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De Nederlandse handel in Italiaans marmer in de 17de eeuw

Frits Scholten
Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek (NKJ) / Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art
Vol. 44, NEDERLAND-ITALIE: Relaties in de beeldende kunst van de Nederlanden en Italië / Artistic relations between the Low Countries and Italy 1400-1750 (1993), pp. 197-214
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43888665
Page Count: 18
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De Nederlandse handel in Italiaans marmer in de 17de eeuw
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Abstract

In the 17th century Dutch trade in the Mediterranean, the so-called Straatvaart, increased rapidly, especially after the Munster Peace Treaty of 1648 between Spain and Holland (notes 2-7). A minor commodity among the goods shipped by the Dutch from Italy was the white marble from Carrara (carrarino). During the first half of the 17th century Italian marble was used only occasionally in Dutch sculpture, Hendrick de Keyser being the most important sculptor to work with it (notes 12-18). Interest in the material can also be found in several experiments to produce marble imitations of various kinds (notes 20-21) and in the increasing use of marble for floor pavements and mantel-pieces (notes 25-28). After 1647, when the Straatvaart expanded dramatically, larger amounts of carrarino found their way to Holland, where it was much appreciated by classicist artists and their patrons. Of crucial importance in this development appears to have been the building of the new Amsterdam townhall with its extensive sculptural decorations by the workshop of Artus Quellinus. Two Livorno-based, Amsterdam trading-firms, those of Samuel Sautijn and Jacob van Neck jr., were largely responsible for the large-scale import of Italian marble in Holland (notes 43-56). Sautijn even succeeded in monopolizing the marble exports from Carrara by a contract with the ruler of Massa, count Carlo I Cybo Malaspina in 1657. His two sons continued this contract in 1671 (notes 57-60). The activities of Sautijn and Van Neck eventually led to the development of Amsterdam as the largest staples-market for marble outside Italy in the 17th century. For the development of 17th century Dutch sculpture, which enjoyed a period of considerable flourishing, the presence of marble at such a large scale was of vital importance. After 1650 all major sculptural projects in Holland were produced in carrarino.

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