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Periods, Groups & Movements: Dutch Golden Age

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first half is characterized by the Eighty Years' War which ended in 1648. The Golden Age continued in peacetime during the Dutch Republic until the end of the century. The Netherlands's transition from a possession of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1590s to the foremost maritime and economic power in the world has been called the "Dutch Miracle" by historian K. W. Swart. -Wikipedia.com
Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer by Ronni Baer (Author), Henk Van Nierop (Author), Herman Roodenburg (Author), Eric Sluijter (Author) – Hardcover: 344 pages; Publisher: MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (October 27, 2015)

The Dutch Republic in the 17th century was home to one of the greatest flowerings of painting in the history of Western art. Freed from the constraints of royal and church patronage, artists created a rich outpouring of works that circulated through an open market to patrons and customers at every level of Dutch society. The closely observed details of daily life captured in portraits, genre scenes and landscapes offer a wealth of information about the possessions, activities and circumstances that distinguished members of the social classes, from the nobility to the urban poor. The dazzling array of paintings gathered here--by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Gerard ter Borch, as well as Rembrandt and Vermeer--illuminated by essays from leading scholars, invites us to explore a vibrant early modern society and its reflection in a golden age of brilliant painting.

Gabriel Metsu by Adriaan Waiboer (Editor) - Hardcover: 244 pages; Publisher: Yale University Press (October 26, 2010)

Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667) employed an unusual variety of styles, techniques, and subjects, making him a particularly difficult artist to characterize. From his early days in Leiden until his death in Amsterdam at the height of his career, his unparalleled mastery of the brush allowed him to paint a remarkable range of history paintings, portraits, still lifes, but most of all, exquisite genre paintings.

Flemish Art and Architecture, 1585-1700 (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art) by Hans Vlieghe – Paperback: 348 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (November 10, 2004)

This beautifully illustrated book provides a complete overview of the art of the Southern Netherlands from 1585 to 1700, the years between the separation of the Southern from Northern provinces and the end of Spanish rule. Eminent Flemish art historian Hans Vlieghe examines the development of Flemish and specifically Antwerp painting, the activity and influence of Rubens and such other leading masters as Van Dyck and Jordaens, the Antwerp tradition of specialization among painters, and the sculpture and architecture of this period. He also describes the socioeconomic and political conditions that facilitated the rise, evolution, and expansion of Flemish art, focusing particularly on the Counter Reformation, which stimulated construction and decoration of new churches according to rules set out by the Council of Trent.

In the first half of the seventeenth century, Antwerp painting rapidly became one of the highlights of Baroque art. This was clearly linked to the activity of Rubens, who was immensely important not only for the astonishing stylistic quality of his work and for his enormous influence on several generations of painters, but also for his workshop practice modeled on the Italian method and his ability to familiarize others with Italian Renaissance and Early Baroque art. Yet Rubens’s work can only be understood fully in the context of the Antwerp tradition. Vlieghe organizes the book around the pictorial categories of Antwerp’s specialists—monumental history, cabinet history, portrait, genre, landscape and architectural, still life, animal and hunting scenes—and discusses the contributions of well known and lesser known artists to each type of painting.

The Golden Age of Dutch Art: Painting, Sculpture, Decorative Art by Judikje Kiers (Editor), Fieke Tissink (Editor), Ronald De Leeuw – Hardcover, 352 pages (September 2000) Thames & Hudson

Masterpieces of Dutch art from the seventeenth century: this sumptuous survey illuminates the extraordinary richness and versatility of the art produced in Holland in the seventeenth century—the Dutch Golden Age.

Dutch Painting 1600-1800 by Seymour Slive – Paperback, 392 pages Reprint edition (January 1999) Yale Univ Press

This lavishly illustrated book is an authoritative study of Dutch painting from 1600 to 1800 and covers all the major artists of the period-Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer and sets them firmly in the wider context of Dutch art.

The Group Portraiture of Holland (Texts & Documents) by Alois Riegl, Wolfgang Kemp (Introduction) – Paperback, 448 pages (December 1999) Getty Ctr for Education in the Arts

In The Group Portraiture of Holland, art historian Alois Riegl (18581905) argues that the artists of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Holland radically altered the beholders relationship to works of art. Group portraits by artists such as Rembrandt and Frans Hals reflect an egalitarian viewpoint not found in the more hierarchically structured Italian works of the same period. First published in 1902 and here in English for the
first time, the book opened up areas of inquiry that continue to engage scholars today.

The Golden Age of Dutch Painting in Historical Perspective by F. Grijzenhout (Editor), Henk Van Veen (Editor), Andrew McCormick (Translator) – Hardcover (July 1999) Cambridge Univ Press

This study provides insight into the various artistic, literary, political, and philosophical approaches that Dutch painting has inspired over the ages.

Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art: Realism Reconsidered by Wayne Franits (Editor), Wayne Frantis (Editor) – Paperback, 296 pages (September 1998) (Short)

Despite the active tradition of scholarship on Dutch painting of the seventeenth century, scholars continue to grapple with the problem of how the strikingly realistic characteristics of art from this period can be reconciled with its possible meanings.

Dutch Flower Painting 1600-1720 by Paul Taylor – Hardcover, 227 pages (June 1995) Yale Univ Press

This beautiful book reveals the fascinating genesis and growth of Dutch flower painting, which has rarely been studied. Paul Taylor discusses Holland`s "tulipomania" and its effect on the way people thought about floral still lifes, considers the aesthetic and religious meanings of these paintings, and concludes by analyzing the paintings themselves, tracing the development and refinement of the actual practice of flower painting.

Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World by Pieter Biesboer (Editor), Mr. James A. Welu (Editor) - Hardcover: 256 pages; Publisher: Yale University Press; First printing edition (October 9, 1993)

Judith Leyster (1609-1660), the most famous woman painter of the Dutch golden age, was remarkable for her time. She pursued a profession dominated by men, was the only female member of the painter's guild known to have had a workshop, and is the sole woman artist whose known work attests to an active role in the open market, then a relatively new form of art patronage that was to transform the Dutch art world.

Gabriel Metsu: Life and Work: A Catalogue Raisonné by Adriaan Waiboer - Hardcover: 408 pages; Publisher: Yale University Press (December 4, 2012)

Despite his untimely death in 1667 at the age of thirty-seven, Gabriel Metsu left an astounding collection of history paintings, portraits, still lifes, and exquisite genre scenes. These charming depictions of kitchen maids, elegant young ladies, hunters, drinkers, and amorous couples have gained Metsu a place among the most celebrated painters of 17th-century Holland.

Dutch and Flemish Paintings by Peter C. Sutton – Hardcover: 312 pages Publisher: Frances Lincoln (January 25, 2007)


A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic, 1585-1718 by Mariet Westermann Paperback: 192 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (March 8, 2005)

The paintings covered in this appealing book by Mariet Westermann were intended to not only please, but to serve as a kind of visual catalog of the period. Whether the subject was interior or exterior, the paintings provide an almost photographic record that bring to life the physical surroundings of the Dutch people of the 17th century. In doing so, they provide insight into their hearts and souls as well. And Westermann proves to be a capable guide through the era.

The Dutch Masters Boxed Set: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Rubens, Bosch, Bruegel (2000) Actors: Champagne, Charisma, Marc De Bruin, Tanya deVries, Rebecca Steele; Directors: Eric Edwards

Color, Dolby, NTSC
VHS Release Date: April 28, 2000
Run Time: 300 minutes

This series chronicles the life, times, and works of the greatest artists in history. Includes the following 6 programs: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Van Dyck, Bosch, and Bruegel.

Dutch Classicism by Albert Blankert (Editor), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Editor), Jeroen Giltaij (Editor), Frisco Lammertse – Hardcover, 352 pages (March 1, 2000) NAi Publishers


Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age by Lynn Federle Orr (Contributor), Joaneath Spicer (Editor), Lynn Federle-Orr (Illustrator) – Hardcover, 400 pages (February 1998) Walters Art Gallery

This beautiful catalog presents a comprehensive treatment of the achievements of the Utrecht school of painters. Unlike their more well known compatriots, Rembrandt and Vermeer, who perfected naturalistic portraits of seventeenth-century Dutch cultural life, the Utrecht masters (including Abraham Bloemart and Cornelis van Poelenburch) infused their canvases with a blend of mythological imagination, baroque religiosity, and a Dutch sense of nature.

Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art 1580-1620 by Ariane Van Suchtelen, Reinier Baarsen, Wouter Kloek, G. Luijten (Contributor), Christian Schuckman (Contributor) – Hardcover, 717 pages (March 1994) Yale Univ Press


Art and Commerce in the Dutch Golden Age: A Social History of Seventeenth-Century Netherlandish Painting by Michael North, Catherine Hill (Translator) – Hardcover, 192 pages (June 1997) Yale Univ Press

During the seventeenth century, the Netherlands—a small country with just two million inhabitants and virtually no natural resources—enjoyed a "Golden Age" of economic success, world power, and tremendous artistic output. In this book 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.

The Art of Describing by Svetlana Alpers – Paperback Reprint edition (April 1984) University of Chicago Press

The art historian after Erwin Panofsky and Ernst Gombrich is not only participating in an activity of great intellectual excitement; he is raising and exploring issues which lie very much at the centre of psychology, of the sciences and of history itself. Svetlana Alpers's study of 17th-century Dutch painting is a splendid example of this excitement and of the centrality of art history among current disciples. Professor Alpers puts forward a vividly argued thesis. There is, she says, a truly fundamental dichotomy between the art of the Italian Renaissance and that of the Dutch masters. . . . Italian art is the primary expression of a 'textual culture,' this is to say of a culture which seeks emblematic, allegorical or philosophical meanings in a serious painting. Alberti, Vasari and the many other theoreticians of the Italian Renaissance teach us to 'read' a painting, and to read it in depth so as to elicit and construe its several levels of signification. The world of Dutch art, by the contrast, arises from and enacts a truly 'visual culture.' It serves and energises a system of values in which meaning is not 'read' but 'seen,' in which new knowledge is visually recorded." —George Steiner, Sunday Times

Praise of Ships and the Sea: The Dutch Marine Painters of the 17th Century by Jeroen Giltaij, Jan Kelch, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen (Cor) – Paperback (June 1997) University of Washington Press



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