THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE
The 17th century was the 'Golden Age' of Dutch painting. Artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Franz Hals produced masterpieces that capture daily life, give insights into the morality of the time, show the self-confidence of scientists and politicians and capture the life of less wealthy people. Join us to explore the genres of portraiture, still life and landscapes and discover the symbolism and allegories contained in these exquisite works of art.
No prior experience of art history is necessary, and all are welcome.
NB: This course is taught online and you will be emailed a link to join in.
Week 1: Introduction to the course aims, the tutor and fellow students. We will look at the socio-political context of the Dutch Republic, and how artists worked in this context.
Week 2: Religious Art Religious imagery in the Dutch Republic provides an interesting case study, as the officially Calvinist Republic forbade grand religious iconography. With a very recent Catholic past, we will examine how religious imagery was created and received in the Republic.
Week 3: History Painting Ambitious artists sought to be history painters, as it was the most esteemed genre of painting. This class will examine a range of history paintings, and consider how different artists conveyed narratives through visual means.
Week 4: Portraits and Patrons In this new Dutch Republic, there was a rise in the wealthy middle class and a rising demand for art. This week we’ll look at portraits and the flourishing trade of portraits that occurred in the Dutch Golden Age.
Week 5: Rembrandt’s Self-portraits Rembrandt is known for his extensive output of painted and etched self-portraits. In this class, we will examine a range of these and how they have been interpreted throughout the years, often contributing to the ‘myth’ of Rembrandt.
Week 6: Genre Painting We look at paintings that ostensibly depict scenes of everyday life: from the chaos of a Jan Steen household, to the restrained calm of Vermeer’s women. We discuss the ‘reality effect’ of these paintings: how they appear to be true-to-life, but are constructed realities, with layers of meaning. These paintings give us some insight into the morals and virtues that concerned artists and their audiences in the Dutch Republic.
Week 7: Still life and Landscape Painting The exacting technique of Dutch painters was well suited to still life and landscape painting, which were popular in household art collections. We will look at how these paintings were not simply decorative items but spoke to moral anxiety and national pride in the Dutch Republic.
Linda is such a knowledgeable and passionate teacher. Even online, her informative lessons cover so much ground and dig deep into Art History and the societies it relates to and impacts.