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Renaissance and Reformation 17th-Century Dutch Art
by
Christopher Atkins

Introduction

Artistic production in the long 17th century in the Dutch Republic radically reenvisioned the forms of visual culture and its consumption. In the wake of the Dutch Revolt of 1579 that severed the formerly conjoined Low Countries into the largely Catholic regions of Flanders, controlled by the Spanish Habsburgs, and the predominately Protestant Dutch Republic, which fought for the political independence that it officially achieved in 1648, Dutch art developed a distinctive, if not revolutionary, character. During the period, there was a multifaceted and unprecedented flowering of diverse secular genres, from still life to landscape to genre image to portrait. Each of these types of subjects had historical precedent, but they had not existed as independent genres complete with individuals who specialized in the creation of just one category of art. Many artists employed a highly naturalistic mode of representation when crafting these secular genres, as did those who produced the histories and biblical narratives that also remained popular. In paintings and prints, artists largely strove for naturalistic representations of space, volumetric renderings of objects, seemingly accurate depictions of light, and unidealized formulations of the human body, especially the face. As a result, audiences have frequently labeled 17th-century Dutch art as “scenes of everyday life.” The seemingly truthful appearance of these images has led to a complex body of literature that has proffered myriad interpretive schemata to understand the meanings of individual pictures, the genres of representation, and the aesthetics of naturalism. Like the new forms, art was consumed in way that it had not been previously. The relatively wide distribution of wealth in the Dutch Republic led to more people, and people of different social levels, buying art than had occurred previously in Europe. In turn, the consumption of art operated on an unprecedented scale. Several million new paintings were created in the region in a little over one hundred years. Aside from portraiture, few of these objects were created on commission. Rather, various indirect methods of exchange emerged, creating an open art market.

General Overviews

Several reliable texts provide readers with a broad survey of the arts of the Dutch Golden Age. At five hundred folio pages, Haak 1996 provides the most extensive and comprehensive introduction to painters of the period. In general, Haak 1996 frames the subject geographically by grouping artists by municipal region. Slive 1998 takes a more biographical approach, emphasizing individual stylistic developments. Westermann 2004 offers a thematic approach while also extending the author’s analysis. Haak 1996 and Slive 1998 treat paintings and painters exclusively. Westermann 2004 extends the author’s discussions to include a wider range of visual material. Each of the three texts explores 17th-century Dutch art in local cultural conditions and artistic traditions. In the process, each source tends to isolate Dutch art from other aesthetic interests and developments current in Europe.

  • Haak, Bob. The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 1996.

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    Divided chronologically into three parts, this book is organized geographically. This organization enables the inclusion of more artists than one finds in other sources. Indeed, the value of Haak’s book lies in the breadth of material. Haak treats painters beyond those in the primary urban centers, like the artists active in Dordrecht and Middleburg who are not usually covered in a nonspecialist study.

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  • Slive, Seymour. Dutch Painting, 1600–1800. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.

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    First published in 1966, revised in 1972 and 1977. Slive presents accepted, established positions on major themes and figures. The text alternates in focus between biographical treatment of major artists and explorations of genres of pictures. Thirteen of the seventeen chapters cover the period between 1600 and 1675, leaving cursory discussion of late-17th- and 18th-century art. Earlier editions of the book were coauthored with Jakob Rosenberg and E. H. ter Kuile and included sections on architecture and sculpture.

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  • Westermann, Mariët. A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic 1585–1718. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

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    Originally published in 1996. Westermann utilizes a thematic organization. The text shifts focus from the artists to interpretation of images. In each chapter, Westermann clearly and concisely conveys complex issues in a way that is accessible to all levels of readers. Westermann integrates nonrealist pictorial trends and styles more successfully than is done by other comparable texts. Likewise, she treats art from the entire period relatively equally.

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Reference Works

In addition to surveys, several reliable reference sources are available for directed study of individual topics. Turner 2000 provides extensive biographies of all major and many minor artists active in the Dutch Republic. Each entry was composed by a leading specialist and includes a selected bibliography of key sources to propel further reading. Muller 1997 also provides bibliographies, though fewer than Turner 2000, as well as entries on themes and subjects. The latter supplies readers whose initial interests are in iconography or genres of images with an excellent starting point for their research. The website of the Rijskbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD) can also be consulted for biographical information on individual figures. The advantage of the RKD is that one can also search its image collections to see examples of each artist’s work. Of a different bent, the website of the Curators of Dutch Art (CODART) supplies links to museums where one can find significant holdings of Dutch art. CODART’s archive is also an excellent source for identifying recent and future exhibitions of northern European art.

  • Curators of Dutch Art.

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    The website of the Curators of Dutch Art, an organization for museum professionals who oversee collections of northern European art, is of great value to those who are not members of CODART. It provides links to museums and major collections of Dutch art as well as an archive of past, current, and upcoming exhibitions and related events.

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    • Muller, Sheila D., ed. Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia. New York and London: Routledge, 1997.

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      Though the material ranges from the 15th century to the time of publication, the 17th century is well represented. Readers find biographical entries as well as ones on themes, subjects, and genres. Each entry was composed by a recognized scholar in the field and includes a bibliography.

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    • Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie.

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      This is the website for the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (The Netherlands Institute for Art History). The RKD is one of the leading art historical information centers in the world and the foremost center the study of Dutch art of all periods. In addition to general information about the institution, visitors can search collection databases, an artist database for biographical data, image collections, and the library holdings.

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      • Turner, Jane, ed. From Rembrandt to Vermeer: 17th-century Dutch Artists. Grove Dictionary of Art. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 2000.

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        This volume presents extended biographies of individual artists, complete with bibliographies for further reading. The texts are invariably lucid and well vetted for accurate information providing an excellent starting point for research on individual artists. That said, the material is not wholly up-to-date, as the text is reprinted from the 1996 multivolume Grove Dictionary of Art. The entries are also available online through Oxford Art Online.

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      Journals

      A few periodicals specialize in scholarly articles on the history of Dutch art. Each issue of Oud Holland and Simiolus offers focused studies on a variety of topics. Alternatively, each volume of the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek is devoted a particular theme. Oud Holland is primarily a Dutch-language source, so most of the contributions are those of scholars based in the Netherlands. A wider range of scholars tends to contribute to both Simiolus and the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek.

      Realism

      In many ways, hypernaturalistic representation has come to define 17th-century Dutch art. Exceptions abound, but most paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures present their subjects as real people, objects, and places that existed at the time. This mode of representation has stimulated considerable debate. Scholars have offered widely divergent explanations for the appearance of and taste for realistic imagery. Written at the end of the 19th century, Fromentin 1963 positioned Dutch painting as straightforward representations of contemporary life executed by technically accomplished masters. In many ways, Eugène Fromentin’s positions are those that both De Jongh 1976 and Alpers 1983 are against in their search for meaning in naturalistic representation. De Jongh 1976 overturned the emphasis on simplistic recordings of nature in favor of stressing underlying, most often disguised, moralizing and didactic messages. Eddy De Jongh identified these didactics through comparison with emblem books, which presented explanatory texts alongside images that in many ways related to what one finds in 17th-century paintings. Svetlana Alpers vociferously disagreed, writing that De Jongh placed too much emphasis on narrative and not enough on the visual nature of Dutch culture. Sluijter 1988 found that contemporary writings on art never addressed moralizing themes, and Hecht 1989 suggested that the imagery was so conventional that aesthetics must have been first in the minds of 17th-century viewers. Franits 1997 offers a balanced perspective on these critical debates by providing a diversity of voices through well-chosen position papers by each of these scholars. Franits 1997 also includes essays on all manner of subjects, including portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, to counter the focus on genre painting found in the writings of De Jongh, Alpers, Eric Jan Sluijter, and Peter Hecht. Freedberg and De Vries 1991 suggests how myriad disciplines can illuminate the constructedness of naturalistic imagery as well as illuminating how the naturalistic visual material can propel the investigations of nonart historians.

      • Alpers, Svetlana. The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.

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        Alpers proffers a stark rebuttal of De Jongh 1976 and emblematic interpretations of realistic imagery. While she concurs with Eddy De Jongh’s position that Dutch art is highly constructed, she rails against the idea that moralizing didacticism was the primary concern. Turning to developments in science and cartography, Alpers posits that naturalism was representative of a mapping impulse. As was occurring in other arenas, painters and the viewers of paintings employed observation to describe and learn about the world in which they lived.

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      • De Jongh, Eddy, ed. Tot Leering en Vermaak: Betekenissen van Hollandse Genrevoorstellingen uit de zeventiende Eeuw. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1976.

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        De Jongh postulates an aesthetic of “seeming realism,” a term that conveys the highly constructed nature of supposedly truthful representations. De Jongh believes that naturalism was a veneer that cloaked symbolic elements that artists used to create moralizing messages. He advocates that these symbolic elements can be discovered and decoded with the help of emblem books, which combine images with short explanatory texts.

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      • Franits, Wayne, ed. Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art: Realism Reconsidered. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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        This edited volume provides readers with a range of interpretations of Dutch naturalism through well-chosen texts. Included are position statements by Eddy De Jongh, Svetlana Alpers, Peter Hecht, and Eric Jan Sluijter, in English translation. One also finds illuminating essays on pictorial convention (Lawrence O. Goedde) and naturalism as a style (Walter Liedtke), among many others.

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      • Freedberg, David, and Jan de Vries, eds. Art in History/History in Art: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Culture. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1991.

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        This volume examines interrelations among disciplines. Included are interpretations of market scenes by an art historian and a plant biologist, a meteorological investigation of cloud formations in landscape painting, and an economist’s estimations of the total volume of paintings produced in the period.

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      • Fromentin, Eugène. The Old Masters of Belgium and Holland. Translated by M. Robbins. New York: Schocken, 1963.

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        English translation of Les Maîtres d’autrefois, first published in 1876. This travelogue through modern-day Belgium and The Netherlands presents a characteristic pre-20th-century valuation of Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp and their realist modes of representation. Fromentin argues for the portrait quality of all Dutch pictures and what he considers the absence of subjects. He praises the unacademic element and emphasizes technical virtuosity

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      • Hecht, Peter, ed. De Hollandse Fijnschilders: Van Gerard Dou tot Adriaen va der Werff. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1989.

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        While valuable in its reevaluation of artists like Gerrit Dou and Frans van Mieris, this catalogue holds broader interest for Hecht’s interpretation of naturalistic modes. Hecht argues that the objects depicted in Dutch paintings had become so conventional that the value of these pictures for 17th-century audiences lay in the exquisite craftsmanship and masterful rendering of light and materials.

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      • Sluijter, Eric Jan. Leidse Fijnschilders: Van Gerard Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge, 1630–1730. Leiden, The Netherlands: Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1988.

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        In examining 17th-century texts about art, rather than emblem books, Sluijter concludes that these sources did not discuss meaning or subject matter. Sluijter also argues that meanings were not hidden but were eminently and immediately available. As art literature frequently discussed the form of pictures, he also advocates that scholars need to take stock of this as well.

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      Regionalism

      Modern scholarship reflects the rampant municipal and regional identification of the peoples of the Netherlands in the 17th century. This structure holds today, as several prominent museums, such as those in Haarlem and Leiden, are devoted exclusively to the art and artists from their towns. In turn, many books and exhibitions have focused on individual urban centers as distinct regional schools. Interestingly, Amsterdam seems to be largely excluded from this approach. In addition to the texts listed in this section, various works in the section Economics can also be considered here.

      The Hague and Delft

      As the site of the court and national government, The Hague was an important city within the Dutch Republic. The art produced in The Hague or for its residents has received little attention aside from Buijsen 1998. Because of its close proximity and its historical association with the House of Orange, Delft has many connections with The Hague. Liedtke 2001 presents the most thorough investigation of all manner of artistic production in Delft from about 1200 through the late 17th century.

      • Buijsen, Edwin, ed. Haagse Schilders in de Gouden Eeuw: Het Hoogsteder Lexicon van alle Schilders werkzaam in Den Haag 1600–1700. The Hague: Den Haag Historisch Museum, 1998.

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        The book examines thirty-five painters who spent portions of their careers in the city, including Abraham van Beijeren, Jan van Goyen, Melchior d’Hondecoeter, Paulus Potter, Jan van Ravensteyn, Jan Steen, and Adriaen van de Venne. Introductory essays describe the painters’ milieus and the consumers of art in The Hague as well as presenting a history of the city.

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      • Liedtke, Walter, ed. Vermeer and the Delft School. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001.

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        While presenting a large sample of Jan Vermeer’s limited artistic production and privileging these works, the book also maps the history of the city of Delft, its artists, and consumers of art. As such, Liedtke and the other authors probe whether Delft constituted a distinctive artistic center or whether the art produced there should be considered within a more national framework.

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      Haarlem

      Perhaps best known as the home of Frans Hals, Haarlem was a particularly vibrant artistic community, especially from about 1580 through the 1640s. It was also an important center for the diversification of subject matter, as many artists there specialized in a single genre from a very early date. Hofrichter 1983 surveys the arts of Haarlem in general, rooting them in a local context. Köhler 2006 examines the concerns of Haarlem artists, subjects and means of production, through thematic essays while also stressing the personal relationships of many of the town’s artists.

      • Hofrichter, Frima Fox, ed. Haarlem: The Seventeenth Century. New Brunswick, NJ: Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 1983.

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        This catalogue accompanied a small exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. The essays by Hofrichter, Haverkamp Begemann, and Temminck succinctly frame the cultural milieu and artistic developments of the city.

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      • Köhler, Neeltje, ed. Painting in Haarlem 1500–1850: The Collection of the Frans Hals Museum. Ghent, Belgium: Ludion, 2006.

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        This volume catalogues the largest and best collection of Haarlem artists, including Hals, Judith Leyster, Jacob van Ruisdael, Hendrik Goltzius, Cornelis Saftleven, Ostade, Claes, and Heda, among others. The book also includes biographies of all Haarlem artists in the collection as well as essays on artists’ communities, major themes in their art, technical issues of pictorial production, and the relationships between artists within the city.

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      Utrecht

      Utrecht was a predominately Catholic center within a largely Protestant nation. This gave the art produced by the city’s artists a distinctive tinge. The town is best known for the painters Hendrick Ter Brugghen, Dirck van Baburen, and Gerrit van Honthorst, who went to Italy and were influenced by the contemporary Italian painter Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Blankert and Slatkes 1986–1987 presents how these three figures did much to introduce both naturalistic light effects and tenebrism to Dutch audiences. Spicer 1997 extends the discussion to consider those artists who preceded and followed them, including those who practiced divergent styles.

      • Blankert, Albert, and Leonard J. Slatkes, eds. Nieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en Tijdgenoten. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Centraal Museum, 1986.

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        This catalogue of an exhibition at Utrecht and at the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum of Braunschweig focuses on the Caravaggism of Ter Brugghen and his contemporaries. The text addresses stylistic development, iconography, and historical background.

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      • Spicer, Joaneath, ed. Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht during the Golden Age. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1997.

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        This catalogue of an exhibition staged at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, at the National Gallery in London, and in San Francisco provides a comprehensive view of the art produced in Utrecht between 1600 and 1650. The achievements of the earlier painters Abraham Bloemaert and Joachim Wtewael are chronicled alongside those of Ter Brugghen, Baburen, and Honthorst. As a result, the city emerges as a vibrant artistic center with a strong local tradition.

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      Historiography

      A few resources trace the history of studying 17th-century Dutch art. These narrative accounts explore how the field, or specific topics within it, have been interpreted by different people at different times. Grijzenhout and Van Veen 1999 offers the most comprehensive treatment of this subject, exploring how the art of the Dutch Golden Age has been conceived from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The analyses of 18th- and 19th-century responses in Holland and Germany are especially noteworthy. Westermann 2002 takes a shorter view, focusing on research conducted after 1970. One can also find extended study of the posthumous responses to individual artists: Slive 1953, Scallen 2004, and Golahny 2001 address Rembrandt; Wheelock and Glas 2001 and Hertel 1996 examine Jan Vermeer; and Jowell 1989 studies Frans Hals.

      • Golahny, Amy, ed. Special Issue. Dutch Crossing 25.2 (Winter 2001).

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        This special issue of Dutch Crossing is devoted to the reception of Rembrandt. Contributors offer focused investigations of various responders to Rembrandt from his lifetime to the present.

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      • Grijzenhout, Frans, and Henk Van Veen, eds. The Golden Age of Dutch Painting in Historical Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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        English translation of De Gouden Eeuw in perspectief: Het beeld van de Nederlandse zeventiende-eeuwse schilderkunst in later tijd, first published in 1992. This is a book-length historiography of Dutch art from the early 18th century through the end of the 20th century.

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      • Hertel, Christiane. Vermeer: Reception and Interpretation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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        While Arthur Wheelock and Marguerite Glas map the reception of Vermeer, Hertel probes the suppositions underlying the artist’s critical rise. She devotes entire chapters to German and French formulations and their relations to emerging modernist aesthetics. The focus is on Vermeer, but he is contextualized within the reception of Dutch genre painting more generally.

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      • Jowell, Frances Suzman. “The Rediscovery of Frans Hals.” In Frans Hals. Edited by Seymour Slive, 61–86. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1989.

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        Jowell examines Hals’s rediscovery in the late 19th century in France, particularly how the critic Thoré-Bürger appropriated the Dutch painter for his republican agenda. The essay also briefly surveys how these ideas led artists like Édouard Manet and Vincent Van Gogh to engage Hals’s art.

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      • Scallen, Catherine. Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2004.

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        In many ways an expansion of Slive 1953, this book examines the critical reception of Rembrandt in the 19th and 20th centuries. Scallen devotes special focus to the debates about the attributions of paintings, the processes of divining authorship through connoisseurship, and how these disputes have shaped the artist’s modern legacies.

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      • Slive, Seymour. Rembrandt and His Critics, 1630–1730. The Hague: M. Nijhof, 1953.

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        This text, which began as Slive’s doctoral dissertation, was among the first to look at critical responses to Rembrandt. While providing insights to how Rembrandt was viewed by contemporaries, it also illuminates how the image of the artist was constructed in part by later authors. Reprinted, New York: Hacker, 1988.

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      • Westermann, Mariët. “After Iconography and Iconoclasm: Current Research in Netherlandish Art, 1566–1700.” Art Bulletin 84.2 (2002): 351–372.

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        Westermann’s article updates Haverkamp Begemann’s 1987 assessment of the state of research in the field. Westermann determined her purview to be Netherlandish art of the long 17th century instead of Dutch art exclusively. The publications she reviews include those authored by literary theorists and other nonart historians who at times have challenged the academic status quo.

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      • Wheelock, Arthur, and Marguerite Glas. “The Appreciation of Vermeer in Twentieth Century America.” In The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer. Edited by Wayne Franits, 161–181. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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        This is a short examination of the fluctuations in appreciation for Vermeer from the 18th century, when his name was unknown and his works were often erroneously attributed to other painters, through his rediscovery in the 19th century, to his ascension to the heights of the artistic pantheon in the late 20th century.

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      Art Theory and Art Literature

      During the 17th century, numerous texts described and/or analyzed Dutch art of the period. These range from lives of artists to theoretical tracts. As the subsection Secondary Sources addresses, early modern art theory and art literature can be mined for information on artistic motivations and contemporary reception.

      Primary Sources

      Often called “the Dutch Vasari” or “the father of Dutch art history,” Karel (or Carel) Van Mander published the first work of art literature in the Dutch language. Though most of the lives are of pre-17th-century artists, the Van Mander 1994–1999 evaluation of individual figures and their accomplishments does much to illuminate aesthetics current in the early 1600s as well. Van Mander 1969 provides the entirety of the text. Hessel Miedema offers both an English translation and extensive annotations but only of the lives of the northern European artists. For a modern Dutch translation of the laudatory poem with which Van Mander began the Schilderboeck, consult Van Mander 1973. Houbraken 1943 updates Van Mander by chronicling the lives of artists active in the 17th century. In addition to these lives of artists, several theoretical tracts were published in the period. The most notable examples are Angel 1996, Van Hoogstraten 1969, and de Lairesse 1969. Here, readers find expositions of aesthetics and some discussions of how artists could wield their materials to achieve desired effects. Full-text versions of all the works in this section can be found online at the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse.

      • Angel, Philips. “Praise of Painting.” Translated by Michael Hoyle. Simiolus 24.2–3 (1996): 227–258.

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        Angel’s text was given as a speech to the Guild of St. Luke in Leiden before it was published one year later in 1642. Angel directed his words to his audience of painters, arguing for the qualities that all good painters needed to cultivate.

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      • de Lairesse, Gerard. Het Groot Schilderboek. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1969.

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        A facsimile of the first edition of 1707. Like Samuel Van Hoogstraten, de Lairesse studied the art of painting with Rembrandt. When de Lairesse lost his eyesight, he devoted his attention to writing. He was known in his lifetime as “the Dutch Poussin,” so it is not surprising that his book extols neoclassical ideals. As such, he often expressed disdain for those painters who worked in more naturalistic modes, including his former teacher.

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      • Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.

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        This Dutch-language website provides full-text versions of nearly every primary source of early modern Dutch art literature and theory, including the works of Philips Angel, Samuel Van Hoogstraten, Arnold Houbraken, Gerard de Lairesse, and Van Mander.

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        • Houbraken, Arnold. De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen. 3 vols. Edited by Petrus Theodorus Arnoldus Swillens. Maastricht, The Netherlands: Leiter-Nypels, 1943.

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          Originally published 1718–1721. Houbraken provided a sequel to Van Mander’s lives of artists. His text is the first to offer extended discussion of many of the important artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Unlike Van Mander, Houbraken focuses exclusively on northern European artists rather than casting these narratives within any sort of larger framework. Houbraken presents his lives as fact, but many have been shown to be filled with anecdotes based on classical and more recent tropes.

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        • Van Hoogstraten, Samuel. Inleyding tot de Hooge Schoole der Schilderkonst. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1969.

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          A facsimile of the first edition of 1678. Rembrandt’s former pupil Samuel Van Hoogstraten issued a thematic exposition on artistic quality. While often theoretical in nature, the text also offers practical advice to artists on how to actualize those components that van Hoogstraten advocates.

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        • Van Mander, Karel. Het Schilderboek. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1969.

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          A facsimile of the 1618 second edition. The book begins with an extended laudatory poem on the merits of painting. This is followed by lives of artists: those active in Antiquity; those active in Italy in recent times; and Dutch, Flemish, and German artists active from the 15th century through the date of publication. The work concludes with an extended discussion of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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        • Van Mander, Karel. Den Grondt der edel vry Schilderconst. 2 vols. Translated by Hessel Miedema. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1973.

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          This is a modern Dutch translation of the laudatory poem that begins the Schilderboek. It includes annotations, but they are not as extensive or as discursive as those found in Miedema’s translation of the lives of northern European artists. It also lacks a facsimile reproduction of the original text, which is useful for examining Van Mander’s terminology.

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        • Van Mander, Karel. The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the Schilderboek (1603–04). 6 vols. Edited by Hessel Miedema. Translated by Derry Cook-Radmore. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1994–1999.

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          This is a translation and annotation of Van Mander’s lives of northern European artists. The full-text translation appears alongside facsimile reproductions of the original text. Together with the lengthy and erudite annotations, this is an excellent source for excavating the nuances of Van Mander.

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        Secondary Sources

        Modern scholars have frequently explored the primary sources identified in the subsection Primary Sources. De Pauw-de Veen 1969 studies the usage of individual words as they appear across these texts. Taylor 1992 focuses on one particular term, houding, as a way to consider the range of theoretical concerns behind Dutch naturalism. The writings of Karel Van Mander (Melion 1991), Samuel Van Hoogstraten (Brusati 1995 and Weststeijn 2008), Arnold Houbraken (Horn 2000), and Philips Angel (Sluijter 1983) have all received monographic treatment. Emmens 1968 examines how Rembrandt’s art, and 17th-century criticisms of it, participated in the contemporary aesthetic discourses framed by the various writers. In their own ways, each of these authors illuminates the theoretical underpinnings of Dutch naturalism.

        • Brusati, Celeste. Artifice and Illusion: The Art and Writing of Samuel Van Hoogstraten. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

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          Brusati studies Van Hoogstraten’s writings alongside his paintings. She roots both projects in Van Hoogstraten’s career trajectory.

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        • de Pauw-de Veen, Lydia. De Begrippen “Schilder,” “Schilderij,” en “Schilderen” in de zeventiende Eeuw. Brussels: Paleis der Academiën, 1969.

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          De Pauw-de Veen authored a dictionary of terms found in early modern Dutch art literature, considering the occurrences and usage of individual words and concepts. The book is exceedingly useful not only as an aid in translating historical texts but also as a tool to unpack the interlaced associations of the terminology. Indeed, many words held myriad connotations beyond the literal meanings that would first occur to modern readers.

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        • Emmens, Jan. Rembrandt en de Regels van de Kunst. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1968.

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          Emmens’s book is perhaps the first argument for the existence of theories for Dutch naturalism and theoretical concerns of naturalist painters. In the first part of the book, Emmens explores how Rembrandt stood as a target for classicist critics. In the second, Emmens attempts to position Rembrandt in relation to what he terms “pre-classicist” theorists who valued Rembrandt’s aesthetic.

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        • Horn, Hendrik. The Golden Age Revisited: Arnold Houbraken’s Great Theatre of Netherlandish Painters and Paintresses. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 2000.

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          While many scour Houbraken’s Groote Schouburgh for information on individual figures, Horn is the only writer to take stock of the book as a whole. In so doing, he examines how being a deistic Stoic impacted Houbraken’s writings. The book concludes with a historiography that examines Houbraken’s impact and legacies.

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        • Melion, Walter. Shaping the Netherlandish Canon: Karel Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

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          This is a book-length analysis of Van Mander’s Schilderboek, including its composition and emphasis on biography. In particular, Melion considers how Van Mander positioned Netherlandish artists in relation to both ancient and modern Italian figures. Melion also discusses how Van Mander constructed a canon of Netherlandish art for a contemporary readership that lasted for generations.

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        • Sluijter, Eric Jan. De Lof der Schilderkunst: Over Schilderijen van Gerrit Dou (1613–1675) en een Traktaat van Philips Angel uit 1642. Hilversum, The Netherlands: Verloren, 1983.

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          Sluijter analyzes Philips Angel’s De Lof der Schilderkunst against modern Italian art and theory. Sluijter concludes that Dutch artists’ intense engagement with material concerns of reality set their art apart and that Angel was one figure who attempted to articulate a logic for northern naturalism.

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        • Taylor, Paul. “The Concept of Houding in Dutch Art Theory.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 4 (1992): 210–232.

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          Taylor crafts a thoroughly well-researched excavation of a key concept denoted by the term houding (harmony or unity) in Dutch art theory. Taylor concludes that emphasis on harmonious spatial construction was not unique to Dutch art but that it appears far more frequently in Dutch art literature than in that produced elsewhere in Europe.

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        • Weststeijn, Thijs. The Visible World: Samuel Van Hoogstraten’s Art Theory and the Legitimation of Painting in the Dutch Golden Age. Translated by Beverley Jackson and Lynne Richards. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, 2008.

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          Weststeijn provides the first critical examination to focus solely on Van Hoogstraten’s treatise. In the process, Weststeijn locates Van Hoogstraten within an international humanist milieu. Readers come away with the understanding of the Inleyding as a complex, well-formulated treatise at the cutting edge of European aesthetics that was also rooted in the developments of contemporary Dutch painting.

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        Collections

        Most Dutch artists created relatively small, highly transportable works of art. In their day, they were commodities created for the express purpose of being transacted for financial gain. Pictures circulated widely, and today they are widely dispersed throughout Europe and North America. This section notes the catalogues of the largest and most important contemporary collections of Dutch art. As a rule, each source documents individual objects. Many also provide essays on how the collections were formed.

        Paintings

        Most of the world’s foremost collections of Dutch paintings have issued catalogues of their holdings. One can find catalogues of the entire collections of Dutch paintings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Liedtke 2007, the National Gallery of Art in Washington in Wheelock 1995, the National Gallery in London in Maclaren 1991, and the Louvre in Foucart 2009. Recent efforts to catalogue Dutch collections have focused on specific holdings rather than everything in an institution’s possessions. The Mauritshuis has decided to divide its publications by genre (see Broos and van Suchtelen 2004), while the Rijksmuseum has opted to subdivide the 17th century into smaller chronological periods (see Bikker, et al. 2007). Of a different sort, Sutton 1986 does not describe every work but rather presents readers with an overview of every significant collection of Dutch art in the United States.

        • Bikker, Jonathan, Yvette Bruijnen, Gerdien Wuestman, Everhard Korthals Altes, Jan Piet Filedt Kok, and Taco Dibbits. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2007.

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          The Rijksmuseum holds the national collection of The Netherlands and boasts more than two thousand objects. This work catalogues the pictures made by artists born between 1570 and 1600. It is the first in a planned series of catalogues organized chronologically that replace the earlier All the Paintings in the Rijksmuseum, which lacked entries on individual objects and included only black-and-white illustrations.

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        • Broos, Ben, and Ariane van Suchtelen, eds. Portraits in the Mauritshuis, 1430–1790. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2004.

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          This is the first volume in a planned series of catalogues of the collection of the Dutch royal family. These catalogues are organized by genre, here chronicling nearly five centuries of portraiture. The book provides extensive technical examination. This volume and its planned pendants replace the 1985 single volume catalogue edited by H. R. Hotenik, which was more limited in its treatment of individual objects.

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        • Foucart, Jacques. Catalogue des peintures flamandes et hollandaises du musée du Louvre. Paris: Gallimard, 2009.

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          Foucart catalogues the 1,140 Dutch and Flemish pictures created from the 15th through 19th centuries in the Louvre. The 17th-century Dutch paintings constitute the bulk of this number, making the Louvre one of the world’s best collections of Dutch Golden Age art. The book provides a much-needed update to the now obsolete 1973 catalogue of this part of the collection.

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        • Liedtke, Walter. Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2 vols. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

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          This is a catalogue of one of the world’s largest and best collections of Dutch painting, with 228 pictures. The text provides extended analyses of each object, biographies of each artist, and large color illustrations. Most of the material is also available online.

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        • Maclaren, Neil. The Dutch School, 1600–1900. Revised and expanded by Christopher Brown. London: National Gallery, 1991.

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          This updates Maclaren’s text from thirty years earlier. In addition to cataloguing new acquisitions, Brown updated interpretations, attributions, and bibliographies. In total, there are more than four hundred pictures in the museum’s holdings. Appendixes illustrate artist’s signatures. The book was produced in two volumes, one for text and one for black-and-white plates. The indexes are exceptionally useful, especially that of subjects depicted.

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        • Sutton, Peter. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986.

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          While not a systematic catalogue, this volume chronicles the myriad collections with significant collections of Dutch art in the United States. Organized alphabetically by city, each entry highlights the most important works in individual collections and provides a brief history of the institution. The book is particularly useful for introducing readers to collections beyond those that are best known in New York and Washington, DC.

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        • Wheelock, Arthur. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century: The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1995.

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          The National Gallery of Art’s collection is smaller that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the quality is just as high. Each entry provides interpretive analysis and the results of scientific examination of the physical object. An appendix provides detail photographs of each signature that appears on a picture in the collection.

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        Works on Paper

        In general, works on paper are not as well catalogued as are paintings. The sheer volume of prints and drawings makes such an undertaking difficult. Hollstein 1993– and von Bartsch 1978– are the standard catalogues of Old Master prints, including those by Dutch artists. In terms of drawings, the Rijskmuseum and the Morgan Library have produced multivolume catalogues of their holdings (see Schapelhouman and Schatborn 1998). Opting for new media, the British Museum and the Louvre have recently digitized their collections of Dutch drawings for online searches (see British Museum and Inventaire du Département des Artes graphiques). Lugt 1921 constitutes a different type of source: it catalogues the marks of the collectors who have owned significant numbers of works of paper over the centuries.

        • British Museum.

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          The British Museum’s extensive collections of Dutch drawings and Rembrandt etchings are now largely available online. The exceptions are reproductive prints and portrait prints. Included is Martin Royalton Kitsch’s catalogue of 384 drawings by Rembrandt and his school, completed in 2009. The online catalogue is more extensive than most in that it presents interpretive and technical findings in addition to descriptive data.

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          • Hollstein, F. W. H. The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts, ca. 1450–1700. 12 vols. Roosendaal, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Van Poll, 1993–.

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            This is a comprehensive catalog of graphic arts produced in Dutch-speaking locales in early modernity. Originally it ran to seventy-one volumes, organized chronologically, by artist. Documents states and editions complete with dimensions and lists of collections where the prints could be located of nearly every etching, engraving, and woodcut in the period. While not every object is illustrated, more than ten thousand illustrations populate the various volumes.

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          • Inventaire du Département des Artes graphiques. Musée du Louvre.

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            Though lacking in discursive description and interpretation, one can find an online illustrated inventory of the Louvre’s impressive collection of Dutch prints and drawings.

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            • Lugt, Frits. Les marques de collections de dessins & d’estampes: Marques estampillées et écrites de collections particulières et publiques, marques de marchands, de monteurs et d’imprimeurs, cachets de vente d’artistes décédés, marques de graveurs apposées après le tirage des planches, timbres d’édition, etc. ; Avec des notices historiques sur les collectionneurs, les collections, les ventes, les marchands et éditeurs, etc. Amsterdam: Vereenigde Drukkerijen, 1921.

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              Supplement 1956. Lugt’s catalogue of the collector’s marks and stamps that frequently appear on the backs of works on paper continues to be the most important source for identifying the provenance of prints and drawings. Lugt provides a brief biography of collectors and a description of known collections. Available online.

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            • Schapelhouman, Marijn, and Peter Schatborn. Dutch Drawings of the Seventeenth Century in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: Artists Born between 1580 and 1600. 2 vols. London: Merrell Holberton, 1998.

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              Not surprisingly, the Rijksmuseum’s collection of Dutch drawings is the best in The Netherlands and one of the leading ones in the world. At the moment, the collection is in the process of being catalogued. This volume constitutes but the first to document and illustrate its magnificent holdings.

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            • Turner, Jane Shoaf, Felice Stampfle, and Charles E. Pierce. Dutch Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library, Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries. 2 vols. New York: J. Pierpont Morgan Library, 2006.

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              The Pierpont Morgan Library’s collection is among the best in the world. In these two volumes, readers find the first catalogue of the collection, including up-to-date interpretations and illustrations.

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            • von Bartsch, Adam. The Illustrated Bartsch. Edited by Walter L. Strauss. New York: Abaris, 1978–.

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              In the late 18th century von Bartsch began a descriptive catalogue raisonné of prints by Dutch, Flemish, German, and Italian artists. He also developed a numbering system for identifying individual prints. These “Bartsch numbers” remain the standard for identification for many figures, including Rembrandt. In 1978 Abaris Press began to issue an updated, English-language illustrated version. The illustrations can also be searched through the subscription website ArtStor.

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            Economics

            Following the lead of the late Yale University economist John Michael Montias, much scholarship has explored the economic contexts in which Dutch art operated. Montias 1982 began the process by systematically and quantitatively studying the art market of Delft. Bok 1994 complements Montias’s findings by sketching the market in Utrecht. Subsequently, several important articles examined a particular facet of the art market: changes in subject and technique as financially driven innovations (see Montias 1987), methods of exchange and definitions of monetary value (see De Marchi and van Miegroet 1994), and the impact of an economic depression on production and consumption (see Israel 1997). Alpers 1988 and Sluijter 1996 have attempted to understand individual artists from economic perspectives. One finds all of these approaches in the various essays that appear in Falkenburg 2000. The best introduction to economics and art markets is North 1997, which synthesizes a wide variety of material.

            • Alpers, Svetlana. Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

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              Alpers’s book presents a varied examination of Rembrandt’s artistic production. In addition to exploring what took place in his studio, Alpers examines Rembrandt’s relations to the market. Labeling him “pictor economicus,” Alpers argues that Rembrandt actively sought to manipulate the market and its responses to his work in order to achieve long-term financial gain.

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            • Bok, Marten Jan. “Vraag en aanbod op de Nederlandse kunstmarkt, 1580–1700.” PhD diss., Universiteit van Utrecht, 1994.

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              In the model of Montias, Bok studies the socioeconomic conditions of 17th-century Utrecht. Like Montias, Bok presents considerable quantitative analysis based on exhaustive archival research.

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            • De Marchi, Neil, and Hans van Miegroet. “Art, Value, and Market Practices in the Seventeenth Century.” Art Bulletin 76 (1994): 451–464.

              DOI: 10.2307/3046038Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This article is a collaboration between an art historian and an economist. Here, they study means of transaction current in the Dutch Republic as well as determinants of value. As the authors fully acknowledge, they do not provide a definitive notion of value. Rather, they offer a starting point for future considerations of how paintings were viewed as merchandise.

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            • Israel, Jonathan. “Adjusting to Hard Times: Dutch Art during Its Period of Crisis and Restructuring (c. 1621–c. 1645).” Art History 20 (1997): 449–476.

              DOI: 10.1111/1467-8365.00071Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              In this article, the historian Israel examines how the cessation of the Twelve Years’ Truce in the early 1620s may have affected artistic production and consumption. Israel delineates how economic depression severely dampened art purchases. In turn, he argues that many artists produced tonal paintings that could be sold at a lower price owing to the decrease in needed materials and swifter rate of production in order to cope with the newly constricted market conditions.

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            • Falkenburg, Reindert Leonard, ed. Kunst voor de markt/Art for the Market 1500–1700. Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 50. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2000.

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              Collection of essays (by Vermeylen, Silver, Peeters, Neil De Marchi and Hans van Miegroet, Eric Jan Sluijter, Montias, Boers, Mariët Westermann, and Swan) that explore works of art as objects designed for market consumption.

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            • Montias, John Michael. Artists and Artisans in Delft: A Socio-economic Study of the Seventeenth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982.

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              Montias introduced the methods of economics to the subject of Dutch art. He systematically and analytically studied the supply of and demand for art in Delft. These analyses are based on extensive examination of primary sources, such as guild records and estate inventories. Montias’s book remains a methodological model and an invaluable study of art as a commodity.

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            • Montias, John Michael. “Cost and Value in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art.” Art History 10 (1987): 455–466.

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              Montias takes the position that artists consciously strove to differentiate their products from those of their contemporaries in order to achieve financial advantages in the market. Montias hypothesizes that these attempts could take the form of innovations of product or process.

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            • North, Michael. Art and Commerce in the Dutch Golden Age. Translated by Catherine Hill. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997.

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              English translation of Kunst und Kommerz im Goldenen Zeitalter: Zur Socialgeschichte der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhundert, first published in 1992. North introduces readers to the Dutch economy and functions of art within the economy in general.

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            • Sluijter, Eric Jan. “Jan Van Goyen als Marktleider, Virtuoos en vernieuwer.” In Jan Van Goyen. Edited by Christaan Vogelaar, 38–59. Leiden, The Netherlands: Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, 1996.

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              In this monographic exhibition of Jan Van Goyen, Sluijter explores the famed landscape painter’s artistic production as a business strategy, considering how Van Goyen produced a large number of inexpensive pictures in order to generate a large income. Indeed, Van Goyen enjoyed some of the highest earnings in the period even though individual pictures sold for relatively low amounts.

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            Production and Technical Art History

            Technical art history is an emerging field of inquiry. In it, scholars look at the physicality of works of art—the materials with which they were created and how individuals employed those materials, often through the aid of modern scientific tools like X-rays, autoradiographs, and dendrochronological reports, among others. Most collection and exhibition catalogues now routinely include this kind of information, and several excellent book-length studies of this type can also be found. More than those of any other artist, paintings by Rembrandt have been subjected to scientific examination. This began when the Rembrandt Research Project (see Bruyn and Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project 1982–2010) included physical examinations aided by scientific means alongside traditional methods of connoisseurship in the project’s efforts to identify all the paintings by Rembrandt. The Rembrandt Research Project includes raw data and the group’s conclusions drawn from these data in their catalogues. Van de Wetering 1997 expands on these findings by looking beyond individual objects to explore Rembrandt’s means of production and artistic motivations more generally. Bomford and Rüger 2006 offers both complement and counterpoint to both the Rembrandt Research Project and Van de Wetering 1997 by conducting its own set of experiments on a group of works in the collection of the National Gallery, many of which had been examined previously as part of A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. Though not employing scientific tools, White 1999 has sketched the means by which Rembrandt executed his prints. Jan Vermeer is the other Dutch artist whose means of painting have received considerable attention. Wheelock 1995 explores the artist’s oeuvre and the entirety of his methods, while Wadum 1995 and Steadman 2001 focus on the role of the camera obscura in Vermeer’s pictures. In a different approach, Wallert 1999 employs a variety of scientific mechanisms to understand how still life painters crafted their pictures.

            • Bomford, David, and Axel Rüger, eds. Rembrandt: Art in the Making. London: National Gallery, 2006.

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              Part of the National Gallery’s Art in the Making exhibition series, the catalogue provides readers with a systematic and rigorous investigation of twenty paintings by Rembrandt and seven others executed in a Rembrandtesque style by other painters. Forms a valuable comparison with the results of the Rembrandt Research Project.

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            • Bruyn, J., and Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project. A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. 5 vols. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982–2010.

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              As part of the Rembrandt Research Project’s brief to identify all the autograph paintings by the artists, the group systematically subjected all pictures ever considered to be by Rembrandt to all tests available to them. The Rembrandt Research Project published its findings as a series of catalogues with extended entries, including the results of scientific examinations, on each painting.

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            • Steadman, Philip. Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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              In recent decades, the likelihood that Vermeer was familiar with and may have even used optical devices to create his distinctive pictorial vision has gained traction. In this book, Steadman’s hypothesis—argued through various reimaginings and restagings of the scenes, that Vermeer did use the camera obscura, even if only tangentially—is frequently persuasive.

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            • Van de Wetering, Ernst. Rembrandt: The Painter at Work. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 1997.

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              Van de Wetering is the only surviving original member of the Rembrandt Research Project and the recent leader of the group. He brings this long history of engagement with Rembrandt’s paintings to this original and insightful study of the artist’s means of production. Marshals considerable data gleaned from scientific examination.

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            • Wadum, Jørgen. “Vermeer in Perspective.” In Johannes Vermeer. Edited by Arthur Wheelock, 67–79. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1995.

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              Wadum argues that Vermeer achieved his spatial illusions through careful creation of linear perspective achieved by simply charting the design with a pin and string. When reading this alongside Steadman 2001, readers may take issue with some of Wadum’s conclusions, but the material evidence gathered from studying the materiality of Vermeer’s paintings continues to hold value.

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            • Wallert, Arie, ed. Still Lifes: Techniques and Style, an Examination of Paintings from the Rijksmuseum. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 1999.

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              Wallert’s book explores how artists made still life paintings in the 17th century. The book looks closely at nineteen pictures in the collection of the Rijksmuseum and scientific examinations of them. In entries on each picture and an exceptional introductory essay on materials and methods current in the 17th century, one finds a valuable source on early modern artistic production.

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            • Wheelock, Arthur, Jr. Vermeer and the Art of Painting. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

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              Wheelock concisely studies twenty-six paintings by Vermeer. Written as a series of single-object entries, this book attempts to understand how Vermeer painted his scenes.

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            • White, Christopher. Rembrandt as an Etcher: A Study of the Artist at Work. 2d ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999.

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              This is the second edition of White’s now classic study (first edition 1969). The book is eminently useful for a variety of purposes, but the first chapter on Rembrandt’s techniques as an etcher is the best introduction to the processes of making prints in the period. White concretely and authoritatively addresses material concerns and processes and how both directly shaped the final appearance of individual works of art.

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            Self-Fashioning

            Following Stephen Greenblatt, several studies have examined how individual artists fashioned, or attempted to fashion, their identities and personae. Chapman 1990 introduced Greenblatt’s theories of self-fashioning to the art of the Dutch Golden Age in an exacting treatment of Rembrandt’s lifelong project of making portraits of himself. Chong 2000 suggests that Rembrandt’s early years in Leiden and move to Amsterdam were part of a conscious effort to create the persona of a great artist. Similarly, Berger 2000 explores how Rembrandt’s responses to the art of the Italian Renaissance helped the artist forge his artistic identity, for himself and others. In Chapman 1996 and Brusati 1995, readers find arguments that artists other than Rembrandt—Jan Steen and Samuel Van Hoogstraten, respectively—also participated actively in self-fashioning programs.

            • Berger, Harry, Jr. Fictions of the Pose: Rembrandt Against the Italian Renaissance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.

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              Berger considers how Rembrandt shaped his artistic persona by directly engaging and competing with well-known artists of the Italian Renaissance.

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            • Brusati, Celeste. Artifice and Illusion: The Art and Writing of Samuel Van Hoogstraten. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

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              Brusati argues that Van Hoogstraten forged professional and social identities through his paintings and writings. He used verbal and visual media in tandem to craft his self-image. Of course, the book is also worthwhile for its explorations of Van Hoogstraten’s illusionistic artifices, which did much to mold definitions of artistry in the period.

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            • Chapman, H. Perry. Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits: A Study in Seventeenth-Century Identity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

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              Chapman considers how Rembrandt’s self-portraits participated in the artist’s understanding of himself, explorations of himself, and projections of an image of the self he wanted others to perceive. To put it differently, Chapman understands Rembrandt’s engagement with self-portraiture as a reflection of his self-consciousness and a product of an active attempt to construct a public persona.

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            • Chapman, H. Perry. “Jan Steen, Player in His Own Paintings.” In Jan Steen: Painter and Storyteller. Edited by Guido M. C. Jansen, 10–23. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1996.

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              Here, Chapman applied the ideas of self-fashioning to the famed painter of everyday life, Jan Steen. Chapman argues that Steen’s paintings convey a conflation of art and life. Steen frequently painted himself within his scenes, and in turn the pictures conveyed the artist’s persona. Chapman concludes that Steen actively fashioned his persona as a comic painter through his art.

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            • Chong, Alan, ed. Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt: Art and Ambition in Leiden, 1629–1631. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2000.

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              This exhibition catalogue focuses on Rembrandt’s early years in Leiden. Rembrandt appears as a master of diverse media who possessed a highly developed aesthetic well before his move to Amsterdam. Mariët Westermann’s argument that Rembrandt created the persona of an artistic genius early in his career, the image perpetuated even today, is particularly insightful. Alan Chong, Arthur Wheelock, and Christopher White issue additional contributions.

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            Artistic Genres

            The Dutch Golden Age saw an explosion of independent genres or types of images. Dutch artists produced representations of biblical subjects, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and so-called scenes of everyday life. Many individual artists specialized in but one genre. Much of the literature on 17th-century Dutch art has followed suit by providing histories and interpretive investigations of individual genres.

            History

            This category includes scenes from the Bible, ancient and modern histories, and depictions of Greco-Roman mythology. Stemming from Italian art theory, these types of pictures were often considered the height of art because they dealt with moral subjects and often required difficult, multifigured compositions. Aside from Rembrandt, this type of art has not received much art historical investigation until recently; it was believed to not be as innovative or original as the other genres. Blankert 1980 began to reverse this trend by being the first to study Dutch history paintings as a distinct category of art. Blankert 1999 refines this image by focusing on instances of Dutch artists picturing subjects from classical Antiquity in carefully wrought, or classicizing, modes. Schoon and Paarlberg 2000 covers some related territory in exploring the imaging of classical Greek myths and histories but expands the discussion by considering the similarities and differences in treatments of this material by Dutch and Flemish artists. Sluijter 1999 considers how Ovid inspired many Dutch painters, and Sluijter 2006 looks at the nude in Dutch art. As was the case throughout Europe, Dutch artists often pictured classical and biblical women as nudes.

            • Blankert, Albert, ed. Gods, Saints, and Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1980.

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              This catalogue produced to accompany the exhibition of the same name surveys 17th-century Dutch history painting. The exhibition and catalogue shifted attention to this understudied and underappreciated facet of Dutch art. The commissions for several of these pictures for town halls, for example, underscore the prominence of history painting for Golden Age audiences.

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            • Blankert, Albert, ed. Dutch Classicism in Seventeenth-Century Painting. Rotterdam: NAI, 1999.

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              This exhibition catalogue refines the image put forth in God, Saints, and Heroes (Blankert 1980) by focusing on artists who painted myths and histories in a refined and austere style. This classicist approach in subject and in form recurred throughout the period, though it clashed with the naturalistic mode that is better known today. Introductory essays consider classicism in Dutch architecture and literature alongside that in pictorial arts.

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            • Schoon, Peter, and Sander Paarlberg, eds. Greek Gods and Heroes in the Age of Rubens and Rembrandt. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Dordrechts Museum, 2000.

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              This exhibition catalogue explores 16th- and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish artists’ visualization of ancient Greece. The volume includes essays that trace Greek subjects in the works of Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens while also demonstrating northern Europeans’ often intense interest in and awareness of classical literature.

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            • Sluijter, Eric Jan. De “Heydensche Fabulen” in de Schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw: Schilderijen met verhalende Onderwerpen uit de klassieke Mythologie in de Noordelijke Nederlanden, circa 1590–1670. Leiden, The Netherlands: Primavera, 1999.

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              This book is the long-awaited publication of Sluijter’s 1986 doctoral dissertation on Dutch artists’ illustrations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Sluijter demonstrates a long engagement with these subjects and relates this interest to contemporary literary trends. A nine-page English summary can be found at the back of the book.

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            • Sluijter, Eric Jan. Rembrandt and the Female Nude. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006.

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              Developing his earlier work on Dutch depictions of Ovid, Sluijter thematically examines how Rembrandt pictured Andromeda, Susanna and the Elders, and Bathsheba, among others. Sluijter relates Rembrandt’s treatments to pictorial tradition, considering how these images engaged contemporary conceptions of vitality, eroticism, morality, and narrative.

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            Genre Images

            Figural works that depict their subjects in contemporary garb and settings and that seem to lack textual references are variously termed “genre scenes” or “scenes of everyday life.” Dutch artists pictured these subjects frequently, and viewers have long appreciated their renderings. Franits 2004 and Sutton 1984 provide broad overviews of Dutch genre paintings. Franits 2004 is particularly useful as it synthesizes much specialist literature. Stone-Ferrier 1983 examines printed scenes of everyday life. Franits 1993, through women, and Miedema 1977, through lower-class figures, explore some of the types of people who populate the pictures. Hollander 2002 studies the interior spaces that these figures frequently inhabit. Bock and Gaehtgens 1987 offers a collection of essays on the subject of Dutch genre painting, though no other theme links the writings together. All of the items in this section study their subjects from either a Dutch or a northern European perspective except Schneider 2004, which considers the works and interests of Dutch genre painters alongside their contemporary European cohorts.

            • Bock, Henning, and Thomas W. Gaehtgens, eds. Holländische Genremalerei im 17. Jahrhundert: Symposium Berlin 1984. Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 4. Berlin: Gerb. Mann Verlag, 1987.

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              This volume publishes the proceedings of a symposium held in Berlin. Many of the essays provide exemplary monographic discussions on artists like Adriaen Brouwer (Raupp and Renger), Jan Steen (Salomon), and Van Lier (Levine). Albert Blankert’s essay “What Is Dutch Genre Painting?” is broadest in scope and holds the widest appeal in its thoughtful interrogation of a commonplace term.

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            • Franits, Wayne. Paragons of Virtue: Women and Domesticity in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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              Here, Franits conducts an in-depth examination of women in Dutch genre pictures. He organizes his book thematically after Jacob Cats’s categories of female roles—maiden, housewife, and so on. Franits proceeds to read much of the imagery in relation to texts like Cats’s to probe how contemporary audiences understood various female subjects.

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            • Franits, Wayne. Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting: Its Stylistic and Thematic Evolution. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

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              Franits provides a well-researched, systematic overview of 17th-century Dutch genre painting, organized chronologically and subdivided by urban center. He traces the artistic and social developments of the genre. The book is an excellent introduction to the topic, synthesizing much modern scholarship.

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            • Hollander, Martha. An Entrance for the Eyes: Space and Meaning in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

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              Hollander offers a provocative study of the construction of pictorial space, especially within scenes of everyday life. More specifically, she surveys and interprets secondary scenes—vistas, doorways, mirrors—and how such auxiliary representation informs and conditions responses to the primary subjects.

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            • Miedema, Hessel. “Realism and Comic Mode.” Simiolus 9 (1977): 205–219.

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              Miedema argues that individuals from the lower classes operated as objects of derision. Miedema concludes therefore that so-called low-life genre scenes were didactic warnings against the vices of fornication, coarseness, gluttony, and laziness, among others.

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            • Schneider, Norbert. Geschichte der Genremalerei: Die Entdeckung des Alltags in der Kunst der Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin: D. Reimer, 2004.

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              Schneider takes a pan-European perspective in examining the rise of genre painting in early modernity. As a result, Dutch pictures appear less insular and more interwoven into larger Continental artistic, if not aesthetic, discourses. Though Schneider’s book is more an introductory text than a specialized one for scholars, his wider perspective is refreshing.

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            • Stone-Ferrier, Linda. Dutch Prints of Daily Life: Mirrors of Life or Masks of Morals? Lawrence, KS: Spencer Museum of Art, 1983.

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              Stone-Ferrier examines works on paper that picture contemporary life in the Dutch Republic. She identifies and interrogates three dominant trends of representation: tasks and trades, festivity, and common and curious occurrences. The introductory essay cogently frames interpretive problems posed by these images, especially issues of morality. Stone-Ferrier’s discussions of what is excluded, that is, not pictured, that did occur in Dutch daily life is particularly engaging.

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            • Sutton, Peter C., ed. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1984.

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              Though in many ways superseded by Franits 2004, Sutton’s exhibition catalogue provides a broad overview of Dutch genre painting and a balanced summary of the complicated issues of naturalism with which so many of these pictures were painted. Biographies of the lesser-known genre painters are still worth consulting.

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            Landscape

            As with other genres, scenes of the natural world with minimal figural content blossomed in the Dutch Republic. The literature is not as extensive as that on scenes of everyday life, though, perhaps because specialists have been hard-pressed to move far beyond formal description. Stechow 1966 is the standard source for treating the formal developments of Dutch landscape painting. Sutton 1987 introduces more provocative methodological schema. Most notably, J. Bruyn’s essay in Sutton 1987 proposes scriptural interpretations. Gibson 2000 differs in arguing that classically inspired, humanist readings are more appropriate. Levesque 1994 posits that scenes of the local countryside should be understood in relation to emerging conceptions of national pride. Blankert 1978 and Harwood 2002 look at the frequent picturing of Italian locales. Brown 1986 explores the innovations and art historical legacy of Dutch landscape artists.

            • Blankert, Albert, ed. Dutch Seventeenth-Century Italianate Painters. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1978.

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              Revised and translated edition of Nederlandse 17e eeuwse Italianiserende Landschapschilders (Utrecht, The Netherlands: Centraal Museum, 1965). Numerous artists pictured foreign locales instead of local ones. This book is the most comprehensive survey of the numerous individuals who painted landscapes inspired by Italian topography. Despite Blankert’s pioneering publication, which focused attention on this subset of Dutch landscapes, Italianate pictures continue to attract relatively limited scholarly attention.

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            • Brown, Christopher. Dutch Landscape: The Early Years, Haarlem and Amsterdam 1590–1650. London: National Gallery, 1986.

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              Brown emphasizes novelty, what is new and how Dutch artists set the course for landscape painting for centuries.

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            • Gibson, Walter. Pleasant Places: The Rustic Landscape from Bruegel to Ruisdael. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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              Gibson takes the position that the landscape prints and paintings of the 17th century derived from earlier Netherlandish pictorial traditions. More so, Gibson argues that landscapes operated as pleasant places in the classical tradition, as contemplative respites from the contemporary urban environment. He formulates landscapes as humanistic but not moralistic, thus rejecting J. Bruyn’s scriptural readings.

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            • Harwood, Laurie B., ed. Inspired by Italy: Dutch Landscape Painting 1600–1700. London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2002.

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              This exhibition catalogue is one of the few to follow the Blankert 1978 lead in casting light on Dutch Italianate artists. Harwood devotes more attention to situating these figures within artistic circles and movements in Italy than on their impact on imagery at home in the Dutch Republic.

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            • Levesque, Catherine. Journey through Landscape in Seventeenth-Century Holland: The Haarlem Print Series and Dutch Identity. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.

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              Levesque interprets landscapes through the lens of national history. She argues that scenes of the local environment expressed an emerging Dutch national self-consciousness.

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            • Stechow, Wolfgang. Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century. London: Phaidon, 1966.

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              Stechow’s book is the standard treatment of Dutch landscape painting: the major artists, stylistic trends, and the like. Stechow espouses a generally formalist approach. Of course, the book’s publication predates the myriad complications of Dutch naturalism that scholars have issued in recent decades.

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            • Sutton, Peter, ed. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1987.

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              Provides a broad examination of the genre and its major producers. Alan Chong studies the consumers of landscape painting and their collecting habits. J. Bruyn takes an iconological approach, arguing for scriptural interpretations wherein landscapes served as metaphors or symbols of Protestant religious morals and ideals. In total, the catalogue does much to position landscapes as constructions rather than simplistic depictions of reality.

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            Seascapes

            Though often having a shared horizontal format and emphasis on setting at the expense of figuration, landscapes and marine paintings have generally been considered to be distinct genres. Though seaborne trade was crucial to the Dutch, it is a bit of a curiosity that landscapes were far more prevalent than their marine counterparts. That said, many marine painters were held in the highest regard and garnered high prices for their works. Nonetheless, following the relative positions of the genres, only a small number of sources are devoted to marine painting exclusively. Goedde 1989 studies how conventional marine painting was and how those conventions conditioned viewers’ responses to what they saw. Keyes 1990 situates marine painting within the context of sea travel and marine commerce. Giltaij 1996 continues the projects of the earlier texts.

            • Giltaij, Jeroen, ed. Praise of Ships and the Sea: The Dutch Marine Painters of the 17th Century. Rotterdam: Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, 1996.

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              This exhibition catalogue offers a survey of Dutch marine painting, often stressing nationalist interpretations.

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            • Goedde, Lawrence O. Tempest and Shipwreck in Dutch and Flemish Art: Convention, Rhetoric, and Interpretation. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1989.

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              Goedde writes an interpretive study of the conventionality of Dutch marine paintings. In the process, the author identifies several patterns of representation, in object and form, that communicated well-understood meanings.

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            • Keyes, George S., ed. Mirror of Empire: Dutch Marine Art of the Seventeenth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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              This exhibition catalogue is the first English-language survey of Dutch marine painting. The volume positions these pictures in relation to sea charts, cartography, and marine commerce.

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            Architectural Painting

            In addition to cityscapes, several Dutch artists crafted images of architectural interiors and exteriors. As these images most frequently have no narrative component and few figures, they are pictorial engagements with space and place. Unlike landscapes, they focus on the built environment. Van Suchtelen and Wheelock 2008 provides a general overview and introduction to the subject. Liedtke 1982 explores the many well-known architectural painters who hailed from Delft. The literature on Pieter Saenredam, the best-known painter of architectural interiors, is the most extensive. Ruurs 1987 provides a well-researched monograph that focuses on Saenredam’s use of linear perspective, while Schwartz and Bok 1990 offers a more biographical account. Lawrence 1991 examines Gerrit Berckheyde’s efforts in the genre, while de Vries 1984 and Sutton 2006 look at the Amsterdam painter Jan Van der Heyden.

            • de Vries, Lyckle. Jan Van der Heyden. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff/Landshoff, 1984.

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              This work surveys the career and paintings of the leading cityscape painter in Amsterdam.

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            • Lawrence, Cynthia. Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde (1638–1698): Haarlem Cityscape Painter. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1991.

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              This is the standard monograph on the leading architectural painter in Haarlem. Berckheyde also painted views of the urban environment during his time in Cologne and Heidelberg.

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            • Liedtke, Walter. Architectural Painting in Delft: Gerard Houckgeest, Hendrick Van Vliet, Emmanuel de Witte. Doornspijk, The Netherlands: Davaco, 1982.

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              Architectural paintings were particularly prominent in Delft, where several artists specialized in the genre. Liedtke surveys the pictorial tradition of such images within the particular circumstances of Delft. In so doing, he also provides a general introduction to the varied pictures of church interiors produced more broadly.

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            • Ruurs, Rob. Saenredam: The Art of Perspective. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987.

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              Seventeenth-century sources employ the term “perspective” to address Saenredam’s paintings of architectural interiors. Ruurs explores this choice of terminology and how Saenredam employed linear perspective to construct the illusion of spatial recession.

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            • Schwartz, Gary, and Marten Jan Bok. Pieter Saenredam: The Painter and His Time. Maarsen and The Hague: Gary Schwartz, 1990.

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              Schwartz and Bok examine Saenredam’s biography and the cultural contexts in which he worked in an attempt to better understand his paintings of church interiors. They marshal discussions of contemporary religious issues, for example. Among the most interesting sections are those on the artist’s library and his erudition, wherein it becomes clear that Saenredam was more than a simple realist transcriber.

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            • Sutton, Peter, ed. Jan Van der Heyden (1637–1712). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

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              Catalogue of an exhibition in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Amsterdam of Van der Heyden’s work.

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            • Van Suchtelen, Ariane, and Arthur K. Wheelock, eds. Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2008.

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              This catalogue of an exhibition staged in Washington, DC, and The Hague provides an introduction to Dutch pictures of architectural exteriors and renderings of urban settings. As the title communicates, the book interprets these images as testimonies of pride in local communities signified by buildings, skylines, and bustling activity.

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            Still Life

            Pictures of inanimate objects were a significant part of artistic production in the period. As with landscapes, however, scholarship on these images has not been prolific. Bergström 1956 is the classic study of Dutch still lifes, tracing stylistic development across the decades. A more recent and broader survey is Chong and Kloek 1999. Luxurious assemblages and flower painting have each received book-length studies in Segal 1988 and Taylor 1995, respectively. Bergström 1956 also introduced the postulation that there is latent symbolism to most of these images. De Jongh 1982 extends that position by invoking an iconological interpretation. Goedde 1989 is one of the few sources that counters symbolic interpretations by arguing that still lifes could offer multiple meanings, including but not limited to symbolic ones. Grootenboer 2005 suggests that still lifes with their exquisitely crafted illusionism display thinking about nature and communication of thought. Bryson 1990 is a comparative study that contrasts Dutch still lifes with contemporary Spanish ones.

            • Bergström, Ingvar. Dutch Still-Life Painting in the Seventeenth Century. Translated by Christina Hedström and Gerald Taylor. London: Faber and Faber, 1956.

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              This is the classic study of the stylistic development of Dutch still lifes. Bergström argues for links to 15th- and 16th-century pictorial traditions, particularly religious ones. As a result, he perceives symbolic content at the core of the imagery.

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            • Bryson, Norman. Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.

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              In the third of four loosely connected essays, Bryson broadly considers how 17th-century Dutch still life painting developed in different ways from those made in Spain at the same time as a result of different cultural circumstances, the dominance of Protestantism in particular.

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            • Chong, Alan, and Wouter Kloek, eds. Still-Life Paintings from the Netherlands, 1550–1720. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1999.

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              This exhibition catalogue is wider in scope, both chronologically and geographically, than most studies. Much of the catalogue also shifts attention to the reception of imagery—what forms meant to contemporary audiences.

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            • De Jongh, Eddy. Still-Life in the Age of Rembrandt. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland City Art Gallery, 1982.

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              In this exhibition catalogue, De Jongh applies his iconological method to still lifes, closely following Bergstrom’s formulations.

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            • Goedde, Lawrence O. “A Little World Made Cunningly: Dutch Still Life and Ekphrasis.” In Still Lifes of the Golden Age: Northern European Paintings from the Heinz Family Collection. Edited by Arthur K. Wheelock, 35–44. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1989.

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              Goedde issues a well-articulated rejoinder to symbolic and iconological interpretations. He argues that still lifes should be understood as simultaneously possessing the possibility of multiple interpretations.

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            • Grootenboer, Hanneke. The Rhetoric of Perspective: Realism and Illusionism in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still-life Painting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

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              Grootenboer presents a provocative, poststructuralist examination of illusionism through the lens of still life objects. She argues that painting is a form of thinking and that naturalism is crucial to the process of communication. In its invocations of thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jacques Lacan, this is a complex work that may prove inaccessible to some readers.

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            • Segal, Sam. A Prosperous Past: The Sumptuous Still Life in the Netherlands 1600–1700. The Hague: SDU, 1988.

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              Segal’s is the first study devoted to the luxurious assemblages known as pronkstilleven.

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            • Taylor, Paul. Dutch Flower Painting, 1600–1720. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

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              Taylor’s is a contextual study of painted floral arrangements. He thoroughly situates these still lifes within Dutch society. Taylor’s exposition of the tulip mania, the feverish commodities market for tulip bulbs and its ensuing crash, is particularly insightful.

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            Portraits

            Legions of portraits were produced in the Dutch Republic. The sheer volume of portraits, as well as the fact that the bulk of these images were of nonaristocratic sitters, was revolutionary. Ekkart and Buvelot 2007 studies Dutch portraits stylistically and thematically, providing a good introduction to the genre. Smith 1982 and Adams 2009 position portraits as social documents that convey much about how individuals wanted to be perceived. Riegl 1999 remains the seminal study of the distinctively Dutch subgenre of group portraiture.

            • Adams, Ann Jensen. Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth-Century Holland: Portraiture and the Production of Community. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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              Adams devotes chapters to different types of portraits: individual, family, civic guard, and historiated portraits. She argues for each as registers of and conduits for emerging notions of subjectivity. Her arguments extend beyond the motivations for portraiture to the functions of portraits in constructing identities, especially within defined social networks.

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            • Ekkart, R. E. O., and Quentin Buvelot, eds. Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2007.

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              This exhibition catalogue provides an excellent introduction to portraiture in the Dutch Republic. In two essays, Ekkart explores portraiture as a distinct genre and examines portraiture in practice—functions, clients, prices, materials, frames, and so on. Marieke de Winkel illuminates the role of clothing and couture. Curiously, neither author tends to consider portraits as art.

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            • Riegl, Alois. The Group Portraiture of Holland. Translated by Evelyn Kain and David Britt. Los Angeles: Getty Research Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1999.

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              English translation of Das holländische Gruppenporträt, first published in 1902. Riegl’s seminal study remains unsurpassed. He traces the development of group portraiture, especially in the centers of Haarlem and Amsterdam. Riegl’s postulations of internal and external coherence—how portrayed subjects engage each other within the picture and viewers outside the frame—have also been crucial for the field of art history at large.

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            • Smith, David R. Masks of Wedlock: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Marriage Portraiture. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1982.

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              Borrowing from anthropology, Smith explores portraiture as social theater wherein sitters don costumes, perform roles, and appear within settings. The author’s emphasis is on the constructed nature of marriage portraits, but the arguments can be applied more widely.

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            Collection and Display

            It is a relatively recent phenomenon to consider issues of collection and display. Schama 1987 sketches a schema for understanding ambiguous and ambivalent attitudes toward the accumulation of wealth and material culture in the Dutch Republic. Westermann 2001, Loughman and Montias 2000, and Muizelaar and Philips 2003 take this issue into 17th-century Dutch homes. Westermann 2001 looks at how Dutch artists pictured material goods and domestic interiors, while both Loughman and Montias 2000 and Muizelaar and Philips 2003 look at the display of art within these spaces. Biesboer 2002, the Getty Provenance Index, and the Montias Database of 17th Century Dutch Art Inventories offer the chance to search for raw data on the collection of art and other goods in the 17th century.

            • Biesboer, Pieter. Collections of Paintings in Haarlem 1572–1745. Edited by Carol Togneri. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 2002.

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              Biesboer presents an extensive collection of domestic inventories. Rather than focusing exclusively on paintings and other works of art, he transcribes the entire contents of individual collections. This is a valuable source for the history of collecting and the status of art within the domestic sphere.

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            • Getty Provenance Index.

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              This is a searchable database of inventories and collections. The Getty Provenance Index is not comprehensive, as only a portion of 17th-century inventories has thus far been digitized. As with other primary sources, the amount of detail varies considerably from record to record. Still, the Getty Provenance Index can prove imminently useful for studies of art as material culture.

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              • Loughman, John, and John Michael Montias. Public and Private Spaces: Works of Art in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Houses. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2000.

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                Loughman and Montias consider the use and placement of works of art within Dutch homes. Though most Dutch works were created for private consumption, the authors found that most pictures, or at least the most expensive ones, were hung in the front room, the most public space within a home where guests were entertained.

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              • Montias Database of 17th Century Dutch Art Inventories.

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                Over the course of several decades, Montias compiled a database of 1,280 inventories from 1597 to 1681, primarily from the municipal archives of Amsterdam. The searchable database is cosponsored by the Frick Art Reference Library in New York and the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie in The Hague.

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                • Muizelaar, Klaske, and Derek Philips. Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and People in Historical Perspective. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

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                  This study examines how paintings were displayed in order to explore how pictures were understood. In the process, the authors sketch who were the consumers of art and where they viewed them. Most original are the authors’ exploration of gender-conditioned viewings.

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                • Schama, Simon. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Knopf, 1987.

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                  Schama’s study is more cultural history than art history but eminently useful for understanding Dutch visual culture. Schama posits a moral ambiguity with materialism alongside a rampant desire to accumulate wealth. Wealth could be understood as a sign of predestination, but it could also signal gluttony and vanity. Schama frequently invokes images as “impressions of a mentality, not vessels of Art” (p. xi).

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                • Westermann, Mariët. Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2001.

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                  This exhibition catalogue considers the interrelationships between Dutch domestic material culture and the picturing of material culture within Dutch works of art. Westermann and the other authors of the catalogue frame those works of art as fictions that project ambitions and cultural mores more than they record them.

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                Prints and Printmaking

                Printed images were an important component of 17th-century Dutch artistic production. Rembrandt has long been considered the dominant artist in this arena. For a bibliography on Rembrandt’s achievements in prints, see the separate bibliography “Rembrandt.” Ackley 1981 surveys the woodcuts, etchings, and engravings produced in the Dutch Republic by artists other than Rembrandt. Leeflang 2003 studies the achievements of Hendrick Goltzius, the leading printmaker before Rembrandt. Orenstein 1996 looks not at the production of prints, but at the business of reproducible media.

                • Ackley, Cliff. Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981.

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                  Rembrandt’s etchings have received the most sustained scrutiny of early modern Dutch prints. Ackley’s exhibition catalogue balances this approach by surveying other Dutch artists’ contribution to the genre.

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                • Leeflang, Huigen, ed. Hendrick Goltzius, 1558–1617: Drawings, Prints, Paintings. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2003.

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                  Goltzius was the other great printmaker in the Dutch Republic. This exhibition catalogue considers Goltzius’s myriad achievements in all media but necessarily covers the artist’s prints in depth.

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                • Orenstein, Nadine. Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in Seventeenth-Century Holland. New York: Sound and Vision Interactive, 1996.

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                  Orenstein’s original book considers the business of prints through the case study of Hendrick Hondius. Orenstein explores the role of the publisher of prints, the distribution of prints, and the role of reproducibility more generally.

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                Global Engagement

                As in other fields, there has been much interest in Dutch interactions with non-European civilizations. Though not as active as political colonizers as were the English, Spanish, and French, the Dutch operated a global trade network complete with outposts in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The Dutch did have a few territorial possessions during the 17th century, most notably areas in present-day New York City and Brazil. As a highly visual culture, Dutch artists participated actively in global encounters at home and abroad. Though the artist never traveled abroad, Slatkes 1983 looks at the influence of Persian culture on Rembrandt’s art, while Filipczak 2008 considers how Rembrandt was inspired by Mogul miniatures. Frans Post’s and Albert Eckhout’s travels to modern day Brazil have been the subject of numerous books, including Buvelot 2004, Corrêa do Lago 2005, Corrêa do Lago 2007, and Parker Brienen 2006. Hochstrasser 2007 and Zandvliet 2002 attempt to take stock of the wide array of materials imported into the Dutch Republic from Asia, while Hochstrasser 2007 also looks at imports from Africa and the Americas.

                • Buvelot, Quentin, ed. Albert Eckhout: A Dutch Artist in Brazil. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2004.

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                  This volume chronicles the artistic production of Eckhout, with particular focus on his life-size pictures of the indigenous peoples of present-day Brazil and his still lifes of the flora found in the same region.

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                • Corrêa do Lago, Pedro. Frans Post: Le Brésil à la cour de Louis XIV. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2005.

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                  This text is a concise introduction to Post’s Brazilian imagery as well as the offered gift of forty of these pictures from Johan Maurits to Louis XIV in 1679.

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                • Corrêa do Lago, Pedro. Frans Post, 1612–1680: Catalogue Raisonné. Milan: 5 Continents, 2007.

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                  This is a catalogue raisonné of the Dutch painter who specialized in landscapes of the Americas.

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                • Filipczak, Zirka Z. “Rembrandt and the Body Language of Mughal Miniatures.” In Body and Embodiment in Netherlandish Art. Edited by Ann-Sophie Lehmann and Herman Roodenburg, 163–187. Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 58. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2008.

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                  This article is one of the few sources to explore a Dutch artist’s engagement with the culture of South Asia. It also is a rarity in exploring how a Dutch artist perceived the visual art from a non-European locale and not just the peoples or material culture.

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                • Hochstrasser, Julie Berger. Still Life and Trade in the Dutch Golden Age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

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                  Hochstrasser studies Dutch still life paintings through the lens of global trade and the consumer culture that fueled it. Chapters focus on the products from different regions that appear within pictures—Asia (porcelain, tea, textiles), the Americas (sugar, tobacco), and others.

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                • Parker Brienen, Rebecca. Visions of Savage Paradise: Albert Eckhout, Court Painter in Colonial Dutch Brazil. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006.

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                  Parker Brienen critically examines the art and career of Eckhout, court painter to the governor of the Dutch colony in Brazil. She considers the artist’s documentary projects within the contexts of colonialism and the 17th-century Dutch viewers’ expectations of paintings more generally.

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                • Slatkes, Leonard. Rembrandt and Persia. New York: Abaris, 1983.

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                  Slatkes interrogates Rembrandt’s frequent depiction of Southwest Asian figures and costumes. He considers these images in relation to manuscript illuminations from the Levant, the presence of foreign emissaries in Holland, and the garments collected by Dutch merchants abroad. Owing to its relatively early publication date, the volume is not rooted in colonial or postcolonial theory.

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                • Zandvliet, Kees, ed. The Dutch Encounter with Asia 1600–1950. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2002.

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                  This exhibition catalogue provides a useful introduction to Dutch colonial projects through visual material. The scope is wider than that of the other books in this section, as it considers engagements with present-day China, India, Ceylon, Thailand, and Indonesia.

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                Art and Text

                In addition to written texts about visual material, several studies have explored visual artists’ uses of printed material. Golahny 2003 has examined what Rembrandt read, while Adams and Schultze 1993 and Sutton 2003 have looked at images of reading and writing. Melion 1992 has considered picturing and writing as sister arts.

                • Adams, Ann Jensen, and Sabine Schultze, eds. Leselust: Niederländische Malerei von Rembrandt bis Vermeer. Frankfurt am Main: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 1993.

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                  This exhibition catalogue of pictures of figures reading explores the interrelationships between visual and verbal texts. Adams’s essay on writing and calligraphy as art forms is particularly engaging.

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                • Golahny, Amy. Rembrandt’s Reading: The Artist’s Bookshelf of Ancient Poetry and History. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003.

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                  Based on the 1656 inventory of Rembrandt’s possessions, Golahny re-creates the artist’s library with a particular focus on secular texts. She then proceeds to explore how knowledge of and familiarity with texts (literature, histories) affected his artistic vision and enabled the creation of erudite narratives for a literate and well-educated clientele.

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                • Melion, Walter. “Memory and the Kinship of Writing and Picturing in the Early Seventeenth-Century Netherlands.” Word and Image 8 (1992): 48–70.

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                  Melion investigates how picturing and writing were considered sister arts in the early decades of the 17th century, suggesting points of intersection beyond the classicist positions of “ut pictura poesis” (as is painting, so it poetry).

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                • Sutton, Peter, ed. Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer. Greenwich, CT: Bruce Museum, 2003.

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                  This exhibition catalogue focuses on the theme of letter writing in Dutch art. Sutton’s essay explores practices of reading and writing in relation to the pictures, while Ann Jensen Adams investigates the art of writing in Holland.

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                Architecture and Sculpture

                Studies of Dutch architecture and sculpture lag behind those of two-dimensional media. When studied, they have usually been considered to be derivative of other European achievements and peripheral to contemporary developments in Italy and France. One is left to wonder why Dutch artists were seemingly more original in paintings and prints and Dutch audiences more responsive to those.

                Architecture

                Vermeulen 1928–1941 provides a fairly comprehensive image of 17th-century Dutch building projects, while Burke 1956 offers a comparable study of urban planning. De Jonge and Ottenheym 2007 attempts to refute entrenched ideas about the derivative nature of Dutch and Flemish architecture. Kuyper 1980 takes a narrower view, surveying classicist trends. The dominant forms of domestic architecture are explored in Meischke and Zantkuil 1969. Freemantle 1959 narrows in on the Amsterdam Town Hall. Huisken, et al. 1995 and Ottenheym, et al. 2008 look at the foremost architects of the period, Jacob van Campen and Hendrick de Keyser, respectively.

                • Burke, Gerald. The Making of Dutch Towns: A Study in Urban Development from the Tenth to Seventeenth Centuries. London: Cleaver-Hume, 1956.

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                  Burke’s book is the classic study of Dutch urban planning from the 10th through 17th centuries.

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                • De Jonge, Kristen, and Koen Ottenheym, eds. Unity and Discontinuity: Architectural Relations between the Southern and Northern Low Countries 1530–1700. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007.

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                  This study addresses interrelationships between Dutch and Flemish architecture, while it also reassesses these sites in relation to international trends. In many ways, the authors attempt to refute the common perception that Dutch and Flemish architecture of the period was derivative.

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                • Fremantle, Katharine. The Baroque Town Hall of Amsterdam. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1959.

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                  This monograph studies perhaps the most important building erected in the Dutch Golden Age.

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                • Huisken, Jacobine, Koen Ottenheym, and Gary Schwartz. Jacob van Campen: Het klassieke Ideaal in de Gouden Eeuw. Amsterdam: Architectura and Natura, 1995.

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                  In this study of Jacob van Campen, the authors study the cultural milieu that fueled classicist architecture in the Dutch Republic.

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                • Kuyper, Wouter. Dutch Classicist Architecture: A Survey of Dutch Architecture, Gardens, and Anglo-Dutch Architectural Relations from 1625–1700. Delft, The Netherlands: Delft University Press, 1980.

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                  This is an English-language survey of Dutch architecture focusing on buildings erected with reference to classical Antiquity.

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                • Meischke, R., and H. J. Zantkuil. Het Nederlandse Woonhuis van 1300–1800: Viftig Jaar Vereniging Hendrick de Keyser. Haarlem: H. D. Tjeenk Willink, 1969.

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                  This is the standard introduction to the forms and functions of Dutch domestic architecture.

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                • Ottenheym, Koen, Paul Rosenberg, and Niek Smit. Hendrick de Keyser: Architectura Moderna; Moderne bouwkunst in Amsterdam 1600–1625. Amsterdam: SUN, 2008.

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                  This text studies Hendrick de Keyser’s significant contributions to the Dutch urban landscape in the early 17th century.

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                • Vermeulen, Frans André Jozef. Handboek tot de Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Bouwkunst. 3 vols. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1928–1941.

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                  Though an old text, this is the most comprehensive survey of buildings erected in the Dutch Republic. The architecture of the Dutch Golden Age receives considerable attention in this broad historical survey.

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                Sculpture

                Neurdenburg 1948 explores 17th-century Dutch sculpture most broadly. That said, it is in desperate need of updating. Scholten 1999 gives a worthy introduction to bronze sculptures in northern Europe while chronicling the art and career of Adriaen de Vries. Scholten 2003 offers a survey of memorial sculpture while also offering insights into how Dutch sculptors may have worked in general.

                • Neurdenburg, Elizabeth. De zeventiende eeuwsche Beeldhouwkunst in de Noordelijke Nederlanden: Hendrik de Keyser, Artus Quellinus, Rombout Verhulst en Tijdgenooten. Amsterdam: J. M. Meulenhoff, 1948.

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                  This is the most comprehensive survey of Dutch sculptures and sculptors.

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                • Scholten, Frits. Adriaen de Vries 1556–1626: Imperial Sculptor. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Memorial Trust, 1999.

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                  This catalogue of an exhibition devoted to sculpture at the Rijksmuseum studies the Dutch virtuoso de Vries. While illuminating myriad aspects of the artist’s work, it also provides valuable discussions of cast bronze sculpture north of the Alps more generally.

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                • Scholten, Frits. Sumptuous Memories: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Tomb Sculpture. Zwolle, The Netherlands: Waanders, 2003.

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                  Though focused on the patronage of funerary sculpture, Scholten’s work is the most current study of three-dimensional art produced in the Dutch Republic and thus presents much valuable information on numerous topics, including how sculptors organized their workshops.

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                LAST MODIFIED: 08/26/2011

                DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195399301-0162

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