New Book | The Fabric of Creativity in the Dutch Republic, 1580–1800
Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:
Claartje Rasterhoff, The Fabric of Creativity in the Dutch Republic, 1580–1800 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017), 352 pages, ISBN: 978 90896 47023, $149.
The Dutch Republic was a cultural powerhouse in the modern era, producing lasting masterpieces in painting and publishing—in the process transforming those fields from modest trades to booming industries. This book asks the question of how such a small nation could become such a major player in those fields. Claartje Rasterhoff shows how industrial organizations played a role in shaping patterns of growth and innovation—as early modern Dutch cultural industries were concentrated geographically, highly networked, and institutionally embedded, they were able to reduce uncertainty in the marketplace and stimulate the commercial and creative potential of painters and publishers—though those successes eventually came up against the limits of a saturated domestic market and an aversion to risk on the part of producers that ultimately brought an end to the boom.
Claartje Rasterhoff is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in arts and culture studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.