Dutch Art of the Golden Age

Course code
Course fee (no housing)
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This course will be taught in an online setting.

Are you curious to learn more about Rembrandt's Nightwatch, Johannes Vermeer's Girl with the pearl earring, Frans Hals's laughing figures or other Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century? Sign up for this course and discover the Dutch Golden Age and its marvellous paintings, applied arts and architecture. Upon completion of this highly interactive course you will have gained a profound insight into the many layers of Dutch Art of the famous 'Golden Age'.

This course takes you back in time to the Dutch Golden Age in the seventeenth century: the early modern period, when Dutch ships sailed the oceans from the Americas to the Indies, and the tiny Dutch Republic dominated the world's stage. During this course you will find out what makes the Dutch Golden Age and its art so unique. Not everything is what it seems: an innocent bouquet of flowers hides a forbidden religious message and a happy family, where everyone is singing and laughing, turns out ot be a warning against an undisciplined lifestyle. Of course you will learn lots about the famous masters - Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals for example - but there is much more to discover! Besides painters, many more artists, such as architects, gold- and silversmiths and engravers, contributed to the fame of this age with their innovative artworks. And how did the trade with Asia influence the arts?

Upon completion of this highly interactive course, you will have seen many highlights from the Dutch 16th and 17th century. You will be able to recognize the main artists, but you will also have become confident in recognizing, discussing and analysing artworks in general. What you learn in class and during the digital 'excursions' and assignments will therefore not only make you familiar with the art of the Dutch Golden Age, but will also add depth and value to your own travels later on.
Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Anna Koldeweij, MA

Course aim

This course gives students a broad overview of Dutch Art from the 16th and 17th century through the exploration of history, culture, daily life, academic approaches, excursions and case-studies.

Study load

Approximately 40 hours. The course consists of three teaching methods: live lectures, supervised digital ‘fieldtrips’ and literature study. Most days will start with a lecture in the digital classroom, which is complemented with a digital excursion or assignment, as well as with some accompanying literature. The afternoons will be filled with digital excursions and assignments. Variation is ensured by going into the digital museum with a tour, in small groups or on your own with an assignment. During these afternoon excursions and assignments, we devote time to both the factual and technical aspects of the painting, as well as the more personal and subjective ones. By the end you will have explored Dutch art in many dynamic ways. Hidden meanings, unexpected techniques, your peers’ opinions or your own may surprise you and change and broaden your perception of the artworks again and again.


Course fee:
Course + course materials

More information

Utrecht Summer School | E: info@utrechtsummerschool.nl | T: +31 30 253 4400


Application deadline: 17 July 2020

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