'To Proclaim, to Instruct and to Discipline. The Visuality of Texts in Calvinist Churches in the Dutch Republic' - PhD project, funded by NWO
Texts painted on panels, walls, columns and church furniture form an equally fascinating as overlooked aspect of the Dutch early modern Protestant Church interior. The aim of this study is to analyze these text panels and paintings, most of which date from the late 16th and 17th centuries. They are studied from two perspectives: firstly as material objects in their spatial setting, namely the church as a place for the liturgical ritual and for the community to gather, and secondly as conveyors of theological and moral content. A European contextualization will situate these panels, so characteristic of the Dutch Calvinist church interior, in the broader framework of developments in other Protestant countries. In its approach to the Reformation this study will draw attention to aspects of continuity alongside change in the furnishing and use of churches, by viewing Protestant text culture both as a continuation and adaptation of late medieval visual culture. In doing this, this study aims to modify and correct the traditional and still prevalent view of Calvinist material culture as ‘sober’ and ‘austere’.
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