About the Class
This class explores the rich visual culture that characterized the golden age of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. During this period, the small and relatively new nation emerged as a global economic powerhouse, thanks to its naval strength and unrivaled prowess in shipping and trade. The artworks of Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, and others capture the fascinating and at times contradictory nature of the changes in Dutch society and culture.
Each week, the main lecture is followed by a 30-minute discussion session that allows students the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and classmates.
Downey teaches art history at Saint Joseph’s University and West Chester University, and holds a PhD in early modern European art and architecture from Temple University. Downey has received grants for her research from various organizations, including the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. Recently, her study on Netherlandish workshops in Rome was published in the Netherlands Yearbook for the History of Art.