“Art is not only beauty”: An Interview with Art Historian Koenraad Jonckheere
Keywords:Koenraad Jonckheere, art history, decorum, quaestio, Iconoclasm
Koenraad Jonckheere is associate professor in Northern Renaissance and Baroque Art at Ghent University. The interview was recorded in August 2017 by assistant professor Stefaniia Demchuk (Chair of Art History, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv).
In the first part, Prof. Jonckheere talks about his career path of art historian, his teachers and the most influential books. He explains how the scope of his interests shifted from the Seventeenth-Eighteenth century art markets towards Iconoclasm, its impact and the theoretical debates on the Sixteenth century art.
His Ph.D. research on art markets was summarized and published in 2008 under the title “The Auction of King William’s paintings”. It was innovative because the author developed a new approach to work on art markets using auction catalogue.
In 2012 appeared his monograph on experiments in decorum in the Antwerp Art after Iconoclasm. The next year he curated the exhibition on the Sixteenth century Romanist artist Michiel Coxcie for Museum M (Leuven). Since 2014 Prof. Jonckheere has been working as an Editor-in-Chief at the Centrum Rubenianum (Antwerp). His own research on Rubens resulted in a monograph titled “Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard: portraits after existing prototypes” (2016).
Now Prof. Jonckheere is developing a new methodological approach towards historical interpretation of artworks, which he called the “Thimanthes effect”. This approach uses the rhetorical concept of “quaestio” as a guiding principle for interpretation. Prof. Jonckheere discusses it in the second part of the interview.
The third part focuses on the Reformation art and Iconoclasm. Prof. Jonckheere points out main directions in contemporary research on the Reformation art and highlights issues that are still to be solved. The interview concludes with advices to early-career art historians.