Visualizing knowledge in the early modern Netherlands: mapping the Republic of materials

The Dutch Golden Age was not only a period of cultural endeavour and affluence, but of scientific achievements as well. Art and science, however, were not opposing but rather complimentary forms of cultural expression.

Scholars collected large numbers of books, as well as a diversity of man-made and natural objects. Artists were just as interested in anatomy as scientists were. Images of previously unknown creatures from the New World stimulated further understanding of Creation. In its turn, this explosive growth of knowledge inspired a huge production of maps, engravings, books and paintings.

There is currently a growing international consensus that Antwerp and Amsterdam were possibly the first hubs of a knowledge-based economy, and were instrumental in development of the creative industry. This project will map the interface between art and science in the Low Countries of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This project is done in collaboration with prof. dr. Toine Pieters (UU).