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POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: Resurrecting the ‘Spiritual Daughters’: The Case of the Houtappel Chapel in the Jesuit Church of Antwerp

Wednesday 22 April 2020
University Library
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden

From 1585 until well into the seventeenth century, the Jesuits led the Tridentine Church's conversion of the Southern Low Countries, building churches and sodality houses that drew in and educated the populace on Catholic tenets. Remarkably, the construction and decoration of these buildings were funded in large part by wealthy women, primarily members of the local ‘spiritual daughter’ movement, in which laywomen made vows to live a chaste life under the direction of a (usually Jesuit) ‘spiritual father.’ This lecture analyzes the gendered circumstances of such patronage at the Antwerp Jesuit church’s chapel of the Virgin, which founded and funded by the sisters Maria, Anna, Christina, and Lucretia Houtappel along with their cousin Anna ‘s Grevens. Together these women created one of the most sumptuously decorated and artistically stunning spaces in the region, ensuring their own legacy as leading Antwerp citizens while promulgating the Counter-Reformation's messages to a broad viewing public.

Please register via S.P.M.Bussels@hum.leidenuniv.nl