The Role of the Antwerp Painter-Dealer Guilliam Forchondt in the Large-Scale Distribution of New Imagery in Europe and the Americas during the Seventeenth Century

Author/s: Sandra van Ginhoven, PhD
Availability: Open Access
Type: Dissertation
Year: 2015

Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the large-scale distribution of imagery from the Southern Netherlands across Europe and the Americas, particularly on the large number of paintings exported from Antwerp-Mechelen to Spain and the Americas during the seventeenth century. To analyze this profitable long-distance art trade and the artistic implications of the exchanges that took place through market mechanisms, this research relies on the archival and visual sources left by one of the most successful seventeenth-century Antwerp international art dealers with Spain and the Americas, Guilliam Forchondt (1608-1678). He established a productive painting workshop and a successful commercial firm that concentrated on Spanish Habsburg territories. This dissertation examines his workshop practices, the type of paintings he directed to Spain and the Americas, and the mechanisms he established for artistic and information exchanges between Flemish, Spanish and colonial Spanish contemporaries because Forchondt dealt in the transatlantic trade through a commercial network of merchants and agents in Europe and the New World. This research also investigates local conditions and responses in Spain, Mexico and Peru to the imported Flemish paintings.

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