(b. ca. 1544, Mechelen, d. 1638, Antwerpen)

The Battle of Moncontour, 30 October 1569

Oil on canvas, 154 x 222 cm
Private collection

The scene depicted is set against the historical backdrop of the wars of religion between the Protestant Huguenots and the Roman Catholic Holy League, that were to divide France into civil war for most of the second half of the 16th century.

In 1569 Moncontour was the site of a major battle between the Huguenots and the Catholic forces headed by the Duke of Anjou (1551-1589), younger brother of King Charles IX and himself the future King Henri III of France. Anjou's forces were bolstered by support from Spanish Netherlandish troops commanded by Peter Ernst, Fürst von Mansfeld (1517-1604), sent by King Philip II. In the battle the area of Moncontour was seized from Protestant hands.

The three prominent coats of arms at top have been identified, reading from left to right, as those of King Charles IX of France (1550-1574), his recently widowed brother-in-law, King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598), and Peter Ernst, Fürst von Mansfeld (1517-1604).

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.