Kayla Abaza Will Present in the SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium on April 11

Congratulation to Kayla Abaze, currently a junior HAD Pratt student, on presenting her paper at the 2021 SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium.

When: Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 11:30 AM.

Where: Online through Webex

Title: Black and White: 17th-century Dutch Seascapes


Dutch paintings of the 17th century are commonly characterized by the proliferation of distinct genres, most notably portraits, allegorical, genre, landscape, and still–life paintings, executed in oil paints of vibrant pigments with a loaded brush by frequently well-known names. However, there are other subgenres and techniques of painting that were executed simultaneously that have been overshadowed by the tremendous success of those highly acclaimed artists. This paper will focus on one of those often-neglected sub-genres, Dutch pen-schilderijen, or “pen-paintings,” of the latter part of the 17th century and the artists who created them. These illustrations were crafted through an arduous process of painting a white chalky ground onto panel or canvas and then painstakingly “etching” the composed picture with a sharpened reed-pen, then shaded in with black and grey ink washes. They required expensive materials and were time-consuming to not only craft but to master. This was arguably specifically engineered with a nautical subject matter in mind. It revealed meticulously rendered details such as fine ropes and chords, custom taffarel, and sculptures sacrificed by the use of paint and brushes. The necessary time and expertise explain the very small body of works produced by only a few select artists, such as Willem van de Velde (1611 – 1693 CE) and Adriaen van Salm (1660–1720 CE), who also employed their own naval experience. This meticulous technique attracted artists such as Experiens Silleman (1613–1653 CE) who was able to imitate the results through various alternative methods, but greatly sacrificed the quality. Pen-schilderijens required such precision and time that commissions were few, but one could be, even today, in awe by viewing these impeccably painted works.


The 2021 SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium is a three day events from April 9th to April 11th with 98 presenters. You may view all the presenters as well as their topic and abstract here or at https://hawksites.newpaltz.edu/arthistorystudentsymposium/presenters/

To watch any session, simply click on the “Full Schedule” tab at the top of the homepage. A few days before the start of the Symposium, you will see next to each session in the schedule is a blue and orange “Webex Link” button, which you can simply click on to join said session. Please note that no prior registration is necessary to access all sessions. If you feel a bit uncertain about navigating the website or joining a Webex meeting, simply click on the “Join Us!” tab at the top of the Symposium’s homepage for assistance.