Vermeers Hat: The Seventeenth Century And The Dawn Of The Global World

Paperback | October 22, 2013

byTimothy Brook

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In one painting, a military officer in a Dutch sitting room flirts with a laughing  girl. In another, a woman at a window weighs pieces of silver. Vermeer’s paintings  haunt us with their beauty and mystery—what stories lay behind these stunningly  rendered moments? As Timothy Brook shows us, these pictures, which seem  so intimate, actually offer a remarkable view of a rapidly expanding world. The  dashing officer’s hat is of beaver fur from Canada, while the pieces of silver, mined  in Peru, might be used to purchase the Chinese porcelain seen in other Vermeer  paintings. Moving outward from Vermeer’s studio, Brook traces the web of trade  that was spreading across the globe in the seventeenth century. The wharves of  Holland , wrote a French visitor, were “an inventory of the possible.” Vermeer’s Hat  shows just how rich this inventory was, and how the urge to acquire such things  was refashioning the world more powerfully than we have yet understood.

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In one painting, a military officer in a Dutch sitting room flirts with a laughing  girl. In another, a woman at a window weighs pieces of silver. Vermeer’s paintings  haunt us with their beauty and mystery—what stories lay behind these stunningly  rendered moments? As Timothy Brook shows us, these pictures, which seem  so intimate, ac...

Timothy Brook is the author or editor of twelve books on  China , as well as the award-winning The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China . He is currently chair,  Republic of China, with the Department of History and Institute  of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.35 × 0.75 inPublished:October 22, 2013Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143167693

ISBN - 13:9780143167693

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“In his highly readable book … Brook offers as fascinating an account of economic history as you’re likely to encounter.” - National Post“A fascinating approach to cultural history, providing new ways of thinking about the origins of commonplace objects.” - Entertainment Weekly“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