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"Painting is the common bait for the uneasy heart overwhelmed by choice, / That despite having to meet essential needs charms the money out of one's purse, / Painting seems to be the sauce for all that sprouts from the human mind." In any case, despite the extremist religious opposition in some quarters, "for the Dutch..functioned as a social cement, reinforcing the shared beliefs and aspirations that helped unite communal concerns.

In the works of most artists both style and content reflected taste not of the wealthy and sophisticated, but of people in moderate circumstances.

A cheap engraving, for example, could be had for about a third of the price of a small fish or flower still life painting—and for about a seventh of the price of a more elaborate, high-finish (fine painting) work of Gerrit Dou might be sold for 1,000 guilders or more, the cost of a comfortable Dutch house.

While acknowledging the abundance of paintings in the Netherlands, the art historian Mariët Westermann believes that the foreigners' accounts should not be taken literally because laborers and small peasants surely could not afford more than a few mediocre prints, if that. Camphuyzen…was roused because the art of painting was so well-liked that one could say nothing against it: "Painting!

Rather than assuming the traditional guise of the learned gentleman artist that was fostered by Renaissance they smoked, drank, and chased women.For this, international fashion could be largely ignored.This allowed the full development of native artistic species." Perhaps no pictures more than Hendrick Avercamp's winter scenes represent the extraordinary social and artistic cohesion exclusive to the Netherlands among European nations."A considerable proportion of inhabitants of Dutch towns had more than sufficient income to provide for their fundamental needs.Many chose to spend their surplus on furnishing for their homes, including pictures.

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