CONF: Netherlandish Art and the World (Utrecht, 25-27 Oct 2018)

Utrecht, October 25 – 27, 2018

Netherlandish Art and the World: A Conference on Global Art History

The art of the Early Modern Netherlands was a global art in various dimensions. Paintings and prints were made for worldwide export; artists depicted foreign rarities; applied arts from Asia were imported on an industrial scale. Famous masters stood out for their interest in remote traditions, from Vermeer’s Chinese porcelain to Rembrandt’s Mughal miniatures and Rubens’s engagement with the worldwide Jesuit mission. This conference identifies and addresses some of the challenges and opportunities that Global Art History offers for the Low Countries.

Participants explore how artworks were more than illustrations of the interconnectedness of the Early Modern world, with Antwerp and Amsterdam as hubs of global exchange. Everyday lives changed as foreign luxuries became a household presence. Images of real and imagined foreigners circulated on an unprecedented scale. Travelers and scholars pondered unknown iconographies, which sometimes threatened to unsettle the Eurocentric perspective. To explore this global complexity, the conference discusses painting, print, and the applied arts; materials, techniques, and styles; meaning, interpretation, and consumption; and migration, markets, and collections.

An additional question is how the display and analysis of Dutch and Flemish art has developed into a worldwide phenomenon. The works’ visual language appeals to publics from Japan to Brazil. At the same time the material heritage that documents the entangled histories of the Netherlands and Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia is increasingly being foregrounded. What is the continuing relevance of Netherlandish art in a globalized world?

Seating is limited. If you want to participate please contact


Day 1: Thursday, October 25

13:00-13:30 Welcome

13:30-15:00 Session I

  • Netherlandish Art and the World: Opening Remarks
    Thijs Weststeijn (Utrecht University)
  • Rembrandt in Japan/Rembrandt on Japan
    Akira Kofuku (National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo)
  • Remapping Dutch Art in Global Perspective: Three Meditations on Methodology
    Julie Hochstrasser (University of Iowa)

15:00-15:30 Tea break

15:30-17:00 Session II

  • The Slavery Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum, 2020
    Eveline Sint Nicolaas (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)
  • Gilt Leather between East and West
    Eloy Koldeweij (Utrecht University)
  • Icons, Iconoclasm, Iconic Circuits: Netherlandish Sacred Art in the World
    Benjamin Schmidt (University of Washington, Seattle)

17:00-17:30 Roundtable discussion chaired by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann (Princeton University)

Day 2: Friday, October 26

9:00-10:30 Session III

  • ‘Chinese historie ofte verthooning der keysers.’ Artistic Collaboration between the Dutch and Chinese in Batavia
    Trude Dijkstra (University of Amsterdam)
  • ‘A Most Delightful Prospect upon the Water’: Canal Landscapes in Nieuhof’s Embassy and 17th-Century Dutch Paintings
    Yue Zhuang (University of Exeter)
  • Images of Europeans at the Qing Court during Qianlong’s Reign: A Study of Qing Imperial Illustrations of Tributaries
    Sun Jing (Tsinghua University, Beijing)

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session IV

  • The Strange and Mysterious Case of Asian Painting
    Elmer Kolfin (University of Amsterdam)
  • Images of Porcelain Collecting in Dutch Genre Painting: The Case of Willem van Mieris
    Junko Aono (Kyushu University, Fukuoka)
  • Representations of Dutch vessels in Dutch and Japanese Paintings of the 17th and 18th Centuries
    Michiko Fukaya (Kyoto City University of Arts)

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-15:00 Session V

  • Dutch Imitations of urushi Varnish in the 17th and 18th Centuries
    Marjolijn Bol (Utrecht University)
  • Meaning in Material in 17th-Century Netherlandish Applied Arts Objects with Depictions of Africans
    Charlotte Hoitsma (Utrecht University)
  • The Art of Describing Blackness
    Claudia Swan (Northwestern University, Evanston)

15:00-15:30 Tea break

15:30-16:30 Session VI

  • Flemish Prints in Mughal Albums
    Ebba Koch (University of Vienna)
  • Did Rembrandt Copy those Mughal Miniatures for Himself – or for Someone Else?Gary Schwartz (Independent Scholar, Maarssen)

Day 3: Saturday, October 27

10:00-12:00 Session VII

  • Mount Potosí in Antwerp: Mythological, Metallurgical, and Monetary Imagery in Rubens’s Arch of the Mint for the Entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand (1635)
    Christine Göttler (University of Bern)
  • Images of Brazil and the Tupinambás in Anti-Catholic Netherlandish Art during the Early Modern Period
    Maria Berbara (Rio de Janeiro State University)
  • Mechelen, Mexico, Manila: Makers, Markets and the Making of the ‘Global’
    Stephanie Porras (Tulane University, New Orleans)
  • From Ghent to Tenochtitlán and Back Again: The Circulation of Artworks from Pedro de Gante’s Workshop in the Sixteenth Century
    Sarah Moran (Utrecht University)

12:00-13:00 Lunch break

13:00-14:00 Session VII

  • The ‘Chinoiserie’ Prints of Pieter Schenk I and II as Sources for Dutch Interiors in Chinese Style, c. 1710-1740
    Gert-Jan Janse (Utrecht University)
  • China and Europe, Original and Copy, Narrative and Fiction: Chinoiserie Prints at the Saxon Court
    Cordula Bischoff (Technische Universität Dresden)

14:00-15:00 Roundtable discussion chaired by Julie Hochstrasser (University of Iowa)

Reference: CONF: Netherlandish Art and the World (Utrecht, 25-27 Oct 2018). In:, Oct 1, 2018. <>.