Terminology of the Low Countries  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Netherlands is known under various terms both in English and other languages. These are used to describe the different overlapping geographical, linguistic and political areas of the Netherlands. This is often a source of confusion for people from other parts of the world. In English the country is called 'the Netherlands' (or frequently 'Holland'), while the people and the language are called 'Dutch'. Note that in Dutch the official (and predominant) terms for these are 'Nederland' for the country, 'Nederlanders' for the people and 'Nederlands' for the language, although they are occasionally (colloquially) called 'Holland', 'Hollanders' and 'Hollands' respectively.

Low Countries

The name "Low Countries" may be used to refer to the Netherlands, while it actually refers to the historical region de Nederlanden: those principalities located on and around the mostly low-lying land around the delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers. This area very roughly corresponds to the countries of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. This region was called Greater Netherlands by irredentists who sought to unite it. This historical region also was referred to as "The Netherlands" in English. Between 1579 and 1794 the area comprising present Belgium, Luxembourg and parts of northern France was called the Southern Netherlands (or the "Spanish Netherlands" between 1579 and 1713, the "Austrian Netherlands" after 1713, after the main possession of their Habsburg lord).

This region was united three times, in the Seventeen Provinces as a personal union during the 16th century, in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1830 under King William I, and as the Benelux customs union founded in 1948.

Art of the Low Countries

Art of the Low Countries

Art of the Low Countries is painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, and other forms of visual art produced in the Low Countries, and since the 19th century in Belgium and the Netherlands. It includes the traditions of Early Netherlandish painting and the Renaissance in the Low Countries. During the 17th century Dutch Golden Age painting prominently represents the artistic culture of the northern Netherlands while Flemish Baroque painting and the art of Peter Paul Rubens is the cornerstone of art in the southern Netherlands.

Paintings produced anywhere in the Low Countries during the 15th and early 16th century are collectively called Early Netherlandish painting (in Dutch Vlaamse primitieven, Flemish primitives—also common in English before the mid 20th century). Later art and artists from the southern Catholic provinces are usually called Flemish and those from the northern Protestant provinces called Dutch, but art historians sometimes use 'Netherlandish art' for art produced in both areas between 1400 and 1830.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Terminology of the Low Countries" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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