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The 17th century was the century that lasted from January 1, 1601, to December 31, 1700. The term is often used to refer to the 1600s, the century between January 1, 1600, and December 31, 1699. It falls into the Early Modern period of Europe and in that continent (whose impact on the world was increasing) was characterized by the Baroque cultural movement, the latter part of the Spanish Golden Age, the Dutch Golden Age, the French Grand Siècle dominated by Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, the world's first public company and megacorporation known as the Dutch East India Company, and according to some historians, the General Crisis. The greatest military conflicts were the Thirty Years' War, the Great Turkish War, Mughal–Safavid Wars (Mughal–Safavid War (1622–23), Mughal–Safavid War (1649–53)), Mughal–Maratha Wars, and the Dutch–Portuguese War. It was during this period also that European colonization of the Americas began in earnest, including the exploitation of the silver deposits, which resulted in bouts of inflation as wealth was drawn into Europe.

In the Islamic world, the gunpowder empires – the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal – grew in strength. Especially in the Indian subcontinent, Mughal architecture, culture and art reached its zenith, while the empire itself, during the sharia reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, is believed to have had the world's largest economy, bigger than the entirety of Western Europe and worth 25% of global GDP, and its wealthiest province, the Bengal Subah signaled the period of proto-industrialization.

In Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa shogunate at the beginning of the century, beginning the Edo period; the isolationist Sakoku policy began in the 1630s and lasted until the 19th century. In China, the collapsing Ming dynasty was challenged by a series of conquests led by the Manchu warlord Nurhaci, which were consolidated by his son Hong Taiji and finally consummated by his grandson, the Shunzi Emperor, founder of the Qing dynasty.

From the middle decades of the 17th century, European politics were increasingly dominated by the Kingdom of France of Louis XIV, where royal power was solidified domestically in the civil war of the Fronde. The semi-feudal territorial French nobility was weakened and subjugated to the power of an absolute monarchy through the reinvention of the Palace of Versailles from a hunting lodge to a gilded prison, in which a greatly expanded royal court could be more easily kept under surveillance. With domestic peace assured, Louis XIV caused the borders of France to be expanded. It was during this century that English monarch became a symbolic figurehead and Parliament was the dominant force in government – a contrast to most of Europe, in particular France.

By the end of the century, Europeans were aware of logarithms, electricity, the telescope and microscope, calculus, universal gravitation, Newton's Laws of Motion, air pressure and calculating machines due to the work of the first scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, René Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It was also a period of development of culture in general (especially theater, music, visual arts and philosophy).

17th century Media

87,269 media by topicpage 1 of 873
Plate
Jacoba jug

Jacoba jug

These sorts of jugs were called ‘Jacoba jugs’ because as early as the 17th century they were found in the moat of the hunting lodge of Teylingen, where the 15th-century Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beieren, ... More

Pectoral cross

Pectoral cross

This small precious cross probably belonged to a German priest. Later, in the 17th century, it became the property of an Amsterdam mayor, Gerard Schaep. On the basis of the name ‘Bernd Schaph’ inscribed on it, ... More

Spalatin, Georg

Spalatin, Georg

Verleger: Croeker, Heinrich Christoph Stecher: Göbel, Johann Georg Verlagsort: Jena

Judith

Judith

Mariette Album, leaf 9, top row center Anonymous, Italian, 16th to early 17th century

Two Studies for a Grotesque Head

Two Studies for a Grotesque Head

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

A Standing Cavalier

A Standing Cavalier

Anonymous, Swiss, late 16th to early 17th century

Poems by Famous Literati in Nanjing

Poems by Famous Literati in Nanjing

Liu Xiang (Chinese, active mid-17th century) Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Melanchthon, Philipp
St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew

In Mariette Album, folio 87 bottom third Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Project for a Fountain

Project for a Fountain

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Design for a Leonine Grotesque Head

Design for a Leonine Grotesque Head

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

The Lovers

The Lovers

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Allegory of Wisdom

Allegory of Wisdom

Anonymous, Swiss, late 16th to early 17th century

Annunciation

Annunciation

In Mariette Album, folio 3, middle fourth Anonymous, Italian, 16th to early 17th century

St. James Major

St. James Major

In Mariette Album, folio 3, bottom right Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Ecce Homo
Reliek-ostensorium

Reliek-ostensorium

De voet heeft geen platte rand, zoals de hier besproken monstransen hebben. Het bovendeel bestaat uit een kast met glas aan voor- en achterkant. De voorkant is aan een scharnier bevestigd en kan geopend worden.... More

Bramante's Plan for St. Peter's

Bramante's Plan for St. Peter's

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

The Servants of Absalom killing Amnon (2 Samuel 13, 28-29); verso: Sketch of a seated woman

The Servants of Absalom killing Amnon (2 Samuel 13, 28-29); verso: Ske...

Karel van Mander I (Netherlandish, Meulebeke 1548–1606 Amsterdam)

Grotesque Head with Curly Beard

Grotesque Head with Curly Beard

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Design for a (Temporary?) Structure consisting of Two Angels carring the Medici Coat of Arms crowned by the Figure of Christ
Spalatin, Georg

Spalatin, Georg

Verleger: Hoffmann, Johann Stecher: Franck, Johann Verlagsort: Nürnberg

Chain of the Amsterdam Company of Arquebusiers

Chain of the Amsterdam Company of Arquebusiers

Some of the links in this chain are decorated with claws, a symbol of the Amsterdam Company of Arquebusiers. The winner of their shooting contest – the ‘king’ of the guild – was allowed to wear the chain for a ... More

Portrait of Cornelis de Vos

Portrait of Cornelis de Vos

Anonymous, Flemish, 17th century ?

Allegory of Life

Allegory of Life

Anonymous, Swiss, late 16th to early 17th century

Melanchthon, Philipp

Melanchthon, Philipp

Stecher: Meyer, Conrad (1618)

Melanchthon, Philipp

Melanchthon, Philipp

Stecher: Bry, Theodor de Stecher: Boissard, Robert Herausgeber: Boissard, Jean-Jacques Druckort: Frankfurt (Main)

Entombment

Entombment

In Mariette Album, folio 5, bottom Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Madonna of the Rose

Madonna of the Rose

In Mariette Album, folio 58 Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Young Woman Holding a Plate

Young Woman Holding a Plate

In Mariette Album, folio 44, top left Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Foliate Grotesque Head

Foliate Grotesque Head

Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus

In Mariette Album, folio 43, top center Etched by Anonymous, Italian, 16th to 17th century

Saint Michael Expelling the Fallen Angels

Saint Michael Expelling the Fallen Angels

Anonymous, Italian, Roman-Bolognese, 17th century

Claymore
Boleyn, Anne

Boleyn, Anne

Verleger: Chiswell, Richard Maler: Holbein, Hans (der Jüngere) Stecher: White, Robert (1645) Verlagsort: London

Boleyn, Anne

Boleyn, Anne

Radierer: Hollar, Wenzel

Vijf fragmenten van prenten

Vijf fragmenten van prenten

Vijf fragmenten van vijf verschillende prenten op één blad geplakt. Figuren zijn langs de contouren uitgeknipt. Samenstelling dateert uit de 17de eeuw.

Martha leading Mary Magdalene up a flight of stairs to Christ who is seated at right at the entrance to a temple
Calliope

Calliope

Anonymous, French-Italian, 17th century

Degen

Degen

Degen. De smalle kling met zes vlakken, waarvan vermoedelijk slechts één derde over is, draagt, in koper geïncrusteerd, het opschrift: 'Espaedro del rei' en is gemerkt met een cirkel waarop een kruis. Gevest me... More

Clio

Clio

Anonymous, French-Italian, 17th century

Melpomene

Melpomene

Anonymous, French-Italian, 17th century

Peasant Kermis

Peasant Kermis

Both painted and printed depictions of peasant fairs were popular until well into the 17th century. They are invariably packed with festive activities, including wild dancing, drinking, playing and making love.... More

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

unbekannter Künstler

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

unbekannter Künstler Datierung: 1601 / 1700

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

1601 / vermutlich 1650

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

unbekannter Künstler

Chemnitz, Martin

Chemnitz, Martin

Stecher: Hafner, Melchior (1) faktischer Entstehungsort: Augsburg

A Hunting Party

A Hunting Party

Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus (Netherlandish, Bruges 1523–1605 Florence)

Mercury

Mercury

The winged Mercury is one of the most beloved themes in late 16th- and 17th-century bronze sculpture. As the swift messenger of the classical gods he is invariably shown in full flight, balancing only on the to... More

Bowl
Partisan