The institutional context of art production in the Southern Low Countries during the early modern period: the Ghent craft guild of gold and silversmiths in relation to the Ghent academy in the second half of the eighteenth century
In local, as well as in national and international contexts, the relationships between the different craft guilds and the academies were intricate. The different institutions engaged in dialogues as well as in conflicts and determined the state of the art world in the middle, early modern and modern ages. Questions about the foundation, the organization, and the membership of the craft guilds and academies, about rules, regulations, and flexibility, about artistic practices and representation, about continuity and discontinuity, will be examined in this article. Not merely art production as such will constitute the central theme of this paper, but principally the institutional context which gave rise to it. This article focuses on the institutional context of art production in the Southern Low Countries during the early modern period. A case study on goldsmiths and silversmiths in the city of Ghent during the second half of the eighteenth century, will constitute the focal point of a study on the relationship between the .traditional. crafts guilds and the .new. academy. The ensuing will clarify that precisely the academy will become the heart of actual refinement of design skills for craftsmen.
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