Is the place of women in Dutch society reflected in the paintings with them in? Has the portrayal of women depicted in painting from the 17th century created the foundation for how women are portrayed in paintings by artists in today’s society ?

Is the place of women in Dutch society reflected in the paintings with them in? Has the portrayal of women depicted in painting from the 17th century created the foundation for how women are portrayed in paintings by artists in today’s society ?

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This is a 4000 word long essay , that is classed as an independent project, the aim of this paper is to answer the questions , however to also include some independent thought which can then be backed up with evidence to support this. specific paintings can be inserted into the main body of the text but only where appropriate. Below the beginning of the essay has been started , I would like the essay to be continued , the list of sources I have attached , please use some of those. This is a history of art module, focusing on Dutch 17th century and northern European art 17th century, but fot the purpose of this paper should make comparisons to anbale an answer to the questions. a minimum of 10 references should be used if possible please. The essay should be in ariel size 12 , 1.5 spacing , each page should be numbered on the bottom left hand side, and referencing should be APA , footnotes are required.The essay must continue with scope for it to be continued to reach its eventual word limit. The essay should focus on art historians works in terms of the references and main body. Please find below the beginning of the essay which is to be kept and then just continued and following this a list of some sources which should be used in the appropriate context, many thanks

essay: How was the place of women in Dutch society reflected in the paintings with them in? Has the portrayal of women depicted in painting from the 17th century created the foundation for how women are portrayed in paintings by artists in today’s society?

The objective of this paper is to explore the place of Women in Dutch 17th Century society, through the lens that the golden age of Dutch art focused upon them. Further, it will examine how those depictions influenced how women are portrayed in modern times, in artwork and society. Firstly the paper will outline and discuss 17th century Dutch art in reference to the context of gender. Secondly

After the end of the eighty years war with Spain, the Dutch Republic emerged as an important new economic, political and cultural force , with power passing to the middle classes. This led to significant changes in the art market in the Netherlands. The birth of a capitalist, mercantile society allowed for a great deal of paintings to be bought, by a wider audience than before. People had more money then was required for their essential needs, and so many decided to spend their excess money on improving the look of their homes with paintings. They chose to buy paintings that reflected their middle class experience, with still life and portraiture being especially popular.
In the Girl with the Pearl Earring, Vermeer paints a woman with smooth, unblemished skin, a vision of beauty emanating from the darkness surrounding her. The darkness around her deprives us of any setting, and along with the direct contact of the girl’s eyes with us, makes for a very intimate, close piece. Her pearl suggests purity, with the meaning of the pearl deriving from ideas expressed by St Francis De Sales, who said that women should only hear chaste words, the ‘oriental words of the gospel’ . By comparison, Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, does give us a setting, one of domestic life in the Dutch Republic. The woman’s home is clean and tidy, which in Dutch art suggests a hardworking woman, with a strong sense of order and morality at home. Her light blue dress again emphasises her suitability for a domestic role. Pearls sit on the table, suggesting her purity. The map on the wall, and the letter, suggest that her lover/husband is at sea and writing to her. Altogether, this artwork portrays a woman in domestic bliss, keeping her purity and house in order while her lover/husband is away.
Dutch Artwork featuring women frequently emphasised these points, of purity, domesticity and morality. Despite the relatively emancipated position Dutch women found themselves in, they were still legally second class citizens, who had little part to play in the political or economic life of the Dutch Republic. So they were left to the domestic life, and artwork featured them there.

list of sources of which some should be used:


Wayne E. Franits (ed).The Cambridge companion to Vermeer (2001). 759.9492 VER/CAM

Bryan Jay Wolf. Vermeer and the invention of seeing (2001). 759.9492 VER/WOL


B. Bohn and J. M. Saslow (eds.). A companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art (2013). 709.024 COM

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S. Ferretti. Cassirer, Panofsky and Warburg: Symbol, Art and History (New Haven, 1989). 704.946 FER

E. H. Gombrich. ‘Aims and Limits of Iconology’, in his Symbolic Images: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (London, 1972). 709.03 GOM

Thomas F. Heck. Picturing Performance: The Iconography of the Performing Arts in Concept (1999).

Carl Landauer. ‘Erwin Panofsky and the Renascence of the Renaissance’, Renaissance Quarterly, 47 (1994).

Irving Lavin (ed.), Meaning in the visual arts: views from the outside: a centennial commemoration of Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) (1995). 709 MEA

Erwin, Panofsky. Meaning in the Visual Arts (New York, 1955). 709 PAN

Theodore K Rabb. ‘Play not Politics: Who really understood the symbolism of Renaissance Art?’, TLS, 10 (1995).


S. Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch art in the seventeenth century (1985 and 1989). 759.92 ALP

S. Alpers, ‘Picturing Dutch culture’, The Low Countries. Art and Society in Flanders and the Netherlands, I (1993-4). Also in W. Franits (ed.), Looking at Seventeenth Century Dutch Art (1997).

Elizabeth Alice Honig. ‘An enterprise of describing? Svetlana Alpers’ art historical strategies’, Theoretische Geschiedenis, v.17:1 (1990) pp. 33-44.

Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard (eds.). The books that shaped art history : from Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss (2013), Chapter 14. 709 BOO


Jan Baptist, Bedaux. ‘The Reality of Symbols: The Question of Disguised Symbolism in Jan van Eyck’s “Arnolfini Portrait”’, Simiolus, 16 (1986), 5-28.

Eddy de Jongh. Questions of meaning: Theme and motif in Dutch seventeenth-century painting (Leiden, 2000). 759.9492 JON

Eddy de Jongh. ‘Pearls of Virtue, Pearls of Vice’, Simiolus, 8 (1975-6), 69-97.

Wayne Franits (ed.). Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art. Realism Reconsidered (Cambridge, 1997). 759.9492 FRA

W. E. Franits, Paragons of Virtue: Women and Domesticity in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art (1993). 759.9492 FRA

Peter Hecht. ‘The Debate on Symbol and Meaning in Dutch Seventeenth-Century Art: An Appeal to Common Sense’, Simiolus, 16 (1986).

Anne Walter Lowenthal, ‘Response to Peter Hecht’, Simiolus, 16 (1986), 188-90.

James H. Marrow. ‘Symbol and Meaning in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance’, Simiolus, 16 (1986), 150-169.

Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips. Picturing men and women in the Dutch Golden Age: paintings and people in historical perspective (2003). 759.9492 MUI

Simon Schama. The Embarrassment of Riches (London, 1987 and 1991). 949.204 SCH

Mariët Westermann. ‘After Iconography and Iconoclasm: Current Research in Netherlandish Art, 1566-1700’, The Art Bulletin, 84 (2002), 351-372.


Svetlana ALpers. Rembrandt’s Enterprise. The Studio and the Market (1988). From me.

B. Bohn and J. M. Saslow (eds.). A companion to Renaissance and Baroque art (2013), chapter 7. 709.024 COM

A. T. van Deursen, Plain lives in a Golden Age: popular culture, religion and society in seventeenth century Holland (1991). 306.09492 DEU

D. Freedberg and J. de Vries (eds.), Art in history, history in art: studies in seventeenth century Dutch culture (1991). 759.9492 ART

B. Haak, The Golden Age: Dutch painters of the seventeenth century (1996). + 759.9492 HAA

E. Larsen and J. P. Davidson, Calvinistic Economy and seventeenth century Dutch art (1979). XX 050 LAW(51)

M. North, Art and Commerce in the Dutch Golden Age (1997). 759.9492 NOR

M. North, ‘Art and Commerce in the Dutch Republic’, in K. Davids and J. Lucassen (eds.), A miracle mirrored : the Dutch Republic in European perspective (1995). 949.2 MIR

J. Rosenberg. Dutch art and architecture, 1600-1800 (1966). 709 PEL(27)

S. Slive, Dutch painting, 1600-1800 (1995). + 709 PEL

M. Westermann, The Art of the Dutch Republic, 1585-1718 (1996). 759.9492 WES


Svetlana Alpers. The vexations of art: Velázquez and others (2005). 759.04 ALP

Svetlana Alpers. ‘Interpretation without representation, or, the viewing of Las Meninas’, Representations, v.1:1 (1983) p.31-42.

Suzanne L. Stratton-Pruitt (ed.). Velázquez’s Las Meninas (2003). 759.6 VEL/VEL

a reference list should be made in alphabetical order in APA of sources used and read please

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