Professor emerita of art history at Berkeley University and a specialist in 17th-century Dutch art. Professor Alpers has published in Art History and other journals. She is the author of Rembrandt’s Enterprise and the authoritative but controversial Art and Describing, an analysis of the visual culture in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Her unorthodox and widely debated views on visual sensibility have had a profound influence on the study of 17th-century art.

In Dutch Light Professor Alpers discusses the visual culture in Holland, the confidence of Dutch artists and scientists in what they observed, and the impact of their observations on art. We asked whether the light in Holland had changed: ‘You can’t destroy Dutch light,’ she replied, ‘because it’s still there, in the paintings…’