Le froid en Hollande au Siècle d'or : essai de géoclimatologie culturelle

Abstract : This Ph.D dissertation aims at showing that cultural geography is relevant for geoclimatological studies. At the crossroad of many subfields in geography (climatology, historical geography, cultural geography…) and in history (history of climate, history of art…), it focuses on cold weather and its representations in the Netherlands during the XVIIth century. This period takes place during the Little Ice Age (c. 1300-1850), a limited climatic period, characterized by a cooling of the temperatures in Europe. The analysis of Dutch paintings and written sources with a geoclimatologist’s view point raises many questions. Why did the painters give their letters of nobility to the cold in this period (the Golden Age, c. 1600-1672) and in this bounded territory (the Netherlands) ? What meteorological elements are being represented? Which ones are missing? What pieces of information do the written sources give on the climate at the time the paintings were made? What imagery of the cold was thus created and what do the images stressed? The results of that research show that the artists were at times directly inspired by some rigorous winters. The first winter landscape by Avercamp is painted in 1608, a severe winter. Then, the vogue for winter landscapes continues. However, the painters represent just one type of meteorological condition in winter, whereas the narrative sources reveal the variability of the climate in different time scales. Nevertheless, an imagery of winter was created. It is said to be part of the identity construction process of the Netherlands, an upcoming nation in the XVIIth century.
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Alexis Metzger. Le froid en Hollande au Siècle d'or : essai de géoclimatologie culturelle. Géographie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PA010652⟩. ⟨tel-02178759⟩

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