Frans Grijzenhout (Amsterdam), Contested Unity, the Figure of the Dutch Republic in Times of Political Disagreement

The Dutch Republic is among the first and foremost examples of a state that was represented in the allegorical figure of a maiden, often with the attributes of Liberty. The iconography of the Dutch Republic owes much to the Dutch Revolt against the Habsburg empire in the late 16th century, in which an image of national unity against the Spanish tyranny was promoted. But is an image like this affected by internal political opposition, like in the later seventeenth century and, especially, in the years 1780‒1800, when Patriots and Orangists both claimed the right to True Liberty?

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