A Calvinist view of visual art in seventeenth-century Holland : the iconography of Esther in post-Reformation Dutch painting
Master of Arts (MA)
The Book of Esther, found in the Old Testament, has been represented in a variety of ways throughout history. In a sweeping tale of love, honor, and sacrifice, the Jewish maiden queen, Esther, is a heroine to the oppressed. Dutch Protestants in the Golden Age felt a kinship to this subject, particularly after the Protestant Reformation and the new religious freedom gained in Holland during the sixteenth century, which continued in the seventeenth century. These men and women saw many parallels between Esther’s experience and their own, both as the covenant people of God and as the remnant preserved by God’s care. By looking at the history of the Protestant Reformation, the religious climate of Holland, and a number of representations of the Book of Esther, this paper aims to explore the connection between Dutch Protestantism and the Old Testament Jews, the importance of the Book of Esther for Dutch Protestants in the seventeenth century, and the way in which artists represented Esther in Post-Reformation Holland.
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Peaster, Sarah Grafton, "A Calvinist view of visual art in seventeenth-century Holland : the iconography of Esther in post-Reformation Dutch painting" (2013). LSU Master's Theses. 1254.