Under Discussion: Eighteenth-Century Reactions to the Town Hall

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Abstract

The impact of Amsterdam Town Hall on visitors changed fundamentally in the eighteenth century. They write about their admiration and complete astonishment, but there are also disapproving accounts. Critical visitors notice a striking discrepancy in what they are actually looking at and how they see the building represented in texts and images. Their critique is often fed by a change in taste due to new aesthetic ideals and architectural visions. Yet others disagree with such criticism, inspired by emergent nationalistic feelings that present the Dutch seventeenth century as the Golden Age and the Town Hall as its most important monument. Thus, appreciation of the building evolved from the admiration, mixed with awe and fear of the chief monument of the energetic city of commerce to a memory of an exceptional past.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Amsterdam Town Hall in Words and Images
Subtitle of host publicationConstruction Wonders
EditorsStijn Bussels, Caroline van Eck, Bram van Oostveldt
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury, Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Chapter8
Pages195-229
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781350205352, 9781350205345
ISBN (Print)9781350205338
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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