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The Dutch Republic

Culture Reviews: 'Painting Dutch Capitalism' & 'Mocking Hitlerism'

Painting Dutch Capitalism

The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam is home to the art of the Dutch Republic of the 17th century, which was ‘the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.’

The Dutch bourgeoisie declared their independence from the Spanish in 1581. The Explosion of the Spanish Flagship during the 1607 Battle of Gibraltar by van Wieringen reflects pride in the victory of the Dutch fleet over the Spanish. The Celebration of the Peace of Munster, June 1648 by van der Helst depicts a banquet and displays the bourgeois pride in independence and victory over feudalism.

The world financial centre was in Amsterdam. It had the first ever Stock Exchange, the Bank of Amsterdam, capitalist cycles of boom-and-bust, speculative asset inflation ('Tulip Mania'), and Isaac Le Maire, the first stock ‘bear trader’.

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