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Trades & Crafts

Genre painting enjoyed enormous popularity in Northern Europe, particularly in the seventeenth century, and especially in the Netherlands. Many of the Dutch practitioners elevated what was once considered a humble art form into a desirable subject, which even rivalled classically esteemed subjects such as history paintings. Genre painting depicts aspects of everyday life. Although subjects…

The Hoppesteyn Family

Het Moriaenshooft (The Moor’s Head) factory was located in the Gasthuislaan in Zuidkant, an area in Delft with a large concentration of potteries. Although the founding date of the factory is unknown, the first owner was probably Jan Aelbrechtsz. Groenland, who acquired half of the company’s shares in 1658. There are three main phases that…

The Creation of the Exotic Black Delft

The newly formed Dutch East India Company (VOC) made its first trades with Japan during the beginning of the seventeenth century. Lacquerware was amongst the many curiosities that were imported to the Netherlands. The very delicate wooden objects were painted in dark brown or black, coated in highly glossed lacquer, and were usually richly decorated…

Silver Inspirations

By the late seventeenth century, the French court of Louis XIV (1638-1715) was the model of splendor and taste for all of Europe. Every court envied his display of wealth in silver, the exalted material that signified wealth and status. Silver is a precious metal, which distinguishes it from wood, glass and porcelain which do…

The Display of Flowers

The study of botany and natural sciences was a growing interest in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century. The VOC imported rare and exotic flowers to the region and helped develop their fascination amongst wealthy patrons. A few of the most beloved and expensive floral varieties were the yellow rose, the passion flower and the…

Willem & Lambertus Cleffius

The Delftware industry reached a pinnacle of success amongst European earthenware makers by the second half of the seventeenth century. Very rapidly, the number of factories producing Delftware dramatically increased. At first, the market was mostly dominated by families of craftsmen whose knowledge was built on generations of experience. However, the Delftware industry soon attracted…

Scenes of Overindulgence

Still lifes, portraits and landscapes predominate in seventeenth century paintings. In the Low Countries, genre paintings enjoyed a distinct popularity, with paintings showing scenes of ordinary people engaged in common activities. Scenes of drinking were a recurring theme in Dutch genre painting beginning in the sixteenth century. Reveling peasants and country people at the tavern…

Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx & Johanna van der Heul

On January 24, 1701, the Kocx family celebrated a momentous occasion. The day marked the transfer of ownership of the prosperous factory De Grieksche A (The Greek A) from Adrianus Kocx to his son, Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx. A festive dinner attended by the entire staff was organized to celebrate the event.[1] Pieter van Hurk, who…

The Distribution of Dutch Delftware

Although quite a lot is known about the history and production of Delftware, one lingering question has been how these objects were distributed. Where were they sold after they left the factory? Many times, the pottery was sold directly from the factory. Delft factory owners often lived in buildings that faced the street, while the…

Decorations in ‘Petit Feu’ Colors

The colorful Imari and Kakiemon Japanese porcelain wares reached the Netherlands between 1660 and 1670. They were immensely popular in the Western market, yielding high prices and inspiring Delft potters to emulate the colorful designs. In particular, Delft potters were driven to reproduce the delicate pastels of the Kakiemon porcelains, experimenting with various color and…

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