Dutch Golden Republic 1580-1700

Ref: C2337889

From 1580 the young Dutch Republic enjoyed a golden age where it led the world in trade, science, military and art until about 1700. These sessions will explore .how in the 17th-century, a modest collection of farming, fishing and shipping communities, without a shared language, religion or government, transformed themselves into a formidable world empire – the Dutch republic. They will also explore the fascinating personalities that featured in the period - not least artists such as Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Course aim

To study the historical context, kep personalities and events of the Dutch Golden Republic 1580-1700

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior knowledge is required, just an interest in history and art.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the key events and major personalities of the Dutch Golden Republic 1580-1700.
  • 2. Use historical sources such as letters, official records and various art works to illustrate this period of history.
  • 3. Describe some of the innovations of Dutch society in this period which contributed to wider European culture including Britain.
  • 4. Discuss more fully the art produced in the Dutch Golden Age,

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Pens, notepad and a file to store handouts would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Simon Schama's "The Embarrassment of Riches - An Interpretaion of Dutch culture in the Golden Age" is a good introduction. Tracy Chevalier's novel "Girl with a Pearl Earring" for fun and atmosphere.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The tutor will be happy to offer advice about further study.

Download full Course information sheet

Dutch Golden Republic 1580-1700


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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