The appealing genre paintings of great seventeenth-century Dutch artists-Vermeer, Steen, de Hooch, Dou, and others-have long enjoyed tremendous popularity. this comprehensive book explores the evolution of genre painting throughout the Dutch Golden Age, beginning in the early 1600's and continuing through the opening years of the next century. Wayne Franits, a well-known scholar of Dutch genre painting, offers a wealth of information about these works as well as about seventeenth-century Dutch culture, its predilections, and its prejudices.
The author approaches genre paintings from a variety of perspectives, examining their reception among contemporary audiences and setting the works in political, cultural, and economic context. The works emerge as distinctly conventional images, Franits shows, as genre artists continually replicated specific styles, motifs, and a surprisingly restricted number of themes over the course of several generations. With hundreds of illustrations and a full representation of major artists and cities where genre painting flourished, this book will delight students, scholars, and general readers alike.