The Dutch of the seventeenth century were the first Europeans to specialise in marine art. The achievements of the celebrated Dutch masters attest to the vitality and enduring appeal of this art form. Mirror of Empire is the catalogue accompanying a travelling exhibition sponsored by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This survey in English of Dutch marine art includes many of the works of both Willem Van de Velde the Elder and Willem Van de Velde the Younger. The catalogue focuses on paintings, drawings, prints, sea charts and related cartographical material, while stressing the relationship among marine art and Dutch history, commerce and the tremendous significance of Dutch ship design. The book provides biographies of Dutch marine artists and contributors' essays on related topics that help explain the larger historical context of their period. These topics include the Dutch trade routes that assured the Dutch Republic its pre-eminent position in seventeenth century Europe, the design and function of Dutch ships, the iconography of Dutch marine paintings as found in genre pictures of the period, and the importance of Dutch cartography to Western civilisation.