ARTH 3419 Rembrandt’s Circle: Global Dutch – Travel and Trade in Africa, the Americas, Asia
The variety of visual experience in 17th-century Dutch art is legion: still life, portraiture and self-portraiture, landscape and cityscape, architectural painting and scenes of everyday life, all in paint and print. New scientific technologies and trade routes, a proto-capitalist economy and highly networked society also place their mark on the cultural and artistic production in the Netherlands. This semester we will investigate the extraordinary global reach of the Dutch to both east and west, resulting in trade and luxury goods, new knowledge of peoples, flora, and fauna—considered marvelous—as well as encounters with and portrayals of difference. As they leave their marks on the visual, we will explore Africa and the African slave trade; East Asia, specifically Taiwan and Japan; South America, notably Brazil; New Amsterdam; Jakarta and Indonesia. Where available, we will address how indigenous peoples portrayed the Dutch. The course will involve meetings at the Johnson Museum.