Dutch Culture: History and Art

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

During this course you will be introduced to the rich cultural traditions developed in the Netherlands from the 17th century to the present day in artistic fields such as painting, literature, poetry and film-making. The question of Dutch identity will be explored by placing the history of the Netherlands and Dutch art in a wider European perspective.

This will then lead to exploring traditions of literacy, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, its connections to the wider world, and the challenges that were encountered during periods of war and upheaval. 

This course is devoted to two specific themes: History (1) and Art (2)

Theme 1: Dutch Identity and History - We will start with several lectures that will give you an insight into distinctive historical periods of Dutch history. Topics that will be discussed include: the development of the Netherlands during the Middle Ages, the Dutch religious landscape and the prints and cartography of the Dutch Golden Age. We will make good use of the fact that the course is taught in the alluring medieval city of Utrecht. You will be able to really step into history through a historic city walk and a visit to one of Utrecht's excellent museums.

Theme 2: History of Art & Architecture - Within the historical context of the first theme, you will then be introduced to the cultural expressions and traditions that support the Dutch in their claim to international fame as a cultural nation. During this part of the course, lecturers will discuss early modern, modern and contemporary art and architecture in the Netherlands, including Land Art, touching upon famous artists such as Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Judith Leyster, Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Charley Toorop, Rineke Dijkstra, Iris van Herpen and others. A day trip to Amsterdam is included, in which you will visit the Rijksmuseum and more. 

You will experience an intensive two-week programme with lectures and seminar groups during which you are expected to participate in discussions and work on assignments and group presentations.

Course director
To be announced

Target audience

The programme is open to students from all disciplines. This is a course in the area of humanities / social sciences.

Aim of the course

This course introduces participants to the history of the Netherlands and Dutch art.

Study load

A minimum of: 7 lectures; 4 seminars; 1 day excursion; 1 exam; 1 certificate ceremony.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

The housing costs include housing, plus a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag, for you to keep. This sleeping bag also includes an inflatable pillow and matrass cover. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please contact us, so we can give you a € 50 discount on the housing fee. Please note that you cannot buy individual bedding items. 

Contact details

Utrecht Summer School | E: info@utrechtsummerschool.nl


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2024