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POWER OF THE PORTRAIT:Production, Consumption and Display of Portraits of Amalia van Solms in the Dutch Republic

Beranek, Saskia (2013) POWER OF THE PORTRAIT:Production, Consumption and Display of Portraits of Amalia van Solms in the Dutch Republic. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Portraits of Amalia van Solms, wife of Frederik Hendrik of Orange-Nassau and one of the most significant women in the Dutch Republic, were widely circulated and displayed during her lifetime (1602-1675). This study focuses on cases where specific audiences and sites of display can be isolated. When portraits can be viewed in their original context, they speak not only to those elements intrinsic to the image such as symbolism or fashion, but also to issues extrinsic to the image: social practices, cultural ideals, and individual identities. The meaning of a portrait depends as much on with whom it was intended to communicate as on whom it portrayed.

Building on recent scholarship which established Amalia as a significant art patron, this dissertation focuses on her use of portraiture and how she chose to present herself to a variety of audiences. Portraits circulated ideas about the House of Orange in general and Amalia in particular during the Dutch war for independence. In public, they promoted a specific notion of elite identity to publics as varied as a bankrupt employee of an Amsterdam almshouse and the King of England. In more restricted environments, they structured the more private experience of the visitor to Orange palaces and speak to the type of relationship between viewer and viewed. At Honselaarsdjik, public spaces like galleries held formal portraits, but in restricted and elite spaces, the image of the resident changed in relation to audience. At Huis ten Bosch, the idea of the portrait is expanded beyond the edges of a canvas. Though the study of the Oranjezaal has generally focused on the deceased Frederik Hendrik, by considering the site as an integrated whole Huis ten Bosch is reframed as a portrait of Amalia: a living, large scale embodiment of lineage, triumph, and memory. This dissertation proposes a broader approach to portraiture that extends beyond physiognomic likeness and views architecture and audience as fundamental elements in the representation of identity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beranek, Saskiasrb43@pitt.eduSRB43
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSutherland Harris, Annash@pitt.eduASH
Committee CoChairArmstrong, Christopher Drewcda68@pitt.eduCDA68
Committee MemberEllenbogen, Joshjme23@pitt.eduJME23
Committee MemberWaldron, Jeniferjwaldron@pitt.eduJWALDRON
Committee MemberDickey,
Date: 30 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 March 2013
Approval Date: 30 June 2013
Submission Date: 9 April 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 362
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amalia van Solms, Portraits, Portraiture, Dutch Art, Dutch Architecture, seventeenth century, House of Orange, Huis ten Bosch
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2013 17:54
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2018 05:15


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