Day of Special Interest 

Dutch Courage

Monday 21st October 

The Golden Age of Dutch Art During the Seventeenth Century

 With Nick Nelson

During the 17th century, driven by new freedom from Spanish Catholic rule, the Dutch Republic experienced a surge in economic and cultural prominence. An influx of trade boosted commerce, leading to the rise of a large middle and merchant class in the market for the proliferation of art that had cropped up in response to the burgeoning celebration of Dutch life and identity. The Dutch Reformed church and a rising sense of Dutch nationalism informed the Golden Age, from c.1588 to 1672.

Landscape painting exploded during the Dutch Golden Age, bringing with it an emphasis on the unique characteristics of Dutch landscape features. Genre painting experienced a magnificent evolution, with a distinct look at the contemporary lifestyle, trends, and interests of the Dutch people of the time. The stilleven, or still life surged in popularity, utilised to imaginatively express objects of beauty. This dominant element of Dutch art developed into a number of subtypes, of which floral still life, presented with scientific accuracy, was the most popular. 

Some scholars have referred to Dutch Golden Age painting as Dutch Realism. 

Nick Nelson

Brief Biography

Nick is currently Head of History of Art at Cheltenham College, where he has also taught Art and Design, Architecture, Music, English, Classical Civilisation, Theology, Philosophy and Ethics. Prior to this, Nick studied History of Art and Architecture at The University of East Anglia, took a PGCE in Art & Design at The University of Reading, and completed his Masters in The History of Art at The University of Buckingham. The spot focus for his Masters was on ‘Synaesthesia, Harmony and Discord in the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg 1909-14.’ 

Nick established Arcadia Education with his wife Katie in 2014 for teaching, tutoring and touring with History of Art. Since such time he has lectured around the world for the Soho House Group, and in the UK for the Arts Society, and, formerly, NADFAS. Nick has run several courses in Art History at Barnsley House, Marlborough College Summer School and The Ellenborough Park Hotel. He lectures on a wide array of topics, from the Renaissance to Modernism. 


Arrive for coffee/tea



Venue:  Cirencester Baptist Church, Chesterton Lane, Cirencester Glos, GL7 1YE

Cost:   £55 and for non-members £60

The day comprises of 3 lectures, coffee/tea on arrival and after the first lecture, as well as a delicious 2 course hot lunch, with a choice of 3 main courses and desserts.

Places can now be reserved by emailing dsi@theartssocietycorinium.orgFull booking, menu options and payment details will be emailed by reply after 15th June.