Writersblog

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

The Dutch programme at the International Book Fair in Beijing was cunn... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

In two weeks’ time, the official opening of one of the largest b... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Dear Dutch publishers. The book fair is over. Perhaps you’ll now... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

The days are full and long. We are incessantly bombarded with impressi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Arriving on the stand on the first day, I’d asked a Chinese visi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Big excitement today since we were finally meeting with Songyu from Fl... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

It’s now the third day, and the first one with plenty of sun. Un... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

What a great opportunity to learn about the Dutch literature for Chine... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

A duck flies to and fro over the vast expanses of world ocean, despera... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

‘In the era of browsing, we provide reading.’ - Slogan see... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The jewel in the crown of our collection of Arbeiderspers titles publi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The Chinese publishers I have met during the course of my career, the ... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

I have so far never been to a book fair. Nor do I know what to imagine... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Since 2006, I began writing about the Netherlands’ performance a... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

Now that the fair is just round the corner, this is perhaps the moment... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The traffic in Beijing is horrendous, I’m sure the other blogger... >>> read more

Thomas Möhlmann

Thomas Möhlmann, Staff member Dutch Foundation for Literature

What an evening the poets and the approximately 200 onlookers present ... >>> read more


Boudewijn Bakker - Landscape and World View. From Van Eyck to Rembrandt

Boudewijn Bakker - Landscape and World View. From Van Eyck to Rembrandt

Art critics like to emphasize the modern and realist character of seventeenth-century Dutch landscape paintings, but Boudewijn Bakker explicitly distances himself from that interpretation. He points to a long tradition of landscape as a subject in Dutch painting that stretches back to Jan van Eyck’s generation of the early fifteenth century. Bakker’s broad, audacious approach, together with his lucid style and seemingly casual erudition, make this a remarkable and challenging study.

Bakker introduces a range of thinkers and writers, including fifteenth-century monastic scholar Dionysius the Carthusian, sixteenth-century religious reformer John Calvin, geographer Abraham Ortelius and seventeenth-century poet Constantijn Huygens. In their ideas about landscape he identifies a worldview influenced by late-Medieval concepts of God and creation.

The landscape, whether painted or real, once functioned as a storehouse of spiritual and moral messages, and Bakker does not believe this attitude was confined to the Middle Ages. Painters like Pieter Breugel, Rembrandt van Rijn and Jacob van Ruisdael probably thought far more traditionally than we tend to assume, which has important implications for the interpretation of their art, as Bakker illustrates in his highly acclaimed final chapter on Rembrandt as a landscape painter.

Biography

Boudewijn Bakker is an acknowledged expert on the history of landscape in the Dutch Golden Age. He has written several authoritative studies, including one on Rembrandt’s landscape drawings. He read history and art history at the University of Amsterdam and gained his doctorate cum laude on the subject dealt with in this book.

Quotes

  • ‘I regard Landscape and World View by Boudewijn Bakker as one of the most important and stimulating books of recent years in the field of Dutch art. Many readers will readily be swept along both by Bakker’s argument and by the elegance of his writing. Eddy de Jongh, Emeritus Professor at the University of Utrecht