CULTURE: ART: FROM THE 16TH TO THE 17TH CENTURY
The great Dutch school of painting was established in the century. XVI and especially in the XVII. Among the greatest masters of the early sixteenth century are Hieronymus Bosch and the protagonists of the “Dutch Renaissance”: Luca da Leida, close to Dürer and the Italians, Jan van Scorel and his disciple, the portrait painter Antonio Moro; Marten van Heemskerk was intensely affected by Italian mannerism, while Piter Aertsen and J. Beuckelaer laid the foundations for the great Dutch still life painting. Mannerism lasted for a long time in Holland: between the end of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Haarlem and Utrecht were two of the major European centers of the latest international mannerism, respectively with Karel van Mander, H. Goltzius and Cornelis van Haarlem in the first city, with Abraham Bloemaert and J. Wittewael in the second. The first example of Renaissance architecture in Holland can be considered the Breda Castle (ca. 1520) by the Bolognese Tommaso Vincidor. Around the middle of the century a decorative and disorganized mannerist style spread (especially in civil architecture: town hall in The Hague, 1563) practically continued until the beginning of the seventeenth century (town halls of Haarlem, 1593, and of Leiden, 1597). In the first decades of the century a reaction to mannerism emerged: first in the reformed churches of Hendrik de Keyser, large columned basilicas without decoration (Zuiderkerk and Westerkerk in Amsterdam, 1606 and 1620); then in the sober and “bourgeois” classicism of Jacob van Campen, author of the Mauritshuis in The Hague (1633) and the New Church of Haarlem (1645). The Dutch painting of the seventeenth century has enormous importance in the history of European art, which contrasts with the artificiality of mannerism as well as the rhetoric of the Baroque, through the search for a straightforward naturalism, devoid of scenographic effects, and the full revaluation of “minor” genres. In this it recovers the local tradition of landscape painting (D. Seghers, W. Buytewech) and still life, mediating it through Caravaggism (Terbruggen, Honthorst, van Baburen). The emerging personalities of the Dutch school are Rembrandt, who practically cultivated all genres; Jacob van Ruysdael, J. van Goyen, M. Hobbema in the landscape; A. van Ostade and C. Bega in “genre” painting; Frans Hals in the portrait. In Delft he operated a school that transfigured the themes of bourgeois life giving them classical dignity (Vermeer, P. de Hooch; the interior painters of churches).
CULTURE: ART: FROM THE 18TH TO THE 20TH CENTURY
Towards the end of the century, and even more in the following, Dutch naturalism declined to generism and welcomed foreign influences, especially French. Rococo decorative painting (Jacob de Witt) also established itself. In architecture Daniel Marot spread the forms of the French Baroque. The importance of Dutch art in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is even less important. Among the painters, Ary Scheffer worked in Paris with Ingres; Also JB Jongkind, who was among the forerunners of ‘ Impressionism, worked in Paris and the Paris School belonged later artists such as Van Gogh or Kees van Dongen. Absolutely Dutch, even if it represents the premise of abstract painting and rational architecture, is instead the De Stijl movement (1917) which was joined by painters such as Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. In architecture, an important contribution to the formation of the functional style had already been offered, since the early years of the century, by the works of HP Berlage, who had recovered and simplified elements of Dutch national architecture, especially Romanesque (Amsterdam Stock Exchange, 1896 -1903). These premises were developed both by the architects of the Amsterdam School (De Klerk, Kramer, Van der Mey), more prone to expressionist emphasis, and, above all, by the architects linked to De Stijl, such as WM Dudok (Hilversum master plan, 1921), JJ Oud (Rotterdam municipal architect since 1918) and G. T. Rietveld. In the 1950s, the experience of so-called Dutch structuralism, which was formed around the figures of A. van Eyck and H. Hertzberger, was significant. In opposition to functionalism, the architects of the group questioned its excessively dogmatic character, giving rise to structures totally devoid of hierarchy between the parts. In recent years, the role played by the state has been of importance, which, with its commissions, has influenced some recent architectural trends. Among the most significant examples, the Ministry of Construction and the Environment as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Hoogstad, projects completed by S. van Eldonk, in collaboration with the American M. Graves. Among the contemporary architects, J. Coenen should be mentioned, who designed the building that houses the NAI (Nederlands Architectuur Instituut, 1993) in Rotterdam, a cultural institute that houses important archives and collections (including a vast collection of building architecture) and R. Koolhaas, who in 1993 built a Rotterdam the Kunsthal, an exhibition space that also houses an auditorium, a restaurant and a library. Other important projects by Koolhaas, who received the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2000, are the Educatorium at the University of Utrecht (1997) and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin (2000-2002). Other important contemporary Dutch writers are Herman Koch (1953-), author of the internationally successful novel The Dinner; Arnon Grunberg (1971-); Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (1991); Jan Brokken (1949-). In 2005 , the diary of Helga Deen (1925-1943), a young Jewish woman of Polish origin but who lived in the Netherlands, according to politicsezine, deported with her family to the extermination camp of Sobibór, in Poland, was published posthumously under the title Kamp Vught. where he met his death.