Dutch Light (2003)

Genres - Nature, Visual Arts  |   Sub-Genres - Art History, Graphic & Applied Arts, Natural Environments  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands  |  
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Many often argue, and not without reason, that the actual quality of the light in the Netherlands differs enormously from that found in other parts of the world. They claim it increases the luminescence of the landscapes and lifts Dutch paintings and photographs to a whole new plane - just witness the works of everyone from Johannes Vermeer to Rembrandt van Rijn to Jan Wiessenbruch. The notion ultimately became so prevalent and so widespread that it served as the foundation for an entire Dutch aesthetic movement, dubbed The Culture of Observation. But does this idea have an actual foundation in reality, or is it simply a myth without substance? Such is the question at the heart of the documentary Dutch Light, co-helmed by Pieter Rim de Kroon and Maarten de Kroon. The de Kroons underscore German artist Joseph Beuys's assertion that "The Culture of Observation" abruptly ended in the 1950s. The filmmakers investigate it for themselves, point by point, by analyzing the difference between the light in Holland and the light elsewhere, and examining the impact it has wrought on science and art in the Netherlands. The co-directors also investigate the possibility that Dutch light has regressed or simply changed over the years.

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Keywords

Holland, light [natural], art, myth, painting, observations, theory, aesthetics, artist, colors, Dutch [nationality], landscape, still-life