This book has been so long in the making that too many students, colleagues, and friends have responded to my ideas for me reasonably to thank them all by name or indeed to remember every one of them, but thank them all I do. I can, however, and must thank three institutions specifically, whose support has been essential to my studies of Baroque art and literature: the IFK Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften in Vienna, which awarded me a generous fellowship at a pivotal point in my research; the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, which supported my research for two crucial years and now supports the publication of this book; and above all Harvard University, which affords me the privilege and luxury of awe-inspiring students, extraordinary colleagues, an unmatched library, and a wonderful art museum just steps away on any day.
Still, more important than these institutions are individuals without whom this book would not exist. My late parents Helen and Harald, my Aunt Jo, my brother Marc, my sisters Renée, Michèle, Denise, and Anna, and my parents-in-law Erika and the late Bernhard have all—with love, good grace, and generous interest—supported me through many phases of the project. Of students, colleagues, and friends who contributed in one way or another to my work on the Baroque and this book, I owe particular debts of gratitude to Ben Bennett, Chris Braider, Elio Brancaforte, Tom Conley, Neil Donahue, Charitini Douvaldzi, Grace Farrell, Marjorie Hall, Volker Kaiser, Herb Kessler, Marika Knowles, Alex Lambrow, Elaina Lin, Elizabeth Lloyd-Owen, Doris McGonagill, the late Gerhard Neumann, the late Peter Pütz, Rasheed Sabar, Richard Silverstein, Emery Snyder, Hans-Peter Söder, Ben Sudarsky, Richard Thomas, Bill Todd, the late Mary Vidal, Juliane Vogel, Nicoline Weller, and Wulf Weller, and especially to Joe Connors, Karl Guthke, Jochen Hörisch, and Richard Schade, but most of all to Giancarlo Maiorino and Paul Panadero.
I am grateful, before all others, to Sylvia Schmitz-Burgard—my wife and intellectual companion of nearly four decades—and to the most important person in our lives, our daughter Zoë Burgard, who since early childhood has accompanied me to museums, to libraries, to countless Baroque churches, and later to Harvard—from a time when she had to wonder what it was all about until now, when she has herself become a scholar, knows my interpretations, and has her own. When she once wrote “Thank you for giving me the world and then exploring it with me,” she didn’t realize she was stealing my line.