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From the Publisher"...this quirky but important book addresses questions about art and history that have been too long overlooked."
Suzanne J. Walker, Sixteenth Century Journal, 2004.
The art of the Netherlands (Dutch and Flemish) is unique in Early Modern Europe in its concern for military cruelty against civilians, principally the peasantry. Decimated by time and changes in taste, this popular iconography proves varied and extensive, stretching from Bruegel to and past Rubens. 'Massacres of the Innocents' continue to be a favourite subject through the Eighty Years War, in contrast to ruling-class glorifications of war.
Dutch patriotic siege prints lay claim to 'scientific' precision in landscapes free of military terror, while the idea of military conquest is presented as generous rather than cruel in the ever-popular figure of Scipio Africanus. Most of the pictorial material is unfamiliar, some of it even to specialists and never before published; new light is shed on the more familiar phenomena of the civic guard groups and Ter Borch courtier-officers, 'good soldiers' overcoming a bad image.
Part One (1550-1600): Spanish Herod, Dutch Innocents
Ch. 1 Massacre of the Innocents in Literature and Art circa 1300 to 1550
Ch. 2 Vermeyen's Tapestry Series on the Conquest of Tunis by Charles V
Ch. 3 The Great Repression under Charles V and Philip II
Ch. 4 Two Massacres of the Innocents and a Census in Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Ch. 5 Maarten van Heemskerck: A Pacifist in Art
Ch. 6 Spanish Herod, Dutch Innocents: Anti-Spanish Satires 1569-1578
Ch. 7 Massacres in France: The Roman Triumvirate, Saint Bartholomew's Day
Ch. 8 Massacre and Plunder in Late Sixteenth-Century Landscape
Ch. 9 Haarlem and the War 1578-1600: Patriotic Works by Goltzius, Jacques de Gheyn, Cornelis van Haarlem, and Karel van Mander
Part Two (1600-1650): New War, Old Plundering
Ch. 10 Plundering: The Written Record
Ch. 11 New Landscape, Old Plundering
Ch. 12 Transacting the Plunder
Ch. 13 Rubens: Man of Peace or Man of War?
Part Three (1600-1670): The Good Soldier (Soldier as Courtier)
Ch. 14 The Soldier Redeemed: Siege Maps
Ch. 15 The Magnanimous Soldier: The Continence of Scipio Africanus
Ch. 16 The Ideal Soldier: The Civic Guard Company Paintings
Ch. 17 The Gallant Soldier: Gerard Ter Borch in Deventer 1650s-60s