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Ann Jensen Adams on ‘Franciscus Junius: Philology and the survival of Antiquity in the art of northern Europe’: a review

10 December 2017

Franciscus Junius:  Philology and the survival of Antiquity in the art of northern Europe

A review of:

Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain.  The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591 – 1677) by Thijs Weststeijn, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015, 452 pp., 178 colour & b/w illus. €129,00/ $164.00, ISBN13: 9789004283619, E-ISBN: 9789004283992

Ann Jensen Adams (University of California, Santa Barbara)  18/AJA1

Abstract: Franciscus Junius was librarian to Thomas Howard and Alethea Talbot, Earl and Countess of Arundel, and curator of the most important collection of antiquities north of the Alps.  His text De pictura Veterum published in 1637, a collection of ancient texts on ancient art, with commentary, was intended as a complement to the collection and guide to its study.  He translated the text into English as On the Painting of the Ancients in 1638, and into Dutch as De Schilder-konst der Oude in 1641.  Thijs Weststeijn’s book is the first comprehensive study of this work, examining its origins, the differences between editions and translations in light of their different audiences, and its impact upon art lovers, artists, and subsequent artwriting.  Finally, he locates Junius’ project in the context of northern efforts to recover their own Anglo-Dutch Germanic past which remained alive for the ‘modern’ world.

Key words: Thijs Weststeijn, Franciscus Junius, Gerardus Vossius, De pictura Veterum, On the Painting of the Ancients, De Schilder-konst der Oude, seventeenth-century art theory, ancient rhetoric and artwriting, Batavians

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