This study of 17th-century paintings - allegories, portraits, still lifes and genre paintings - recognizes the subject matter as more than a purely visual one and examines the works as a cultural manifestation, examining themes and motifs that are included in the works. De Jongh explores visual traditions, prints, emblems, writings and folklore and through a realization that there are limits to the interpretation of visual representations, he also employs methodological and theoretical issues. De Jongh wrote these essays over a period of 25 years. All these articles have now been revised. The introduction has been rewritten especially for this anthology and many new illustrations have been added.
From the Inside Flap
Ten of de Jongh¿s most influential articles on seventeenth-century Dutch painting are brought together in this volume: `Certain objects or motifs often serve a dual function. They operate as concrete, observable things while at the same time doing something totally different, namely expressing an idea, a moral, an intention, a joke or a situation.¿