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Values and Culture of the Seventeenth Century Dutch Essay (Critical Writing)


In the seventeenth century such as a country as the Netherlands could be distinguished among many other European states. In particular, one can speak about such trends as the growth of commerce, welfare of citizens, and the evolution of arts and sciences. Moreover, it is possible to identify such values of people as independence, entrepreneurship, and unwillingness to accept encroachments on one’s rights or liberties. These are the questions that should be discussed.

When speaking about the values of Dutch people, one should first mention that they attached much importance to independent entrepreneurship and commerce. This is one of the reasons why middle classes played an important role in this society (Hunt 507).

These middle classes are represented in various works of art created in this country. For instance, it is possible to mention Jan Steen’s painting The Baker Arent Oostward and His Wife (Hunt 511). To a great extent, this picture represents people who were not dependent on the state because they could earn their living.

This is one of the issues that can be identified. Furthermore, the paintings, which were created during the Dutch Golden Age, often lay stress on such an activity as production (Slide 10). These values are reflected in the writings of people who visited the Dutch Republic; among them, one can distinguish John Locke who was able to learn more the political and economic development of the country (Lualdi 71).

To some degree, social, economic, and political life of the country affected his views on the role of the state and production (Locke unpaged Second Treatese). Moreover, the artworks created during this period suggest the seventeenth century Dutch attached importance to science as one of the factors could contribute to social progress (Slide 3). This is one of the aspects that can be distinguished.

Moreover, the film Girl with a Pearl Earring throws light such a quality as people’s unwillingness to blame others for one’s misfortunes. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about Griet who has to work very hard in order to support her family (Girl with a Pearl Earring).

However, one can say that the Dutch Republic also faced several challenged. For instance, one can speak about lack of social protection. It should be mentioned that Griet’s family went almost broke when her father, who was a painter, lost his eyesight (Girl with a Pearl Earring).

Additionally, one should mention that she is treated as an inferior person by other people, only because she is poor (Girl with a Pearl Earring). This is the main challenge that she has to overcome. So, one cannot say that this society was completely devoid of problems. It should be noted that the artworks analyzed in the artwork may not necessarily be fully realistic. As a rule, one should focus on the pictures which portray everyday life of peasants or artisans. These people represented the majority of the Dutch population.

This discussion suggests that in the seventeenth century, the Dutch Republic passed through a period of rapid growth. This period was reflected in various cultural works, especially painting. Yet, one can also speak about modern cinematographic works. They can throw light on the values of Dutch people in the seventeenth century. These are the main arguments that can be put forward.

Works Cited

Girl with a Pearl Earring. Ex. Prod. Andy Peterson. London: UK Film Council, 2003. DVD.

Hunt, Lynn, Thomas Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, and Bonnie Smith. Making of the West, Volume II: Since 1500: Peoples and Cultures, London: Bedford, 2012. Print.

Lualdi, Katharine. Sources of The Making of the West, Volume II: Since 1500: Peoples and Cultures, London: Bedford, 2012. Print.

Locke, John. . Project Gutenberg. 2011. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Values and Culture of the Seventeenth Century Dutch." May 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/values-and-culture-of-the-seventeenth-century-dutch/.


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IvyPanda. "Values and Culture of the Seventeenth Century Dutch." May 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/values-and-culture-of-the-seventeenth-century-dutch/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Values and Culture of the Seventeenth Century Dutch." May 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/values-and-culture-of-the-seventeenth-century-dutch/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Values and Culture of the Seventeenth Century Dutch'. 12 May.

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