The Easel

13th September 2022

The Not-So-Golden Age of Holland

The Dutch Golden Age, the century following Holland’s independence from Spain in 1588, was an era of great cultural achievement – Rembrandt, Vermeer and more.  Holland grew wealthy from its colonies and the art that we celebrate today displays those “exploitative” relationships. Portraits show the trappings of colonial wealth, for example, and indigenous figures are portrayed as “accessories” of the wealthy. Beautiful they may be, but these paintings are “bitter fruits” of the Golden Age.