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Exhibition

Empfang des holländischen Botschafters Cornelis van der Mijle durch den Dogen von Venedig im Jahr 1609. 
Unbekannter Maler (Odoardo Fialetti). Zeeuws Archief Middelburg, The Netherlands, Collection community of Veere

Empfang des holländischen Botschafters Cornelis van der Mijle durch den Dogen von Venedig im Jahr 1609.
Unbekannter Maler (Odoardo Fialetti). Zeeuws Archief Middelburg, The Netherlands, Collection community of Veere


The exhibition tells the story of the origins of our contemporary economic system, capitalism, in the historic maritime republic of Venice and during the “Golden Age” of Amsterdam – Venice from the 13th century and Amsterdam in the 17th century. Both cities played a key role in the economic and social development of the West. Merchants and traders invented new forms of finance, credit and commerce which we still use today. Both cities looked out towards the sea, took risks, built ships, pursued trade overseas, suffered losses, but also made large profits. With growing affluence and the birth of a pre-modern civil society, for example in Amsterdam, culture and splendour became more attractive than risky overseas trade. This marked the start of investment in culture and luxury – and also the end of the “Golden Age” of both cities.

The exhibition shows that what appears to be historical, and a long way from our reality, turns out to be surprisingly relevant to our present times.

An exibhition from Walter Keller
Szenography: Raphael Barbier

Download Flyer ‘CAPITAL. Merchants in Venice and Amsterdam’ (PDF 2.6MB)





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Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum
Landesmuseum Zürich

Museumstrasse 2
8021 Zürich

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