While the socio-economic and historical aspects of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) have been extensively documented and researched, the role of the VOC in visual culture and the arts has been relatively neglected. This authoritative volume addresses various aspects of cultural exchange between the Low Countries and Asia. Increased prosperity and the flood of imported goods from Asia had a huge influence on seventeenth-century Holland. To cite some examples: when the VOC spread its merchandise throughout the various regions of Asia, Chinese decorative motives became popular in Indonesia. After the lifting of the seventeenth-century ban on the import of Christian books to Japan, a wave of interest in Dutch culture hit the country, giving rise to Hollandmania, imitation of anything Dutch. Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia offers new insights into the world routes travelled by seventeenth-century Dutch visual culture, as well as the rise of Asian influence in the imagery of the Dutch Golden Age.
Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann is the Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Michael North is professor of modern history at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald in Germany.