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17th century Northern School
The United Netherlands became a republic populated mainly by Calvinists. Dutch Protestants like Rembrandt conveyed morals and religious messages through concealed symbolism in landscapes, still lifes, and scenes of daily life. Flanders, however, remained Catholic and royalist; Flemish artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck glorified the Church and monarchy with grandiose themes, lively compositions, and vivid colors. Faced with the threat of Protestantism, the Roman Catholic church spent lavishly on religious art to revive the faith of their congregations.

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