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Harry Berger, Jr.: “Caterpillage: Small-scale Violence in 17th Century Dutch Still-Life Painting”
April 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Merrill Event Center
This talk is about the strange accent on disorder in 17th century Dutch paintings of still life. The still-life genre includes pictures of flowers and food in domestic and outdoor settings. Its focus is on the conflict between an emphasis on order, harmony, and formal beauty, and an emphasis on disorder, damage, and death. I’ll view still life through the lens provided by Stephen Colbert’s idea of “truthiness” and devote special attention to the way still life painters delight in depicting the depredations inflicted by such tiny terrorists as snails and caterpillars.