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City Portrait, Civic Body, and Commercial Printing in Sixteenth-Century Ghent

  • Frederik Buylaert (a1), Jelle De Rock (a2) and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (a2)

Abstract

This article discusses a woodcut series with an elaborate iconographic representation of the Flemish city of Ghent, printed in 1524 by Pieter de Keysere. The three-sheet composition consists of a city view, an image of the allegorical Maiden of Ghent, and an extensive heraldic program with the coat of arms of prominent Ghent families and of the Ghent craft guilds. The print series’ production and consumption are unraveled and framed within the wider debate on civic religion in Renaissance Europe. The main argument is that while in this region of Northern Europe civic ideology was equally strong as in Italy, it was not the exclusive playground of the ruling elites. Pieter de Keysere’s woodcut series was aimed at a socially broad, local audience, most particularly Ghent’s corporate middle groups.

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City Portrait, Civic Body, and Commercial Printing in Sixteenth-Century Ghent

  • Frederik Buylaert (a1), Jelle De Rock (a2) and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (a2)

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