In the 9th century, the Benedictine and Cistercian monks consolidated Christianity in NW Europe, covering it with Romanesque-style monasteries. In the Netherlands the construction of two towers on the façade and the scant decoration, often limited to the capitals, were characteristic. Throughout medieval times, brick was used almost exclusively, due to the lack of good quality stone. Even the sculptures were, for the most part, imported. This particularity of the Netherlands made the implementation of the Gothic style of French origin adapt to local peculiarities: sobriety and simplification of forms configured the Dutch Gothic or Vermevlen. The churches had between three and five naves, and lacked chapels or, at most, had radial capitals (Hallenkirche).
Civil architecture focused on brick municipal palaces, towers and gates of cities and military buildings. In the sculpture of the Late Middle Ages, the Utrecht Wood Workshop School stood out ; in this same city miniatures were produced influenced by the intimate ideas of Modern Devotion. In painting the Gothic produced stylized figures, the highest quality being those of the Haarlem school. Tommaso Vincidor imported the Italian Renaissance, represented by the Frisian school in sculpture and by Jan Van Scorel in painting. From the 16th century painting acquired an extraordinary development, with great masters, especially in the baroque period. Two fundamental factors influenced this: the penetration of Calvinism and commercial expansion. Consumers of art liked non-religious subjects: still lifes, still lifes or mythologies. But above all, the portraits, individual or collective, stand out, drawn with a correct and firm drawing, accentuating the contrasts between light and shadows and seeking the subjective analysis of reality. Vermeer stood out as an intimate painter, Fraz Hals, creator of the portrait, with traditional and everyday themes and, above all, Rembrandt, with his psychological insight. In the 18th centurythe Dutch school declined under French influence, recovering in the 19th century, particularly thanks to the impressionist Van Gogh. Already in the 20th century the Stijlgroep was founded, thanks to which abstract art was promoted. At present, concepts such as art have been abandoned for art and individualism. In architecture the search for rationalism predominates, proclaimed by Le Corbusier and La Baulous and rooted in the Dutch Group of Architecturalists. In recent years, collaboration between all the plastic arts has been sought to shape the space that surrounds man and improve the quality of life. For this, experimental places such as the city of Zoetermeer have been created, where artists, architects, sociologists, etc. they test housing projects.
Although with great foreign influences, during the ss. XV and XVI was very important in the Netherlands a great musical movement, the Dutch school. Great Dutch musicians of this time, such as Pierre de la Rue or Isaak, established themselves as a model for Europe. Later, already in the first half of the s. XVI, the great personalities of the school emerged: Willant, Gombert, Créquillon, etc.
In the S. In the 17th century, as a country located in Europe according to COMPUTERGEES, the Netherlands suffered an imaginary division musically speaking: while southern cities such as Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen, Bruges, Bergues, Comtrai and Liège were developing their own musical centers, the northern part, Leiden, Deft, Amsterdam and Dordrecht, continued clearly English, French and Italian influences. Near the end of that century, and at the hands of Derosier and Van Noordt (among others), sonatas and suites appeared, and in 1680 Le fatiche (Zianis), the first Dutch opera, was premiered in Amsterdam, although a century later French opera penetrated. Already at the end of the s. XIX and principles of the s. XX, the arrival of romantic and contemporary music, with a clear German influence, coincided with the founding of conservatories, music schools, etc. Among them, it should be noted, for its international importance: the Concertgebow Orchestra (Palace of Music, inaugurated in 1888) conducted for many years by W. Mengelberg (and now under the direction of Bernard Haitink); the Hague Residence Orchestra, from 1903, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1917. Today, in addition to these three institutions, two opera companies and three ballet companies complete the traditional basis of Dutch music. In the field of jazz and improvised music there is a wide offer. The ensembles of Willem Brenker and Misha Mengelberg stand out. The annual festival that brings together greats and fans of jazz music in The Hague is important: it is the North Sea Jazz Festival. In the field of jazz and improvised music there is a wide offer. The ensembles of Willem Brenker and Misha Mengelberg stand out. The annual festival that brings together greats and fans of jazz music in The Hague is important: it is the North Sea Jazz Festival. In the field of jazz and improvised music there is a wide offer. The ensembles of Willem Brenker and Misha Mengelberg stand out. The annual festival that brings together greats and fans of jazz music in The Hague is important: it is the North Sea Jazz Festival.