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The wave of iconoclasm it set in motion was so powerful that it cut off the most classic destination of the most significant artistic production.Today, the large churches in Dutch towns still welcome the faithful with bare whitewashed plastered walls, with plain, stark spaces, where there is no indulgence in decoration.
Philip then bade a hostile farewell to the States-General and set sail for Spain, which he never left again.The fact that they were easy to handle and were less bulky made it easier to place them on the market.In the last analysis, that also explains the dissemination on an international scale of seventeenth‐century Dutch works and – unlike, for example, fourteenth ‐ and fifteenth‐century Italian works – their presence in almost every museum collection in the world.the level expanses of the Netherlands were crossed by a network of canals that had been dug to regulate the flow of water, but at the same time were extraordinarily effective means of transportation, faster and more practical than any way on land.Until then, trade had been based mainly on spices, textiles, and tulip bulbs, but it gradually extended to paintings as well, and that is the reason why many Dutch paintings are not very large.It was almost as if the war had brought together all the ingredients necessary for the spontaneous generation of an artistic flame.
The rebellion that flared after the Counts of Egmont and Hoorn were executed in 1568 had actually started brewing more than a decade earlier.
They were so successful commercially that, at least until the foundation of municipal museums, there were very few paintings from this period in their homeland. 29-39 On the evening of June 5, 1648, fireworks and bonfires in all the towns of the United Provinces celebrated victory for the Dutch in the war of independence.
That morning at 10 o'clock sharp the terms of the peace treaty with Spain had been read out in a sober ceremony in the Dutch Supreme Court of Justice in The Hague.
Inscriptions and coats of arms may sometimes grace the memorial tablets and sporadic images decorate the balustrades of the galleries, but everything else is strictly image less.
What made such a prolific artistic production possible and, above all, what led the United Provinces to write a fundamental chapter in the history of European art?
They were the Counts of Egmont and Hoorn, who had sought some relief for their country from the oppressive rule of the King of Spain.