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The long-awaited art exhibition Spanish Masters from the Hermitage. The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya opened at the Hermitage Amsterdam on Saturday 28 November 2015. The exhibition includes more than sixty superior paintings and a rich collection of graphic works and applied arts masterpieces. Never before has the Netherlands hosted such a comprehensive survey of Spanish art, with work that is hardly represented in Dutch museum collections.

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Shopping today so often involves hardly lifting a finger, except to click a mouse to order a product — any product — online and have it shipped to your home.

But acquisition used to be an art, according to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, where people went out, surveyed things, discovered trends, and compared goods before taking them home.

Before industrial mass production, purchasing took much more skill and effort, and was often the result of complex negotiations between maker and shopper,” noted Dr Mary Laven, from the History Faculty of the University of Cambridge. “The most significant things in life were not bought and sold off the shelf, but were handcrafted in homes and workshops, customized for their owners.”

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