CLAEISSENS, Pieter the Younger
(b. ca. 1540, Brugge, d. 1623, Brugge)

Allegory of the 1577 Peace in the Low Countries

Oil on oak panel, 159 x 198 cm
Groeninge Museum, Bruges

The Allegory of the 1577 peace in the Low Countries, painted by Pieter Claeissens the Younger, is a complex, symbolic scene with a Roman triumphal chariot. Such vehicles often carried victorious, allegorical figures in propaganda pieces of this kind. Here we find Peace, Reconciliation and Unity. The painting was commissioned for the Bruges Town Hall on the occasion of the Pacification of Ghent and symbolizes the peace between the Catholic and Protestant provinces. Originally the coat of arms of the Prince of Orange was on the right of the chariot, but this area was overpainted later as such an emblem was no longer welcome in the new political order.

The allegory is explained in Dutch, French and Latin verse at the bottom. It is in original frame and signed and dated lower right.