Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

13 June 2020

REPORT: Public Statues & Nationalism, late 19th-Century Amsterdam

The Monumental Landscape from Below: Public Statues, Popular Interaction and Nationalism in Late 19th-Century Amsterdam


Public monuments are considered an important tool in the nineteenth-century nation-building project. Yet while the intended (nationalist) message of the monumental landscape is often clear, the popular perception of the statues and memorials has been little problematized. This [article] analyses the popular interaction with public monuments in late nineteenth-century Amsterdam and questions whether ordinary people understood the nationalist meaning. With the help of visual sources – engravings, lithographs and the novel medium of photography – we become aware of the multilayered meanings and usages of the monuments in daily urban life, thus tackling the methodological challenge of studying the monumental landscape from below.

See source link below for full article.

During the unveiling ceremony of the statue of Rembrandt, people climbed the roofs to gain a better view. Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Collectie Tekeningen en Prenten, 10097/010097007715, ‘Onthulling van het standbeeld van Rembrandt’, 1852.

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