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Introduction to the Art History of the Netherlands A & B



The Netherlands may be a small country, but it has nevertheless made a rich contribution to art history with its internationally renowned artists and stylistic movements. The thirteen lectures of this thematic course on Dutch Art offer an overview of visual art, architecture and applied art in the Netherlands from the 15th century to the present day. The starting point is a number of characteristic aspects of Dutch art and culture. Making use of chronologically ordered objects, we discuss art and place it in its historical and theoretical context. The course covers Flemish primitives such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van Weyden, important 16th century painters such as Jeroen Bosch and Pieter Brueghel, the Northern Golden Age, paying particular attention to style, function and meaning in visual art, the (bourgeois) domestic culture of the 17th century and the many faces of modernism in the late 19th – early 20th century. This last period covers Vincent van Gogh, architect H.P. Berlage, the Amsterdam School, De Stijl and Piet Mondriaan, and Cobra. The series is concluded with a discussion of world-famous Dutch contemporary design.

Teaching method


Admission requirements


Course objectives

The course offers an overview of artistic developments from approximately 1400 up to and including the 20th century, as well as various academic approaches to visual art. In addition, insight is provided into the cultural-historical background of visual art, architecture and applied art in the Netherlands.

Course load


Required reading

Texts and visual material on Blackboard (illustrated text in English with power points summarizing the most important information).

Test method

There are separate examinations for Part 1 and Part 2; in both cases, the examination consists of a written test with five open questions concerning style development and the characteristic properties of stylistic movements and the work of famous artists, based on reproductions of paintings, architecture and art objects taken from the materials available on Blackboard.

Time table

Click here for the time table of Dutch Studies.


Please contact the student coordinator:


Via U-Twist.
More information for anyone interested in following this course as part of the Contract course programme (courses rounded off with exams, for non-students) can be found here.
More information for anyone interested in following this course as part of the A la carte programme (courses without exams, for non-students) can be found here.




Part 1, course code DSKGA1 covers the history of art in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Part 2, course code DSKGB1 covers the history of art from the 17th century up to and including modernism in the 20th century.