This research project discusses art and architecture commissioned by Hanse merchants and diplomats (ca. 1517-1648)

About the project

By studying the role of Hanse merchants and diplomats in the production of art and architecture, this research sheds light on the ways in which they envisioned a future for their mercantile organisation. The material traces of the Hanse in Europe at large, and in the Low Countries in specific, are manifold. Although the Hanse as a flourishing Pan-European phenomenon is said to have had its golden age in the 14th and 15th centuries, this project seeks to paint a different picture of the ‘late-Hanse’. Not by portraying the association of merchants in decline in the 16th and 17th centuries, but as an organisation in a period of transition and renewal.

Aim of the project

The objectives of this study on the cultural legacy of the Hanse are to offer insights into the ways in which the Hansards operated as cultural agents, producers, and facilitators of cultural exchange. Furthermore, it sheds light on their ambition to become global mercantile players, and it locates the Low Countries as a cultural crossroad.

Related publications

Bracker, Jörgen., and Volker Henn. Die Hanse: Lebenswirklichkeit Und Mythos. 3. Aufl. Des Textbandes Zur Hamburger Hanse-Ausstellung Von 1989. ed. Lübeck: Schmidt-Römhild, 1999.

Petter-Wahnschaffe, Katrin, Hans Holbein und der Stalhof in London, Kunstwissenschaftliche Studien, V. 156, Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2010.


Suzie Hermán
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow PhD Candidate at Princeton University

Friso Lammertse
Curator of 17th Century Dutch Painting

Matthias Ubl
Curator Early Netherlandish and German Paintings & Stained Glass

Frits Scholten
Senior Curator of Sculpture

Partners en sponsors

This Fellowship is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is part of the Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme.