The Golden Age of Dutch Art

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

Are you curious to learn more about Rembrandt's 'Nightwatch', Vermeer's 'Girl with the pearl earring', Hals's 'Laughing figures' or other Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century? Sign up for this course and discover the Golden Age of Dutch Art 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 from this inspiring era. This course takes you out of the classroom and into cities, museums and churches – you will not be able to get closer to the masterpieces themselves!

This course takes you back in time to the Dutch 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 17th century art so unique. Not everything is what it seems: an innocent bouquet of flowers hides a forbidden religious message. A happy family, where everyone is singing and laughing, turns out to be a warning against an undisciplined lifestyle. Of course you will learn lots about the famous masters - like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals - 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. Also, the trade with Asia influenced the Dutch art.

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

Join us on this interactive journey, with daily excursions. Travel and entrance to museums are included in the course fee.

If you would like to extend the course, with a course in Dutch Art from Van Gogh to Mondrian, please take a look at our track A Journey through Dutch Art, which combines these two courses. 

A02 Golden Age of Dutch Art 2023_4.pdf
Course director
Anna Koldeweij, MA

Aim of the course

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

Study load

Approximately 40 contact hours. The course combines many elements, from lectures to excursions: no day is the same. Typically, the morning part of the programme takes place in a classroom, which could be a lecture or a seminar. You may also find yourself in a panel discussion, defending a particular approach to art. The afternoons (sometimes the entire day) are devoted to museum visits. Variation is ensured by going into the museum with a tour, in small groups or on your own with an assignment. During these excursions, we devote time to both the factual and technical aspects of the painting, as well as the more personal and subjective ones, so that by the end, you will have explored the paintings 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:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Contact details

Utrecht Summer School | E:


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2023