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trade in paintings

John Evelyn writes up his diary on a visit to the Netherlands in 1641:

'13 August. We arrived late at Rotterdam, where was at that time their annual Mart or Fair, so furnished with pictures (especially Landscapes and Drolleries, as they call those clownish representations) as I was amazed: some of these I bought and sent into England. The reason for this store of pictures, and their cheapness, proceeds from their want of Land, to employ their Stock; so as it is an ordinary thing to find a common Farmer lay out two or 3000 thousand pounds in this Commodity, their houses are full of them, and they vend them at their Kermases [Fairs] to very great gains.'

John Evelyn Diary, Oxford University Press, 1959


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