Age of Rembrandt

ARTH 354/3.0

A detailed study of paintings produced in the Netherlands, ca. 1580-1700. Developments in style and the growth of subject types such as genre, portraiture, landscape, and still life are examined in the cultural context of life in the Dutch Republic, with particular attention to the achievements of artists such as Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer.

Learning Outcomes


By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • describe the main developments in 17th-century Dutch art in both style and subject matter
  • identify key artists, their styles and artistic interests
  • explain the social, political and religious context in which the works were produced
  • describe the different methodological approaches to understanding the works
  • discuss the recent controversies in the scholarship on the works



  • Historical and Artistic Background
  • The Italian Influence c. 1590–1625
  • Rembrandt I: The Early Years in Leiden and Amsterdam
  • Rembrandt II: The Middle Years, c.1640-50
  • Rembrandt III: The Mature Years c. 1650-69
  • Portraiture
  • Genre Painting I and II
  • Landscape Painting
  • Architectural and Still Life Painting


The seventeenth century was a vibrant period in Dutch culture and the paintings produced during this time testify to this. While in many ways the seventeenth century was a very different world from our own, it was also quite similar with, for example, enormous developments being made in the sciences and technology. It was also a tumultuous time, one when wars were fought over differences in religious belief. Most people living in Europe were Christian, but there was intense conflict between those who remained faithful to Catholicism and those who broke away and followed the Protestant Reformers. As you will see, this had a significant impact on the type of subjects painted in the Dutch Republic.

One of the most appealing aspects of the art produced in Holland during the seventeenth century is its wide range of subject matter. While the portraits and religious themes produced by Rembrandt are among the most famous of all paintings, other Dutch artists of this period are renowned for their ability to capture the appearance of the everyday world around them. The first half of this course will focus on paintings by Rembrandt and the artists associated with his circle; the second half will deal with areas of artistic specialization (landscape, still-life, and depictions of everyday life, etc.) through a study of works produced by painters such as Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Jacob van Ruisdael. These paintings will be discussed in their social, political and religious contexts.

Recommended Prerequisite: ARTH 253/3.0


Winter 2018
Course Dates: 
Jan. 8 - Apr. 6, 2018
Exam Dates: 


2 Essays40%
Exhibition Assignment20%
5 Quizzes20%
4 Discussion Forums20%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Professor Jane Russell Corbett (

Instructor message

Portrait of course instructor Jane Russell.I welcome you to ARTH 354: The Age of Rembrandt. I have taught this course on the main campus at Queen's, at the Bader International Centre in Herstmonceux, England, and online. If, like me, you are interested in a wide variety of types of subject matter, I think you will find the material in this course both interesting and enjoyable.

Jane Russell Corbett (E-mail:

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours per week (120 hours per term)  in study/practice and online activity for ARTH 354.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer term 2017, Fall tern 2017 and Winter term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.