of Brussels.62

Finally, Ter Assatouroff and Vrebos critically assessed the nature of the sources available for historical information in lace work, noting for their readers: We will never know whether these merchants-manufacturers had a workshop or had the work done by workers at home. The names of the latter have been lost for ever and, just as the Antwerp women who worked for the Plantin sisters signed with a cross, it may be presumed that the women of Brussels did likewise. As for

Ibid. Ibid. On Martine and Catherine Plantin, see Marie Risselin Steenebrugen, ‘Martine

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et Catherine Plantin, Leur rôle dans la fabrication et le commerce de la lingerie et des dentelles au 16e siècle,’ Revue belge d’Archéologie et d’histoire de l’art, 26 (1957): pp. 3–4; Marie Risselin Steenebrugen, ‘Christophe Plantin, facteur en lingeries fines et dentelles,’ De Gulden Passer, 37 (1959): pp. 74–111; and for a more detailed discussion, Marie Risselin Steenebrugen, ‘Les débuts de l’industrie dentellière — Martine et Catherine Plantin,’ De Gulden Passer, 39 (1961): pp. 77–124. See also the extensive discussion of Plantin’s daughters in the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren: http://www. dbnl.org/tekst/voet004gold01_01/voet004gold01_01_0004.htm. 62 Ter Assatouroff and Vrebos, Brussels Lace in the Collections of the Museums of the City, p. 3.

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their salary, we don’t have any information about that either, as the intermediary had no reason to note it down. The average price for an ornate ruff paid to the merchant-manufacturers by the Plantin sisters as equal to a week’s work for a proof-reader at the family printing works (i.e. about two florins).63

We quote this detailed material extensively because it underlines that it is not impossible to know about the variety of women’s roles in the production of lace work, even if individuals (both male and female) remain obscure in the historical records. Museum displays prioritize the visual and are possibly not well placed to present extensive background information. The visitor must, in most cases, arrive with an existing interest and seek out publications in the museum shop, or beyond, rather than encountering such information in combination with the objects. However, this approach has the unintended effect, we argue, of fostering an academic historical tendency to prioritize textual sources over others, as well as the likelihood that the museum-goer will miss out on new information about this aspect of the past, and especially women’s roles in it. A further possible way of exploring lace is to consider its properties as expressions of female voices and experiences. In the Arentshuis collection in Bruges, there is a late sixteenth-century liturgical cloth that appears to bear the initials of its two female makers: Francisca de Béjar and Maria de Matança. Here, religious iconography is combined with the women’s initials and heraldic shields, suggesting a complex mix of spiritual and personal motifs at work in the piece, although this is not explored further in the brief guidenotes.64 Indeed the analysis of lace and needlework as ego-documents is only now beginning to gather weight in academic discourse.65 It seems possible to suggest that this line of investigation could include not just the idea of individual ego-documents, but also collective ones such as the lacework that was produced by communities of women in beguinages. Another avenue in which the museum context and historical dimensions of lace can be re-imagined is, we suggest, through projects utilizing contemporary lace in historically rich contexts. Bruges has very recently capitalized on the historical resonances of its lace to attract modern-day tourists who value cultural experiences with historical dimensions, contemporary art and design, and fashion. Across winter 2008 and 2009 a festival of contemporary lace was held across Bruges under the trilingual title of Kantlijnen. Dentelle et design. The face of lace.66 Ibid, pp. 3–4. Martine Bruggeman, Arentshuis, Stedelijk Kantmuseum (Bruges, 1995), pp. 3–4. 65 See, for example, Heather Pristash, Inez Schaechterle, and Sue Carter Wood, 63 64

‘Identity, Embroidery, and Sewing: The needle as the pen: Intentionality, needlework, and the production of alternate discourses of power,’ in Maureen Goggin and Beth Tobin (eds), Women and the Material Culture of Needlework and Textiles, 1750–1950 (Aldershot, 2009); pp. 13–30. 66 See the folded brochure produced to advertise the event, and website www. kantlijnen.be. Curated by Hanneke Kamphuis and Hedwig van Onna, running from 11 November 2008 to 1 March 2009.

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The cover of the brochure produced to advertise the event cleverly reinvents the iconic cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. Here, the same figures (cut off at the waist) walk across a cobbled road in which the white pedestrian lines have been marked out with strips of elaborate white lace. The brochure declares that: Lace is very definitely ‘in.’ Today’s designers are finally discovering the many new possibilities offered by this most traditional of fabrics … The rich heritage of traditional lace-making is set to provide inspiration for a new generation of artists and craftsmen [sic]. For four months, Bruges shows the many faces of lace.67

Another image on the inside of the brochure shows an edgy fashion model in a deconstructed lace vest over a formal long silk dress. The objects include a map of Bruges made in lace by artist Chris Kabel and displayed on the street in a frame normally used for a hardy town map printed on metal. Elsewhere, lace ‘fences’ by artists Joep and Jeroen Verhoeven van Demakersvan are set up in the shadow of that archetypal Dutch form of architecture, the windmill (the St Janshuismolen; Figure 7.2). A website has been set up to accompany the exhibition and includes further images as well as links to short films that present the installation of the exhibition and an associated fashion show of avant-garde lace.68 These examples all point to a contemporary project, driven by cultural and marketing forces working together, that draws on the historical dimension of lace to appeal to new audiences through art, and especially through design and fashion (notably female, as the clothing designs are almost all for women). Fashion is associated with personal consumption, not just with viewing. Visitors cannot buy a Rembrandt painting or seventeenth-century print on holiday in the Low Countries, just a low-quality modern reproduction, but they might be able to afford some modern lacework, or perhaps a belt or scarf by Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. We now explore this use of fashion, and a different facet of consumerism; one that involves viewing objects that resonate with personal experiences of consumerism and shopping. In doing so, it engages female visitors once again with representations of women in the early modern Low Countries. As was the case with the Girl with a Pearl Earring, this is an engagement that is hard to pin down, but we argue that it has important implications for the sorts of experiences, objects, and stories that continue to be valued in tourist and academic narratives. Kantlijnen brochure. On the new uses of lace in a contemporary art and fashion context, see also McFadden with Scanlan and Steifle Edwards, Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting. 68 See http://www.kantlijnen.be/. The fashion exhibition (catwalk Kantlijnen Brugge.mp4) and short documentary about installing the exhibition (Making of Kantlijnen.mp4) were posted to YouTube by the project organizers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4r_BNdEhHM&feature=related and http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d-oyF3HoZQ&fmt=6. Also see an online photo album of installation photographs at: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bruggeplus/Kantlijnen_lokaties ?feat=directlink#. 67

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Fig. 7.2

Joep and Jeroen Verhoeven van Demakersvan, Lace Fence at the St Janshuismolen as part of Kantlijnen, or the face of lace, Bruges, 2009. © Stad Brugge – Matthias Desmet.

The Sensual Apprehension of the Past through Contemporary Fashion Over the last few years, fashion designers have created collections that reference the visual world of the early modern Low Countries. For his Spring 2009 collection, John Galliano for Christian Dior produced sumptuous dresses that referenced Dutch tile patterns, and the deep yellows and blues of typically Golden Age fabric in clothing. As fashion journalist Sarah Mower reported, the seventeenth-century Dutch elements included: cross-laced corseted backs and cartridge-paper scrolls standing out on hips, and, as things progressed, tulip prints and blue-and-white Delftware embroideries peeking from the underskirts. The finale dress, in a gorgeous deep burnt red, had the stately dignity of an historical movie costume – not so much Girl With a Pearl Earring as Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride (OK, that’s yet to be made, but the color’s exact).69 69 Sarah Mower, ‘Christian Dior: Paris, January 26, 2009,’ on the online magazine style.com, see: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2009CTR-CDIOR.

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Her comments were not intended, of course, to be carefully historically accurate, but rather evocative. They reflect one perception of what the early modern past might mean in modern culture, and a particularly female version of the past at that. That is, they imply that luxury, and especially luxurious fabric, has a perceived historical dimension to it that is especially early modern in character. Fashion designers undoubtedly reference historical artwork and periods in a loose, free-ranging manner. Fashion historian Caroline Evans explains such strategies in a way that suggests intriguing parallels with some of the creative adaptations of the past in popular histories and especially the historical experiences organized by tourism providers: If late twentieth-century fashion looped back to earlier moments of modernity in specific formations, it is not because the moments of past and present were the same but because a visual link between them uncovered interesting things about the present that echoed the past. Fashions designers can elucidate these connections visually in a way that historians cannot do without falsifying history. For designers, it is precisely through the liberties they take that contemporary meaning can be constructed.70

In late 2008 and early 2009, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht staged a major retrospective by the Paris-based, Dutch-born fashion designers Viktor & Rolf.71 The show was presented using specially designed dolls, and the centrepiece was a ‘giant’ dolls’ house.72 These designers have been at the forefront of a trend to produce non-wearable fashion items for the catwalk in order to establish their reputations. These are pieces that are almost certainly more likely to be displayed in a museum context than worn, and often use elaborate staging scenarios like this dolls’ house, also discussed in Chapter 4.73 The 2007/2008 Winter collection by Viktor & Rolf deliberately plays with their Dutch cultural heritage, and pieces

Evans, Fashion at the Edge, p. 11. The exhibition was originally curated through the Barbican Centre in London. See

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Caroline Evans and Susannah Frankel, The House of Victor & Rolf, exhibition catalogue (London, 2008). A smaller pamphlet in Dutch was prepared to accompany the Utrecht staging. Events staged alongside the exhibition included a fashion sale, and lectures on the seventeenth-century dolls’ houses held in Netherlandish collections. The women’s fashion magazine Elle was an exhibition partner. The exhibition follows major museum exhibitions on the designers in 2001 (the Groninger Museum in Groningen) and 2004 (the Louvre museum, Paris). See Miles Socha, ‘Museum Quality: Mona Lisa, move over. Viktor & Rolf is at the Louvre, part of a new craze for fashion at museums (Fashion Flash),’ W magazine (November 2003); see http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286– 19418153_ITM. 72 Evans locates dolls’ houses as an important theme in the recent work of Viktor & Rolf. Evans and Frankel, The House of Viktor & Rolf, pp.181–2. 73 Ibid., p. 47.

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Fig. 7.3

Viktor & Rolf, Emina doll, ‘The Fashion Show,’ Autumn/Winter 2007–2008 (from exhibition The House of Viktor & Rolf). Photo © Peter Stigter.

from it formed the first section of the exhibition in Utrecht.74 The dolls wore specially made high-heeled ‘Staphorst-style and Delft blue clogs, all handpainted,’ dresses using traditional fabrics, and devices emerging from their shoulders that mimic both catwalk lighting rigs and stereotypically Dutch milk pails carriers (Figure 7.3).75 The clothes feature fabrics with checks and floral patterns well known in The Netherlands, adorned by ribbons hand-painted by the only artisans to keep this tradition alive … The collection also featured a pleat technique that is derived from the way that garments are traditionally starched and folded in cupboards.76

Viktor & Rolf play a role as cultural icons in the Netherlands, perhaps most clearly expressed when in 2003 ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau commissioned the designers to make her wedding dress, a duchesse satin gown adorned with 248 bows and trailing a 3-metre (9-ft 10-in.) train,’ drawing on their more adventurous 2002 couture collection. Ibid., p. 120, and for a picture of the dress see p. 122. 75 Ibid., p. 196, and on this collection see pp. 196–203. See also a 2002 staged photograph of the two designers dressed up as early modern Dutch merchants, p. 220. 76 Ibid., p. 196. 74

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It seems likely that the historical dimensions of these clothes gained added resonance for visitors in the museum because of their presentation in a cultural space alongside objects and images that are centuries old. Exhibitions of clothing – especially high status fashion, as in the case of Viktor & Rolf – are increasingly popular and perhaps have something to tell us about what audiences (especially female audiences?) expect from cultural experiences.77 An earlier exhibition of the two designers’ clothing at the Louvre in 2004 caused fashion journalist Miles Socha to observe that ‘Fashion exhibits are multiplying faster than crashers at a Manolo Blahnik sample sale – and the public seems to be enthralled.’78 He cites Harold Koda, director of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as observing that ‘People have no qualms expressing their opinions about the objects, because every human being gets dressed.’79 Fashion in a museum context, then, is seen as particularly accessible. What is the relevance of this for tourist perceptions of women in the early modern Low Countries? As was the case for the Girl with a Pearl Earring, the associations are evocative, deeply embedded in popular culture and female consumerism. We suggest that they appeal to the senses and to personal memories, in line with fashion curator Alexandra Palmer, who argues that: Touch is a primary means by which we come to understand cloth and clothing. We handle materials, try on garments, and personally experience new shapes and fit, which we continually re-evaluate ... The personal knowledge of wearing clothes makes museum visitors connoisseurs even before entering a dress exhibition.80

Projects like the Viktor & Rolf exhibition in Utrecht are evidently aimed at producing enjoyable and historically underpinned gallery experiences that evoke women from the past. The nexus of fashion and textiles has undoubted historical resonance in the Low Countries with its history of cloth and lace production and trade.81 These objects therefore provide an example of continuity with, and reimaging of, the past – crucially through industries where both production and consumption have been open to women. This notion can be examined further from a different perspective through a religious object that has become drawn into the orbit of tourism and fashion: a Madonna in Antwerp.

On the trend in the last several decades towards fashion displayed in art gallery contexts and in art/fashion cross-over magazine photo-essays, see Evans, Fashion at the Edge, p. 70, note 14. And see also Sung Bok Kim, ‘Is Fashion Art?’ Fashion Theory, 2 (1998): pp. 51–71. 78 Socha, ‘Museum quality.’ 79 Harold Koda, cited in ibid. 80 Palmer, ‘Untouchable,’ p. 32. 81 On this point see also Chapter 2. 77

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Interactions of the Old with the New: From Fabric to Fashion in a Tourism Context The church of Saint Andrew in Antwerp is presented to tourists in a way that explicitly addresses Antwerp’s status as a fashion capital. It also includes a notable number of objects that are concerned with women.82 In an illustrated guidebook, the introduction tells the visitor that ‘Found between the antique shops of Kloosterstraat and contemporary fashion at the Fashion Museum (Modemuseum) in Nationalestraat is the almost 500-year-old Saint Andrew’s Church (SintAndrieskerk), laden not only with antique baroque but also with room for latterday creations such as the mantle of the Blessed Virgin.’83 Another passage explains these regularly changed fabrics of the altar forecloths in terms that incorporate both fashionable and symbolic elements: ‘Because a festival table should be stylish, decorative antependia, or forecloths, are alternated with each other according to the colours of the liturgical year.’84 Stylishness is clearly not just a casual choice for this church in its current incarnation and its touristic presentation. The ‘latterday creation’ referred to in the first sentence of the booklet is a dress designed in 2001 by Ann Demeulemeester for the 1585 statue of the Virgin Mary (Figure 7.4). Demeulemeester is one of a group of highly successful designers who became known in the 1990s as the ‘Antwerp Six’ and played a significant role in the city’s current status as a centre for cutting-edge fashion.85 She is the only female designer associated with the group.86 The entry on the statue is headed ‘A powerful lady: Our Lady of Succour and Victory,’ a statue that is dressed in various mantles, many made from donated recycled dresses in luxury fabrics dating back as far as the eighteenth century. Yet the guide text asks the visitor: does this traditional wardrobe – however respectable it may be – still lend itself to illuminating the unique figure of Christ’s mother? When it comes to it, who would not give the object of his affections a new outfit every so often? (Particularly after 150 years!) It was for that reason that in Antwerp’s fashion year of 2001, Ann Demeulemeester – ‘the most poetic of the Antwerp Six (fashion designers)’ – was asked to create something contemporary … The ruff of white doves’ feathers is the designer’s personal signature. Was that symbolic dove not a sign of Mary’s selection ‘above all women’?87

There is a c. 1620 epitaph to two of Mary Stuart’s former ladies-in-waiting, Elisabeth Curle and Barbara Moubray, who had ended up living in Antwerp as religious exiles. See Rudi Mannaerts, St. Andrew’s Church of Antwerp (Antwerp, 2008), pp. 26–7. There is also a major side altarpiece consecrated to St Anne, pp. 22–3. 83 Ibid., p. 3. 84 Ibid., p. 14. 85 See the analysis of the connection between progressive fashion design and Antwerp’s tourist status in Javier Gimeno, ‘Selling Avant-garde: How Antwerp Became a Fashion Capital (1990–2002),’ Urban Studies, 44 (2007): pp. 2449–64. 86 On the Antwerp Six and on Ann Demeulemeester, see Evans, Fashion at the Edge, p. 203. 87 Mannaerts, St. Andrew’s Church of Antwerp, p. 16. 82

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Fig. 7.4

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Our Lady of Succour and Victory, 1585, wearing dress designed by Ann Demeulemeester, 2001, in Saint Andrew’s church, Antwerp. Sint Andrieskerk Antwerpen © Lukas – Art in Flanders VZW.

This statue is, in fact, a symbol of Catholic triumphalism, and was given the title of Our Lady of Succour and Victory in 1689 in honour of a brotherhood formed that year to praise the Habsburg victory over the Ottomans in Central Europe. It has been transformed by the church into a celebration of Antwerp’s modern fashion scene. It does so through bringing together two powerful women: the Virgin Mary, and Antwerp’s most successful female fashion designer.88 The project was undertaken in 2001, Antwerp’s ‘Fashion Year,’ a five-month themed festival that drew in many different institutions. Projects included exhibitions of early modern prints showing clothing, which were responded to in visual expressions through designs by local fashion students from the Sint-Maria Institute: ‘You can discover the costumes in unpredicted [sic] places in various rooms of the Museum Plantin-

88 For many visitors, it would resonate with the famous Brussels statue of the Mannekin-Pis, or pissing boy; the statue is dressed with real clothes according to a fixed calendar heavily promoted by tourist bureaux.

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Moretus and the Prentenkabinet.’89 Visitors to Antwerp were, and increasingly are, encouraged to see the historical through contemporary fashion, and vice versa. Examples like the contemporary lace-making of Bruges, the fashionably dressed Madonna in St Andrew’s in Antwerp, and the Viktor & Rolf dolls’ house fashion exhibition in Utrecht do not present clothes as objects that can be purchased in the ways that souvenirs might be. In the case of the Utrecht exhibition, the visitor could purchase from a large range of related books, magazines, DVDs, and postcards in the gift shop. The Antwerp Madonna has a less developed range of associated gift objects, although the booklet presents the robed statue as a self-consciously stylish image. Nonetheless, these examples connect to the early modern past, to women and to modern consumer culture simultaneously. In 1630, Magdalena de Passe, engraver, artist, and member of the print family workshop headed by her father Crispijn de Passe, was awarded a privilege for three years to produce a highly innovative printed object. Magdalena developed the idea of printing images onto nightcaps, and as Ilja M. Veldman tells us, ‘Magdalena was the only person in the Republic permitted to print on linen or other textiles.’90 The caps were printed with images of various well-known personalities, and popular thematic sequences representing scenes like the Four Times of the Day. While none of Magdalena de Passe’s caps remain today, they remind us that many ephemeral objects from the past were made by women and are less likely to be encountered in modern institutional collections today due to their fragility and lesser status. They are, inevitably, often not as fully accounted for in curatorial strategies, scholarly work, and tourist presentations. Yet it is also the case that if we all, scholars and tourists, valued those narratives which offered interpretations of women’s experiences and which employed the wide range of sources still available to articulate them, perhaps there would be greater will to find better solutions to their preservation and there might be more extensive and integrated displays. For, even in fragments, they present compelling glimpses of lives from the past, especially women’s lives. These are glimpses that accumulate to an ever more complex and nuanced vision of women from the past, and engage different, wider audiences. The consumer desire to touch and to own objects that recall this past, likewise, represents an engagement with history that is embodied through objects and cultural associations which are often presented as minor, but which collectively testify to ever-changing ways of experiencing and apprehending the past.

http://museum.antwerpen.be/prentenkabinet/eng/expo_EN.shtm. Ilja M. Veldman, Crispijn de Passe and his Progeny (1564–1670): A century of

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print production, trans. Michael Hoyle (Rotterdam, 2001), p. 291. See also Nadine M. Orenstein, ‘Engravers and Printmakers as Hatmakers in the Seventeenth Century,’ Waffen und Kostümkunde, 1–2 (1991): pp. 121–6.

Conclusion

From Yesterday to Tomorrow: Seeing and Hearing Women in the Low Countries This book has investigated a broad and unusual range of sources and utilized a number of methodologies drawn from the disciplines of history as well as art history, geography, and tourism and heritage studies. We have ranged across several centuries and the terrain of modern-day Belgium, the Netherlands, and France in our search for insights into how scholars, tourism and heritage agencies, museums, galleries, and popular culture present the lives of late medieval and early modern women. We have done so with the goal not of comprehensiveness, but rather of providing a range of new insights into the practice of history and especially history-making beyond the academy. We have used our sources in a way that sometimes complicates categories of primary and secondary. Is a tourist guide to the Rubens House, for example, written with input from scholar-curators as well as popular historians, a primary or a secondary source? It can, of course, be both, and we use other materials in similarly multiple ways. We have worked across a large range of media and genres in order to present a deliberately varied range of medieval and early modern materials. We have sought in this work to think broadly about what a source is, what an ego-document might be, and how we listen for women’s voices and look for their experiences in the past – particularly as they represented such experiences themselves, but also how they might be encountered differently in representations men made of them. Our shared work strategies have been, in effect, an extension of this deliberately varied approach. We wanted to draw together our respective and sometimes shared skills in feminist history, cultural history, art history, the practice and theory of curatorship, and an increasing desire to understand our own research-oriented travel in terms that allowed us to integrate ideas about history and its audiences. We wished to be inclusive and open to unexpected ideas, in order to develop new analytical approaches. We cheered each other on, ruthlessly cut each other’s favourite prose, and vigorously debated the inclusion and exclusion of our most cherished examples. We also drew on the invaluable work of our fellow travellers and historians, Alicia Marchant and Lisa Keane Elliott, not only using the data that they collected but also moderating some of our own ideas in response to their insights and observations in place. The results of this practice suggest to us that an exploration of various frameworks for finding and interpreting early modern women’s experiences reveals striking points of commonalities, as well as differences, across academic,

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museological, and touristic contexts. It is true that some sources seem hard to handle in different narrative environments (lace and dolls’ houses in academia, or archival texts in tourism, for example). Some evidence is a good fit for one kind of story-telling or audience engagement in ways that are in part dependent on how knowledge is understood within these domains – as personal, collective, verifiable, or replicable. What is significant for us are the ways in which history is constructed for its audiences through the places, objects, images, and texts which can be made meaningful in a particular context, and how this historical narrative is possible because of the sources that document it. Tourist literature, for example, often uses the idea of place as a historical source to support narratives of the past which tend to be quite conservative, emphasizing golden eras in a region’s past. However, the ways in which such texts apply place to their narratives are often quite exciting. As a form of evidence, tourist providers ask visitors to consider places ranging from the tangible to the reconstructed, from those named to the imagined, as sources to support the construction of urban and national historical narratives. New reading strategies emerge to utilize place as a source, interpretations that stem from bodily and intellectual engagement with specific locations. In particular, the connection of place to the past requires using the imagination, but the creative processes of the tourist cannot be tightly controlled by the guidebook. Individualistic understandings of the meta-narrative are inevitable. By comparison to scholarly history, touristic analyses of the past can be freer in their use of sources and the methods to make sense of them because the narratives of the past or places that a traveller constructs from such evidence need never be precisely replicated or validated by others. Its only reference for success is the tourist satisfied that the personalized history they have visited and created matches the themes set up by the tourist providers about cultural heritage. However, ultimately, it is not the source itself that decides whether a story can be told about women in a certain context, it would seem. While visitors to the Lakenhaal Museum in Leiden encounter striking images of women at work, they will struggle to locate those images in an understanding of women’s lives. Around the corner, the museum-sponsored mural (Figure 2.7) is rather more adventurous and evocative in its free-wheeling integration of images of women into a timeline of the early modern period. Our research suggests that when societies decide a story is important enough to tell, they find ways to make the sources work for them, sometimes in very imaginative ways. Rembrandt’s women, for example, are not physically or materially connected to the site of his home any more than he is, yet since they are considered important to an analysis of Rembrandt’s character, they are made to exist there. Dolls’ houses, too, it seems, can be presented as evidence of domestic female lives, ones that sit separately from larger narratives. Cara Aitchison, Nicola E. McLeod, and Stephen J. Shaw, scholars of gender in tourism, have argued that

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In contrast to other forms of tourism, the heritage landscape often emphasizes nationalism and the construction of the nation-state by drawing upon a history that frequently renders women the invisible Other. Here women can be absorbed, subsumed and finally rendered invisible by engendered representations of nation.

We suggested in our Introduction that the Low Countries were one example where women seemed to be visible at the heart of many interpretations of the medieval and early modern past, and might thus present an opportunity to test the place of gender in national heritage narratives. Our evidence suggests that despite their visibility in historical presentations, women are not generally embedded in broader-scale national narratives, either at the individual level, in a case such as Louise de Coligny in the broader Nassau connection to the Dutch nation, nor more anonymously, as nuns or beguines for example. Thus, the most important question underpinning our project is this: why are women’s experiences and voices not seen as important, even today, or as the ones worth telling and repeating in most contexts? In the first chapter of this book, we framed our search for women’s voices and representations through one author’s account of trying to explain part of the project to her four-year-old daughter. What opportunities will future generations have to encounter women from the past? No doubt the forms in which they will do so will develop from new technologies that we cannot yet imagine. But the content which will feed those presentations must come, we believe, from a closer engagement across different modes and sources of history and, more importantly, the will to see and hear women from the past.

 Cara Aitchison, Nicola E. McLeod, and Stephen J. Shaw, Leisure and Tourism Landscapes: Social and cultural geographies (London, 2000), p. 127.

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Works Cited A Note about Sources In the following list of works cited, we provide full details of our textual sources. We have divided this into three areas: printed primary sources, modern textual sources, and secondary scholarship. We realised that it was important to distinguish the many touristic and popular publications that we examine as sources, and so created the category of modern textual sources to account for such works. Some works cross the categories of the scholarly and the touristic and can be found in the final section on secondary scholarship. The list of illustrations at the front of the book provides precise details about the most important of the visual and material sources that we examine. Details about supplementary visual and material sources can be found in the relevant chapters. Due to the nature of this project, we also used many unusual objects and especially locations as sources. We regard the topographies of cities such as Amsterdam, Delft, and Utrecht, for example, as sources, just as we do individual locations such as the Rembrandt House or the Prinsenhof. Details on various individual locations are given at the relevant points in each chapter, and specific locations and source types can also be identified through the index. Likewise, the reader can identify our use of particularly unusual sources, such as window displays and items for sale in shops, through specific references in chapters and through the index. Printed Primary Sources Anne de France, Les Enseignements d’Anne de France, ed. A-M. Chazaud (Moulins: Desrosiers, 1878). Archives ou correspondence inédites de la Maison d’Orange-Nassau, ed. Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (9 vols, Leiden: Première série, 1835–47). Beatis, Antonio de, The Travel Journal of Antonio de Beatis: Germany, Switzerland, The Low Countries, France and Italy, 1517–1518, ed. J.R. Hale and trans. J.R. Hale and J.M.A. Lindon (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1979). Beverwyck, Johan van, Van de uutnementheyt des vrouwelicken geslachts (Dortrecht: J. Gorissz., 1643). Brune, Johan de, Emblemata of Zinne-werck, ed. P.J. Meertens (Soest: Davaco Publishers, 1970). Buchel, Aernout van, Diarium (or Commentarius rerum quotidianarum), c. 1593– 1600 (Ms. 798, Utrecht University Library), published as Arend van Buchell, Diarium, ed. G. Brom and L.A. van Langeraad (Amsterdam: Johannes Müller, 1907).

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Chatellain, Georges, Oeuvres, ed. J.C. Kervyn de Lettenhove (8 vols, Brussels: Heussner, 1863–66). Coligny, Louise de, Correspondance de Louise de Coligny, Princesse d’Orange (1555–1620), ed. Paul Marchegay, notes and introduction Léon Marlet (Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1970; original edition: Paris: A. Picard, 1887). ‘Fragment d’un inventaire de tableaux et d’objets d’art,’ ed. J. Finot, Inventaire sommaire des archives départementales du Nord antérieures à 1790, série B, VIII (Lille: L. Danel, 1895). Guicciardini, Ludovico, The description of the Low Countreys (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum; Norwood, NJ: W.J. Johnson, 1976). ‘Inventaire des vaisselles, joyaux, tapisseries, peintures, manuscrits, etc. de Marguerite d’Autriche, régente et gouvernante des Pays-Bas, dressée en son palais de Malines, le 9 juillet 1523,’ ed. M. Michelant, Compte rendue des séances de la Commission royale d’histoire. Académie royales des sciences, des lettres, et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, 3/12 (1871): 5–78 and 83–136. La Marche, Olivier de, Mémoires sur la maison de Bourgogne, ed. J.A.C. Buchon (Paris: Desrez, 1836). La Tour Landry, Geoffroy de, The book of the knight of the tower, ed. M.Y. Offord, trans. William Caxton (Oxford: Early English Text Society, 1971). Le Mesnagier de Paris, ed. Georgina E. Brereton and Janet M. Ferrier, trans. and notes Karin Ueltschi (Paris: Librairie Générale Française, 1994). Mander, Karel van, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters: From the First Edition of the Schilder-Boek (1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema (5 vols, Doornspijk: Davaco, 1994–99). [Maximilian I and Margaret of Austria], Correspondence de 1’Empereur Maximilien Ier et de Marguerite d’Autriche, sa fille, gouvernante des PaysBas de 1507 à 1519, ed. A. Le Glay (2 vols, New York: Johnson Reprint, 1966; original publication: Paris: Jules Renouard, 1839). Pizan, Christine de, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, trans. Sarah Lawson (London: Penguin, 1985). de Poitiers, Eleanor, ‘Eléonore de Poitiers, Les Etats de France (Les Honneurs de la Cour),’ ed. Jacques Paviot, in Annuaire-Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de France (1996/1998): 75–137. Modern Textual Sources Archer, Jane, ‘Stop, Look and Stay A While: There’s lots to see and do in Benelux,’ Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals (September 2005): 28–9. ATCB (Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board), Rembrandt 400: Amsterdam 2006 (Hilversum: Van der Weij BV Grafische Bedrijven, 2006). ‘Belgium: Market profile,’ Travel Weekly: The choice of travel professionals (November 2004): 50–52. Carbo, Christa, Het poppenhuis. The doll’s house (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2008). Chevalier, Tracy, Girl with a Pearl Earring (New York: Dutton, 1999).

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City Kompas, trans. C.M. Evertse (Haarlem: Communicatie bureau Hoep & Partners, 1993). di Stephano, Andrea, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Cambridge wizard student guide for VCE English students (Cambridge and Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2003). ‘EasyCruise Axes the Orange for New River Ship,’ Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (26 April 2006): 2. Eyewitness Travel: Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2009). Eyewitness Travel: the Netherlands (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2008). Garschagen, Agaath, ‘Het Kleine Huis voor Grote Mensen,’ Oog, 5 (2008): 26–39. ‘Grand plans for Rijksmuseum,’ The Australian, 5 June 2009, p. 12. Hendriks, Tommie, Visit Utrecht, trans. Douglas J. Dunsheath and Arya Distelbrink (Utrecht: De Munck, 2005). Hill, Pamela, Here Lies Margot: A novel based on the life of Margaret of Burgundy, who knew all the rulers of 15th century Europe and married three of them (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1958). [Klats publiciteit], Discover Delft’s other colours: Tourist Information Delft (Delft: Van Ketel Drukkerij, 2006). Lewerill, Ben, ‘Tale of Two Cities: Brussels v Amsterdam,’ Travel Weekly (UK) (20 March 2007): 70–72. Mower, Sarah, ‘Christian Dior: Paris, January 26, 2009,’ on the online magazine style.com, see: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2009CTR-CDIOR ‘Netherlands: Market Profile,’ Travel & Tourism Forecast World (December 2005): 213–18. Rembrandt’s Wife, program (Melbourne: Victorian State Opera, 2009). Ritter, Steven, ‘Review of Louis Andriessen: Writing to Vermeer (complete opera) Nonesuch 79887–2 (2 discs),’ Audiophile Audition: Web magazine for music, home and audio theatre (published on December 23, 2006), see http://www. audaud.com/article.php?ArticleID=2251 Socha, Miles, ‘Museum Quality: Mona Lisa, move over. Viktor & Rolf is at the Louvre, part of a new craze for fashion at museums (Fashion Flash),’ W magazine (November 2003), see http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/ summary_0286–19418153_ITM Visites Guidées à Bruxelles: Agenda 2008 [no publication details]. Warnier, Bob, City Guidebook: Bruges, trans. Isabelle Esser (Ubstadt: Kraichgau Verlag, 2006). VVV Alkmaar, Walking Tour of the Town Among the Historic Buildings (Schagen: Drukkerij Van Ketel, n.d). VVV Delft, Vermeer in Delft: Vermeer walk (Delft: VVV Delft, n.d.). VVV Gouda, Gouda Town Walk: The secret of Holland (Waddinxveen: Twigt, 1999). VVV Het Groene [Hart]. Gouda (Het Groene: VVV Het Groene [Hart], 2006). VVV Utrecht, Vrouwen van Utrecht (Utrecht: VVV Utrecht, n.d.).

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Index Aalst, Irina van 172–3 Accessorize! exhibition 183 Ackers, Lisken 185 Adams, Anne Jensen 67 Adams, Julia 74­–5 Adolf, Duke of Cleves 30 Aerssen, Cornelis van 84 Aert, Laura van 4, 50, 75, 132, 141 Agnes of Burgundy 30 Ainsworth, Maryan W. 33, 42–3 Aitchison, Cara 11, 151, 196–7 Albert of Austria 125, 133, 139 Albrecht V of Bavaria 108, 113, 116–17, 119 Alexander, Dorothy 108 Alkmaar 153 Allegory of Faith 166 almshouses 153–4 Alpers, Svetlana 125 AlSayyad, Nezar 9, 150 Ambrose, Timothy 174 Amsterdam 1–2, 15, 38, 99, 102–3, 105, 110–11, 118, 126, 128, 131, 134, 141, 151, 156, 162–5, 172, 174, 179 Amsterdam Tourism and Convention Board 128 Amussen, Susan 76 Anderson, Luella F. 175–6 Andriessen, Louis 178 Anna of Denmark, Electress of Saxony 109 Anna of Saxony 131 Anne of France 29 Antoine of Burgundy 27 Antwerp 15, 37–8, 65, 124–5, 127, 129, 131–3, 137–41, 182–5, 191–4 Appel, Jacob The doll’s house of Petronella Oortman 112–13, 120–21 Archer, Jane 174 Areford, David S. 20 Arents, Barbara 140 Arentshuis Stedelijk Kantmuseum, Bruges 184, 186

Armstrong, C.A.J. 26 Arnade, Peter J. 23, 26 Arnold, John 5 Arnould, Eric J. 176 Arthur of Brittany 27 The Art of Painting 166 The Artist and his Wife in a Honeysuckle Bower 134 Asch, Ronald G. 26 Ashley, Kathleen A. 25, 29, 32 Ashworth, Gregory 6, 152, 164, 168 Assatouroff, Corinne Ter 184–6 Aubery du Maurier, Louis 84 audience engagement, modern 1–3, 6–7, 10– 13, 15, 17–19, 22, 33, 38–9, 43–9, 70, 84–5, 86–8, 92–3, 96–105, 123–47, 149–69, 172–4, 182–94, 195–7 audio guides 99–102, 124, 138–9, 143, 177, 180 Augsburg 68 authenticity, concept of, 3, 8–10, 46–7, 49, 69, 70, 102–5, 127–9, 145–7, 150–51, 178–9 Aynsley, Jeremy 165 Bachelard, Gaston 106 Baen, Jan de 48 Baenst, Lodewijk de 39 Baenst, Lorenz 39 Baggerman, Ariane 11–12 Bagnall, Gaynor 10 Bailkin, Jordanna 8 Bal, Mieke 8 Baloglu, Seyhmus 12, 152 baptism 27 Barbican Centre 189 Barbot, Marie–Françoise 19 Bartels, C. 152 Bas, Agatha 134 Bas, L. 110 Bassen, Bartholomeus van 90

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Baudouin, Frans 125 Baudson, Françoise 22 Bazel, K.P.C. de 126 Beaune 154 Beaven, Lisa 20 Beck, Wendy 152 Beerstraten, Jan Abrahamsz. 163 Beetham, Margaret 176 Beguines 4, 11, 15, 34, 149, 159, 161–2, 184–5 Beguinages Ten Wijngaerde, Bruges 161–3 Béjar, Francisca de 186 Belk, Russell W. 176 Bell, Catherine 26 Beneden, Ben van 129, 133, 138, 140–141 Berckheyde, Gerrit Adriaensz. 163 Bermingham, Ann 176 Berthier, Marie–Thérèse 160 Bertken, Suster 158 Berriot-Salvadore, Evelyne 74 Besançon 27 Besson, André 19 Beverwyck, Johan van 156 Bicker, Wendela 111, 121 Biesboer, Pieter 8 Bieselingen, Christiaen van 95 Binnenhof 94 biography 5, 18­–19, 21–2, 123–47, 154–6, 160 Birke, Adolf M. 26 Black, Graham 172 Blahnik, Manolo 191 Blatti, Jo 7, 9, 175 Bleyerveld, Yvonne 7 Blockmans, Wim 23, 25 Bloemaert, Abraham 65 Bloemberg, Ninke 183 Blondé, Bruno 4, 50 Boetius van Everdingen, Cesar 1, 2, 165 A young woman warming her hands over a brazier (allegory of winter) 1, 2, 165 Bolnes, Catharina 166–7 Boogarts, Inez 172–3 Boom, Ghislaine de 18 Boone, Marc 4, 24 Borch, Gerard ter 101, 177 Galant conversation 101

Mother fine-combing the hair of her child 177 Woman writing a letter 177 Borchert, Till–Holger 33 Borg, Jan van der 9, 150 Bound, Fay 76 Boureau, Alain 76 Bourbon, Charles I, Duke of 30 Bourbon, Isabel 24, 28, 30–31, 37–8 Bourbon, Susanne de 29 Bourbon-Montpensier, Charlotte de 159 Bourignon, Antoinette 5 Bousmar, Eric 4, 5, 7, 22–4, 26–7 Brandt, Johannes 110 Brant, Isabella 132, 134, 136–8, 140 Braunmühl, C. von 11 Breda 90 Brereton, Georgina E. 25 Brewer, John 176 Brittany 27 Brom, E. 156 Broomhall, Susan 24, 45, 74, 77, 85, 94, 99, 112, 123, 129, 150–51, 161 Brouard-Arends, Isabelle 74 Broude, Norma 8 Brown, Meg Lota 47 Brown, Pamela J. 176 Bruchet, Max Pierre Marie 18 Bruegel, Pieter 65 Seven Virtues 65 Bruges 17, 33, 37, 39–40, 42, 156, 160–63, 182, 186–7, 194 Bruggeman, Martine 184, 186 Bruna, Dick 158 Brune, Johan de 118, 120–21 Bruninck, Nicolas 78–9 Brussels 39, 125, 141, 149, 174, 183–5 Bruyn, J. 9, 46 Bryan, James E. 105–6, 113, 116–17 Bryant, Lawrence M. 23, 25 Buchelius, Arnold 156 Buchon, J.A.C. 25 Buren, Anne van 39 Burke, Peter 9 Buylaert, Frederik 39 Buytewech, Willem 101 Dignified couple courting 101 Callens, Kris 20–21 Calmette, Joseph 19

Index Campbell, Julie D. 74 Campbell, Stephen J. 35 Campbell, Thomas P. 182 Cannadine, David 6, 127 Cannon Willard, Charity 5, 20, 27 Cant, Geneviève de 154 Capenberghs, Joris 20 Carbo, Christa 102 Carbonell, Bettina Messias 8, 123 Carlier, Myriam 4 Caron, Marie-Thérèse 27 Carpino, Alexandra 35–6 Carroll, Jane L. 7, 50, 180 Cartellieri, Otto 19, 26 Carter Wood, Sue 186 Casey, Edward S. 151 Cassidy-Welch, Megan 62 Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp 38 Catherijneconvent, Utrecht 159 Catherijneconvent (museum), Utrecht 159 Cats, Jacob 106, 118, 120 Cattenbrouck, Jan van 42 Cavallo, Sandra 75 Cavendish, Margaret 141 Cavendish, William 141 Cauchiés, J-M. 5, 22–3 Cazaux, Yves 19 Centraal Museum, Utrecht 110, 157, 159, 189 ceremony, see ritual Châlon 96 Châlons 28 Chalus, Elaine 22 Chapman, Dana L. 56–7 Charles the Bold 18 Charles the Good 37 Charles VII of France 31 Charles d’Artois, comte d’Eu 32 Chartier, Roger 76 Chastellain, Georges 24–5 Chazaud, A-M. 29 Cherewatuk, Karen 76 Chevalier, Tracy 177–9 childcare, see motherhood and nursery rooms Christiaens, Joachim 42–3 Christian IV of Denmark 138 Churches and cathedrals 39 Nieuwe Kerk, Delft 86–7, 90, 92–3

235

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp 38 Onze-Lieve-Vrouw, Bruges 17, 37, 39 Saint Andrew’s, Antwerp 192–4 Saint Donatien’s, Bruges 37 Saint James’s, Bruges 40 Cieraad, Irene 104 Clark, Robert L.A. 25, 28–9, 32 Clauzel, Denis 27 cleaning 106–7, 109, 111, 115–16, 122, 139 Clock, Isaack Claessen 52 clothing early modern 27, 57–8, 66, 84–5, 88–9, 90, 95–7, 105, 120, 144, 181–8, 194 modern 175–6, 188–94 Cock, Hieronymus 65 Cohen, Erik 3, 151 Cohen, Sarah R. 133 Coleman, D.C. 52 Coleman, Simon 130 Coligny, Louise de 14, 73–87, 90, 95–6, 159, 197 Collections and collecting habits, female 20, 99–122 Colman, Jan 159 Cologne 131 commissions, female, see patronage conduct books 12, 15, 24–32, 115 Conrad III of Germany 156 consumers, female 171–94 Contamine, Geneviève 24 Contamine, Philippe 24 cooking, see kitchens Coornhert, Dirck Volkertsz. 56 Coppens, Marguerite 182, 184 Coques, Gonzales 141 Cordonnier, Aude 34, 154 correspondence 2, 5, 11, 14, 17–18, 21, 23, 27, 73–4, 76–84, 97 Costa, Paolo 9, 150 Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art 191 Couchman, Jane 74, 76–7 court life 23–32 Crabb, Ann M. 74, 76 Crabbe, Hugues 33 Crabbe, Johannes 33 Crang, Mike 10, 130 Crawford, Patricia 12, 21 Croes, Jan van 137–8

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Cromley, Elizabeth Collins 9 Crouch, David 13, 130 Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi 176 cupboards, linen 120, 122, 140, 142–3 Curle, Elisabeth 192 Dahles, Heidi 152, 174 Dalen, Cornelius van 96–7 Departure from this life of His Royal Highness Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange etc. anno 1647 96–7 Dambruyne, Johan 181, 184 Damhorst, M.L. 176 Damme, Ilja Van 4, 50 Danneel, Marianne 75 daughters, women as 19, 21, 32, 41, 44, 69, 74–5, 96, 106, 109–10, 117, 140–41, 156 Dauphin, Cécile 76 David, Gerard 42 Davidson, William 73, 81 Davies, Kate 5 Davis, Natalie Zemon 6 Dean, David, 7 death masks 95 Deijk, Frank van 46 Dekker, Rudolf 11–12, 23, 122 Delaborde, Jules 77–8, 81, 84, 86 Delen, Dirck van 91 A family beside the tomb of Willem I in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft 91 Delff, Willem Jacobsz. 84–5 Portrait of Louise de Coligny 85 Delft 75, 77–8, 85–90, 92–6, 151, 159, 165–9, 177–8 Delva, Anna Blanca Césarine Maria 161 Demeulemeester, Ann 187, 192–3 Departure from this life of His Royal Highness Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange etc. anno 1647 96–7 devotional practices, female see religious practices, female Dibbits, Hester C. 140 DiClemente, Kristi 4 Dietvorst, A.G.J. 152 Dignified couple courting 101 Dillenburg 77 Dior, Christian 188 Dircx, Geertje 131, 133, 136, 143

display, see exhibition and display, strategies of Ditchfield, Simon 5 A Dog of Flanders 182 Dolendo, Z. 156 dolls’ houses 2, 5-6, 11, 14, 99–123, 144–6, 164, 175, 189, 194, 196 The doll’s house of Petronella Oortman 112–13, 120–21 domestic representations of the 9, 14–15, 27, 45, 49–51, 65, 69, 96, 99–147, 164–8, 177, 196 staff, female 4, 9, 105, 114, 116–17, 120, 122, 131, 133, 136, 143, 177–8 Donckers, Esther 23, 25 Dubois, Henri 75 Dudley, Robert 81–2 Dumont, Georges-Henri 18 Duncan, James S. 12, 52 Duncan, Nancy 12, 152, 168 Dunois, Petronella 99–100, 110–112, 115, 119–20, 122, 145 Duplessis, Robert S. 62, 68 Du Rietz, Alexis 154 earrings 66, 144, 177–80 Eckman, M. 176 Eeghen, I.H. van 104 Egmond van de Nijenburg, Maria van 110 ego-document, concept of 11–12, 18, 23–4, 30, 32–8, 122, 153, 158, 186, 195 Eichberger, Dagmar 7, 18, 20 Eiland, William U. 7 Ekkart, Rudolf Erik Otto 46, 52–4, 58–9, 65–6, 70, 181 Eleanor de Poitiers 24–32, 95, 115 Elizabeth I of England 82 Elle magazine 189 Elliott, Lisa Keane 13, 195 Ennen, Elke 10, 150 Entrikin, Nicholas 151 Epiney-Burgard, Georgette 5 Esteban, Agueda 152 etiquette, see ritual Ettema, Michael. J. 175 Evans, Caroline 171, 189, 191 Evans, Catherine 103 Evans, Richard J. 3

Index Evergates, Theodore 34 exhibition and display, strategies of 1–3, 6–7, 9–15, 17–18, 20, 23, 33–5, 38–9, 43–9, 70–71, 73, 84–8, 92–3, 95–105, 123–47, 149–69, 172–3, 182–97 exhibitions Accessorize! 183 Kantlijnen. Dentelle et design. The face of lace 186–8 Mechelen 2005, A City in Female Hands 20–21 Memling’s Portraits 33 Portrait and document 33 Rembrandt: Quest for a Genius 124 Eycke, Jacomo van 141 Eycke, Maria Agnes van 141 faience 88 The faithful wives of Weinsberg 156 family, representations of 14, 17, 20, 34, 36–44, 69, 73–98, 123–47, 165–8, 177, 180 A family beside the tomb of Willem I in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft 91 fashion design 103, 181–94 Ferguson, Margaret W. 68 Ferrand of Portugal 34 Ferrier, Janet M. 25 Fickler, Johann Baptist 108 films Girl with a Pearl Earring 167, 178 Nightwatching 131 St Trinian’s 178 Firth, Colin 178 Fock, C.W. 104 Ford, Andrew 131 Forster, Sibelan 181 Fourment, Daniël 132 Fourment, Helena 125, 130, 132–41, 147, 158 Foyster, Elizabeth 94 Franits, Wayne E. 8, 9, 46, 49, 67, 102 Frank, Anne 123, 156 Frankel, Susannah 103, 189 Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem 110, 112 Freedberg, David 9, 46 Frijhoff, Willem 87 Fritschy, W. 4, 62 Fumaroli, Marc 76

237

funerals 17, 26, 36–8, 89–90, 93–7 Funeral procession of Prince Maurice at Grote Markt in Delft 94 furnishings early modern 11, 26–8, 78, 84, 99–147 modern 103–4, 175 Galant conversation 101 Galliano, John 188 Garden, Mary-Catherine E. 10, 151 gardens 114–67, 129, 134–5, 137 Garrard, Mary D. 8 Garshagen, Agaath 103 Geest, Wybrand de 88 Geirnaert, Noël 33 De gelijkenis van het onkruid onder het tarwe (Separating the wheat from the chaff) 66 Gelfand, Laura D. 20, 35–6 Gemeentemuseum, The Hague 110, 112, 121 genre painting 8–9, 45, 49–51, 68, 102, 105, 134, 165, 177 Gerards, Balthasar 75, 85–6 Germanisches Nationalmuseum 117 Gerven, J. van 63 Ghent 19, 181 Gheyn, Jacques II de 93, 95, 156 Maurice on his deathbed 95 gift shops 22, 102–3, 127, 136–7, 160, 168–9, 171–94 Gimeno, Javier 192 Girl with a Pearl Earring painting 165–7, 177–80, 187–8, 191 film 167, 178 novel 177–9 Girl with a Wineglass 166 Gloucester, Humphrey of 155 Glubok, Shirley 105, 120 Goggin, Maureen 186 Goldsmith, Elizabeth C. 74, 76 Goltzius, Hendrick 57, 89–90, 95 Gotti, Giuseppe 9, 150 Gouda 153–6 Gout, M. 92 Graham, Brian 6, 152 Grant, Charlotte 165 Greenaway, Peter 131 Gregory, Kate 130 Greve, Anke 4

238

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Grewe, Cordula 50 grief, expressions of 14, 35, 38, 73–98, 131–2, 138, 140 Grijpskerke, Isabella van 159 Groenendijck, Pieter van 110 Groeningemuseum, Bruges 40, 42 Groen van Prinsterer, Guillaume 78 Groninger Museum, Groningen 189 Grotius, Hugo 84 guides and guidebooks 10–13, 123–47, 149–69, 171–94, 196 guild and guild–like organisations 47–8, 50, 53–4, 60, 62–4, 68–9, 75 Guillén, Claudio 76 Haarlem 65, 104, 110, 115, 118, 153 Haarlem, Cornelis Cornelisz. van 57, 65 Hacke, Daniela 12 Hadewijch of Antwerp 5 Haitsma Mulier, E.O.G. 84, 91 Hall, D. 11 Harcourt, Jeanne de, Madame de Namur 28, 30–31 Harline, Craig 161–2 Harrewyn, Frans 137–8 View of Rubens’s House in Antwerp in 1692 138 Harte, N.B. 52, 63 Heemskerck, Maarten van 56 Heer, Ed de 126, 142 Heiligerlee 96 Heilmann, Ann 176 Heinsius, Daniel 91, 156 Hemptinne, Thérèse De 4, 24 Hendriks. Tommie 154 Hendrix, Albert 86 Henry, Michele 5, 22 Here Lies Margot 18 Herle, William 78 Heritage sites 2, 6, 10–13, 15, 88, 123–47, 149–69, 195–7 Heuclin, Jean 75 Heuvel, Danielle van den 4 Hewison, Robert 9, 127, 150 Heyden, Jan van der 163 Heyden, Pieter van der 65 Hill, Pamela 18 Hills, Helen 20 Hillewerve, Cornelia 137, 141

Hirschbiegel, Jan 24 Hodson, Simon 74 Hofrichter, Frima Fox 8 Hollander, Anne 181 Hollander, Martha 49, 140 Honig, Elizabeth A. 49, 64 Hont, Pieter d’ 156–7 Hooch, Pieter de 66, 101, 165 Interior with a woman beside a linen chest 101 Hoogendoorn, Margriet 158 Hoogstraten, Samuel van 109 Hooper, Barbara 151 Hooper-Greenhill, Eileen 3, 7, 172 Horodowich, Elizabeth 22 Hospitals 34, 154, 159, 160–62 Hospice Comtesse, Lille 34, 154 Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune 154, 160 Sint-Jan Hospitaalmuseum, Bruges 160 Hotman, François 81 Houckgeest, Gerard 90 Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of Willem the Silent 90 Houdt, Toon van 76 household 9, 26–32, 69, 78–9, 99–147, 165, 196 Hout, Jan van 69 Howell, Martha C. 4, 52, 62–4, 68–9, 75, 112 Huijsen, Coos 87 Huisman, Marijke 4, 8 Huizinga, Johan 19, 26, 35, 87, 125 Hulst 88 Hunter-Stiebel, Penelope 124 Hutton, Shennan 4 Huygens, Christian 81 Huygens, Constantijn 81, 91–2 Huygens, Lodewijk 108 Hyde, Melissa 180 Impey, Oliver 108 The Interior of the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of William the Silent 90 Interior with a woman beside a linen chest 101 Iongh, Jane de 18 Irwin, Joyce 5 Isabel of Lorraine 29 Isabel of Portugal 5, 18–19, 24, 26–9

Index Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain 125, 130, 133, 138–9 Israel, Jonathan I. 14, 52 Jackson Douet, Valerie 116 Jacob, Robert 75 Jacoba of Bavaria 155–6, 158 Jacobs, Flora Gill 105 Jacobs, Fredrika H. 8 James, George Payne Rainsford 19 Jancke, Gabriele 12 Janse, Antheun 23 Jansen-Verbeke, M. 152, 175 Janssen, A.E.M. 84 Janssen, Geert H. 95 Jardine, Lisa 1, 75 Jeanne de Castille 24 Jeanne de Constantinople 34, 154 Jean de Poitiers 24 jewellery (see also earrings) 15, 66, 143–4, 175–80 Jewish Bride 188 Joan of Arc 19 Jodogne, Pierre 26 Johansson, Scarlett 178 John the Fearless 30, 38 Johnson, Geraldine A. 136 Jokinen, Eeva 13 Jonghe, C.H. de 88 Jongh, Eddy de 125, 180 Jordan, Fiona 11 Jordanova, Ludmilla 5, 6 Kabel, Chris 187 Kadolph. S.J. 176 Kamphuis, Hanneke 186 Kantlijnen. Dentelle et design. The face of lace exhibition 186–8 Kasteel Ter Goude 155 Kavaler, Ethan Matt 35 Kearns, Gerry 6 Keates, Debra 140 Kerckhof, Véronique van de 125, 129, 132, 137–8, 140 Kervyn de Lettenhove, J.C. 25 Kettering, Sharon 22 Keyser, Hendrick de 90 Kim, Soyoung 176 Kim, Sung Bok 191

239

King, Constance Eileen 109, 111, 116–17, 119 Kinnaird, V. 11 Kirby, Val 10 Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara 122, 127, 152 kitchens 8, 106–107, 109, 114–16, 122, 137, 139, 143–4, 159–61 Kittell, Ellen E. 4, 20, 50–51, 161 Kloek, Els 4, 8, 63 Kloek, Wouter 65 Knell, Simon J. 6, 130 Koda, Harold 191 Köferlin, Anna 107–110, 113, 117 Kolfin, Elmer 181 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp 125 Kotler, Neil 173 Kotler, Philip 173 Krabbé, Jeroen 99, 101–2, 172 Krueger, Roberta 29 labour child 55–6, 63, 68–9 female 4, 9, 14, 45–71, 139, 160–61, 167, 180–88, 194, 196 Lacerda, Daniel 19 The Lacemaker 167, 180 lacework 2, 120, 161, 167, 180–88, 196 La Court, Petronella de 110–11, 115 Lairesse, Gerard de 67 Lakenhaal Museum, Leiden 47–8, 71, 196 Lalaing-Quiévrain, Jeanne, mademoiselle de Penthièvre 30–31 La Marche, Olivier de 24–5 Lamet, Sterling A. 53 Lammertse, Friso 134 Lamsins, Jossine 42–3 Landes, Joan B. 140 Landwehr, John 95, 106 Langeraad, L.A. van 156 La Ramée, Marie Luise de 182 Larkham, Peter J. 168 Larsen, Anne R. 74 Last Judgement 160 La Tour Landry, Geoffroy de 25 laundry practices 115–16, 139–40 Lawrence, Cynthia 35 Lechner, Frank J. 152 Leemput, Trijn van 156–8 Leeuwenhoek, Antonie van 109

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Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Le Glay, A. 21 Leiden 14, 45–71, 80, 91, 110–11, 141, 156, 181, 196 Lemaire, Claudine 5, 22 Le Mesnagier de Paris 25 Leon, Warren 7 letters, see correspondence Leuwenberg, Jaap 38 Levey, Santina M. 182 Levy, Allison 35, 75 Lewalski, Barbara R. 76 Lewerill, Ben 174 Lewis, Peirce 9 Leyster, Judith 8 Lichrou, Maria 150 Ligne, Marguerite de 132 Lille 34, 154, 160 Lippard, Lucy R. 153 Littrell, Mary Ann 175–6 Llewellyn, Nigel 91 Lloyd Williams, Julia 135 London 108, 164, 189 Long, Elizabeth 178 Loughman, John 105, 165 Louvre museum 180, 189, 191 Lowenthal, David 9, 127, 150 Luijten, Ger 9, 46, 51, 53, 65, 67 Lundens, Gerrit 163 Lunsingh Scheurleer, T.H. 105 Lying-in practices 26–8, 115, 120–21 McBride, Kari Boyd 47 MacCannell, Dean 3, 10 McCash, June Hall 5, 20 McCleary, Ken W. 12, 152 McDonnell, Ernest 161 McFadden, David Revere 181, 187 MacGregor, Arthur 108 McLeod, Nicola E. 11, 151, 196–7 MacLeod, Suzanne 6, 130 McIntosh, Alison, J. 130, 151 Madrid 33 The Maid of Leiden welcomes ‘Nering’ 70 maidservants, see domestic staff Maitland, Heather 6 Mak, Geert 163 Makovicky, Nicolette 181 Mâle, Louis of 38 Maleuvre, Didier 8

Malpas, J.E. 151 Mander, Karel van 52–3, 65 Mannaerts, Ruth 192 mannerism 51, 56–7, 65 Marchant, Alicia 13, 195 Marchegay, Paul 73 Margaret of Austria 18–22, 36–7, Marguerite of Constantinople 34, 154, 161 Margaret of York 18, 37 Marie of Anjou 28 Marie-Antoinette 180 Marlet, Léon 73 Mars banishes ‘Nering’ 70 Martens, Maximiliaan P.J. 39, 42–3 Mary of Burgundy 18–19, 25, 27, 37–8 Mary of Burgundy, Duchess of Cleves 30 Maskeliers, Jacqueline 185 Master of the Holy Blood 42 Triptych of Jossine Lamsins, Joachim Christiaens, and their patron saints 42 Matança, Maria de 186 Matthews Grieco, Sara F. 61, 136 Maurice on his deathbed 95 Maurice (1567–1625), Prince of Orange, lying in State 95 Mauritshuis, The Hague 165–6, 172, 177, 179–80 Maximilian I 21, 25, 37 Mechelen/Malines 20–21, 44, 185 Mechelen 2005, A City in Female Hands exhibition 20–21 Mechelen, Margaretha van 95 Médicis, Marie de 133 Meerkerk, Elise van Nederveen 4, 53, 56, 62–4, 68–9 Meertens, P.J. 118 Melun, Hélène de 32 Melun, Jean IV de 31–2 Memling, Hans 33, 39–41 Memling’s Portraits exhibition 33 Triptych of William Moreel (and his wife Barbara van Vlaenderberch) 40 Memlingmuseum, Bruges 160 memoirs 5, 11–12, 17–18, 23–32 memorial stones 17, 38–9 Mendelson, Sara 12, 21 Meyer, Maria 57 Michelle de France 30

Index Middelbourg 81 Miedema, Hessel 53 Mierevelt, Michiel Jansz. 84–5 Miffy 158 Milam, Jennifer 180 Miltenburg, Theo van 158 Minerva crowns the Maid of Leiden 70 mistresses, women as 131, 136, 143, 149 Mitchell, Linda Elizabeth 21 Molenaer, Jan Miense 101 Woman playing the virginal 101 Molina, Arturo 152 monastic institutions (see also beguines) 34, 159–60, 184 Catherijneconvent, Utrecht 159 Royal Monastery, Brou 36 Saint Agatha’s convent, Delft 159 Saint Agnes’s cloister, Utrecht 159 Saint Michael’s Abbey, Antwerp 37 Montias, John Michael 105 Mookerheide 96 moralizing tropes 9, 25, 45, 49–51, 64–7, 69–70, 105–106, 116, 118–20, 184 Moreel, William 39–41 Morgan, Nigel J. 11, 135, 168, 175 Morganstern, Anne McGee 38 Mörke, Olaf 95 Mortier, Bianca M. du 183 Moscardo, Gianna 150 Mother fine-combing the hair of her child 177 motherhood 17, 27, 33, 41, 43–4, 74, 78–80, 82, 86–7, 115, 120, 122, 132–3, 141, 147, 166–7, 177–8 Moubray, Barbara 192 mourning, see grief Mower, Sarah 188 Muizelaar, Klaske 7, 117 Müller, Heidi A. 104, 107–8, 112 Muller, Jeffrey M. 101, 131–2 Munns, Jessica 4 Munslow, Alun 3 Murphy, James J. 76 Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle, Brussels 183–6 Musées royaux des Beaux–Arts de Belgique, Brussels 39, 125 Museums and galleries, Belgium and The Netherlands

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Arentshuis Stedelijk Kantmuseum, Bruges 184, 186 Catherijneconvent (museum), Utrecht 159 Centraal Museum, Utrecht 110, 157, 159, 189 Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem 110, 112 Gemeentemuseum, The Hague 110, 112, 121 Groeningemuseum, Bruges 40, 42 Groninger Museum, Groningen 189 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp 125 Lakenhaal Museum, Leiden 47–8, 71, 196 Mauritshuis, The Hague 165–6, 172, 177, 179, 180 Memlingmuseum, Bruges 160 Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle, Brussels 183–6 Musées royaux des Beaux–Arts de Belgique, Brussels 39, 125 Museum Onze–Lieve–Vrouw ter Potterie, Bruges 182 Museum Plantin–Moretus 192–3 Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam 164 Prinsenhof, Delft (as a modern museum) 85–6, 88, 159 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 1–2, 37, 66, 87–9, 92–3, 95, 99–105, 110, 112, 165, 172–4, 179, 181, 183 Westfries Museum, Hoorn 110 Musius, Cornelis 159 Nancy 37 Nassau, Adolph 87, 96 (on Nassau see also Orange–Nassau, House of) Nassau, Amelie 77 Nassau, Anna 76–7 Nassau, Catherina-Belgica 77, 90 Nassau, Charlotte-Brabantine 77 Nassau, Elisabeth 76 Nassau, Emilia 94 Nassau, Frederick-Henry 75, 77, 81, 83–4, 86–8, 90, 92, 95–6 Nassau, Henry 87, 96 Nassau, Louis 87, 96 Nassau, Louise-Juliana 76 Nassau, Maria 76–8 Nassau, Maurice 83–4, 87–8, 90, 92–6 Nassau, Philips William 84, 92

242

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Nassau, William the Silent 14, 73–9, 81–97, 131, 152, 159 Nassau-Dietz, Ernst-Casimir 87–8 Nassau-Dietz, Henry-Casimir I 87–9 Nassau-Dillenburg, Jan 77–84 Nassau-Dillenburg, Wilhelm-Ludwig 83 Nassau-Lalecq, Louis 95 Nassau-Lalecq, William 95 Nelson, Janet 21 Neuschel, Kristen B. 22, 76, 94 New York 33 Nicholas, David 4 Nicholas, Karen S. 34 Nierop, Henk van 91 Nieuwe Kerk, Delft 86–7, 90, 92–3 Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of Willem the Silent 90 The Night Watch, 99–100, 131, 146 Nightwatching 131 Nijmegen 152 Nijntje, see Miffy Nobel, V.J. 110 Nolpe, Pieter 96 Noordegraaf, Leo 52, 62, 67, 68 novels, modern A Dog of Flanders 182 Girl with a Pearl Earring 177–9 Here Lies Margot 18 Nuechterlein, Jeanne 33, 41 nuns, see beguines, hospitals, monastic institutions and museums nursery rooms 115–17, 145 nursing work 160–61 Nuremburg 107–108, 117 Offord, M.Y. 25 Oldenbarnevelt, Johan van 84 O’Malley, Lisa 150 Onna, Hedwig van 186 Onze-Lieve-Vrouw, Bruges 17, 37, 39 Onze–Lieve–Vrouw ter Potterie, museum, Bruges 182 Oog magazine 103 Oortman, Adam 111 Oortman, Petronella 99, 101–3, 110–13, 115–16, 119–21, 145 Oortman, Petronella, daughter of Adam Oortman and Petronella de La Court, 111

opera Rembrandt’s Wife 131 Writing to Vermeer 178 Orange-Nassau, House of 73–98, 197 Orenstein, Nadine M. 65, 194 Orlers, Jan Jansz. 54 Oudewater 155 Paine, Crispin 174 Pallaes, Maria van 154 Palmer, Alexandra 171, 182, 191 Palmer, Catherine 150 Paravicini, Walter 24, 26 Paris 164, 189 Parker, Oliver 178 Parker, Roszika 181 Pascal, Eugénie 74 Passe, Crispijn de 194 Passe, Magdalena de 194 patronage, female 12, 20, 35–43, 99–122, 124–5, 133–4, 136–9, 147, 154, 160 Patterson, Maurice 150 Paviot, Jacques 24–5, 27 Peacock, Martha Moffitt 50, 180 Pearson, Andrea G. 7, 20, 40–41 pedagogy 106–9, 113, 118, 184 Pereisc, Nicolas–Claude Fabri de 132 Pelletier, S.W. 7 Phagan, Patricia 7 Philip the Fair 25 Philip the Good 5, 18, 24, 27, 30–31, 38, 155 Philip II of Spain 133 Philip III of Spain 138 Phillips, Derek 7, 117 Philo, Chris 6 Pijbes, Wim 173 Pijzel-Dommisse, Jet 99, 104–105, 108–12, 115, 117–21 Pypelinckx, Maria 132 Pizan, Christine de 25, 29 Plantin, Catherine 185–6 Plantin, Christophe 185 Plantin, Martine 185–6 Plantin–Moretus, museum 192–3 pleurant statues 27, 37–8, 43 Ploeg Fallon, Melinda K. vander 111 Ploos van Amstel, Anna Margaretha 111 Ploos van Amstel, Jacob 110, 111 Het ploten en kammen (The shearing and combing) 54–5, 66

Index Poelhekte, W. 152 Poiret, Marie-Françoise 35 Pol, Lotte van de 4, 11–12, 23 politics, women’s involvement in 17–25, 27–32, 34, 36–8, 43–4, 73–87, 96 Pollock, Griselda 8 Ponting, K.G. 46, 52, 55–6, 58–9, 70 portraits 8, 18, 20, 23, 33, 38–42, 58, 67, 84–8, 90, 111, 125–6, 130, 132–40, 154–5, 157, 159, 180–81, 184 Portrait and document exhibition 33 Portrait of Helena Fourment (‘The Fur’) 133 Portrait of Louise de Coligny 85 Portrait of Maria Trip 134, 181 Post, Pieter Jansz, 95–6 Posthumus, N.W. 62 power, female, see politics Prentice, R. 130, 151 Presser, Jacques 23 Pretes, Michael 151 Prevenier, Walter 4, 23–5 Prinsenhof, Het 75, 77, 85–6, 159 Prinsenhof, Delft (as a modern museum) 85–6, 88, 159 Pristash, Heather 186 Pritchard, Annette 11, 135, 168, 175 The Procuress 1 The prodigal son in the company of a courtesan in a tavern/Self–portrait with Saskia 134, 136 ‘public’ history 5–6 Quast, Jeneke 4, 62 Quilligan, Maureen 68 Quimby, Ian M.G. 105 Reeves, Carole 11 regency, female 19, 21, 36, 133, 138, 149 Reisinger, Virginia 3 religious practices, female 5, 17, 20, 33–4, 36–9, 41–3, 153–4, 159–62, 186, 192–3 Rembrandt van Rijn 8, 15, 99, 101, 103, 123–47, 171, 173, 178, 181–2, 187–8, 196 Jewish Bride 188 The Night Watch, 99–100, 131, 146 Portrait of Maria Trip 134, 181

243

The prodigal son in the company of a courtesan in a tavern/Self–portrait with Saskia 134, 136 Rembrandt House 123–47, 164, 179 Rembrandt: Quest for a Genius exhibition 124 Rembrandt’s studio with a model 128, 142 Saskia in bed 128, 141 Saskia with pearls in her hair 144, 179 souvenir dolls’ house 103, 144–6, 175 Rembrandt’s studio with a model 128, 142 Rembrandt’s Wife 131 Rice-Henderson, Judith 76 Richards, Greg 9, 127, 150, 164 Richards, Penny 4 Ridderbos, Bernhard 39 Riddy, Felicity 29 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 1, 2, 37, 66, 87–9, 92–3, 95, 99–105, 110, 112, 165, 172–4, 179, 181, 183 Rijn, Titus van 142, 146 Ripa, Cesare 92 Risnicoff de Gorgas, Mónica 123 Risseline Steenebrugen, Marie 185 Ritter, Steven 178 ritual 24–32, 90, 94–6, 98, 115 Roberts, Ann M. 20, 36–8 Robinson, Mike 13 Rochberg-Halton, Eugene 176 Roermond 88 Roffelson, J. 152 Roghman Geertruydt 50, 180 Rojek, Chris 13 Rolin, Nicolas 160 römer 92–3 Roodenburg, Herman 67 Rothé, Sara 110–12, 115–16, 118–22 Rothstein, Bret 40, 160 Rouche, Michel 75 Rowe, Nina A. 20 Rowen, Herbert 92, 111 Roy, Linken de 185 Royal Monastery, Brou 36 Rubenianum Institute, Brussels 129 Rubens, Clara Serena 140 Rubens, Jan 131 Rubens, Nicholas 135 Rubens, Peter Paul 8, 15, 101, 123–47, 178

244

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

The Artist and his Wife in a Honeysuckle Bower 134 Rubens House 123–47, 182–3, 195 Portrait of Helena Fourment (‘The Fur’) 133 Rubens in His Garden with Helena Fourment 134–5 Rubens in His Garden with Helena Fourment 134–5 Ruisdael, Jacob 163 Rynck, Patrick de 125–6, 131–3, 137 Sabean, David 11 Saenredam, Pieter 163 Saint Agatha’s convent, Delft 159 Saint Agnes’s cloister, Utrecht 159 Saint Andrew’s Church, Antwerp 192–4 Saint Donatien’s Church, Bruges 37 Saint James’s Church, Bruges 40 Saint Michael’s Abbey, Antwerp 37 St Trinian’s 178 Salins, Guigone de 160 Salomon, Nanette 8, 49, 105 Saskia in bed 128, 141 Saskia with pearls in her hair 144, 179 Saumarez Smith, Charles, 7 Scanlan, Jennifer 181, 187 Schaechterle, Inez 186 Schama, Simon 6–8, 49, 106, 120, 131, 135, 150, 178 Schatzski, Theodore R. 151 Scheyndel, Gilles van 93–4 Funeral procession of Prince Maurice at Grote Markt in Delft 94 Schmidt, Ariadne 47, 62, 75 Schneider, Cynthia P. 91 Scholten, Fritz 27, 37–8 Schoonhoven 155 Schulze, Winifried 11 Schurman, Anna Maria van 5, 158 Schuurman, Anton 140 Schwartz, Gary 126 Schwartzbourg, Catherine van 75 Scott, Joan W. 140 Seeff, Adele 76 Seelig, Lorenz 108 Selby, Martin 6 Seven Virtues 65 sexuality 1, 4, 7, 11, 66–7, 69, 94, 102, 117, 131–5, 138, 140, 143, 152, 174, 180

Sharp, Joanne P. 168 Shaw, Stephen J. 11, 151, 196–7 Shepard, Alexandra 94 Sherlock, Peter 62, 91 Sheriff, Mary D. 180 Sidney, Philip 81 Siegen 126 Silver, Larry 90 Simon, Carola 152–3 Simons, Walter 4, 161 Sint-Maria Institute192 sisters, women as 27, 30–31, 34, 75, 77, 94, 96, 138, 154, 156, 166, 185–6 Six, Jan 146 Small, Graeme 25 Smets, Irene 40, 131–3, 138, 160 Smith, David R. 134 Smith, Sue 131 Socha, Miles 189, 191 Soisson, Jean–Pierre 18–19, 21 Sommé, Monique 5, 18–19, 24, 27 Sousa, Isabel de 24, 27–9 souvenirs 15, 22, 102–3, 144–6, 160, 171–94 Spierenburg, Pieter 140 Spinks, Jennifer 45, 123, 129, 150–51 Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (The spinning, warping and weaving) 48, 54, 56, 71 spinning 46, 49–51, 56, 58, 64, 66 Splinter, Margaretha van 153 Spreitzer, Jennifer 20 Stabel, Peter 4, 50 States-General, Dutch 80–81, 90–92 De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude et de Nieuwe Neringhe (The Patroness of the City with the Old and New Trades) 54, 58, 60 Steen, Jan 105 Steenwijk–Gaspeel, Susanna van 48 Steifle Edwards, Jennifer 181, 187 Steiner, Carol J. 3 Stephano, Andrea di 178 Stevens, Harm 87, 92, 96 Stewart, Alison G. 7, 50, 180 Stewart, Emma 10 Stewart, Susan 106, 175–6 Stobart, Jon 4, 50 Stoffels, Hendrickje 131, 134, 136, 142–3, 146–7

Index Stone-Ferrier, Linda A. 46, 54, 56, 58–9, 70 Strauss, Walter L. 90, 108 Strom-Olsen, Rolf 23, 25 Stuart, Mary 192 Suchtelen, Ariane van 9, 46, 51, 53, 65, 67 Suydam, Mary A. 4, 20, 50–51, 161 Swan, Claudia 95 Swanenburg, Isaac Claesz. van 14, 45–71, 156, 181 De gelijkenis van het onkruid onder het tarwe (Separating the wheat from the chaff) 66 De Stedemaagd tussen de Oude et de Nieuwe Neringhe (The Patroness of the City with the Old and New Trades) 54, 58, 60 Het spinnen, het scheren van de ketting en het weven (The spinning, warping and weaving) 48, 54, 56, 71 Het ploten en kammen (The shearing and combing) 54–5, 66 Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe (Granting the City Ordinances to Trade) 54, 58, 60–61 Het vollen en verven (The fulling and dyeing) 54, 57, 66 Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol (The washing of the fleeces and grading of the wool) 54, 58–9, 66 The faithful wives of Weinsberg 156 Swanenburgh, widow 153–4 Sweeney, John Thomas 160 Tamussino, Ursula 18 Tarbin, Stephanie 24 Taylor, Aline S. 5, 18–19, 26–7 Teeuwen, Nicole 4, 8 Tempel, Abraham Lambertsz. van den 70 The Maid of Leiden welcomes ‘Nering’ 70 Mars banishes ‘Nering’ 70 Minerva crowns the Maid of Leiden 70 Terreaux, Louis 25–6 testaments 12, 37, 112 textile trades, early modern 14, 45–71, 160–61, 167, 180–88, 194, 196 textiles, modern 15, 175–6, 181–94

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The Hague 110, 115, 120, 165, 177 Thiel, Pieter J.J. 102 Thins, Maria 166–7 tiles 87–8 Timmer, M. 152 Timothy, Dallen J. 175 Tin, Floris 81 Tissink, Fieke 126, 128, 142–3 Tobin, Beth 186 tombs 11, 17, 27, 35–9, 43, 73, 90, 92, 97 tourist experiences, see audience engagement literature, see guides and guidebooks travel guides, see guides and guidebooks Tremayne, Eleanor 18 Trip, Maria 134, 181 Triptych of Jossine Lamsins, Joachim Christiaens, and their patron saints 42 Triptych of William Moreel (and his wife Barbara van Vlaenderberch) 40 Trompes, Jan de 42 Tunbridge, John 6, 164 Ulbrich, Claudia 11–12 Uylenburgh, Gerrit 134 Uylenburgh, Hendrick 134 Uylenburgh, Saskia van 126, 128, 131, 133–4, 136, 142, 146, 158, 179 Urry, John 9, 13, 150 Utrecht 81, 103, 110, 154, 156–9, 189–91, 194 Utrecht, Jacob van 140 Uzzell, David 10, 150 Valdez Del Alamo, Elizabeth 92 Vale, Malcolm 35 Van Gent, Jacqueline 74, 77, 85, 94 Vanhaelen, Angela 90–2 Van Loon, museum, Amsterdam 164 Veen, Henk Th. van 39 Vaughan, Peter 27 Vavra, Elisabeth 20 Veen, Jaap van der 134 Veijola, Soile 13 Velde, Jan van de 17, 39, 43 Veldman, Ilja M. 194 Venne, Adriaen van de 95–7 Maurice (1567–1625), Prince of Orange, lying in State 95

246

Early Modern Women in the Low Countries

Vera, Hernan 104 Vergo, Peter 3, 6 Verhoeven van Demakersvan Jeroen 187–8 Joep 187–8 Het verlenen van de keuren aan de Neringhe (Granting the City Ordinances to Trade) 54, 58, 60–61 Vermeer, Geertruyd 166 Vermeer, Johannes 66, 165–9, 171, 173, 177–80, 182 Allegory of Faith 166 The Art of Painting 166 Girl with a Pearl Earring 165–7, 177–80, 187–8, 191 Girl with a Wineglass 166 The Lacemaker 167, 180 The Procuress 1 Vermeer, Johannes (son of the artist) 166 Vermeer Visitor Centre 168–9 Veth, Jan 126 Vicenza 33 Vickers, Nancy J. 68 Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood 99 View of Rubens’s House in Antwerp in 1692 138 Vigée-Lebrun, Elisabeth 180 Viktor & Rolf 103, 189–91, 194 Villers, Jean de 86 Visitor experience, see audience engagement Visscher, Claes Jansz. 93 Visscher, Cornelius de 87 Vlaenderberch, Barbara van 39–41, 43 Vlissingen 82 Vliet, Hendrick van 90 The Interior of the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the Tomb of William the Silent 90 Vogt-Lüerssen, Maike 131 Volbeda, Marja 156 Het vollen en verven (The fulling and dyeing) 54, 57, 66 Vos, Dirk de 39, 41 Vrebos, Martine 184–6 Vredenburg, Castle 156 Vrederman de Vries, Hans 92 Vries, Annette de 4, 46–7, 49–50, 56 Vries, Jan de 9, 46

Vuez, Arnould de 154 VVV Alkmaar 153 VVV Delft 166 VVV Het Groene [Hart] 155 VVV Gouda 154, 155 VVV Utrecht 158 Waal, Guurtje de 153 Waal, H. van de 156 Waitt, Gordon 3 Walker, Claire 162 Wallace, Michael 7 Wallendorf, Melanie 176 Wang, Nina 3 Warner, Lyndan 75 Warnier, Bob 162 Het wassen van de vachten en het sorten van de vol (The washing of the fleeces and grading of the wool) 54, 58–9, 66 Watson, Sheila 6, 130 Weale, W.H.J. 39 Webber, Peter 178 Weinsberg 156 Welsh, Peter H. 172 Welu, James A. 8 Werniers, Guillaume 154 Westermann, Mariët 109, 124 Westfries Museum, Hoorn 110 Wetering, Ernest van de 124 Weyden, Rogier van der 160 Last Judgement 160 widowhood 19, 36, 42–4, 69, 74–87, 110, 132–3, 140–41, 147, 154–5, 167 Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. 47, 68 Wiethaus, Ulrike 76, 161 Wilckens, Leonie von 107 Willem IV of Bavaria 155 Willemsen, Annemarieke 118 Willemszoon, Anna 33 William the Silent, see Nassau Willoughby de Eresby, Peregrine Bertie 81 wills, see testaments Wilson, Jean 91 Wilson, Jean C. 20, 41 Wilson-Chevalier, Kathleen 74 Winn, Colette H. 74, 76 Winter, Christoffel de 33 Wijts, Jacques 95

Index Witcomb, Andrea 130 Witt, Johan de 111 wives, women as 5, 7, 17–9, 30–32, 31, 36, 40–44, 50, 69, 74, 84, 86, 96, 110, 117, 125–6, 130–34, 136–8, 142–3, 147, 155–7, 166, 178 Wolfe, Michael 23 Wolff, Hélène 25 Woman playing the virginal 101 Woman writing a letter 177 Woodall, Joanna 87 work, women’s, see labour, female Wright, Patrick 9, 127, 150 Writing to Vermeer 178

247

Wtewael, Joachim 65 Young, Martin, 10 Young, Terence 151 A young woman warming her hands over a brazier (allegory of winter) 1, 2, 165 Zemans, Joyce 8 Ziegler, Joanna E. 161 Zika, Charles 9 Zucker, Paul 164 ZumBrunn, Emilie 5 Zumthor, Paul 114, 116