From 25 October 2018 13:00 to 27 October 2018 15:00

Netherlandish Art and the World. A conference on global art history

On 25-27 October the conference Netherlandish Art and the World. A conference on global art history will take place in Utrecht. The conference marks the conclusion of the NWO-funded project The Chinese Impact: Images and Ideas of China in the Dutch Golden Age at Utrecht University. 

The art of the Early Modern Netherlands was a global art in various dimensions. Paintings and prints were made for worldwide export; artists depicted foreign rarities; applied arts from Asia were imported on an industrial scale. Famous masters stood out for their interest in remote traditions, from Vermeer’s Chinese porcelain to Rembrandt’s Mughal miniatures and Rubens’s engagement with the worldwide Jesuit mission. This conference identifies and addresses some of the challenges and opportunities that Global Art History offers for the Low Countries.

global complexity

Participants explore how artworks were more than illustrations of the interconnectedness of the Early Modern world, with Antwerp and Amsterdam as hubs of global exchange. Everyday lives changed as foreign luxuries became a household presence. Images of real and imagined foreigners circulated on an unprecedented scale. Travelers and scholars pondered unknown iconographies, which sometimes threatened to unsettle the Eurocentric perspective. To explore this global complexity, the conference discusses painting, print, and the applied arts; materials, techniques, and styles; meaning, interpretation, and consumption; and migration, markets, and collections.

worldwide phenomenon 

An additional question is how the display and analysis of Dutch and Flemish art has developed into a worldwide phenomenon. The works’ visual language appeals to publics from Japan to Brazil. At the same time the material heritage that documents the entangled histories of the Netherlands and Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia is increasingly being foregrounded. What is the continuing relevance of Netherlandish art in a globalized world?


Seating is limited. If you want to participate please contact

Start date and time
25 October 2018 13:00
End date and time
27 October 2018 15:00
More information
Program and abstracts