Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age


Karina H. Corrigan, Jan van Campen, and Femke Diercks, Janet C. Blyberg, eds.

Regular price €50.00

Yale University Press, 2015
Hardback, 356 pages
A fascinating survey of the rich artistic and cultural impact of Asia on the Netherlands in the 17th century. This lavishly illustrated catalogue discusses the Asian luxury goods that were imported into the Netherlands during the 17th century and demonstrates the overwhelming impact these works of art had on Dutch life and art during the Golden Age. Written by a team of 30 international scholars, this volume presents seven essays and catalogue entries on 150 works of art, including Dutch and Asian paintings, textiles, ceramics, lacquer, furniture, silver, diamonds, and jewelry.


From the Dutch settlements throughout Asia—including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China, and Japan—Dutch maritime traders brought an astonishing range of luxuries back to the Netherlands. Dutch consumers were enthralled with these foreign goods, which brought new colors, patterns, and textures to their interiors and wardrobes. As seen in the book’s many illustrations, Dutch artists also found inspiration in these objects and incorporated them into portraits, genre scenes, and particularly still-life paintings. Dutch artists and craftspeople also adapted distinctly Asian technologies, such as porcelain and lacquer, to create new works of art inspired by Asia. This catalogue weaves together the complex stories of these diverse works of art and presents fascinating portraits of the dynamic cities of Amsterdam and Batavia (Jakarta)—the Dutch trade center in Asia during the 17th century.

Jan van Campen is curator of Asian export art at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Karina H. Corrigan is the H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum.