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The programme focuses on the art, culture and history of the Dutch Golden age in an international and interdisciplinary context. Emphasis is on the construction, dissemination and perception of artefacts as well as ideas in the 'long' Golden Age (c. 1550-1750) in their historical context.

The programme explores the making of the Dutch Republic (the Dutch Revolt, the Renaissance in literature and the arts), its key role in the economy, politics and culture of Europe and the world, and its transition to a less dominant position, in its full international context and in an interdisciplinary setting.