- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; 1st edition (December 26, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596914440
- ISBN-13: 978-1596914445
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World Hardcover – December 26, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Elegant and quietly important…. Brook does more than merely sketch the beginnings of globalization and highlight the forces that brought our modern world into being; rather, he offers a timely reminder of humanity's interdependence.” ―Seattle Times
“This book will certainly make you look differently at Vermeer's paintings, as you imagine the greater context of the time period and ponder the acquisition of seemingly minor objects. An insightful read for historians and art historians alike and a fine guide into the rewards of studying material culture.” ―Library Journal
“Brook utilizes the props in Vermeer's tableaux as starting points to journey into the cultural and economic world of the time: A teacup pours forth the history of the porcelain trade with China, while a felt hat is traced to beaver trapping in North America. It's a fascinating approach to cultural history, providing new ways of thinking about the origins of commonplace objects.” ―Entertainment Weekly, A grade, EW Pick
“Marvelous….The tidbits are fascinating in their own right, but Brook has a larger point, relevant to our own time: We need to narrate the past in a way that recognizes connections, not just divisions.” ―Bookpage
“…effective and illuminating….A magic-carpet conducted by a genial, learned host.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Brook...accomplishes his task...with authority and economy.” ―Booklist
“Vermeer's Hat is a deftly eclectic book, in which Timothy Brook uses details drawn from the great painter's work as a series of entry points to the widest circles of world trade and cultural exchange in the seventeenth century. From the epicenter of Delft, Brook takes his readers on a journey that encompasses Chinese porcelain and beaver pelts, global temperatures and firearms, shipwrecked sailors and their companions, silver mines and Manila galleons. It is a book full of surprising pleasures.” ―Jonathan Spence, author of The Death of Woman Wang, In Search of Modern China and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci
“[Vermeer's Hat] is an absolutely wonderful idea, beautifully executed (and I wish I'd thought of it). In Timothy Brook's hands, Vermeer's paintings really do become windows on the past, illuminating a fascinating period in which the world was being remade by global trade.” ―Tom Standage, author of A History of the World in Six Glasses
“Thanks to Brook's roving and insatiably curious gaze, Vermeer's small scenes widen onto the broad panorama of world history: everything from shipwrecks and massacres to global weather patterns and the history of tobacco. The result is like one of Vermeer's trademark reflective pearls that magically reveals a world beyond itself. A more entertaining guide to world history - and to Vermeer - is difficult to imagine.” ―Ross King, author of The Judgment of Paris, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Brunelleschi's Dome
“For those who think they have mastered all the ins and outs of the seventeenth century Netherlands and particularly the country portrayed by the marvelously stay-at-home Dutch painters, Timothy Brook's fine book provides a shock. By way of Vermeer's pictures, he takes us through doorways into a suddenly wider universe, in which tobacco, slaves, spices, beaver pelts, China bowls, and South American silver are wrenching together hitherto well-insulated peoples. We hear behind the willow-pattern calm the crash of waves and cannon. A common humanity with a shared history comes about, with handshakes and treaties, shipwrecks and massacres, as trade expands and the world shrinks.” ―Anthony Bailey, author of Vermeer: A View of Delft
About the Author
Timothy Brook completed this book while a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. He holds the Shaw Chair in Chinese Studies at Oxford University and is the author of many books, including the award-winning Confusions of Pleasure.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
This is a book of first contacts. In a globalized world, we take for granted the diversity we see in society. But what happened the very FIRST time a Portuguese vessel marooned onto a beach of a tiny fishing village on the southeast coast of China? How did these Chinese fishermen, who knew of nothing else outside their own world, react to seeing the red-haired Dutch, Indian merchants, and African slaves coming from this one vessel? What about the first interactions between Europeans and the natives in North America? At times truly hilarious, at times saddening, but always engaging.
Oh, and the reference to Indra's web in this book has been used over and over again. Marvelous imagery.
Coincidentally, our local museum, where I am a docent, is currently featuring an exhibit of Baroque Florentine art. No Vermeer, of course. Things I learned from this book fit comfortably into my tours of the oil paintings as well as into a new exhibit of Middle Eastern art dating from the early first millennium to the present day. I treasure the book and am recommending it to every I know, whatever their interests.