Netherlands

The didactic and moral value of the great religious, historical and mythological subjects made these the most important within the hierarchy of the genres, ranking above others such as landscapes and portraits. It is difficult to over-emphasize the novelty of Dutch genre painting within this set of values: A large part of the later success which such paintings enjoyed derives precisely from this apparent lack of interest in the subject-matter, which led 19th-century critics to conceive of Dutch genre painting as preoccupied not with content but with the manner in which it was represented, an honest and materialist art, which understood painting as an end in itself and not as a mere vehicle for emphasizing values from other realms of human thought. It has not just exaggerated the difference between the Dutch and other artistic traditions without bearing in mind that the Netherlands also saw the production of large numbers of mythological and history paintings, but also the fact that genre painting which mostly consisted of scenes of interiors involves a thematic content which reflects the moral values of the society which produced it and contributed to its dissemination. The main themes of Dutch interior paintings are those of love and the virtues of domestic life, and these are the focus of the present exhibition. The theme of love appears in a wide variety of ways, from romantic scenes of lovers separated by distance to scenes in brothels or of sexual love treated with a frankness that is also found in Dutch literature of the period. In Van Mieris’ painting Tavern Scene see right, a. Other scenes of elegant interiors that show women dressing and adorning themselves, and seemingly offering themselves to the spectator, should probably be understood in the same way. The theme of seduction does not necessarily imply a financial transaction, but a sexual relationship is certainly often implicit.

Christiaan Huygens

See Article History Alternative Title: Christian Huyghens Christiaan Huygens, also spelled Christian Huyghens, born April 14, , The Hague—died July 8, , The Hague , Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, who founded the wave theory of light, discovered the true shape of the rings of Saturn, and made original contributions to the science of dynamics—the study of the action of forces on bodies. Huygens was from a wealthy and distinguished middle-class family.

From an early age, Huygens showed a marked mechanical bent and a talent for drawing and mathematics. In Huygens entered the University of Leiden, where he studied mathematics and law. Two years later he entered the College of Breda, in the midst of a furious controversy over the philosophy of Descartes.

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The Netherlands

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It is estimated that between and no less than 5 million paintings were executed in small and large centers of painting, a figure that is even more surprising if you think of the distrust of holy images professed by Calvinism from the very beginning of its spread. The wave of iconoclasm it set in motion was so powerful that it cut off the most classic destination of the most significant artistic production.

Today, the large churches in Dutch towns still welcome the faithful with bare whitewashed plastered walls, with plain, stark spaces, where there is no indulgence in decoration. Inscriptions and coats of arms may sometimes grace the memorial tablets and sporadic images decorate the balustrades of the galleries, but everything else is strictly image less. What made such a prolific artistic production possible and, above all, what led the United Provinces to write a fundamental chapter in the history of European art?

Among the many factors that could be cited, we should mention first of all the vitality of a pictorial tradition that went back to the beginning of the fifteenth century, the golden age of the duchy of Burgundy, and — thanks to the wealth of the cities of the Netherlands and the level of professional expertise demanded by the Burgundian court— that was already included by right among the great artistic schools of Europe.

The northern provinces had been part of the duchy of Burgundy in the past, which was still alive in the seventeenth century. Although their collective consciousness told them that the Spanish king against whom they rebelled had shamefully usurped the Burgundian heritage, leading it to ruin and abolishing their ancient privileges, their loyalty to the good government of the dukes of Burgundy was still intact and in their name the stadolder, who held the highest political office, were elected.

In the second place, the Netherlands learned to relate to art is a different way from the other European countries. After the connection of art with courts, monasteries, and religious associations had waned, new relations emerged. Increasingly wealthy and numerous — in Amsterdam alone, the population had grown from 60, inhabitants in to , in — and in step with the European nobility, the urban upper class had discovered that paintings were a symbol of power, objects to be collected avidly. On the other hand, Holland was the Mecca of trade and consequently paintings could also become merchandise.

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The Subject Matter of Dutch Domestic Interiors

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SNS Bank ABN-AMRO , which was nationalised for several years in the past and to which the Dutch state is still the major shareholder, has the most information in English online and a special expat package but you should generally have no problem conducting business in English at any of them. SNS Reaal was also nationalised in early You will also find financial providers aimed specifically at expat clients, with extensive English-language services.

If you want to open anything other than a savings-only account you may also need evidence of income, such as an employment contract or payslip. Various cards are on offer but the bankpas is standard. You can pick up the card personally with ID. A four-digit PIN code pincode will either be posted separately or given to you on pick up, but it can be changed at a bank.

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Dutch Alternative Names Netherlands culture, Hollandic culture. The Dutch use Nederlandse cultuur and Hollandse cultuur to describe their culture. The English word “Dutch” derives from the German deutsch “German”. The Dutch distinguish between two major cultural subdivisions in their nation.

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Dutch literature

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See Article History Alternative Titles: A parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch , the kingdom includes its former colonies in the Lesser Antilles: The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government The Hague. Windmills at Kinderdijk, The Netherlands. Some 2, square miles 6, square km of the Netherlands consist of reclaimed land , the result of a process of careful water management dating back to medieval times.

Along the coasts, land was reclaimed from the sea, and, in the interior, lakes and marshes were drained, especially alongside the many rivers. All this new land was turned into polders, usually surrounded by dikes. Initially, man power and horsepower were used to drain the land, but they were later replaced by windmills , such as the mill network at Kinderdijk-Elshout, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The largest water-control schemes were carried out in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century, when steam pumps and, later, electric or diesel pumps came into use. There, perhaps more than anywhere else in the country, the Dutch tradition of social tolerance is readily encountered. In that period Dutch merchant ships sailed the world and helped lay the foundations of a great trading country characterized by a vigorous spirit of enterprise.

The Dutch economy is open and generally internationalist in outlook. With Belgium and Luxembourg , the Netherlands is a member of the Benelux economic union , which in the s and s served as a model for the larger European Economic Community EEC; now embedded in the European Union [EU] , of which the Benelux countries are members. If the Netherlands were to lose the protection of its dunes and dikes, the most densely populated part of the country would be inundated largely by the sea but also in part by the rivers.

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See Article History Alternative Title: Netherlandic literature Dutch literature, the body of written works in the Dutch language as spoken in the Netherlands and northern Belgium. The Dutch-language literature of Belgium is treated in Belgian literature. Of the earliest inhabitants of the Netherlands, only the Frisians have survived, and they have maintained a separate language and literature since the 8th century. The remainder of the Netherlands was colonized by the Saxons and Franks between the 3rd and 9th centuries, resulting in a predominantly Frankish culture in the south and Saxon or an amalgam of Saxon and Frankish language and culture elsewhere.

Under the less nomadic Franks, the south prospered more than the north, and there a literary language first developed. Because of marked differences between the dialects of the east, the centre, and the west Flanders, with features that linked the coastal dialects with Old English , the development was very gradual. In the early Middle Ages, when Latin and, later, French were the languages of the educated, the vernacular was largely confined to unrecorded oral legend and folk songs.

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