Art, after all, doesn’t just exist in the time it was created. It speaks to us from the time of its creation, sometimes whispering and sometimes screaming, always waiting for us to hear. And this particular painting has a lot to tell us about influence, privilege, crime and humiliation.
Amsterdam in 1655 was a boomtown: bustling, crowded, welcoming ships from around the world into is busy port. In other words, it was ripe for an outbreak of plague.
During its Golden Age, the Dutch Republic became a hub of many things: the spice and sugar trade, diamond crafting, master artworks – and optics. Why the Netherlands?
You might find this hard to believe, but science is on my side: Vampires are real*. And not only are they real, but we can name them. Well, two of them, at least. They lived in America. New England, to be precise: one in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island.
Behold, Theodor “Dirk” Kerckring. Son of Dutch East India Co. captain Dirk Kerckring and Margaretha Bas, the daughter of former Amsterdam Mayor Dirk Bas. Scion of wealth and privilege. Son of the republic. I want to punch that smirk right off his face.
I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. Thoughts and prayers.