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Ursula Härting

Small painting of the type hung in a Kunstkammer—an art collection formed by a connoisseur in northern Europe at the end of the 16th and especially in the 17th century. It can, in addition, refer to painted depictions of these collections.

Encyclopedic collections (Kunstkammern) were popular at the beginning of the 17th century in the southern Netherlands and particularly in Antwerp (see Belgium, Kingdom of, §XIII), although similar types of Kunstkammern also existed in the northern Netherlands, as can be seen from the inventory of Rembrandt’s collection. At the same time, the place accorded to pictures in such private collections in Antwerp increased in importance; paintings clearly formed the bulk of the inventory of the collection of Arnold Lunden, the Antwerp banker and brother-in-law of Peter Paul Rubens, which was drawn up in 176 sections between 1639 and 1649. Besides pictures by all the chief Flemish masters of his time, it included masterpieces of the Antwerp school and works by Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Antwerp burghers were fully aware of the aristocratic pretensions of such connoisseurship. Besides originals, they collected copies of famous or characteristic works by well-known artists. There was a predominance of painters in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke and the dominance of pupils over masters is probably explained by this demand for copies. During the 17th century there was a great increase in the export of small cabinet paintings from ...


Molly Dorkin

Place where works of art are displayed. In a commercial gallery, works of art are displayed for the purposes of sale (for information on non-commercial art galleries see Display of art and Museum, §I). Historically, artworks were commissioned by patrons directly from an artist and produced in his workshop. In the Netherlands, the economic boom following the conclusion of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain (1648) led to rising demand for art. Patrons began buying from dealers, some of whom produced illustrated catalogues. Antwerp became the centre of the art world. Galleries for the display and viewing of art appeared in paintings by Teniers family, §2 and Bruegel family, §3, although these were private not commercial spaces, or imaginary constructions.

The Paris Salon, which had been organized by the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture since 1667, was opened to the public for the first time in ...


Alan Donnithorne, Andrew Thompson and Sheila R. Canby

Attachment of a work of art to a support or setting, or the application of accessories or decoration as embellishment. In many types of mount, these two distinct concepts may be combined, and the mount serves both a functional and decorative purpose.

Alan Donnithorne

Although the term ‘mounting’ may apply to the support or fixing of three-dimensional art, this article is concerned with the description and history of the mounting of two-dimensional or flat format pictorial and other graphic material. In East and Eastern Central Asia this includes paintings and calligraphy in scroll, screen, fan, album and banner formats, as well as prints of various sorts; in India and the Islamic world, calligraphy, painted decoration, miniatures and various kinds of banner painting; in the West, mainly prints, drawings and watercolours. The chief substances used in the fabrication of these works of art are such materials as paper and woven silk. These form the original, or primary, support for the pigment with which the pictorial image or script is created. The pigment, usually mixed with a binding medium, may be applied directly to the surface of the support, as in an East Asian scroll painting or European engraved print, or the support may first be coated with a preparation or ground as in a Renaissance metalpoint drawing, an Indian or Islamic miniature painting or a Tibetan tangka. In their unmounted state, all these works of art are fragile and vulnerable to damage from handling and other environmental effects of unprotected storage or display, and adequate physical support in the form of a mount became necessary once people sought to preserve them. In some civilizations mounting evolved with the art form itself, as in the case of East Asian scrolls; elsewhere methods evolved from the need to organize and display collections, initially in the form of albums and later by fixing into a cut-out cardboard surround or ‘window’ mount (USA: mat). In the West this practice developed when collections of drawings and prints began to be assembled from the 15th century onwards. Since then, the ‘window’ mount style of mounting has evolved in conjunction with the increasing practice of framing and displaying graphic art....


Saul Zalesch

The Society of American Artists (1877–1906) was the most conspicuous and historically significant of the art organizations that proliferated in New York during the last quarter of the 19th century. It saw itself, and scholars have usually portrayed it, as a liberal challenger to the National Academy of Design . In reality the Society’s birth and operation had little to do with modern conceptions of liberal versus conservative ideals for art but reflected a fundamental American/European split over the way that art progresses and how to educate popular tastes. It was inextricably linked with the interests of members of New York’s traditional cultural elite then defending their leadership against the growing influence bought by the unprecedented wealth of America’s “Robber Barons.”

Although mostly discussed by historians in monographic studies of its more famous members, the Society deserves careful study because the circumstances of its creation, operation, and eventual merger with the National Academy of Design offer richer insights into artists’ attitudes and the complexities of artistic patronage in New York than are usually found in studies of American art of that period....


Shirley Millidge

Distinguishing mark incorporated into paper and visible only through transmitted light. Watermarks may include names, symbols, initials, seals, and dates. They are used as a mill or papermaker’s trademark, with a given mill using several different watermarks to distinguish papers of differing qualities. Before c. 1790 they were usually referred to as ‘papermarks’.

A watermark appears as a pale pattern in the sheet when a piece of paper is held up to the light or placed over a lightbox. In handmade paper the watermark is produced during the manufacture of the sheet by the screen and by the vatman’s handling of the mould (see Paper, §I). The design is made of wire and set into the screen in the mould on which the sheet of paper is to be formed. The vatman dips the mould into the prepared paper pulp and then lifts it out horizontally. The screen retains the fibred pulp while allowing the water to drain away. The vatman then shakes the mould in two directions, from left to right and then from back to front, matting the fibres together. The wet pulp settles out more thinly over the wires that form the watermark design than it does over the rest of the screen, so the mark is more translucent than the sheet around it. The mould is then passed to a second workman, who turns it over and quickly releases the paper on to a piece of felt....