Not everything over there is fully functional yet, and the internal links still point to this blog, and will for the indefinite future.So all the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off.All in generall striving to adorne their houses ... Such is the generall Notion, enclination and delight that these Countrie Native[s] have to Paintings Evelyn wrote, "pictures are very common here [in the Netherlands], there being scarce an ordinary tradesman whose house is not decorated with them." The figures given to us by historical documents confirm the travelers' amazement.In the middle of the seventeenth century some Dutch homes had thirty to fifty paintings per room, rooms which, it should be noted, were not all that spacious.The idea that the Netherlands abounded with good painting "must have become commonplace at the time.Quite likely a proud awareness of this phenomenon was already imbedded in the self-image of the prosperous Dutch burgher.", Constantijn Huygens, noted that landscape painters "in the present Netherlands are so tremendously plentifully represented and of such high quality that it would take an entire book to discuss them all individually." However, opinions vary as to whether or not the lower socio-economic classes also had significant access to the art market.In the Netherlands rapidly expanding cities and towns were the main location for artists, patrons, and the market, while much of the subject matter of Dutch art reflects the experiences and aspirations of middle-class urban elites.
"A considerable proportion of inhabitants of Dutch towns had more than sufficient income to provide for their fundamental needs.For example, pictures of some kind or another were found in about two thirds of Delft households.After the end of the 80-year war with Spain in 1648, the Netherlands had emerged as a vital new political, economic and cultural force.Many chose to spend their surplus on furnishing for their homes, including pictures.This lead to a great demand for paintings at low prices.