Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael, Exhibition Catalog

About the Authors

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. is curator of northern baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Liesbeth M. Helmus is curator of old master paintings, drawings, and sculpture at the Centraal Museum Utrecht. James Clifton is director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and curator of Renaissance and baroque painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Anne W. Lowenthal is an independent scholar and authority on Joachim Wtewael. Stijn Alsteens is curator of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael, Exhibition Catalog

# 623039P

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James Clifton, Liesbeth M. Helmus, and Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. with contributions by Stijn Alsteens and Anne W. Lowenthal

A brilliant colorist and masterful storyteller, Dutch artist Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638) took inspiration from a wide range of biblical and mythological sources to create imaginative, often quite erotic scenes. While such pictures were prized in Wtewael’s time, more recently they were hidden away—behind other paintings, in leather folders on bookshelves, and in the reserves of great museums. This richly illustrated volume brings together 40 of Wtewael’s finest paintings, from small jewel-like pictures on copper to large-scale mannerist showpieces such as The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and Perseus and Andromeda.


A pillar of the Utrecht community, Wtewael was engaged in business, religion, and politics as well as art. He adopted the exotic mannerist style, full of artifice and inventive manipulation, and continued to create sophisticated variations well into his maturity, when other Dutch artists had turned to naturalism. This book explores Wtewael’s amazingly refined and detailed paintings and drawings, shedding light on his reputation, his life, and the conflicted times—marked by iconoclasm and strife—in which he thrived.

  • Available in hardcover or softcover
  • 9.625 x 11 inches
  • 236 pages, 175 color illustrations
  • Published: 2015

Editorial Reviews

"The definitive study of one of the period’s most significant artists." —H. Rodney Nevitt Jr., University of Houston

"A timely, well-researched, and beautifully illustrated study of an extraordinarily compelling artist, written by leading lights in the field of Dutch art." —Claudia Swan, Northwestern University

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