The seventeenth century saw a rise in the number of Dutch artists painting ships. No longer props for religious stories or metaphors for the soul, ships became emblems of political and economic power. In this lecture Timothy Brook explores the reasons why and mechanisms by which Dutch artists painted ships so prolifically and examines the impact that Holland's trade with China had on Dutch viewers' enjoyment of seascapes.
Timothy Brook is Principal and Professor at the University of British Columbia's St. John's College. His recent publications include Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (2008) and The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties (2010).