A History of Dutch Life and Art

A History of Dutch Life and Art

A History of Dutch Life and Art

A History of Dutch Life and Art

Excerpt

Dutch art is not exclusively the property of the Dutch people; its value is not confined within the narrow limit of their own small land. Dutch art belongs to the whole of mankind.

The Anglo-Saxon peoples have always shown a great interest in the achievements of Dutch painters: as early as the seventeenth century many Dutch artists travelled to England and there were many painters, then and later, who found their principal market in that country, so that a considerable portion of their work can still be found there, more valuable sometimes than that which their fatherland retained. The United States, too, has many family connections with the old seafaring and trading Holland, and from the beginning has possessed artistic links with the Low Countries. In more recent times the U.S.A. has shown continued appreciation of the creations of Dutch art. Many valuable works of art are to be found in American museums and private collections and reflect in the New World all that Dutch art has represented to bygone centuries and still continues to represent to later generations. Yet, especially outside the Netherlands, Dutch art of before and after the seventeenth century is all too often dismissed as being of little significance: people hereby ignore the fact that a period of great artistic achievement does not emerge suddenly and unprepared, nor does it vanish again after a short time of unprecedented glory. In reality the glorious school of the seventeenth-century realists is but one aspect of a continuous chain of great periods of art, a dazzling aspect which by its brilliance blinds the eye to some extent to the other links of this chain. Moreover, even seventeenth-century art cannot be fully understood and appreciated if the other aspects of this development remain unknown. It is, therefore, the aim of this book to give a survey of Dutch art in its entirety, from the very earliest, primitive beginnings up to the present day. It will deal not only with painting but also with the various aspects of architecture, with sculpture, and with the other branches of applied . . .

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