This paper deals with the process of canon formation for Flemish and Dutch painters from the seventeenth century onwards. We examine how the essential art-historical treatises and art encyclopedias since Houbraken’s Grote Schouburgh der Nederlandsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen ranked and evaluated the leading painters, based on the attention given to them in these volumes. Using standardized z-scores, we map the relative importance the selected artists received in these publications over the three centuries. In doing so, we emphasize the path-dependency and the dimension of time in explaining the endurance of certain artists in the long run. From our research it emanates that the canon of Netherlandish painters is much more volatile than previously assumed.

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Keywords Art Encyclopedias, canon formation, painting
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.2190/EM.31.1.e, hdl.handle.net/1765/51449
Journal Empirical Studies of the Arts
Vermeylen, F.R.R, van Dijck, M.F, & de Laet, V.J.U. (2013). The test of time. Art encyclopedia and the formation of the canon of seventeenth-century painters in the Low Countries. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 31(1), 81–105. doi:10.2190/EM.31.1.e