Daily Archives: December 2, 2019

Video: British Takeover of Dutch New York

Joyce-Goodfriend

Professor Joyce Goodfriend of the University of Denver describes how and why the British took over Dutch New Netherland.

The Decision to Colonize – Dutch New York

Janny-Venema

Janny Venema of the New Netherland Project discusses how the Dutch West India Company decided to colonize the area of New Amsterdam and encourage non-company patroon ships to realize Dutch presence in the region.

Unfinished business at UN climate conference

Published on Dec 2, 2019
The UN climate conference in Madrid is trying to lay the groundwork to support the 2015 Paris Agreement on global carbon markets.

Devin Nunes Now Implicated In Ukraine scandal | All In | MSNBC

Published on Nov 26, 2019
Congressman Devin Nunes is at the center of new claims by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about Nunes reportedly trying to dig up dirt on Biden. Aired on 11/26/19.

White House Announces It Won’t Participate In Impeachment Hearing | Deadline | MSNBC

Published on Dec 2, 2019
Wash Post’s Robert Costa, Politico’s Jake Sherman, former congresswoman Donna Edwards, and former chief spokesman of the DOJ Matt Miller on the White House’s decision not to cooperate with Congress and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy’s comments on the quid pro quo. Aired on 12/2/19.

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer: Ronni Baer, Henk Van Nierop, Herman Roodenburg, Eric Sluijter, Marieke de Winkel, Sanny De Zoete

The Dutch Republic in the 17th century was home to one of the greatest flowerings of painting in the history of Western art. Freed from the constraints of royal and church patronage, artists created a rich outpouring of works that circulated through an open market to patrons and customers at every level of Dutch society. The closely observed details of daily life captured in portraits, genre scenes and landscapes offer a wealth of information about the possessions, activities and circumstances that distinguished members of the social classes, from the nobility to the urban poor.

The dazzling array of paintings gathered here–by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Gerard ter Borch, as well as Rembrandt and Vermeer–illuminated by essays from leading scholars, invites us to explore a vibrant early modern society and its reflection in a golden age of brilliant painting.

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Distinguished ‘Class Distinctions’ Offers New Perspectives on Dutch Art and Society | Arts | The Harvard Crimson

The Shipbuilder and his Wife, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633, British Royal Collection Photo: Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

By Victoria Zhuang, Crimson Staff Writer October 13, 2015

The canvasses in “Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer,” with their umber depths and their silent figures in light, impart a timeless warmth. But as the exhibition reminds viewers, this apparent simplicity belies the artists’ attentiveness to the times. Each painting is also a depiction, assessment, and reimagination of social differences in the 17th-century Netherlands. The show, on view Oct. 11-Jan. 18 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, innovatively unites 75 superb genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes presenting individuals of different classes. MFA curator Ronni Baer obtained 73 of the works on loan from collections across Europe and North America.

Nearly a third are being shown for the first time in the U.S., and additionally, several are lesser-known masterpieces from the likes of Frans Hals, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, and Gerrit Dou. Even more impressive than their novelty is the freshness of their arrangement. Neighboring works from different artists complement or complicate each other’s observations on class. Together they offer a nuanced investigation into the rise of a bourgeoisie created by global trade and a sympathetic meditation on striving to improve, maintain, or accept one’s class identity.

It is representations of newly privileged members of Dutch 17th-century society which best reflect this characteristic beauty of the golden age. Paintings of nobles are among the dimmer lights in the exhibition—with the exception of Anthony van Dyck’s magnificent “Portrait of Frederik Hendrik”—because nobles, whose social identities were assured, did not care to hire painters who would best present their image. By contrast, in Vermeer’s beautiful “A Lady Writing” and “The Astronomer,” the subjects wear the latest fashions—the astronomer, for instance, wears an imported Japanese robe—rather than traditional aristocratic garb, indicating a more recent ascent to wealth.

Everyone with a modicum of income could afford to buy paintings, and the joy of having just acquired privilege animates these works: From the nouveau riche, with their arriviste pretensions so wonderfully depicted in Frans Hals’s and Rembrandt’s stout full-length heavy portraits, to soldiers, priests, and notaries, to the industrious barber-surgeons, tailors, bakers, and grocers in Dou and others, to Nicolaes Mae’s female lacemaker and Pieter de Hooch’s housemaids, and finally a well-paid prostitute, each is in turn given their industrious glow. Even paintings in the lower-class room constitute another, indirect portrait of the bourgeoisie: They feature an urban group known as the “worthy poor,” receiving alms from the affluent citizens who were recording their generosity in the commissioned paintings. The poor were always shown as a function of the upper-middle class’s self-conception rather than their own need to be seen.

… (read more).

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