What is special about Dutch art?

As a center of trade, the Netherlands has traditionally attracted wealthy art lovers. Dutch artists particularly excelled in the art of painting, starting in Bruges and Ghent in the fifteenth century with Jan van Eyck and other “Flemish Primitives.” Centers … Continue reading

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How liberal is the Netherlands?

In the 1960s, the Netherlands transformed itself from a former colonial empire with a predominantly provincial mentality into a small nation with a predominantly international mentality. Whereas the Netherlands had traditionally been considered as a profoundly religious country with rather … Continue reading

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Dutch or Flemish?

The word “Dutch” (in Dutch: Nederlands) has the same etymological origin as Deutsch (German), meaning “those who speak a popular language (and not Latin).” Despite grammatical similarities, Dutch cannot be considered a variant of German, but is rather a proper … Continue reading

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Belgium or Flanders?

Belgium (in Dutch: België) is a constitutional monarchy in Western Europe with some 10 million inhabitants. Flanders (in Dutch: Vlaanderen), originally meaning “land near the sea,” refers to a geographical area in the north of Belgium that is Dutch-speaking. In … Continue reading

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How Dutch is the United States?

Many American geographical names (Harlem, Flushing, Brooklyn), landmarks (Wall Street), families (Roosevelt, Van Buren) and words (dollar, cookie, boss, coleslaw) originate from the 17th-century Dutch colony New Netherland on Manhattan. Some five million Americans are of Dutch descent. The Dutch … Continue reading

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What is typically Dutch?

The word “Netherlands” means “Low Countries.” The flatness of the countryas well as the struggle against the ever threatening sea are strong metaphors in the definition of Dutch identity. Exemplary are the 17th century landscape paintings with a high sky … Continue reading

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