Book Series Harvey Miller - Art History (Outside a Series)

Undressing Rubens

Fashion and Painting in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp

Abigail Newman, Lieneke Nijkamp (eds)

  • Pages: 232 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:3 b/w, 136 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-1-912554-22-5
  • Hardback
  • Available

A range of perspectives on the convergence of costume, art and history in the early modern Low Countries.


"(...) readers (…) will for the most part find this lavishly illustrated volume worth their while." (Marcia Pointon, in Art History, 2020, p. 648)

"The success (...) is in part due to the diversity of voices and methodologies, with a range of specialists in areas of textile curation and conservation, history and art history, and a strong emphasis on extant objects, archival evidence from inventories and accounts and contemporary legal and moralising literature." (Erin Griffey, in The Burlington Magazine, February 2021, p. 185)



Abigail D. Newman (BA, Brown University; PhD Princeton University) defended her dissertation,‘Flanders Abroad: The Flemish Artistic Presence in 17th-Century Madrid’, in 2016. Supported by Fulbright,Mellon-Council for European Studies and Belgian American Educational Foundation fellowships, her dissertation received her department’s Faggen award. Her articles have appeared in the Nederlands kunsthistorisch jaarboek and De zeventiende eeuw, and she is the author of Rubens’s St. Andrew “de los Flamencos”: Altarpiece Enframed by a Spanish-Flemish Community (Antwerp: Rubenshuis/BAI, 2018),which she researched and wrote while serving as a Research Curator at the Rubenshuis in 2017–18. She is currently professor at the Universiteit Antwerpen and Research Adviser at the Rubenianum.

Lieneke Nijkamp is Curator of Research Collections at the Rubenianum – Research Institute for Flemish Art of the 16th and 17th centuries. She studied art history at the Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam. Between 2005 and 2009 she gained curatorial experience at the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the J.P. Getty Museum. In 2010–11 she worked on several projects at the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague, before starting her job in Antwerp. As curator, she is responsible for the Rubenianum’s (photographic) archives.



The essays collected in this volume meet at a point of convergence between costume, art, and history, and focus on the seventeenth-century Southern Netherlands. Undressing Rubens looks at the significance of costume in life and art in the age of Rubens, confirming that, as is increasingly recognised by scholars of many aspects of early modern European culture, this is hardly an insular topic. Cloth and clothing in seventeenth-century Flemish paintings lead the contributing scholars north of the border to the United Provinces, south to courts in Florence, Mantua, Madrid and elsewhere, and east to Cologne and, ultimately, to Japan. Stretching back several centuries to provide critical context and points of origin for many seventeenth-century practices and ideas, the innovative research presented here also points forward in time, dealing with implications in later centuries but also, in many cases, engaging directly with questions of historiography still quite relevant today.




Abigail D. Newman and Lieneke Nijkamp

Clothing Rubens’s Antwerp: Everyday Urban Dress in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
Isis Sturtewagen

‘Wrought with flowers and leaves’: Embroidery Depicted in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century British Portraits – the Era of Rubens
Karen Hearn

‘Inde sottigheydt van al syn Hooverdyen’: Exploring the Value of Southern-Netherlandish Moralising, Satirical and Other Written Sources (1625–1700) to the Study of the History of Costume
Hannelore Magnus

Dark Witnesses: Archaeological Discoveries in Antwerp
Frieda Sorber

The Materiality of Contemporary Dress Depicted by Rubens and other Flemish Painters
Johannes Pietsch

Redressing Japan: Kosode/No Kosode in Rubens’s World
Susan Miller

Rubens and ‘the source and origin of all the pretty fashions in Italy’. The Portrait of Isabella d’Este in Red
Sara van Dijk

‘Much industry and arte’: Hair and Beards at the Court of Charles I
Susan Vincent

In Search of the Origins of the Huik: Did the Spanish Play a Part in its Introduction?
Bianca M. du Mortier

Material Girl. Helena Fourment Wearing a Huyck
Bert Watteeuw

Photographic Credits
About the Authors