3DUTCH FREEDOM DUTCH MONEY DUTCH GOVERNMENT DUTCH RELIGION The Dutch succeeded in securing their independence from the Spanish in the late sixteenth century. Not until 1648, however, after years of continual border skirmishes with the Spanish were the northern Netherlands officially recognized as the United Provinces of the Netherlands ( The Dutch Republic ).DUTCH MONEYAmsterdam had the highest per capita income in Europe. That city emerged as the financial center of Europe, having founded the Bank of Amsterdam in 1609.DUTCH GOVERNMENTDue to this prosperity and the absence of an absolute ruler, political power increasingly passed into the hands of an urban patrician class of merchants and manufacturers, especially in cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Delft. That these bustling cities were all located in Holland ( the largest of the seven United Provinces ) perhaps explains why the name “Holland” is used informally to refer to the entire country.DUTCH RELIGIONWhile Spain and the southern Netherlands were Catholic, the northern Netherlands were predominantly Protestant. The prevailing Calvinism demanded a puritanical rejection of art in churches, and thus artists produced relatively little religious art in the Dutch Republic at this time (especially when compared to areas dominated by Catholicism in the wake of the Counter- Reformation.)
17Rembrandt van Rijn, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, 1632.
18Rembrandt van Rijn, The Nightwatch, 1642. Not your typical group portrait…The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq is more commonly known as Night Watch. This common title is , however, as a misnomer- Night Watch is not a nocturnal scene.
19Rembrandt van Rijn, The Syndics of the Clothmaker's Guild (The Staalmeesters) 1662.