HART3361 The Dutch Golden Age and the Art of Exploration

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 3 elective
This unit focuses on the art of the Dutch Golden Age and early explorations. What were the effects on art and culture of Dutch explorations at home and abroad? How does the work of artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer reflect globalisation? In the seventeenth century, the world was changing rapidly. Since the end of the fifteenth century, it had been mostly the Spanish and Portuguese who set sail to the Americas, Africa and Asia. But when the Dutch entered the scene at the turn of the seventeenth century, they very soon became the most dominant power in the overseas trade. The establishments of permanent trading posts and settlements in Asia, Africa and America not only brought the Dutch in contact with local cultures, they permanently changed them. At the same time, trade with faraway lands brought unknown wealth to the Netherlands. A new class of wealthy merchants developed a taste for paintings, prints, shells, tulips, porcelain, and exotic objects for their new houses. The question is whether the overseas trade, the import of foreign artefacts and the encounter with 'the other' not only profoundly changed Dutch art but also had a lasting effect on the culture and society of the Dutch Republic. In this unit we discuss the encounters with foreign cultures and the impact of cultural exchange, the view of 'the other' (visual ethnography versus exoticism and its racist undercurrents), and the phenomenon of transculturation and globalisation.
This unit is characterised by a hands-on approach, with numerous on and off-campus visits to public and private collections.
Students are able to (1) locate the art of the Dutch Golden Age in the broader historical, cultural and politico-economic context of globalisation; (2) employ key theoretical approaches and sound research skills in regard to the art of the Dutch Golden Age and internationalising trends; (3) engage with debates about the history of globalisation mediated by the art of the Dutch Golden Age; (4) understand the role of art of the Dutch Golden Age in commercial and enterprising interests and of the shifts wrought by global forces in genre, style and techniques unique to the locale; (5) integrate cross-cultural awareness with cogent visual and aesthetic analyses of the artistic contribution made by the Dutch Golden Age; and (6) critically engage with current intellectual inquiry to compose coherent historical and theoretical arguments.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal; (2) research paper; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Arvi Wattel
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence OR
MEMS2001 Classical Traditions and Transformations in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
VISA2208 Art of the Reformation
VISA3320 Art of the Reformation
VISA3361 The Dutch Golden Age and the Art of Exploration
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.