In 2011 a discovery was made at the Department of Prints and Drawings of the National Museum in Warsaw - a drawing hitherto described as a Kneeling knight by an anonymous seventeenth-century artist, turned out to be Joan of Arc, a sketch well-known to art historians studying the oeuvre of Peter Paul Rubens, although thought to be lost during the Second World War. The drawing, until now known only through the black and white photograph, could be thoroughly analysed for the first time. In the context of information thus obtained, the historical context of creating the sketch transpired as an equally important matter, including the hypothetical role that may have been played in its creation by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.
The history of Dutch tiles started in the sixteenth century Antwerp in the workshops of the Italian potters who had settled in the city upon the Scheldt. Due to the political and social factors (i.e. huge wave of refugees during the Dutch Revolt), tile production was moved to the Northern Netherlands, where it was fully developed and the offer of the Republic’s tile works began to enjoy greatest fame and a huge commercial success all over Europe. The given article deals mostly with Dutch tiles representing the biblical scenes (bijbeltegels) and discusses their numerous contexts, such as confessional and social background, iconographical origin of their designs (engravings, illustrated Bibles, stencils), the taste and status of the potential buyers. Moreover, the artistic and cultural phenomenon of Dutch biblical tiles has been interpreted in terms of a much wider tradition, namely the ‘biblicisation’ of everyday life in the Dutch Republic and its interiors. Finally, the issue of Dutch tiles, being the symbols of the national cultural tradition, has been brought up.
The present article is a close reading of the libretto of the first opera (drama musicale) staged in the Netherlands, in Brussels in 1650. The main point of interest is Ascanio Amalteo’s transformation or even breakaway from the classical tradition (esp. Homer and Ovid) to create a work with its own message, quite distant from classical texts but, paradoxically, approaching moral and psychological categories in Neo-Stoic mode. Perhaps it is not by chance that a parallel piece, Calderon’s second play on Circe (after the fiesta entitled El mayor encanto, amor, 1635), i.e. the auto sacramentale entitled Los encantos de la culpa (ca. 1650), is also a significant transformation of the motive done in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation. Both plays are the last allegorical interpretations of Circe myth and for the next two-hundred years the last important literary works about Ulysses.
The second half of the 16th century is regarded as the decisive moment in the history of the Low Countries. The politics of religious intolerance and financial oppression practiced by the Habsburg governors resulted in protests and, finally, in the open revolt of the Provinces under the leadership of the princes of Orange and Nassau. The aim of this work is to follow and reconstruct the ideas of political thought accompanying the events leading to the rise of a new state. In the dicussed state forming process the main emphasis was put on the issues of freedom, states, and sovereignty, as well as on the concept of the possibility of dismissing the obedience inherited from the medieval privileges. These concepts and terms created a special sort of dictionary of the Dutch political thought.
Professor Andrzej Borowski from the Jagiellonian University, whose 70th anniversary we celebrate this year, is a very well known scholar and literature historian, specialised in Old Polish Literature (Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque) - and with a background from Classical studies. A lesser known fact is that he also is a scholar active in the field of the Netherlandish (Dutch and Flemish) literature and culture: as author of numerous books and articles about (South) Netherlandish figures from the 16th and 17th century, as supervisor of numerous dissertations or habilitations in the field of the Netherlandish literature and as an inspiring personality in the field of the Netherlandish studies at Polish universities. He can indeed be seen as the Spiritus Litterarum Neerlandicorum in Poland.
At the end of the 1960s and in the beginning of the 1970s the South African poet Breyten Breytenbach had poetry and drawings published in the leading literary magazine Raster. The editor in charge at the time, H.C. ten Berge, gave the experimental writer and socially engaged Sestiger (the literary modernizing movement in South Africa in the sixties) pride of place in the line-ups of the Dutch modernist periodical. In the seventies, Ten Berge contributed to Vingermaan (1980), a collection of poems by Dutch writers (Lucebert, Kopland, Kouwenaar, Schierbeek) in support of the anti-apartheid activist. From 1975 Breytenbach was imprisoned in South Africa for political reasons. He served seven years of a nine year sentence. At that time, in the eighties, the Netherlands organized a cultural and economical boycott against the racist regime in Pretoria. Later on, Ten Berge presented his own poems dedicated to Breytenbach in his book of poetry Nieuwe gedichten (1981) and in the collection Materia prima: Gedichten 1963-1993 (1993). Before and during the imprisonment of Breytenbach Ten Berge played an important role in the introduction of the writer in the Low Countries. From a cultural-sociological point of view Breytenbach’s presence in the Dutch language area can be described, in the terminology of Francoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih and later on used by Louise Viljoen, as a transnational lateral movement in his writing career. This paper deals with the cultural transmission of an important political and experimental author in the literary system of Afrikaans and English in South Africa into the Dutch system. From a bibliographical viewpoint this paper affords special attention to the publication of Breytenbach’s volume of poetry in Skryt: Om ’n sinkende skip blou te verf ( 1976), Vingermaan (1980) and Nieuwe gedichten ( 1987). Ten Berge played an important role in the introduction of Breytenbach to the Low Countries in the way he presented the author’s political and aesthetic ideas to a Dutch-speaking audience.
This article is based on the belief that in every historical period, there is a certain part of the literary production that reflects the recent events or tendencies in the contemporary society. Using my dissertation, in which I did research on the representations of the globalisation in recent Dutch and Flemish fiction, as an example of which issues were or were not represented in a number of selected Dutch-written novels, I point out that ecology, which turned to be a non-issue in my corpus, deserves new attention at this moment. My article suggests some attitudes that can help to interpret the ecological issues and the tightly connected subject of animal rights. The new challenges for the literary studies are first of all presented by the ecocriticism and the (critical) animal studies
The ‘Dutch’ colonisation in Poland, which took place between the 16th and the 19th century, left a clear architectural and spatial mark in the Polish countryside. The newcomers, originally from the Low Countries and later from Germany and other parts of Europe, created independent communities which did not establish strong ties with adjacent villages. Moreover, contrary to autochthonic peasants, the colonists enjoyed freedom and a relatively high social status and were often rather wealthy. Hence their villages and farmsteads differed from local ones being generally speaking more representative. It has often been assumed than the ‘Dutch’ settlements in Poland shared more similarities with the Dutch or Frisian countryside than with the neighbouring villages and that both the settlements as well as the farmhouses differed substantially from local building traditions. This paper explores how much the ‘Dutch’ villages and farms were in fact distinguishable from their local counterparts and to what extent they coincided with building traditions in the Low Countries and in Germany.
The contribution of Poles to the colonisation and development of the Dutch Cape Colony is not commonly known. Yet, Poles have been appearing in this colony since its very inception (1652). During the entire period considered here the presence of Poles was the result of the strong economic ties between Poland and the Netherlands. At the end of this period there was an increase in their share, in connection with the presence of numerous alien military units on the territory of the Colony, because of Poles having served in these units. Numerous newcomers from Poland settled in South Africa for good, established families, and their progeny made up part of the local society. The evidence of this phenomenon is provided by the present-day Afrikaner families of, for instance, Drotsky, Kitshoff, Kolesky, Latsky, Masuriek, Troskie, Zowitsky, and others. A quite superficial estimation implies that the settlers coming from Poland could make up a bit over 1% of the ancestors of the present-day Afrikaners. Poles would also participate in the pioneering undertakings within the far-off fringes of the Colony, including the robbery-and-trade expedition of 1702.