Scents have a direct impact on our moods and penetrate the deepest layers of our (sub)consciousness. This publication is about the representation of smell and olfaction in Dutch and Flemish art of the seventeenth century, about the senses, about scents of the past and about the aromatic connotations of works of art. Smell is intangible, yet perceptible through smell. Fragrant flowers and perfumes, stinking canals and malodorous body odors, new smells from the faraway world (spices, tobacco, coffee, tea), pathogenic smells, the vanished smells of bleaching fields, old crafts and more. Can the life of the seventeenth century be captured in scents? What was the relationship between smell and health, between smell and religion? What can we see of this in the works of art? Questions about scent, perception and imagination are the guiding principles of this quest that hopes to offer a different perspective on the art of that time.
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