WITTE, Emanuel de
(b. 1617, Alkmaar, d. 1692, Amsterdam)

The Courtyard of the Old Exchange in Amsterdam

Oil on panel, 48 x 47,5 cm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

The expansion of Amsterdam's trade in the mid-17th century allowed the city to develop its extant banking system and commodity exchange services to the highest level of volume and sophistication in Europe. In its Exchange, merchants and brokers from all over the world traded goods, currency, rumours - and an unprecedented volume of stocks. Contemporary reports sketch the bustle in the new Exchange building designed by Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621), the most respected architect and sculptor of his generation. Artists such as Emmanuel de Witte painted the busy throngs of domestic and foreign traders.

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