Landscape painters, notably Jacob van Ruisdael, captured the distinctive Dutch flatland, broad skies with massed clouds, and muted light. ", Marius B. Jansen, "Rangaku and Westernization.". This meant that unlike their main rivals the Republic would not face the dire repercussions of a bad harvest and the starvation it accompanied, instead profiting when this happened in other states (bad harvests were commonplace in France and England in the 17th century, which also contributed to the Republic's success in that time). By the late 17th century, tea and coffee consumption were increasing and becoming part of everyday life. Famous Dutch hydraulic engineer Jan Leeghwater (1575–1650) gained important victories in the Netherlands' eternal battle against the sea. During this time, a climate of tolerance developed in comparison to other European states with strict censorship restrictions paving the way for the Dutch to become a powerhouse in the book trade. Spices were imported in bulk and brought huge profits due to the efforts and risks involved and demand. 1506-1555 The Netherlands under Charles V. Charles V succeeded his father Philip the Handsome as ruler of the Low Countries in 1506. The Dutch believed that a mother's milk came from the blood originally in her womb and that feeding the infant such substances would also reap physiological and health related benefits. Sculptures were commissioned for government buildings, private buildings (often adorning house fronts) and the exteriors of churches. Hobbes had to have his books printed there; Locke took refuge there during the five worst years of reaction in England before 1688; Bayle (of the Dictionary) found it necessary to live there; and Spinoza would hardly have been allowed to do his work in any other country.". A special genre of still life was the so-called pronkstilleven (Dutch for 'ostentatious still life'). From around 1670 the most prominent feature of a house front was its entrance, with pillars on each side and possibly a balcony above it, but no further decoration. Accounts from travelers described the various freedoms young women were provided in the realm of courtship. This is remembered to this day in the Dutch word peperduur, meaning something is very expensive, reflecting the prices of spices at the time. The art whose achievements rank at the very top was painting, which rested upon the broad patronage of a prosperous population. To finance the growing trade within the region, the Bank of Amsterdam was established in 1609, the precursor to, if not the first true central bank.[6]. Again due to the Dutch climate of tolerance, book publishers flourished. [13] From a young age, burgher women were taught various household related duties by their mothers, including reading, so as to prepare them for their lives as housewives. Public passersby could clearly view the entrance halls of Dutch homes decorated to show off a particular family's wealth and social standing. Figures such as the historian P.C. [14] However, a woman's sphere of authority still primarily lay in household duties, despite historical evidence showing certain cases of wives maintaining considerable control in family businesses. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685 resulted in the immigration of many French Huguenots, many of whom were shopkeepers or scientists. The Pilgrim Fathers also spent time there before their voyage to the New World. The next surge of political debate came after mid-century, when for a little more than two decades the country was governed without a prince of Orange as stadtholder. After a few decades French classicism gained prominence: vertical elements were stressed, less ornamentation was used, and natural stone was preferred above bricks. Some Dutch writers idealized old age as a poetic transition from life to death. Many books on religion, philosophy, and science that might have been deemed controversial abroad were printed in the Netherlands and secretly exported to other countries. The invention[4] of the wind powered sawmill enabled the construction of a massive fleet of ships for worldwide trading and for military defense of the republic's economic interests.

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