Sunday, December 4, 2011

Van der Helst - Banquet of the Civic Guard

The Celebration of the Peace of Münster, 18 June 1648 in the Headquarters of the Amsterdam Civic Guard (Rijksmuseum). 

This banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in celebration of the Peace of Münster was painted 1648 by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613-1670). Visible through the window are buildings on the opposite side of a canal; the two façades belong to the brewery 'The Lamb' and the church 'By the Lamb'.

link to a high resolution image

In 2006 it was damaged by a German art vandal by spraying lighter fuel on its surface and lighting it. At present the painting has been restored and is exhibited at the Rijksmuseum.

Bartholomeus van der Helst (self portrait, 1655)

next episode: medallion


  1. Beautiful painting. Why would someone try to destroy this? To what purpose?
    Also, what a curious means of naming a church! The congregation maintained a good sense of humor to be known as being "next to a tavern".

  2. Wow, I have lots of admiration for the artist! I have a hard time getting my three boys to hold still for a good photo, let alone trying to get 20 rowdy civic guards to sit still while I painted them. :D

    Actually, I agree with Mary, I have no idea why someone would try and damage such a pretty painting.

  3. The vandal was a famous psychopath, he has damaged many paintings. The church was located next to a brewery, not a tavern (a subtle distinction :-). In the 17e century there were a lot of breweries since drinking tap water was not a healthy option. In Amersfoort alone (a small city compared with Amsterdam) there were over 100 breweries...


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