Cover art for Paper Knives, Paper Crowns: Political Prints in the Dutch Republic (2022, DAP Artbook)

Prescient prints from the golden age of Dutch satire

This volume explores the satirical visual strategies that early modern Netherlandish printmakers—such as Joan Blaeu, Romeyn de Hooghe, Willem Jacobsz and Claes Jansz Visscher—used to memorialize historical events, lionize (or demonize) domestic and international leaders, and instigate collective action.

While some of their prints employ visual puns that even the illiterate could enjoy, others were captioned in Latin, French or Dutch, prompting educated elites across Europe to consider the relationship between text and image in earnest.

Published for an exhibit at Krannert Art Museum, Paper Knives, Paper Crowns provides a chronological arc and thematic overview of Netherlandish political prints, addressing multiple types of printmaking as well as the medium’s relationship to other art forms, engaging with art historical scholarship and studies of early modern political history and theory in the process.

Cost: $40

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Exhibition and publication are made possible with grant support from the Getty Foundation through its initiative, The Paper Project: Prints and Drawings Curatorship in the 21st Century; Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York; the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; The Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Historians of Netherlandish Art; and Association of Print Scholars. Publication is made possible in part by a gift from Elizabeth Warnock to the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. Additional funding is provided by the Rosann Gelvin Noel Fund.