The reasons why the 17th century was an exceptional era for dutch painters

Before the Low Countries could be completely reconquered, a war between England and Spainthe Anglo-Spanish War ofbroke out, forcing Spanish troops to halt their advances and leaving them in control of the important trading cities of Bruges and Ghentbut without control of Antwerpwhich was then arguably the most important port in the world. Antwerp fell on 17 Augustafter a siege, and the division between the Northern and Southern Netherlands the latter mostly modern Belgium was established.

The reasons why the 17th century was an exceptional era for dutch painters

National Portrait Gallery, London Evelyn wrote, "pictures are very common here [in the Netherlands], there being scarce an ordinary tradesman whose house is not decorated with them.

In the middle of the seventeenth century some Dutch homes had thirty to fifty paintings per room, rooms which, it should be noted, were not all that spacious. The idea that the Netherlands abounded with good painting "must have become commonplace at the time.

Quite likely a proud awareness of this phenomenon was already imbedded in the self-image of the prosperous Dutch burgher. A cheap engraving, for example, could be had for about a third of the price of a small fish or flower still life painting—and for about a seventh of the price of a more elaborate, high-finish banketje still life.

On the other hand, a cutting-edge fijnschilder fine painting work of Gerrit Dou might be sold for 1, guilders or more, the cost of a comfortable Dutch house. Camphuyzen…was roused because the art of painting was so well-liked that one could say nothing against it: In the works of most artists both style and content reflected taste not of the wealthy and sophisticated, but of people in moderate circumstances.

For this, international fashion could be largely ignored. This allowed the full development of native artistic species. What, if any, effect did the unprecedented availability of artworks to a broad range of the population have on the perception of art itself? Though art had not degenerated into an overlooked object of utility, the differentiation between paintings and other objects was somehow weakened.

Unlike their colleagues from the south where history painting had originated, Dutch painters no longer encumbered by theoretical obligations of morally uplifting contents or divine spirituality.

And perhaps, this unassuming character of Dutch art, Rather than assuming the traditional guise of the learned gentleman artist that was fostered by Renaissance topoi, many painters presented themselves in a more unseemly light. Dropping the noble robes of the pictor doctus, they smoked, drank, and chased women.

Dutch and Flemish artists explored a new mode of self-expression in dissolute self-portraits, embracing the many behaviors that art theorists and the culture at large disparaged. Dissolute self-portraits stand apart from what was expected of a conventional self-portrait, yet they were nonetheless appreciated and valued in Dutch culture and in the art market.

Dissolute self-portraits also reflect and respond to a larger trend regarding artistic identity in the seventeenth century, notably, the stereotype "hoe schilder hoe wilder" [the more of a painter, the wilder he is] that posited Dutch and Flemish artists as intrinsically unruly characters prone to prodigality and dissolution.

Artists embraced this special identity, which in turn granted them certain freedoms from social norms and a license to misbehave. After the iconoclasm of the Calvinists in the s, the church had all but ceased to provide commissions for painters.

The Reformed Church allowed money to be spent only for the decoration of church organs. The vacuum was barely noticed: Portraits, landscapes, seascapes, still-lives, flower painting and genre themes, which had once existed primarily as descriptive elements within history painting, became independent motifs in the early sixteenth century.

In the need to keep step with the rapidly evolving market, some painters developed more efficient techniques to increase their output and maintain affordable prices for a broader consumer base. The invention of tonal painting made the new landscapes [e.

Jan van GoyenJan Porcellis ], which were painted in this style, much cheaper to produce, making secularized demand for non-religious subjects possible on a grand scale.

Yet, "there is no evidence that these patrons commissioned specific themes.

Dutch Golden Age painting - Wikipedia

They merely bought the right to buy any picture the master chose to make. In any case, producing such expensive, time-consuming paintings had the advantage that the upper economic crust who could afford them remained largely isolated from the effects of by economic downturns, in fact, their wealth often increased.

Each category of painting was subdivided into even more specific categories. Seventeenth-century Netherlanders had developed a particular a passion for depictions of city and countryside, either real or imaginary unfound in other parts of Europe. Landscape painters, for example, produced naturalistic views of the Dutch countryside, cityscapes, winterscapes, imaginary landscape, seascapes, Italianate, nocturnal landscapes and even birds-eye view of the sprawling Amsterdam metropolis.

The Dutch prized seascapes and insisted on accurate renderings of each hull and rigging line. When the Delft artist became active in the late s, subject matter had largely been staked out.

Dutch painters—the great part of whom would not have objected to be called craftsmen—were infatigable workers, exceptional inventors and they had an enviable knack for pictorial juggling. In comparison to the rest of Europe, the variety of independent subject categories and painting styles at the fingertips of Dutch art shoppers was bewildering.

Subjects ranged from Biblical scenes to life-size pictures of bare-breasted prostitutes. For those who preferred depictions of fellow Dutchman over pictures of Dutch land, sea sky and bricks, paintings of folk people skating, aristocrats surveying the countryside on horseback, people arguing, people making business, soldiers making war and dignitaries making peace were available in any size and style.

These paintings were so popular and so conveniently priced that they could be made on order and exported to European capitols by art dealers. One of the most original types of painting to be developed was interior genre works which displayed well-to-do going about daily life, from ritualized courtship to letter reading, letter writing and housekeeping today grouped under the term "genre".

Since it took a very long time to become proficient in any one area, painters usually specialized and concentrated their efforts to one area.• Rembrandt and Vermeer are famous Dutch painters who paint businessman and common people Dutch Trading Empire • The 17th century is period of great upheaval • Monarchs impose order by increasing their • Descartes uses observation and reason .

Interactive Map of the Principle Centers of Artistic Production & Timeline of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painters. Roll mouse over principal cities of Dutch art production to access a list of painters were primarily active in or whose most characteristic production is linked to that city.

The reasons why the 17th century was an exceptional era for dutch painters

Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years' War (–) for Dutch independence.

Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, along with faience-makers, printers, bookbinders, glassmakers, embroiderers, art-dealers, sculptors were bound together in local trade organizations called the Guild of Saint Luke.

Vanitas paintings were very popular in 17th century Flemish and Dutch work, and they often depict symbols such as skulls, flowers, rotting fruit, clocks, watches, smoke, and hourglasses, all of which are meant to convey the ephemeral nature of life on earth.

Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century The emergence of the Dutch school of painting in the early seventeenth century is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the history of the visual arts.

The Netherlands had only recently become a political entity and was still suffering from the effects of a long and arduous war against Spain.

Dutch Golden Age - Wikipedia