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Ingenuity in the gallery

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Willem II van Haecht’s ‘Gallery of Cornelis van der Gheest’ (1628) is the best known and most extensively discussed example of the Flemish ‘pictures of collections’ genre, which rose to prominence in Antwerp in the first half of the seventeenth century. Yet despite the painting’s fame, a key aspect of its allegory has been curiously overlooked. This paper will argue that the image should be read as a celebration of ingenium: a shared attribute of the cognoscenti – be they patrons, artists, or scholars – that populate the gallery space.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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