Get this from a library! Also, just as I love how Doty wrote about what he had learned as a poet from being an admirer of Dutch painting, I loved reading Yeazell’s account, for example, of George Eliot being liberated by looking at Dutch art in Munich and finding an aesthetic model for the kind of writing that she wanted to do. He adopts what you might describe as a formalist aesthetic approach to characterising the power of these paintings and characterising that irreducible quality. 3 Ingrid Koenen. There’s been a very interesting identification with the Dutch at different moments—like 19th-century New York and 18th-century France—when people felt a particular emotional connection to the Dutch Golden Age that they expressed through collecting. During the Golden Age the art of painting blossomed. I think that is Gowing’s point in his book about Vermeer—and that was one of the reasons why I wanted to include it here. There’s so much life in this little book about still lifes. Absolutely, there are a number of major figures in 17th-century Dutch art who were women. As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. So, Rembrandt and Vermeer, these are two towering figures. I ended up living in Belgium and learning Dutch. What can this juxtaposition tell us about the relevance or the resonance of the Dutch Masters in our own time? D. Dutch Civilisation in the Seventeenth Century; E. The Embarrassment of Riches; V. Vermeer's Hat; This page was last edited on 24 June 2017, at 14:17 (UTC). The book provides an outstanding picture of the exceptional and prolific production of paintings created in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century. Yet there is another, largely overlooked marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books. We publish at least two new interviews per week. Please try again. There is a lot of Dutch art in museums all over the world. There's a problem loading this menu right now. He is a specialist in Northern European painting of the 16th through the 18th century and was previously a visiting scholar at the Rubenianum Research Institute for Flemish Art in Antwerp. “There’s this sense that they had been delivered by Providence but they could lose it all at any moment”. Read I remember being a small child and poring over an image of Jan van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini Marriage’, which is a painting from an earlier golden age of Flemish art, and I was really fascinated by the realism—for the lack of a better word. It’s also a discussion of the way that a painting becomes a record. Just taking a step back, why choose books specifically about these two? And if I had a criticism of her book, which as I say I find to be a very persuasive account, it’s that I think she overstates Rembrandt’s singularity in that period. I think Gowing makes a good point, that Vermeer may have learned a few lessons from optical instruments, but that doesn’t really explain why he was interested in these very curious visual effects that often, in fact, interfere with a realistic depiction. The Dutch 16 th and 17 th centuries were a period of unprecedented economic prosperity. That’s a wonderful question. The Dutch economy in the Golden Age: nine studies Karel Davids , C. A. Davids , L. Noordegraaf Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief = Netherlands Economic History Archives , 1993 - Netherlands - 280 pages Since I have been living in the Netherlands for twenty years now, it has been a longtime desire to write a novel based on life in the 17th century in Holland during the Golden Age. Please try again. Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2016. That, again, was another difficulty I found when I compiled the list. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. I think the debate comes down to this: is the best explanation of these images a thorough knowledge of Dutch history and culture at the time, such as Schama presents? He really is painting word pictures of Dutch daily life in that book, and he makes such good use of things like inventories to show us how exactly a wealthy Amsterdam canal house was furnished. Particularly here in New York, it was the most coveted art for 19th-century Gilded Age collectors, which is why we have such a rich collection at the Met. Doty writes at one point of Dutch still lifes as ‘texts of abundance’. Ruth Bernard Yeazell’s Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel makes a somewhat unexpected and yet somehow completely natural juxtaposition between Dutch painting in the 17th century and realist fiction in the 19th. While this is an excellent book, it was not made clear in the description, or missed it, that this is actually a small art book that seems somewhat less than 11" tall. You’re getting to know their inhabitants through this almost anthropological reconstruction of what life was like back then, a very vivid approach to describing the way that a nation represents itself. For example, there’s an artist called Rachel Ruysch who had a hugely successful career and became a court painter to a German prince and is one of the greatest figures in Dutch still life painting. There are all these intimations of decline and decay, even as the objects are so beautifully rendered. Where did the idea come for the book? Read. 4 Well, one thing that I find very gratifying every day in my work as a curator of Dutch art is how many people—ordinary museum-goers—come up to me and tell me that it’s their favourite thing at the museum. Read Please try again. That ties in with Simon Schama’s argument about the fundamental ambivalence of the Dutch who, even as they experienced this incredible economic prosperity and abundance, had a lot of guilt about it tied in with Calvinist religious beliefs, with the sense that they were constantly beset and imperilled on all sides by enemy forces. There are different moments in that book where Gowing characterises him as a sort of voyeur, but he also points out, very astutely, how little eye contact there is between figures within Vermeer’s paintings. In this book Michael North examines the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch society boasted Europe's greatest number of cities and highest literacy rate, unusually large numbers of publicly and privately owned art works, religious tolerance, and a highly structured and wide-ranging social network. The seventeenth century is often known as the Dutch Golden Age, not only because of the great wealth the country amassed but also because of the impressive cultural flowering. Read. The painting by van Eyck makes a nice segue to discussing the first book on your list, Mark Doty’s Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy. In the 20th and into the 21st century, those have been the two really dominant figures. I loved the depiction of the fur of the dog, and the fruit in the windowsill, and the clothing. Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Rembrandt's Enterprise: The Studio and the Market, Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel, Art and Culture in Elizabethan England Books, High School Teachers Recommend Books by Subject. Read. I think there’s a lot to be said for both perspectives. Dutch painters were enormously productive and there has been a sustained taste for their work. The seventeenth century is considered the Dutch Golden Age, a time when the Dutch were at the forefront of social change, economics, the sciences, and art. Are there any that we should be aware of from the Dutch Golden Age? And I think that is a powerful way for people to see across the centuries, to recognise themselves mirrored in a sense. Rich Dutch painting history. And that reflection becomes a meditation on the transience of things. The Dutch Golden Age Book is a new, compact and multifaceted survey of painting in the Dutch Golden Age. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. I hope people will discover their own personal relationships with Dutch art and be inspired by these books to go to their local museum. It truly is wonderful to go through the pages of this large book with the rich Dutch painting history of the golden age. So, it’s been a long relationship now with that part of the world and its art. As an academic historian of art, I have to remind people about all the ways in which the past was different—it was a foreign country—but I don’t think we should discount the power of that recognition and particularly when we live in a society that struggles with materialism, with consumption, with ambivalence about our own abundance—there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the 17th-century Dutch. A final question: There’s been something of a rediscovery of significant women artists from, for example, the Renaissance and other notable periods. In its golden age, according to Erik de Jong, Dutch landscape architecture constituted a major, distinct phase in the European development of the art. Vermeer, to use the great cliché about him, is much more of a sphinx. And when we talk about the Dutch Masters or the Dutch Golden Age, what do we mean? And so, one of the rules I set myself was that I could only have one on each, but I did think it was important to have them both represented, just because the quality of work on them is so high, and they are often the figures through which people develop a love of Dutch art. In Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, eminent historian J. L. Price goes beyond the standard descriptions of the cultural achievements of the Dutch during this time by placing these many achievements within their social context. With Dutch Culture in the Golden Age Leslie Price returns to the theme with which he began his long and distinguished career of teaching and research at the University of Hull. And I think that notion of the fragility of happiness or beauty is really built into the still lifes that Doty writes about too. I think Schama also does a wonderful job of pointing out the strangeness of some of the rituals of daily life even as, ultimately, I think he gives a very sympathetic and appealing account of the Dutch. That sort of cross-media artistic inspiration across centuries is fascinating to me. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. “It’s a very powerful, interesting account of how the studio operated in the 17th century”. As he and many others point out, transience is built into Dutch still life. And I think he’s very right, that in one sense, that is what still life painting is about: the investment that humans make in things. Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy Paul Lay, editor of History Today, recommends his favourite history books of 2020. 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