For a long time, genre art was thought to be an imitation of reality and the process of increasing secularization seemed the cause of its origin. Prevailing explanations today interpret genre art as a contribution to a Christian didactic program, in keeping with painted depictions of ethics and vices. The present volume expands on these perspectives. Genre painting asks itself political, theological and art theoretical questions, and proves to be a medium of a world in transition. Thus, it is no coincidence that the beginnings of genre art can be found in 15th century prints – in the most advanced reproduction medium of that time. Genre art addressed an urban public;one repeatedly faced with the everyday problems of leading a
This publication is a compilation of essays interpreting exemplary genre paintings by Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Petrus Christus and Jan Sanders van Hemessen. It proposes a re-evaluation of genre art that allows it to be seen as a selfreflective art form that does not shy away from conflict.