HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DUTCH AND FLEMAND STILL LIFE (part 1)
In the 50s and 60s of the 16th century, the situation in the Netherlands became extremely tense. If in the first half of the century the burden of economic exploitation by Spain was balanced to a certain extent for the bourgeoisie with the benefits derived from the inclusion of the Netherlands in the world empire of the Habsburgs, which guaranteed the security of trade, in the second half of the 16th century the situation radically changed. The dependence of the Netherlands on feudal Catholic Spain became a brake on the further development of the country.
Increased pressure on the Dutch provinces, the tax system, which undermines the foundations of trade – all this delayed the development of productive forces. The free development of the bourgeoisie has already become incompatible with the feudal system.
The advancement of new social forces entailed significant changes in the prevailing ideology and led to the development of religious movements characteristic of the sixteenth century, covering different sections of the population.
Of particular importance in the Netherlands was Calvinism. The sober practicality of the new religion, aimed at justifying the earthly activities of man, contributed to its widespread distribution.
Speaking against “idolatry”, that is, against the decoration of churches with icons and statues, Calvinism thereby contributed much to the flourishing of secular, secular art. The success of man in worldly affairs was interpreted by Calvinist preachers as evidence of being chosen by his god, and all everyday work of a person was considered as a charitable deed.
The faithful son of the Catholic Church – the Spanish monarch Philip II in every possible way seeks to prevent the spread of Calvinism. Inquisition is introduced in the Netherlands. Hundreds of people are sentenced to death on mere suspicion of adherence to a new religious teaching. The property of the executed is confiscated.
Violent persecution exacerbates the situation in the country. The fight for religious freedom is becoming a national idea. The political and religious oppression of Spain is opposed by the Dutch bourgeoisie and the masses who are increasingly strengthening their positions.
As a result of the bourgeois revolution of the late sixteenth century, an independent bourgeois republic of the United Provinces (future Holland) was formed in the north of the Netherlands.
The southern regions – Flanders, Brabant and others (future Belgium) continued to remain part of the feudal-Catholic monarchy of the Spanish Habsburgs.
These specific features of the development of the Netherlands in the second half of the sixteenth century, portending a new era, found expression in the visual arts.
The demarcation of two national cultures was finally revealed only in the first half of the seventeenth century. This century was a time for Holland to actively build a new society, new social relations and the formation of the Dutch nation.
The object of Dutch art of this time was a new man – the burgher of the first bourgeois republic. The world of his thoughts and feelings about himself and about surrounding reality, including nature as the subject of his observations and activities, is the main content of the works of Dutch masters.