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Curiously, just to the south, France, a much large country, had far fewer painters even though the arts had been actively encouraged by Louis XIV.
One explanation for the Dutch desire for paintings is related to the population's quintessential affection for their land and home.
Mundy, visiting Amsterdam in 1640, wrote: As for the Art off Painting and affection off the people to Pictures, I thincke none other goe beeyond them, ... [etc], will have some picture or other by their Forge and in their stalle.
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 The figures given to us by historical documents confirm the travelers' amazement.
ha, who can denounce it without [inciting] general rebellion?
" One can turn nowhere without seeing pictures: "The whole world depends on engraving, drawing, painting," he cries out in despair.
For example, pictures of some kind or another were found in about two thirds of Delft households.And perhaps, this unassuming character of Dutch art,..precisely what causes it to be so appealing in modernity – making it more special to us, in some ways, than the self-important art commissioned by the pretentious patrons of princely courts and powerful priests.It is curious to note that neither Rembrandt, Hals, Van Ruisdael nor Vermeer had ever traveled to Italy but were content to develop their own particular style of painting in the comfort of their homeland studios even though Italy had been considered throughout Europe the cradle of art, the knowledge of whom was indispensable to create true art.It has become commonplace to use urban origins as one of the key criteria in classifying Dutch art.Artists working in close proximity in a common style and with shared iconographic interests are grouped together under such designations as "the Leiden In their travel diaries, many foreigners, among them, Englishmen John Evelyn and Peter Mundy and the Frenchman Samuel Sorbière, commented on the amazing abundance of paintings in the Netherlands.