For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Men at Work in Dutch Art, or Keeping One's Nose to the Grindstone"

by Kettering, Alison M (2007)


Depictions of masculine labor in Dutch art, although falling outside the usual repertoire, extend our understanding of European visual culture in the seventeenth century. Investigation of this imagery brings class and gender into art historical analysis while considering what was deemed appropriate subject matter, and what was not. Gabriel Metsu's Interior of a Smithy, Gerard ter Borch's Grinder's Family, and the artisan paintings of Quiringh van Brekelenkam are discussed in detail. Each is compared with the notion of the ideal workplace, and each is seen in the light of contemporary labor conditions, socioeconomic forces, ideologies, and gender norms.

Key Passage



Aesthetics, Work In Art, Dutch History, Visual Culture, Gender, Historical Analysis, Labor Conditions


Work in Art

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