â€śElegant and quietly importantâ€¦Brook does more than merely sketch the beginnings of globalization and highlight the forces that brought our modern world into being; rather, he offers a timely reminder of humanityâ€™s interdependence.â€ťâ€”Seattle Times A painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. I n another, a woman at a window weighs pieces of silver. Vermeerâ€™s images captivate us with their beauty and mystery: What stories lie behind these stunningly rendered moments? As T imothy Brook shows us, these pictures, which seem so intimate, actually offer a remarkable view of a rapidly expanding world. Moving outward from Vermeerâ€™s studio, Brook traces the web of trade that was spreading across the globe. Vermeerâ€™s Hat shows how the urge to acquire foreign goods was refashioning the world more powerfully than we have yet understood.