The artistic culture of the Dutch republic in the seventeenth century has given us some of the most familiar and best-loved examples of European painting. In this fresh and readable account, Westermann describes this art as it was experienced by the people of the period and as it appears to us today. She shows how the history of Dutch art mirrors that of the Republic itself: vigorous, self-governing, and staunchly middle class. The prosperity of Amsterdam, Haarlem and Delft, created and supported such great names as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steer, as well as many lesser-known painters and printmakers. Their works are discussed in the political, economic, religious and domestic contexts in which they were produced and seen. By bringing all this together, Westermann creates a richly detailed picture of Dutch culture at an extraordinary moment.