Book Series Art History (Outside a Series)

Example or Alter Ego? Aspects of the Portrait Historié in Western Art from Antiquity to the Present

Volker Manuth, Rudie van Leeuwen, Jos Koldeweij (eds)

  • Pages: 315 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:106 b/w, 16 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56816-4
  • Hardback
  • Available

Studies on the portrait historié in Western Art from Antiquity to the Present


"Mit dem Band Example or Alter Ego? wurde nun erstmals versucht, die Vielfalt und Komplexität des Phänomens portrait historié von seinen Anfängen in der klassischen Antike bis in die Gegenwart nachzuzeichnen." (Marlen Schneider, in: Sehepunkte 18 (2018), Nr. 6 [15.06.2018])


Jos Koldeweij is Professor of Medieval Art History at Radboud University Nijmegen. His areas of research are the art of the late Middle Ages, art and devotion, and applied art, always with an emphasis on northwest Europe. His current research focuses on religious and secular badges from the late Middle Ages and on Jheronimus Bosch.

Rudie van Leeuwen, Research and Teaching Assistant at Radboud University Nijmegen, prepares a disseration on the biblical "portrait historié" in the Northern Netherlands of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is currently working on the Rembrandt Documents Project (RemDoc).

Volker Manuth is Professor of Early Modern Art History at Radboud University of Nijmegen. His has published on the iconography of the Old Testament and the art of Rembrandt and his school. From 1995 to 2003 he was Professor of Art History (A. Bader Chair of Northern Baroque Art) at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.



The present collection of essays on the subject of the portrait historié treats examples of this subgenre of portraiture stemming from Classical Antiquity, medieval times, the Renaissance and Baroque period, but also from Romantic era and the modern movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A portrait historié can be described as an artistic rendering of an individual in the guise of a historical figure. In a broader and more modern sense it can be understood as a representation or figuration of the self which appropriates and incorporates visual metaphors by means of allegorisation and identification. This book is the result of a research project of the Art History Department in collaboration with the Archaeology Department of the Faculty of Arts of the Radboud University Nijmegen.


- Introduction (Jos Koldeweij, Rudie van Leeuwen, Volker Manuth)
I. Assimilation and deification in the classical portrait historié
- From Phidias to Constantine: The Portrait Historié in Classical Antiquity (Stephan T.A.M. Mols, Eric M. Moormann, Olivier Hekster)

II. Representation and presence in the medieval portrait historié
- In the Guise of a Christian: the Early Medieval Preliminary Stage of the Portrait Historié (Kees Veelenturf)
- Likeness and Presence in the Age before the Portrait Historié (Kees van der Ploeg)
- In the Mirror of Christian Antiquity: Early Papal Identification Portraits in Santa Maria Maggiore (Sible de Blaauw)
- Hippolyte de Berthoz by Dirk Bouts and Hugo van der Goes: A Patron as Martyr (Jos Koldeweij)

III. Identification and translocation in the early modern portrait historié
- Mary of Burgundy or Margaret of Austria: A search for the true identity of the Mary Magdalene from Chantilly (Weineke Weusten)
- The portrait historié in Passion scenes in Renaissance Italy (Bram de Klerck)
- Moses and the Israelites by Maerten de Vos: the portrait historié of the Panhuys family from 1574 (Rudie van Leeuwen)
- Dutch Artists as Saints. Aspects of the Self-portrait historié (Volker Manuth)
- Harnessed Heroes: Mars, the Title-page, and the Dutch Stadtholders (Jeroen Goudeau)

IV. Guises and social masks in the modern portrait historié
- A homemade tribute: Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921) on the throne of Rembrandt van Rijn (Jean-Pierre van Rijen)
- ‘Everything is in one’s own self…’1 On the ‘Mask Portraits’ of Bauhaus Artist Gertrud Arndt (Dörte Nicolaisen)
- Portrait historié or pure painting? Kasimir Malevich’s Self-portrait with Black Square (1933) (Lieske Tibbe)
- King, Saint, Revolutionary: Joseph Beuys’ Palazzo Regale as Portrait Historié (Wouter Weijers)
- I is an other: Philip Guston’s imagined incarnations of God and Klansmen (Mette Gieskes)