Samuel van Hoogstraten's Introduction to the Academy of Painting; or, The Visible World

Getty Trust Publications

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A unique seventeenth-century account of painting as it was practiced, taught, and discussed during a period of extraordinary artistic and intellectual ferment in the Netherlands. The only comprehensive work on painting written by a Dutch artist in the later seventeenth century, Samuel van Hoogstraten's Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst, anders de zichtbaere werelt (Introduction to the Academy of Painting; or, The Visible World, 1678) has long served as a source of valuable insights on a range of topics, from firsthand reports of training in Rembrandt's studio to contemporary engagements with perspective, optics, experimental philosophy, the economics of art, and more. Van Hoogstraten's magnum opus--here available in an English print edition for the first time--brings textual sources into dialogue with the author's own experience garnered during a multifaceted career. Presenting novel twists on traditional topics, he makes a distinctive case for the status of painting as a universal discipline basic to all the liberal arts. Van Hoogstraten's arguments for the authority of what painters know about nature and art speak to contemporary notions of expertise and to the unsettled relations between theory and practice, making this book a valuable document of the intertwined histories of art and knowledge in the seventeenth century.