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Benjamin A. Templin

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The Marriage Contract In Fine Art, Benjamin A. Templin Jan 2009

The Marriage Contract In Fine Art, Benjamin A. Templin

Benjamin A. Templin

This paper studies the depiction of the marriage contract in Dutch, French and English genre paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries. Increasingly, scholars have recognized that visual imagery influences the development of legal norms and institutions. During the period studied several genre artists produced paintings that dealt with themes that were central to the issues surrounding the marriage laws, such as the rights of women or whether marriage is a sacrament or a contract. Interestingly, many of the themes depicted in the collective body of marriage contract art echoes and amplifies the issues surrounding the rights of women and ...