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The Dutch Guardroom Scene of the Golden Age: A Definition

Jochai Rosen
Artibus et Historiae
Vol. 27, No. 53 (2006), pp. 151-174
Published by: IRSA s.c.
DOI: 10.2307/20067114
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20067114
Page Count: 24
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The Dutch Guardroom Scene of the Golden Age: A Definition
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Abstract

This study aims at defining a particular genre formula known to contemporaries as a Cortegaerdje -- a guardroom scene. It was created and developed by a group of so-called minor masters in the Dutch Golden Age. The purpose is to reach an optimal agreement between a certain visual formula and this contemporary title or its variants. This is done through a systematic comparison with various martial and other relevant genre themes and assigning each its designated contemporary title. The guardroom scene is a genre painting depicting an interior of a temporary nature, hosting soldiers and their camp followers passing the time in various activities. It is free of any violent action, and it usually appears respectable and in some cases even merry. It might, however, include the results of violent actions, such as beseeching hostages and booty. The guardroom scene usually does not revolve around a clear subject matter, but is a collection of motifs, anecdotes, and notions. The guardroom scene gave the middle-class man, nesting safely at home, a restrained drama devoid of violence while touching his social sensitivity.

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