In 17th Century Europe Dutch shippers, trade and finance dominated the continent leading to a period that lasted almost a century which became known the Dutch Golden Age.
The wealth garnered by the Dutch through the spice trade and it’s control of many former Portuguese territories in Asia and sugar in the Caribbean led to the creation of a mercantile class who spent their money on a new range of exotic luxury objects including art.
Famous Dutch painters of the day including Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer were in demand. They were commissioned to paint everything from portraits to everyday scenes. Maritime themes and still life’s were also popular reflecting the foreign achievements of this tiny seagoing nation. We look at some of the most popular works of the day and how they changed the world of art.