In this critical darling Vermeer's captivating and enigmatic paintings become windows that reveal how daily life and thought-from Delft to Beijing--were transformed in the 17th century, when the world first became global.
A Vermeer painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. In another canvas, fruit spills from a blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Familiar images that captivate us with their beauty--but as Timothy Brook shows us, these intimate pictures actually give us a remarkable view of an expanding world. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur from North America, and it was beaver pelts from America that financed the voyages of explorers seeking routes to China-prized for the porcelains so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time, including Vermeer's. In this dazzling history, Timothy Brook uses Vermeer's works, and other contemporary images from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to trace the rapidly growing web of global trade, and the explosive, transforming, and sometimes destructive changes it wrought in the age when globalization really began.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good read, pictures not included.
This book is a good read. A bit disappointed that the pictures are not included that are in the printed version that my history course classmates had, that were talked about in class. The pictures included some of the works by Vermeer, other objects that are talked about in the book, as well as another painting.
Enjoyable and informative
A very readable and far encompassing story of globalization in the 15-1600’s. However we here are the illustrations, “plates” mentioned in the text and in the end notes. This books essays begin by referencing works of art, but only the title related painting seems to be included in the eBook!
A bit disappointing? How can anyone sell a book based on paintings without including the paintings????