Sequential art in the seventeenth century: an analysis of Wenceslaus Hollar's etchings of Genesis 12-24

Lyttle, Zanne (2015) Sequential art in the seventeenth century: an analysis of Wenceslaus Hollar's etchings of Genesis 12-24. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

A close analysis of an etching by seventeenth-century artist, Wenceslaus Hollar which is based on the Abraham narrative from Genesis 12-24. The etching has been created in the format of a comic strip and this paper focuses on how the combination of text and image aids readers in understanding and interpreting biblical themes and messages. Created at a time when Bibles were becoming accessible outside of a church setting, this etching served as a visual aid to interpreting ancient Scripture, and as such this paper examines the effect of presenting well-known texts in a visual medium designed to aid literacy. The focus begins with an evaluation of the factors affecting new Bible readers during the seventeenth century, also taking into account inspiration and influences upon the artist while he designed this etching series. Each panel is studied individually with reference to seventeenth-century political and social context, and alongside biblical commentaries to highlight themes and debates prevalent in society at that time. Finally, the sequence as a whole is examined, and it is argued firstly that the series is an early example of a comic strip, and secondly that this format allows the reader to reinterpret and reimagine Scripture to fit in with readers’ own needs and understandings.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Sequential Art, Genesis, Abrahamic Covenant, Seventeenth Century Culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DAW Central Europe
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Grove, Professor Laurence and Nicholson, Dr. Sarah
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Zanne Lyttle
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-5980
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2015 13:12
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 14:29
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5980

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