The Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch Golden Age

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Aelbert Cuyp, 1620-1691, Jacob Mathieusen and his wife in Batavia, the fleet in the background, Rijksmuseum

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch Golden Age

To coincide with the exhibition Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until 18th February, Ian Burnet will give a special lecture on the art created under the patronage of the VOC merchants.

The VOC (United Dutch East India Company), one of the world’s first joint stock companies, was founded in 1602 and held a state monopoly over trade with the Far East. The riches of Indonesian spices, Chinese silks and porcelains, Indian textiles, Japanese silver and other Asian trade goods brought huge profits to VOC shareholders. This new wealth was channelled into art patronage as wealthy merchants and important officials enhanced their prestige by commissioning self-portraits, interior scenes and landscapes reflective of their new status.

Ian Burnet is the author of three books on the history and culture of the Indonesian archipelago – Spice Islands (2011), East Indies (2013) and Archipelago (2015). His book East Indies follows the rise of the VOC and the huge wealth derived from its trading activities.

How to Book: Please make all bookings and payments in advance. No refunds. Book via email to Jillian Kennedy ( or call Jillian on 02 9958 7378.

How to Pay:

1. By bank transfer (with “your name Burnet” as reference):

The Asian Arts Society of Australia

BSB: 012003

Account: 218528414

2. By credit card or Paypal via this website – see booking button above right.



12 February, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEDT
Event Category:




Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt St
Sydney, NSW Australia
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