Highlights

Abraham Willaerts (1603-69), A Battle near a Coast between Spaniards and Disembarking Dutchmen, 1641

Abraham Willaerts (1603-69), A Battle near a Coast between Spaniards and Disembarking Dutchmen, 1641. Oil on canvas. 163.5 x 243 cm. KMSsp441
Download the image in high resolution | Public Domain

This painting was created during the artist’s time in Dutch Brazil, where he was part of the court of the governor, count Johan Mauritz of Nassau-Siegen. In 1636 the Dutch West India Company hired the count to rule the colony. 

An affluent colonial force
The new affluent mercantile class sailed the seas and waged war against other colonial forces, struggling for control of territories in the New World. The painting documents one such war. It may portray the battle of 4 November 1641, where a Dutch fleet under the command of Aert Gysels arrived at St. Vincent to help Portugal, which had declared independence from Spain. Here they met a far stronger Spanish fleet, and the battle ended with neither side victorious. Or perhaps the painting shows the Dutch alighting at Luanda (Angola) after having vanquished the Spanish-Portuguese defences in 1641.

Updated: 9.nov.2017
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