- 08 feb 2023
- 20:00 - 21:30
Webinar Kathryn Davies: monsters and monstrous creatures in books and prints from Antwerp in the period of the reformation and early counter-reformation
In the second half of the sixteenth century, Antwerp was a frontrunner in printed image production and a centre of intellectual endeavour; simultaneously, it was being threatened by iconoclasm and religious upheaval. This paper explores how and why monsters, particularly those with both human and animal components, were depicted in Antwerp’s print culture during this tumultuous period. It proposes that animality was understood as being incorporated within the human, with the potential to break free in moments of crisis. By considering depictions of demons, Devils, and sinners throughout this period, a trend of visual motifs representing sin and vice can be established. This paper will demonstrate that monstrosity was not only a valuable tool of visual expression in this period of Antwerp’s history, but often played a formative role in the construction of self-identity.
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