Vermeer's Hat : The seventeenth century and the dawn of the global world

Author(s): Timothy Brook


In one painting, a Dutch military officer leans toward a laughing girl. In another, a woman at a window weighs pieces of silver. In a third, fruit spills from a porcelain bowl onto a Turkish carpet. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur, which European explorers got from Native Americans in exchange for weapons. Beaver pelts, in turn, financed the voyages of sailors seeking new routes to China. There - with silver mined in Peru - Europeans would purchase, by the thousands, the porcelain so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time. Vermeer's haunting images hint at the stories behind these exquisitely rendered moments. As Timothy Brook shows us in Vermeer's Hat, these pictures, which seem so intimate, actually open doors onto a rapidly expanding world.


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Vermeer's Hat offers us a rich new understanding both of Vermeer's paintings and of the era they portray. 'Effortless and compelling, Brooks is a wonderful storyteller. I doubt I will read a better book this year.' Sunday Telegraph

Winner of Mark Lynton History Prize 2009.

Timothy Brook holds the Shaw Chair in Chinese Studies at Oxford University. He is the author of many books, including the award-winning Confusions of Pleasure.

General Fields

  • : 9781846681202
  • : Profile Books Ltd
  • : Profile Books Ltd
  • : 0.257
  • : June 2009
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Timothy Brook
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 909.6
  • : 296
  • : Illustrations