Today we marvel at the shimmering light, the detail and hidden significances within the subtle techniques of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Frans Hals and their compatriots. The luminescent art of the Dutch Masters grew from the bounding confidence of the newly independent Netherlands in the early 1600s. Shed of religious conflict it encouraged a wealthy mercantile class that sought the oceans of the world in search of riches and influence, and a new sensibility in art that cast light across the actions and objects of daily life. The Dutch Masters are characterized by the abandonment of religious patronage, allowing, for the first time, a relentless focus on everyday subjects: the taverns, breakfast tables and living rooms of the newly wealthy and the places they loved to visit. This wonderful new book, also highlighting the work of the pioneering Rachel Ruysch, is the latest addition to Flame Tree's highly successful Masterworks series.