Building on Weber's notion that Protestantism fosters the accumulation of wealth, Larsen argues that social and economic forces influence the form, style and content of art. To demonstrate his point, he provides a compelling analysis of the creation of art in the Netherlands during the 17th century. He examines how growing capitalism spawned a wealthy middle class that shaped Dutch painting into a national style through its patronage. He contrasts this style with the Baroque school of Flanders to the south and explores the reasons behind the differences in artistic expression. Art Historians as well as other scholars interested in the social ramifications of capitalism will find much to their liking in this stimulating work.