't kan Verkeren

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't kan Verkeren

Type: Master thesis
Title: 't kan Verkeren
Author: Boeckel, Timm van
Issue Date: 17-10-31
Keywords: Backgammon, Verkeerspel, Triktrak, gambling, dice, Verkeren, vice, vanity, vanitas, game, iconography, iconology
Abstract: Between 1520 and 1720, the depiction of the board game Verkeren, an old-Dutch variant of Backgammon, thrived on Dutch prints and paintings. In this period, two hundred and fifty images appeared, depicting the board game in different settings and context. Over the years, much research has been done on chess, cards and iconography of images in the Golden Age. The meaning of the game Verkeren has, however, never been studied. To decipher the contemporary meaning of Verkeren in prints and paintings, Panofsky’s iconographic method, De Jong’s theory, and the method of comparison is applied in order to decipher the contemporary meaning of Verkeren in prints and paintings. This thesis dives deeper into the connotation of the board game, which needs to be played with both dice and intellect. The dice with its unpredictable outcome makes the game favourable for gamblers to bet. The gambling was associated with excessive drinking and squandering of money and could result in the neglect of family and/or a visit to a brothel. Therefore, Verkeren was seen as a vice and was mainly linked pride and idleness. These vices fitted perfectly in the spirit of the Golden Age, where the new upcoming, wealthy middle class had to determine their norms and values and had to face their pitfalls. The rich youth with their licentious behaviour, like fornicating, drinking, and gambling needed to be kept in line. Whereas authorities tried to control the gambling by regulating Verkeren, artists warned their viewers with compositions containing a moralistic and often humorous narrative, in which Verkeren served as an example of vice.
Supervisor: Boers, Marion
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Arts and Culture (Master)
Specialisation: Art and Architechture before 1800
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/55430

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