Het beleg van Alkmaar (The Siege of Alkmaar)

Attributed to Coenraet Decker Dutch

Not on view

This etching depicts the 1573 siege of Alkmaar, in the northern Netherlands, during the Eighty Years' War. Spanish troops descended on the city in August of that year, but its residents successfully held them off until October, when the surrounding dikes were deliberately breached in order to flood the Spanish camps, forcing their retreat. This victory is considered a turning point in the war that would culminate in the independence of the northern Netherlands and establishment of the Dutch Republic. The print is believed to have been designed by Coenraat Decker in the 17th century; the inscription at upper left (tom: 1 no. 9.) indicates that this is a later state, one that appeared in J. le Clerc's Geschiedenissen der Vereenigde Nederlanden of 1730.

The delicate handcoloring on this impression accentuates the presence of the water that would play such a significant role in the war.

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