This volume and the conference held in Rotterdam on 10 and 11 April 2014 are among the main outcomes of a research program which received generous funding of the Netherlandish Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The project entitled ‘Cultural Transmission Artistic Exchanges in the Low Countries, 1572–1672. Mobility of artists, works of art and artistic knowledge’ was hosted by the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam between 2009 and 2014. We are grateful to these institutions and the researchers who have contributed to this ambitious project in multiple ways: Veerle De Laet, Ineke Steevens, Marloes Hemmer, Claartje Rasterhoff and David van der Linden.

The conference out of which these proceedings came forth was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences, the Trustfonds of the Erasmus University, and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. In addition, we are indebted to the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam for providing the perfect setting to contemplate artistic exchanges in the Low Countries. Being in the museum with its impressive collection of Netherlandish art made the topics of our discussions literally tangible. Finally, our thanks goes to the members of the team for handling innumerable practical details before and during the conference, with a special mentioning of David van der Linden who went above and beyond the call of duty in helping to prepare for this event.

With respect to this collection of essays, we wish to express our gratitude to the editorial board of De Zeventiende Eeuw for their willingness to publish the proceedings and offer the results of our research endeavours a worthy platform. We owe it to the persistence of Carolina Lenarduzzi that this volume was published in a timely fashion, and her assistance throughout the process has been instrumental. Furthermore, research assistant Thomas Teekens was most helpful with the checking of references and compiling the summary bibliography. Also, we took the many suggestions made by the anonymous reviewer to heart, and we would like to make use of this opportunity to acknowledge his or her valuable input. Finally, we are grateful to all those colleagues and friends (often one and the same) who over the years have generously shared their thoughts with us on Netherlandish art at this fascinating juncture in history.