Newly independent in 1585, the increasingly prosperous and politically powerful Dutch Republic experienced a tremendous rise in the production of artwork that was unparalleled in quantity, variety, and beauty. Now back in print, this classic book (originally published in 1996) examines the country's rich artistic culture in the seventeenth century, providing a full account of Dutch artists and patrons; artistic themes and techniques; and the political and social world in which artists worked. Distinguished art historian Mariet Westermann examines the "worldly art" of this time in the context of the unique society that produced it, analyzing artists' choices and demonstrating how their pictures tell particular stories about the Dutch Republic, its people, and its past. More than 100 color illustrations complement this engaging discussion of an extraordinary moment in the history of art.
Mariet Westermann is director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She is the author of Rembrandt: Arts and Ideas and has contributed to many exhibition catalogues on seventeenth-century Dutch art.