A Dutch transport fleet carrying thirty thousand soldiers concentrates at the confluence of the Maas and Merwede rivers. The northern provinces are in rebellion against the Spanish crown, but their troops are massing for the goal of peace, not war. By this show of force their position will be strengthened in the upcoming negotiations that will lead to the Peace of Münster. In this painting there are therefore no looming storm clouds or soaring eagles to presage victory or disaster on the battlefield; only calm seas and golden light to represent the truer aspirations of a peaceful trading nation.
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Aelbert Cuyp : “The Maas at Dordrecht” (c. 1650)
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