From the epicentre of Delft in the Netherlands Brook takes the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and uses details of them as a series of entry points to the widest circles of world trade and cultural exchange in the seventeenth century.
An officer's beaver hat in 'Officer and the Laughing Girl' opens up the story of Champlain's dealing with the native peoples of Canada and the beaver trade.
A china dish on a table in another painting uncovers the story of the Chinese porcelain trade.
Moving outwards from Vermeer's studio Brook traces the web of trade that was spreading across the globe, from firearms to silver mines and Manila galleons. And his vision embraces many personal stories - of an African slave and a Chinese aesthete, of a Dutch gunsmith stranded in Korea and of Vermeer himself.