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Contents:
  1. Summary of Dutch Golden Age Painting
  2. Amsterdam: capital of the Golden Age
  3. The public and private in Dutch culture of the Golden Age (Book, ) [jozomibola.tk]
  4. Find a copy in the library
  5. Humour in Dutch Culture of the Golden Age

The Company received a Dutch monopoly on Asian trade, which it would keep for two centuries, and it became the world's largest commercial enterprise of the 17th century.


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Spices were imported in bulk and brought huge profits due to the efforts and risks involved and seemingly insatiable demand. This is remembered to this day in the Dutch word peperduur as expensive as pepper , meaning something is very expensive, reflecting the prices of spices at the time. To finance the growing trade within the region, the Bank of Amsterdam was established in , the precursor to, if not the first true central bank. Although the trade with the Far East was the more famous of the VOC's exploits, the main source of wealth for the Republic was in fact its trade with the Baltic states and Poland.

Summary of Dutch Golden Age Painting

Called the "Mothertrade" Dutch: "Moedernegotie" , the Dutch imported enormous amounts of bulk resources like grain and wood, stockpiling them in Amsterdam so Holland would never lack for basic goods, as well as being able sell them on for profit. This meant that unlike their main rivals the Republic wouldn't face the dire repercussions of a bad harvest and the starvation it accompanied, instead profiting when this happened in other states bad harvests were commonplace in France and England in the 17th century, which also contributed to the Republic's success in that time.

In time the Dutch traders gained such a dominant position in Poland and the Baltic they all but turned into de facto satellite states. According to Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke, geography favored the Dutch Republic, contributing to its wealth. They write, "The foundations were laid by taking advantage of location, midway between the Bay of Biscay and the Baltic. Seville and Lisbon and the Baltic ports were too far apart for direct trade between the two terminal points, enabling the Dutch to provide profitable intermediation, carrying salt, wine, cloth and later silver, spices, and colonial products eastward while bringing Baltic grains, fish, and naval stores to the west.

The Dutch share of European shipping tonnage was enormous, well over half during most of the period of their ascendancy. Amsterdam's dominant position as a trade centre was strengthened in with a monopoly for the Dutch East India Company VOC for trade with Japan through its trading post on Dejima , an island in the bay of Nagasaki. Until , the Dutch were Japan's sole window to the western world. The collection of scientific learning introduced from Europe became known in Japan as Rangaku or Dutch Learning.


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The Dutch were instrumental in transmitting to Japan some knowledge of the industrial and scientific revolution then occurring in Europe. The Japanese purchased and translated numerous scientific books from the Dutch, obtained from them Western curiosities and manufactures such as clocks and received demonstrations of various Western innovations such as electric phenomena, and the flight of a hot air balloon in the early 19th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch were arguably the most economically wealthy and scientifically advanced of all European nations, which put them in a privileged position to transfer Western knowledge to Japan.

The Dutch also dominated trade between European countries. The Low Countries were favorably positioned at a crossing of east-west and north-south trade routes, and connected to a large German hinterland through the Rhine river. Dutch traders shipped wine from France and Portugal to the Baltic lands and returned with grain for countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

By the s, an average of nearly Dutch ships entered the Baltic Sea each year, [7] to trade with markets of the fading Hanseatic League. The Dutch were able to gain control of much of the trade with the nascent English colonies in North America; and after the end of war with Spain in , Dutch trade with that country also flourished.

National industries expanded as well. Shipyards and sugar refineries are prime examples. As more and more land was utilized, partially through transforming lakes into polders such as the Beemster , Schermer and Purmer , local grain production and dairy farming soared. The outcome of the revolt against Spain , better known as the Eighty Years' War , that had been fought over religious freedom and economic and political independence, and ended in total independence of the reformist northern provinces see also Dutch Republic , almost certainly would have boosted national morale.

Already in much of this was accomplished, when a temporary truce was signed with Spain, which would last for 12 years. In the Netherlands in the 17th century, social status was largely determined by income. The landed nobility had relatively little importance, since they mostly lived in the more underdeveloped inland provinces, and it was the urban merchant class that dominated Dutch society.

The clergy did not have much worldly influence either: the Roman Catholic Church had been more or less suppressed since the onset of the Eighty Years' War with Spain. The new Protestant movement was divided, although exercising social control in many areas to an even greater extent than under the Catholic Church.

Amsterdam: capital of the Golden Age

That is not to say that aristocrats were without social status. On the contrary, wealthy merchants bought themselves into the nobility by becoming landowners and acquiring a coat of arms and a seal. Aristocrats also mixed with other classes for financial reasons: they married their daughters to wealthy merchants, became traders themselves or took up public or military office.

Merchants also started to value public office as a means to greater economic power and prestige. Universities became career pathways to public office. Rich merchants and aristocrats sent their sons on a so-called Grand Tour through Europe. Often accompanied by a private tutor, preferably a scientist himself, these young people visited universities in several European countries.

The public and private in Dutch culture of the Golden Age (Book, ) [jozomibola.tk]

This intermixing of patricians and aristocrats was most prominent in the second half of the century. After aristocrats and patricians came the affluent middle class, consisting of Protestant ministers, lawyers, physicians, small merchants, industrialists and clerks of large state institutions.

Lower status was attributed to farmers, craft and tradesmen, shopkeepers, and government bureaucrats. Below that stood skilled laborers, maids, servants, sailors, and other persons employed in the service industry. At the bottom of the pyramid were "paupers": impoverished peasants, many of whom tried their luck in a city as a beggar or day laborer. Workers and laborers were generally paid better than in most of Europe, and enjoyed relatively high living standards, although they also paid higher than normal taxes.

Farmers prospered from mainly cash crops needed to support the urban and seafaring population.

Dutch Painting of the 17th century

The central role of women in the 17th-century Dutch household revolved around the home and domestic tasks. Public passersby could clearly view the entrance halls of Dutch homes decorated to show off a particular family's wealth and social standing. The home was also a place for neighbors, friends, and extended family to interact, further cementing its importance in the social lives of 17th-century Dutch burghers. In the front of the house, the men had control over a small space where they could do their work or conduct business, known as the voorhuis, while women controlled most every other space in the house, such as the kitchens and private family rooms.

As seen in art and literature at the time, unmarried young women were valued for maintaining their modesty and diligence as this time in a woman's life was regarded to be the most uncertain. Accounts from travelers described the various freedoms young women were provided in the realm of courtship. The prevalence of Calvinist sermons regarding the consequences of leaving young women unsupervised also spoke to a general trend of a lack of parental oversight in the matters of young love.

Find a copy in the library

Dutch writers, such as Jacob Cats , held the prevailing public opinion concerning marriage. He and other cultural authorities were influenced by Calvinist ideals that stressed an equality between man and wife, considered companionship a primary reason for marriage, and regarded procreation as a mere consequence of that companionship. Maternity and motherhood were highly valued in Dutch culture. Mothers were encouraged to breastfeed their children, as using a wet nurse would prevent a bond from forming between mother and child.

The Dutch believed that a mother's milk came from the blood originally in her womb and that feeding the infant such substances would also reap physiological and health related benefits. Therefore, along with their husbands, women used family meal times to discuss religious topics and to focus on prayer. Seventeenth-century Dutch culture maintained contradictory attitudes regarding the elderly, in particular elderly women. Some Dutch writers idealized old age as a poetic transition from life to death. Others regarded aging as an illness in which one is gradually deteriorating until they reach their final destination, while some lauded the elderly as wise and people who deserve the highest forms of respect.

Calvinism was the state religion in the Dutch Republic, though this does not mean that unity existed. Although the Netherlands was a tolerant nation compared to neighboring states, wealth and social status belonged almost exclusively to Protestants.

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The cities with a predominantly Catholic background, such as Utrecht and Gouda , did not enjoy the benefits of the Golden Age. As for the Protestant towns, unity of belief was also far from standard. In the beginning of the century bitter controversies between strict Calvinists and more permissive Protestants , known as Remonstrants , split the country.

The Remonstrants denied predestination and championed freedom of conscience, while their more dogmatic adversaries known as Contra-Remonstrants gained a major victory at the Synod of Dort — The variety of sects may well have worked to make religious intolerance impractical. Renaissance Humanism , of which Desiderius Erasmus c.

Humour in Dutch Culture of the Golden Age

Tolerance towards Catholics was not so easy to uphold, as religion had played an important part in the Eighty Years' War of independence against Spain with political and economic freedom being other important motives. Intolerant inclinations, however, could be overcome by money. Thus Catholics could buy the privilege of holding ceremonies in a conventicle a house doubling inconspicuously as a church , but public offices were out of the question. Advanced Search Find a Library. Your list has reached the maximum number of items.

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Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. The papers were first presented at the interdisciplinary symposium on Dutch culture held under the auspices of the Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, in Spring It was satisfied to look around and to do without imagination.

What motive had a Dutch painter in painting a picture? And notice that he is never asked for one.