Marisa Anne Bass: Insect Artifice: Nature and Art in the Dutch Revolt

June 2, 2019

The last half of the 16th Century was a time of violent political upheaval in Holland. It was the time of The Spanish Fury and the Dutch Revolt. But during this time, artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600) produced an amazing series of delicately illustrated miniatures called Four Elements. These contained stunningly beautiful watercolors of insects, birds, and other vertebrates. Why would an artist produce such work at a time of personal upheaval? On this episode of Inquiry, we talk with MARISA ANNE BASS, associate professor of the history of art at Yale University. Her new book explores Hoefnagel’s world and reproduces in full color a number of his folios: INSECT ARTIFICE: NATURE AND ART IN THE DUTCH REVOLT.




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