Histories of Global Netherlandish Art, 1550-1750

Meet the team

Lead: Prof. dr. Thijs Weststeijn

Thijs Weststeijn studies early modern European art in the context of cultural history. His focus is on the Dutch seventeenth century and the global connections that shaped it, as well as the opportunities that artworks from beyond Europe provide to look back at the Netherlands.

For an overview of his research activity, visit his profile page

Nur’Ain Taha

Ain Taha studies the material culture of trade and empire connecting Europe and Asia. Her area of research focus is on the imitation of materials and the process of knowledge-making between European and non-European artisans in the seventeenth century. Other research interests include the history of collecting in colonial empires as well as tracing the social lives of diplomatic gifts exchanged between European and Asian rulers and their role in reiterating a multinarrative global history. Ain received her MA in Asian Studies (Arts, History and Culture) from the University of Leiden and her BA in Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) from the National University of Singapore. She has worked in the arts, heritage, and museum industry under the National Heritage Board of Singapore to create content and  programmes that engage local communities, artists, and academics.


Nicole Ganbold

Nicole Ganbold obtained her BA and MA from the University of Warsaw where she first studied Brazilian landscapes by Frans Post and then focused on depictions of Africans in 17th-century Netherlandish art. After graduating she worked as an Editor in DailyArt Magazine for two years, and in March 2023, she joined Thijs Weststeijn’s Vici project Dutch Global Age: Worldly Images and Images of the World in Netherlandish Art as a PhD candidate.

Her research will focus on the imagery of non-European people created by travelling Netherlandish artists in the 17th century and its global iconic circuits. Nicole’s role in the Dutch Global Age project will be to develop “global iconography” by adapting the iconographical method to motifs on Netherlands-made objects that were separated from their cultural background. Her objective is to show how Netherlandish artists engaged with the world, and vice versa, how the world engaged with the Netherlandish artists by engaging with sources and perspectives from beyond Europe.

Nicole’s research interests are strongly influenced by her personal experience of having grown up in Europe with an Asian immigrant background. As an art historian, her main goal is to tell a more inclusive story of the Dutch Golden Age as a global age.


Margaux Shraiman

Margaux Shraiman is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Utrecht. Previously, she was the recipient of the J.C.M. Warnsinck fellow at Het Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, where her project focused on Frans Post’s sketchbook of coastal drawings, which document the voyage of a Dutch colonial expedition on its way across the Atlantic, analyzing the representation of the environment as an exploitable resource. As part of her Art History Research Masters at the University of Utrecht, she completed two curatorial research internships at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and Het Scheepvaartmuseum. At the Gemäldegalerie, in addition to delving into object and collections research (for example assisting with the reattribution research of the painting Landscape with Arched  Bridge from Govert Flinck to Rembrandt), she also helped research and design both the narrative content and the physical layout of the small exhibition and conference ‘Great Ambitions on the High Seas: Re-examining Olfert de Vrij’s seascape for the Great Elector’. At Het Scheepvaartmuseum, she assisted in the preparations for the upcoming Dutch Atlantic exhibition by researching the museum’s vast holdings of objects from Brazil, the Caribbean, and  Suriname. Her general research interests are focused on the global dimensions of Early Modern Netherlandish visual culture: especially analysing the visibility of colonialism, trans-oceanic commerce and migration, ecology and geography, and violence at sea in works on paper. The Dutch Global Age project examines how global consciousness was rooted in images of the world, images from the world, and images for the world. Her specific subproject will identify and decipher the ways in which Netherlandish artists made sense of and represented the diverse natural environments they encountered around the world and how this was adapted for a global audience.


Project manager: Ulrike Bilgram

Contact: +31 (0)621 530 830