SECRETS OF DUTCH ART IN THE GOLDEN AGE

THERE’S MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
There is a vast catalogue of paintings from the 17th Century Dutch Golden Age. Approximately 10 million. Many are beautiful, but just as many are puzzling. Why are the subjects often foolish-looking, ugly, or drunk? Why so many flowers and cheeses? Why did Rembrandt leave some of his subjects in the dark, and why did Vermeer bother to paint a woman pouring milk into a bowl?
This course is a quest for answers to these and many other questions. We will examine some of the most loved paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, explore the close relationship between Dutch culture, mentality and art, gain insight in the intentions and inventions of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen and discover the (often hidden) meaning of the best examples of Dutch painting. The highlight of the course will be an excursion to The Hague, where a visit to the Mauritshuis will leave you open-mouthed… but a lot less puzzled.

Learning Goals:
HIDDEN MEANINGS
Unlocking the hidden meanings behind the good the bad and the ugly subjects of Dutch painting in the Golden Age.

PORTRAITURE:
Dutch VIPs and their selfies: Why did VIPs let themselves be depicted with just a few rather modern and nonchalant brushstrokes or with surprisingly thick layers of paint?
 
STILL LIFE
The reality and the illusion of the painterly displays of Dutch cheeses, tulips and interiors.
 
HOW IT WORKS
The course will give students an elaborate summary of the history and profound insight in the (hidden) meanings of Dutch painting of the Golden Age by means of a close examination of the paintings and exploration of Dutch culture and mentality. The course consists of lectures and interactive engaging assignments, culminating in an excursion to one of the most loved art museums in the Netherlands: the Mauritshuis in The Hague.