Crisis? Welke crisis? Kanttekeningen bij het economisch verval van de schilderkunst in Leiden na 1660
It is generally accepted that in all cities in the Netherlands the art market fell into crisis after 1660. Yet when considering the craft of painting in a broader sense, some modifications are in place. A reconstruction of the entire Leiden painter community on the basis of the records of the local Guild of St Luke shows that the rapid decrease in the number of artists after 1660 was accompanied by an equally rapid increase in the number of kladschilders. As a consequence the total number of painters remained about the same towards the eighteenth century. The growth in the number of kladschilders was caused by a shift in the demand from easel paintings to decorative paintings. This development offered artists who were out of work a new opportunity and – based on the situation in Leiden – apparently many artists took this opportunity.
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