Vermeer's Hat

The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

Recommended by Jonathan Healey, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #65 in Commodities Trading, Ranked #67 in Commodities

In one painting, a Dutch military officer leans toward a laughing girl. In another, a woman at a window weighs pieces of silver. In a third, fruit spills from a porcelain bowl onto a Turkish carpet. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur, which European explorers got from Native Americans in exchange for weapons. Beaver pelts, in turn, financed the voyages of sailors seeking new routes to China. There - with silver mined in Peru - Europeans would purchase, by the thousands, the porcelain so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time.

Vermeer's haunting images hint at the...

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Jonathan Healey This is a way of unpicking particular remnants from the past — in this case fantastic paintings — and looking at the bigger picture that they tell. (Source)

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