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Art, Artists and Gauguin

Art, Artists and Gauguin


International Edition

About the Book

Why is the publication of these writings so important? What does

Rookmaaker's legacy have to offer us in the new millennium?

First, his books and essays stand as a monument to the importance of

rigorous Christian art-historical scholarship. For many years Professor of

Art History at the Free University of Amsterdam, Rookmaaker was a

fastidious scholar. Today, when a postmodern fascination with all things

'aesthetic' and 'spiritual' can easily engender scholarly carelessness and

an ignorance of specific artworks, Roomaaker reminds us that Christian

commitment must never be used to avoid the kind of precise,

intellectual engagement which is so evident in his written words, a

painstaking attentiveness to the details of particular pieces of art, and to

the particularities of society and culture in which they are embedded.

Second, we are reminded of the importance of breadth as well as depth.

Rookmaaker's interests ranged far beyond the visual arts. He had a

fascinated interest, for instance, in music (especially the spirituals

and jazz), and in broader cultural concerns (youth culture, scientific

discovery, and much more). In an age of increasing specialization and

blinkered vision, Rookmaaker shows us that it is quite possible to be a

specialist and to be alert to the links between these specialisms and

much wider issues. Third, Rookmaaker sets the arts in the midst of a rich

and full-blooded Christian world view. For him it was not good enough

to claim that the arts are important for the Christian, and then justify

this with a few verses carelessly plucked from Scripture. We need to

demonstrate carefully what place the arts have in the grand and sweeping

purposes of God for history, and it was to Rookmaaker's immense

credit that for thousands he made this breathtakingly clear. In a climate

when the contribution of a distinctively Christian perspective on the arts

is so often ruthlessly marginalized, often to the point of extinction,

Rookmaaker's voice is one we sorely need to hear. Fourth, nourished by

the Dutch Neo-Calvinist philosophy of Dooyeweerd and his followers,

Rookmaaker provides a vision of the arts that does justice both to their

irreducible integrity and to their interrelatedness with other aspects of

God's world. Western post modernity relishes in the 'aestheticization' of

culture, sometimes to the point that the aesthetic threatens to swallow

up everything else in a wash of images. In his own day Rookmaaker

saw that a proper refusal to isolate or downplay the arts must not be

countered by a Neo-Romantic exaltation of the aesthetic. He knew there

was another much more fruitful option, implicit in the Christian faith.

We need to find it and celebrate it more than ever today.

It is a wonderful thought that this man's rare wisdom, which so

radically changed the lives of those who knew him, can now find its way

to a wider audience in the pages that follow. Rookmaaker's is a timely

wisdom, and it will inspire thousands for decades to come.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781909281806
  • Publisher: Piquant Publishing
  • Publisher Imprint: Piquant Publishing
  • Height: 229 mm
  • No of Pages: 476
  • Series Title: The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker
  • Weight: 693 gr
  • ISBN-10: 1909281808
  • Publisher Date: 19 Feb 2021
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: N
  • Spine Width: 27 mm
  • Width: 152 mm

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