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Dutch Painting 1400 – 1950: Introduction to the Art History of the Netherlands, Cultuurwetenschap I


Admission requirements

Sufficient proficiency in English


The Netherlands have made a rich contribution to art history with many world famous artists and movements. The twelve lectures of this thematic course on Dutch painting offer an overview of the visual arts from the 15th century to the present covering the characteristics of important artists and movements in the context of Dutch culture and history. It covers Flemish Primitives such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, important 16th-century painters such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel the elder, and famous painters from Dutch Golden Age such as Rembrandt, Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael and Vermeer with an emphasis on developments in style, function and meaning of their paintings. Furthermore the course discusses the many faces of modernism in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries focusing on artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.

Course objectives

The course offers an overview of artistic developments from 1400 up to and including the 20th century, as well as various academic approaches to the visual arts. Students will acquire skills in recognizing differences in style and artistic developments. Moreover it provides insight into the cultural and historical environment in which Dutch art flourished.


See the timetable

Mode of instruction

Choose from:

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total studyload for the course: 280 hours. – For the lectues: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours – Preperation for the lectures: 4 hours per week x 12 = 48 hours – Preparation for the first exams: 80 hours – Preparation for the second exam: 126 hours.

Assessment method

The course has two exams, both consisting of five open questions on developments of style and characteristics of movements and famous artists, based on the reader and other course material available on Blackboard. The first exam in the mid-session interval covers art of the 15th and 16th centuries and determines 40% of the final mark. The second exam in December covers the Golden Age to the present and determines 60% of the final mark. Marks lower than 5.5 for the separate tests are not accepted. The average of both exams should be at least 6. If the final mark after the resit is lower than 6, then a student has to pass both parts in the following year.


There will be a Blackboard module for the course, which contains relevant course information such as the weekly reading and assignments. Since Blackboard makes use of umail for communication, students are advised to forward their umail to their regular email address:

Reading list

Reading material on Blackboard


Students should register through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


You can contact the lecturer Dr. M.E.W. Boers about the contents of the course, for other practical information, please, turn to the student administration of Dutch Studies, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 101A. Tel. 071 527 2144;