Netherlands Culture

Netherlands Culture

Dutch painting looks back on centuries of tradition. From the middle of the 16th century, landscape painting flourished for the first time, which is associated with the names H. Bosch and P. Bruegel , among others. Bosch’s large-format panel paintings, peppered with religious allusions, are particularly famous.

Bruegel brought Flemish landscape painting to its peak in the sixteenth century. His realistic depictions of rural life earned him the nickname »Bauern-Bruegel«. The most famous museums in the Netherlands include the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

In the 17th century the country experienced a political, economic and cultural heyday, the “Golden Age” of the Netherlands. According to internetsailors, the demand for high-quality paintings was enormous and led to a veritable flood of images. The most important representative of the Catholic South was Rubens, that of the Calvinist North was Rembrandt . The emphatic physicality and strong sensuality of his figures are characteristic of Rubens’ work. In addition to historical paintings and landscapes, Rembrandt created numerous portraits. Many of his works are characterized by strong contrasts between light and dark. Important painters of this era included F. Hals , J. Vermeer and J. Steen .

In the 19th century, G. H. Breitner , J. Israëls , J. B. Jongkind and especially V. van Gogh made a name for themselves. Van Gogh, today one of the most famous Dutch artists, is considered to be the pioneer of expressionism. His most famous works, which include the famous “sunflowers” and his self-portraits, were created in the colorful landscape of southern France. P. Mondrian is one of the most important modern painters. With his radically reduced style, he is one of the founders of abstract painting (Dutch art).

The magnificent canal houses in many Dutch cities bear witness to the wealth that trading families had made in the 17th century. Modern architecture from 1900 onwards relied on constructivist forms and sober buildings. The artist group De Stijlaround P. Mondrian and B. A. van der Leck advocated a radical reduction to geometric shapes and basic colors in all areas of art. In 1948 painters and writers from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam formed the Cobra group. Artistically, they aimed to revive Expressionism.

With his philosophical work, Erasmus of Rotterdam exerted a great influence on the Reformation. In 1670, Spinoza anonymously published his Tractatus theologico-politicus – an early plea for freedom of philosophical thought (Dutch philosophy). In the 17th century, the »Statenbijbel«, a Dutch translation of the Bible, which had a strong influence on the Dutch language (Dutch language), was also created.

Over the centuries, the Netherlands has produced numerous important writers (Dutch literature). E. D. Dekker alias Multatuli, for example, caused a sensation in 1860 with his novel “Max Havelaar”, which was critical of colonialism.

Together with the authors G. Reve and W. F. Hermans , H. Mulisch is counted among the “Big Three” of Dutch literature of the 20th century. His artistic work was strongly influenced by the memory of National Socialism. C. Nooteboom is considered to be one of the most important Dutch writers of the post-war period. A central motif in his texts is traveling.

P. Sweelinck is considered the most famous composer in the country. He composed more than 70 works for keyboard instruments. The Netherlands has a lively theater, music and film scene. The Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam is considered to be one of the best orchestras in the world. The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam is an annual attraction for music enthusiasts (Dutch music).

Amusement parks are an integral part of everyday Dutch culture. Soccer is the most popular sport. The flat landscape in the Netherlands is perfect for cycling.

World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Schokland polder landscape (part of the north-east polder) (K; 1995)
  • Fortress belt of Amsterdam (K; 1996)
  • Mills in Kinderdijk-Elshout (K; 1997)
  • Port and city center of Willemstad (Antilles island Curaçao) (K; 1997)
  • Wouda steam pumping station in Friesland (K; 1998)
  • Beemster Polder (K; 1999)
  • Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht (K; 2000)
  • Wadden Sea (N; 2009)
  • City district and canal system within the Singelgracht in Amsterdam (K; 2010)
  • Van Nelle Factory (K; 2014)

Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Dutch Protestantse Kerk in Nederland, abbreviation PKN, Protestant Church of the Reformed and Lutheran tradition in the Netherlands; on May 1, 2004 through the merger of the Dutch Reformed Church(“Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk”), the Reformed Church in the Netherlands (“Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland”) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (“Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden”). The PKN is presbyterial-synodal; the highest organ is the general synod with a praeses. With around 1.9 million members (2017) in around 1,800 congregations, the PKN comprises the majority of Protestant Christians in the Netherlands. – Historically, the founding churches of the PKN represent the most important currents of Reformation Christianity in the Netherlands. The historical starting point of the “Dutch Reformed Church” (reorganized in 1816 and 1951 with new church ordinances) was set in 1571 with the Synod of Emden; the first Lutheran congregation in the Netherlands was constituted in Antwerp in 1566. The »Reformed Church in the Netherlands« was created in 1892 as a merger of two conservative, A. Kuyper) from the »Dutch Reformed Church«.

Netherlands Culture