At Home in Renaissance Bruges

Connecting Objects, People and Domestic Spaces in a Sixteenth-Century City

Julie De Groot

Regular price €49.50 (including 6% VAT) Sale

Monograph - paperback

VIEW Monograph - free ebook - ePUB VIEW Monograph - free ebook - PDF

Domestic materiality in a remarkable European city
How did citizens in Bruges create a home? What did an ordinary domestic interior look like in the sixteenth century? And more importantly: how does one study the domestic culture of bygone times by analysing documents such as probate inventories? These questions seem straightforward, yet few endeavours are more challenging than reconstructing a sixteenth-century domestic reality from written sources. This book takes full advantage of the inventory as a source and convincingly frames household objects in their original context of use. Meticulously connecting objects, people and domestic spaces, the book introduces the reader to the rich material world of Bruges citizens in the Renaissance, their sensory engagement, their religious practice, the daily activities of men and women, and other social factors. By weaving insights from material culture studies with urban history, At Home in Renaissance Bruges offers an appealing and holistic mixture of in-depth socio-economic, cultural and material analysis. In its approach the book goes beyond heavy-handed theories and stereotypes about the exquisite taste of aristocratic elites, focusing instead on the domestic materiality of Bruges’ middling groups. Evocatively illustrated with contemporary paintings and images of furniture and textiles from Bruges and beyond, this monograph shows a nuanced picture of domestic materiality in a remarkable European city.

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

“Be careful with formulating large stories and generalisations about evolution in material culture and consumption culture. Each (urban) community has its own story to tell.”
Read a Q&A with Julie De Groot

GENERAL INTRODUCTION 
The Spatial Turn 
Reclaiming Domesticity 
At Home in Renaissance Bruges 
Sources and Challenges 
The Structure of the Book 

PART 1
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD: THE ORGANISATION OF DOMESTIC SPACE

INTRODUCTION 
Functional Specialisation: A Subject of Discussion 
What’s in a Name? The Nomenclature of Domestic Space 

CONNECTING THE HOUSE TO THE STREET? THE SHOP AND WORKSHOP 
Introduction 
‘Historians and the Nation of Shopkeepers’ 
Shops and Shopping in Bruges 
Similarities and Differences: The Broader Picture 

THE MERCHANT IN THE CONTOOR 
Introduction 
The Contoor in Bruges 
Similarities and Differences: The Broader Picture 

AT THE HEART OF THE HOME: ROOMS AT THE HEART OF DOMESTIC CULTURE 
The Kitchen in Bruges 
Dining Room and Salette 
The Elusive Realm of Sleep: Sleeping Rooms 
Similarities and Differences: The Broader Picture 

PART 2
DOMESTIC OBJECTS IN CONTEXT

INTRODUCTION 
DEVOTION ON DISPLAY? PAINTINGS IN DOMESTIC INTERIORS 
Introduction 
What’s in a Name? 
Possessing Paintings in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Bruges 
Canvas and Panel Paintings 
Paintings and Iconographical Themes 
Devotion on Display 
Conclusions 

FOR PUBLIC ELEGANCE AND PRIVATE COMFORT: TEXTILES AND FURNITURE 
Introduction 
Comfort and the Textile Environment 
The Seat of Authority? The Design and Social Character of Seating Furniture 
Show Me Your Bed and I’ll Tell You Who You Are! 
Keeping Up Appearances? Tapestry in the Domestic Interior 
A Colourful Interior 
Exposing or Storing Textiles: The Garderobe and the Cleerschaprade 
Conclusions 

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 
APPENDIX 1: INVENTORY HOLDERS WHO WORKED AT HOME 
APPENDIX 2: INVENTORIES WITH ‘CONTOOR’ 
NOTES 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
PLATES 

Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 230 × 170 × 22 mm

320 pages

Illustrated with colour section of 32 pp.

ISBN: 9789462703179

Publication: March 29, 2022

Languages: English

Stock item number: 147352

Julie De Groot is a historian and researcher at the University of Antwerp.
Brugge was een ontmoetingsplaats voor humanistische geleerden, maar hoe creëerden de Bruggelingen een thuis, hoe zag een gewoon wooninterieur eruit in de 16de eeuw, en nog belangrijker, hoe bestudeer je eigenlijk de huiselijke cultuur van vervlogen tijden door documenten zoals nalatenschapsinventarissen te analyseren? Door objecten, mensen en huiselijke ruimtes, nauwgezet met elkaar te verbinden, laat het boek, “At Home in Renaissance Bruges” kennismaken met de rijke materiële wereld van de Brugse burgers in de Renaissance, hun zintuiglijke betrokkenheid, hun religieuze praktijk, de dagelijkse activiteiten van zowel mannen als vrouwen, en andere sociale factoren.
Michel Dutrieue, Stretto, 28 april 2022