[Antique print, engraving] Kenau Simons Hasselaer (portrait of), ca 1600-1650.

Half length portrait of Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer, holding a spear in her left hand. On the left of the picture a head is resting on a table. According to the legend, Hasselaer played a crucial role in the liberation of the city of Haarlem from the Spanish siege in 1573. Here, the woman is represented as a Judith with the head of Holofernes. ‘[…] Illuminating are the prints that compare Kenau to Judith, the biblical heroine, whose beheading of the tyrant Holofernes saved her people. These glorifying images, beginning in the late sixteenth century, are some of the first historiated portraits of the new Republic in which a contemporary figure is shown in the guise of a heroic figure from the past. This type of connection parallels the male tradition of William of Orange being identified with the Old Testament David or Moses and, more generally, the manner in which the Dutch associated themselves with God’s chosen people of ancient Israel. Hence, this comparison truly elevates Kenau to the status of an historical “good woman” of the type that was frequently listed in catalogs of the early modern age. Consequently, in one of several anonymous prints, Kenau is identified as the virtuous “Dutch Judith” who overcame the Spanish tyrant. The helmeted head of a Spaniard sits as a trophy on the table next to an armed Kenau who also wears a medal around her neck. Therefore, […], Kenau was venerated as a biblical protectress of the Dutch people. […]’ from Martha Moffitt Peacock:
The Maid of Holland and Her Heroic Heiresses, in ‘Women and Gender in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500-1750’ 2019, p. 84-85.

Engraving on paper, trimmed within plate mark; total: 168 x 116 mm; some smudges and traces of previous mounting on verso. Van Som 2290.

Incl. VAT  84,70

Excl. VAT  70,00


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