Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the National Gallery, London (2017-20)

Jordan Cook, 'Settings and Subjects in Early Netherlandish Painting'



Supervisors: Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein (University of York) and Dr Susan Foister (National Gallery)


My thesis examines variances in setting in Early Netherlandish art (from abstract backgrounds to naturalistic, fully-articulated spaces) and asks why artists formulated varying contexts for figural subjects. I am particularly concerned with how different settings can instruct/alter the viewer’s experience of the same subject, and how settings and backgrounds contribute to the overall interpretations of sacred figures and divine truths. I focus on the Workshop of Dieric Bouts, believing the master painter was, due to his experimental techniques and compositions, especially innovative in his settings with significant attention paid to their execution. 

Jordan has worked with the curators of the exhibition Making a Masterpiece: Bouts and Beyond, 1450-2020, currently showing at York Art Gallery. She worked with the digital team on developing the digital interactive app that forms part of the visitor experience at the exhibition and will be available online afterwards.  Read more in Jordan's article about her involvement in the exhibition.

St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, Workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder

Workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder, St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child (c.1440-1475); © The Bowes Museum

Main image: Workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder, St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child (detail), c.1415-1475; © The Bowes Museum

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