Peace Celebration 1648

This superb painting entitled The Celebration of the Peace of Munster is by Bartholomeus van der Helst. The characters are all portraits of men who had taken part in the 80 Years War. The detailed style of painting gives much information on military uniform of the period, worn not just by the Dutch officers and soldiers but by the British in the service of the States.

Cannon's account does not make it clear that it was only the southern Netherlands that was in conflict with Spain and the Catholic Hapsburg Empire. The northern Dutch Republic was not involved in the war, only the seven United Provinces. The area covered by the southern Netherlands is today the area of Belgium, Luxemburg and a part of Northern France.

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by Stephen Luscombe