And that reflection becomes a meditation on the transience of things. The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Please try again. I suppose though, with what documentary work there is, Gowing and some of his colleagues have done some extraordinary detective work. The Dutch Golden Age Thijs ten Raa, Tilburg University 1 Pierre Mohnen, Maastricht University Jan Luiten van Zanden and Bas van Leeuwen, Utrecht University Abstract. That ties in with Simon Schama’s argument about the fundamental ambivalence of the Dutch who, even as they experienced this incredible economic prosperity and abundance, had a lot of guilt about it tied in with Calvinist religious beliefs, with the sense that they were constantly beset and imperilled on all sides by enemy forces. In this book Michael North examines the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch society boasted Europe's greatest number of cities and highest literacy rate, unusually large numbers of publicly and privately owned art works, religious tolerance, and a highly structured and wide-ranging social network. This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. There’s always a sense that any enjoyment you have is fleeting and a little bit guilty. 2 He has a beautiful line in there about Vermeer being ‘well protected.’ I thought that was a wonderful characterisation of the way that Vermeer is so controlled and self-contained in his scrutiny of the world. That sort of cross-media artistic inspiration across centuries is fascinating to me. This publication not only provides a complete picture of the Golden Age of Dutch painting, but also offers the very latest theories concerning this period as developed by Ronald de Leeuw, Director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland. Discover hundreds of masterpieces from the greatest Dutch art collections in this affordable but beautifully crafted volume. I think one thing that she makes clear is that, in a sense, we still look at 17th-century Dutch art with 19th-century eyes. by Ruth Bernard Yeazell That’s probably something else that we can relate to, again, in our own day and age. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. In particular, the renowned University of Leiden (established in 1575 by the Dutch stadtholder Willem van Oranje as a token of gratitude for Leiden's fierce resistance against Spain during the Eighty Years' War) became a gathering place for intellectuals. Something went wrong. The painting by van Eyck makes a nice segue to discussing the first book on your list, Mark Doty’s Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy. by Mark Doty We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. The new and unknown world : art, exploration, and trade in the Dutch golden age. You have what they call the ‘vanitas’ still life that exists throughout Europe. From the life of Ludwig van Beethoven to the importance of language, in all its varieties, to studying history. Dutch painters were enormously productive and there has been a sustained taste for their work. If you've enjoyed this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Yet there is another, largely overlooked marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books. The past may be a foreign country, but the world portrayed in the art of the Dutch Masters is not so very far from our own, says Adam Eaker of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Rich Dutch painting history. Unable to add item to List. And those clichés often have much less to do with what 17th-century Dutch people wrote about their own art, where they seem to value things that are very different from what we value. The second part of the book is a gallery of outstanding works from a range of Dutch Golden Age artists, grouped into the broad themes of landscapes, portraits, genre, history and religion, and still life - giving a fascinating, colourful and in-depth overview of what constituted the art of the period. The sudden change to a slower gear also left more room to reflect on the state of the world and our place as humans in it. Particularly good for beginners who want to get an overview in a succinct way. The Dutch Golden Age is typically defined from the period of the Dutch Revolt, which started in 1566, and then scholars would mark the decline of the Dutch Republic at different points but, basically, we’re talking about a generous span of the 17th century. You often have paintings of flowers that are starting to wilt, or a glass that has a chip or a crack into it. The Dutch Golden Age Book is a new, compact and multifaceted survey of painting in the Dutch Golden Age. Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2016. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. And I think that is a powerful way for people to see across the centuries, to recognise themselves mirrored in a sense. We publish at least two new interviews per week. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. So, Rembrandt and Vermeer, these are two towering figures. The Golden Age brought us Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, and Van Dyck, but it was also the period of Frans Hals’ revolutionary portraiture, Adriaen Brouwer’s depictions of the working class at play, Jan Brueghel’s velvety miniatures, and Hendrick Avercamp’s lively winter landscapes. Obviously, you can’t understand Vermeer without understanding Dutch history and culture but, at the same, the visual can’t be reduced to an illustration of the textual either. Since the Dutch economy was and is very small, an important source of growth was bound to be international trade. Also, just as I love how Doty wrote about what he had learned as a poet from being an admirer of Dutch painting, I loved reading Yeazell’s account, for example, of George Eliot being liberated by looking at Dutch art in Munich and finding an aesthetic model for the kind of writing that she wanted to do. Read. Since I have been living in the Netherlands for twenty years now, it has been a longtime desire to write a novel based on life in the 17th century in Holland during the Golden Age. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. And so, one of the rules I set myself was that I could only have one on each, but I did think it was important to have them both represented, just because the quality of work on them is so high, and they are often the figures through which people develop a love of Dutch art. Gowing talks about the ‘studied reticence of the painter’ which, again, stands in stark contrast to some of the perhaps self-promotional activity that Rembrandt was involved with. Read. Get this from a library! Ingrid Koenen. And so, it was helpful for me to understand the origins of my own personal artistic tastes and to see that that really has been a shared taste for a long time. There is a lot of Dutch art in museums all over the world. We do know a lot more than we used to, thanks to archival discoveries, but none of those discoveries really illuminates his art to any great degree. D. Dutch Civilisation in the Seventeenth Century; E. The Embarrassment of Riches; V. Vermeer's Hat; This page was last edited on 24 June 2017, at 14:17 (UTC). The Dinner (2) by Herman Koch (Atlantic Books) has not only been a huge hit for the Dutch writer at home but has sold more than a million copies in Europe. And I think that notion of the fragility of happiness or beauty is really built into the still lifes that Doty writes about too. I think it’s very helpful to have the sort of reception history that Yeazell charts there. This list may not reflect recent changes . Sophie Roell, editor of Five Books, takes us through her personal choice of the best nonfiction books of 2020. What he brings out is that you can know all there is to know about 17th-century Delft, and Vermeer’s contemporaries, but none of that explains why Vermeer is so much greater than any of the other genre painters working at the time. The Dutch Golden Age Book is a new, compact and multifaceted survey of painting in the Dutch Golden Age. It’s a really rich descriptive feast. As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. Read. His personality remains this real mystery. The seventeenth century is considered the Dutch Golden Age, a time when the Dutch were at the forefront of social change, economics, the sciences, and art. There are all these intimations of decline and decay, even as the objects are so beautifully rendered. 4 And Schama himself is explicit in making some parallels between, particularly, contemporary American culture and the Dutch Golden Age. The Dutch Golden Age is typically defined from the period of the Dutch Revolt, which started in 1566, and then scholars would mark the decline of the Dutch Republic at different points but, basically, we’re talking about a generous span of the 17th century. Book Description: The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch … by Svetlana Alpers The Dutch Golden Age is an important and instructive episode in history that deserves to be better known outside of the Netherlands. Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age: The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol by Margriet van Eikema Hommes 2012 In the 1660s, Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembrandt's most famous students, painted a set of five wall-sized canvases for a … I think there’s a lot to be said for both perspectives. Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel It’s difficult in a scene of Greek mythology and heroic nudity to recognise yourself as a 21st-century person but when you’re looking at a scene of domestic life, you can see very familiar things. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. I love having this book by a poet who is, in a sense, a layperson when it comes to Dutch art, even though he has clearly read a lot. It truly is wonderful to go through the pages of this large book with the rich Dutch painting history of the golden age. For example, there’s an artist called Rachel Ruysch who had a hugely successful career and became a court painter to a German prince and is one of the greatest figures in Dutch still life painting. But there are other major figures, particularly in still life painting, because that was a genre that was more open to women because it didn’t require training in figure-drawing after the nude model. There’s this sense that they had been delivered by Providence but they could lose it all at any moment if they weren’t careful. There’s a big debate within the study of Dutch art about whether these works are pure transcriptions of reality, documents of a historical moment, or whether they are really symbolic texts that we should be interpreting on a figurative level. Or is there something irreducible in the greatest Dutch art that you can’t boil down to historical context? Rembrandt’s workshop was almost like an enterprise: he manipulated his own image through his use of theatricality, and gave direction to his studio, as a way of creating value for his work on the market—something that, these days, we can well relate to, looking at the way that the art world works. She wrote this book The Art of Describing which is a more general account of 17th-century Dutch painting, and she basically concludes that book by admitting that she’s really neglected both Rembrandt and Vermeer and that she doesn’t feel that her account can fully be extended to them. Rembrandt is such a flamboyant figure and we know all about his personal life, his financial woes, and his love affairs. The Golden age are times of discoveries, journeys and new perspectives. “Schama himself is explicit in making some parallels between, particularly, contemporary American culture and the Dutch Golden Age”. Five Books participates in the Amazon Associate program and earns money from qualifying purchases. There was a problem loading your book clubs. Read So, it’s been a long relationship now with that part of the world and its art. You’re getting to know their inhabitants through this almost anthropological reconstruction of what life was like back then, a very vivid approach to describing the way that a nation represents itself. Let me start by asking, why did you fall in love with Dutch painting? Alpers characterises Rembrandt as an extremely modern figure—someone who we would recognise from the contemporary artistic self-promoter. And then I remember reading something about how each of those things has a symbolic content in a sort of secret language, and that was very fascinating to me as a child. Why not other Dutch masters such as Frans Hals, or Peter Bruegel the Elder or, indeed Mark Doty’s favourite, Jan de Heem? And if I had a criticism of her book, which as I say I find to be a very persuasive account, it’s that I think she overstates Rembrandt’s singularity in that period. 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