Militia Company of District VIII under the Command of Captain Roelof Bicker...
Helst, Bartholomeus van der
Officieren en andere schutters van wijk VIII in Amsterdam onder leiding van kapitein Roelof Bicker...
Civic Guard Company of Capt. Roelof Bicker and Lt Jan Michielsz. Blaeuw
Detail, one of the confidently posed figures, right hand section; The enormous civic guard portraits that he painted in the early 1640s reveal Van der Helst's talent for composing large groups of figures and for portraying subjects in confident poses. For many years, connoisseurs placed Van der Helst's "Celebration of the Peace of Munster" on a par with Rembrandt's "Night Watch". Van der Helst remained the leading portrait painter of Amsterdam's patrician class until his death in 1670. The names of 25 of the company members portrayed here, in front of the de Haan brewery, are on the frame. The painting was commissioned to hang in the Kloveniersdoelen (Arquebusiers’ or Musketeers’ Hall) in Amsterdam; Van der Helst may not have completed this commission until 1642 or 1643. The schutterij, civic guard, or town watch, was a defensive military support system for the local civic authority. Its officers were wealthy citizens of the town, appointed by the city magistrates. Source: Rijksmuseum [website]; www.rijksmuseum.nl/en (accessed 5/30/2014)
Type of Workpainting (visual work)
historical, human figure, military or war, portrait, civil defense, schuttersstukken, Seventeenth century
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