Flemish and Dutch Artists in Early Modern England: Collaboration and Competition, 1460-1680 by Mary Bryan H. Curd
By examining their production practices in a variety of genres"including manuscript illustration, glass painting and staining, tapestry manufacture, portrait painting, and engraving"this book explores how Netherlandish artists migrating to England in the early modern period overcame difficulties raised by their outsider status. This study examines, for the first time in this context, the challenges of alien status to artistic production and the effectiveness of cooperation as a countermeasure. The author demonstrates that collaboration was chief among the strategies that these foreigners chose to secure a position in London's changing art market. Curd's exploration of these collaborations primarily follows Pierre Bourdieu's model of "establishment and challenger" in which dominance in a field of cultural production depends upon how much cultural, political, and economic capital can be accumulated and the effectiveness of the strategies used to confront competition. The analysis presented here challenges received opinion that a collaborative work is only a joint effort of artists working together on a single monument by demonstrating that the participation of patrons and middlemen can also shape the final appearance of a work of art. Furthermore, this book shows that the strategic use of collaboration served the goal of competition by helping to establish foreign artists in the London art market and suggests that their coping strategies have implications for the study of immigrant behaviors today.