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EXPEDITION SILK ROAD: ART AND TRADE IN THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE

  • Published : 2017.06.15

Abstract

During the seventeenth century, Amsterdam experienced unprecedented growth and affluence, and the city developed into the world's staple market playing an indispensable role in Silk Road trade. This era, which coincides with post-reformation Dutch society, also allowed artists to produce art works depicting objects from everyday life, moving away from the earlier religious subject matter. This paper intends to look into seventeenth century Dutch paintings from their social setting, especially focusing on the influence of the Silk Road in the art making process. The paper also looks into the Chinese side of Silk Road interaction and discusses how Chinese porcelain reflects cultural influence from the Dutch. The paper incorporates Silk Road as a methodology to discuss art works departing from earlier practices in art history. This approach allows us to understand art as a product of multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural experience. The methodology invites more discussion on numerous art forms which emerged along the Silk Road trading route to expand and explore the history of East-West cultural exchange.

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