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Windows Of Opportunity, 1653–1678

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights that even though interest in religious imagery was growing, the majority of Dutch religious works remained unillustrated between 1653 and 1680. Along with the growing opportunities for the allegorical, emblematic picture Bible and even an illustrated version of the entire Dutch Bible, came the rise of the Catholic emblem in Dutch religious literature. In line with Serrarius' unorthodox ideas, the Goddelycke aandachten propounded a mystical and idiosyncratic version of the Pia Desideria. The Verhemelde ziele by the Dutch Reformed minister Simon Simonides included a number of allegorical, emblematic engravings representing 'de Wegh des levens na Boven'. Meyster's Catholic alternative to the Protestant attitude toward religious imagery found little response in the Republic. Catholic traditions seem to have had a profound influence on Van Hoogstraten's Voorhof der ziele. The new threat of atheism required a repositioning of the various denominations towards solidarity rather than divisiveness.

Keywords: allegorical imagery; Catholic emblem; Dutch picture Bible; Dutch Reformed; Everard Meyster; Goddelycke aandachten; Protestant appropriation; Verhemelde ziele; Voorhof der ziele



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