A golden age of silver. Metal in the imagination of early modern Antwerp.

The world of objects, artifacts, and material goods is at the core of this project that investigates the imageries and imaginaries associated with precious metals and materials in seventeenth-century Antwerp. The focus is on works made or designed by Peter Paul Rubens such as the Arch of the Mint for the triumphal entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1535, and a saltcellar produced around 1628 by the Antwerp silversmith Jan Herck and the Augsburg sculptor Georg Petel, the latter following Rubens’s “invention.” The study attempts to bring together the histories and historiographies of craftsmanship, connoisseurship, collecting, and trade, and aims to situate the history of Antwerp’s visual and material cultures in a context that takes into account its interactions with global narratives and processes.