Wednesday, January 29, 2014

‘Thomas Wijck’s alchemists’

Another great program at Observatory will be presented Friday night: a discussion of Thomas Wijck’s paintings of alchemists led by a Wijcks scholar.

An Alchemist by Thomas Wijck.

From the publicity:

Painted Alchemists:
Thomas Wijck at the Intersection
of Art, Science, and Practice

A Presentation by Elisabeth Berry Drago

Friday, January 31 at 8 p.m.

543 Union Street

Admission: $10
Presented by Phantasmaphile

Dutch images of alchemists in the laboratory have long been overlooked by art historians as moralizing satires catering to a disbelieving audience. This project examines afresh the alchemical pictures of Thomas Wijck (1616-77), seeking to understand how artistry and alchemy met and merged in the early modern studio and laboratory. In addition to iconographical and historical concerns, emphasis is placed on Wijck’s paintings as transformative objects produced in a studio-workshop: raw materials, pigments, and chemical processes will shed light on the practices of painters and their role in a greater “Golden Age” of discovery.

Elisabeth Berry Drago is a Ph.D. candidate in art history, specializing in 17th-century Netherlands. Her dissertation centers on Thomas Wijck, whose pictures of alchemists in the laboratory offer new perspectives on early modern science and artistry. Berry received her M.A. in art history from Temple University in 2010, and holds a B.A. in fine arts from SUNY Fredonia. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with the Fleisher Art Memorial, a community arts organization, and the Free Library of Philadelphia, teaching youth workshops in painting and drawing, comics, and picture-book illustration.

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