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Medium And Message. Political Prints In The Dutch Republic, 1568–1632

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses whether the major themes identified in the pamphlets can be traced in the hundred or so images from 1568 to 1632. Van Gelderen charts the emergence of four main, and inter-related, themes: liberty (the political virtue par excellence), privileges, and the States, which had a particular role in preserving and administering the fourth concept, popular sovereignty. Other significant themes in the pamphlets were the nature of military power, the importance of civic virtue and the place of religion. The first task of the artists was to set the political themes in a context, and relate the image to the Netherlands. They used a range of motifs to signify the Republic: cows, ships, and the ‘Dutch Maiden’. The Leo Belgicus is a particularly well-known representation of the Republic, which appeared in cartographic depictions of the Netherlands, but was also a significant emblem in prints.

Keywords: civic virtue; Dutch republic; Leo Belgicus; Leo Belgicus; military power; Netherlands

10.1163/ej.9789004155275.i-310.16
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