VENNE, Adriaen Pietersz. van de
(b. 1589, Delft, d. 1662, The Hague)
Allegory of the Twelve Years' Truce1616
Oil on panel, 62 x 125 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
This allegory is a notable group portrait for in the foreground are the representatives of the Northern and the Southern Netherlands, the two regions into which the country had been divided as a result of the Revolt that had erupted in 1568. At the front is a self-assured Prince Maurice of Orange, one foot forward, his arm akimbo, the military and political leader of the Republic of the United Netherlands, with his younger half-brother Frederick Henry behind him. To the prince's right but at a slight remove, are the highest representatives of the Southern (Spanish) Netherlands: Archduke Albert of Austria and his consort Isabella of Spain, the daughter of King Philip II. They had been jointly governing this region since 1598. The assembly of men behind them - almost all looking out of the painting - are depicted for the most part as burghers. Some of them are certainly portraits.
In this painting the artist created a wealth of portraits, still-lifes, genre-like tableaux, and allegorical scenes. The picture exhibits Van de Venne versatility.