This article considers the collections of painters and the invention of the genre of the gallery picture in Antwerp. It zooms in on gallery paintings from the Francken workshop with details of so-called 'iconoclastic donkeys'. These pictures were a ‘defence of the image’ and must be understood in Antwerp’s Counter Reformation context, in the aftermath of the iconoclastic furies of the sixteenth century. Quintessential to both iconoclasm and the culture of collecting were issues of display and materiality. The paintings of cabinets suggest that some Antwerp artists were defenders of the image in a time when images and other man-made objects were at the forefront of intellectual debate. The gallery paintings can be related to a widespread debate on materiality that, implicitly or explicitly, extended from scholarly publications to workshops and collectors’ rooms.
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|