Confronting the Golden Age by Junko Aono was reviewed in the September issue of Burlington Magazine.
In this stunningly illustrated study, Aono reconsiders the long-dismissed genre painting from 1680-1750. Grounded in close analysis of a range of paintings and primary sources, this study illuminates the main features of genre painting, highlighting the ways in which these elements related to the painters' close connections to, on the one hand, collectors, and on the other, to classicism, one of the dominant artistic styles of that time.
"Cleverly shifting back and forth between specific examples and a broader context, Aono sketches a clear picture of what informed [...] artists’ artistic choices [in the Dutch Golden Age]. Her revisionist approach is underpinned by a solid methodology and she puts forward a fresh interpretation of a chapter in Dutch art that is still largely misunderstood, while her matter-of-fact style of writing makes the book accessible to a wider audience. The lexicon of the main genre painters active during the period is a useful tool appended to the book; it is richly illustrated (as is the rest of the book) and thus gives an idea of the qualities of a host of virtually unknown but interesting genre painters." --Eddy Schavemaker, Burlington Magazine