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The research for this thesis on mid-seventeenth-century painting techniques was done during and after the restoration of the Oranjezaal ensemble in Huis ten Bosch Palace, The Hague.

The palace was built as a summer retreat for Amalia van Solms (1602-1675), wife of stadholder Frederick Henry (1584-1647). During the construction of the palace Frederick Henry died, upon which Amalia decided to commemorate him in the decorations for the central hall, later called the Oranjezaal (Hall of Orange). The decorations were painted by twelve painters from both the Northern and the Southern Netherlands between 1648 and 1652. The project was coordinated by architect-painter Jacob van Campen, helped by Pieter Post, the architect of the palace, and Constantijn Huygens, the former secretary of Frederick Henry. The painters worked on the commission in their own studios in The Hague, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Den Bosch and Antwerp. The central coordination ensured unity in the paintings concerning figure size, height of the horizon, measurements of the triumphal arches, etc. However, the ensemble was never meant to be stylistically uniform and each painter worked in his own manner


  • Lidwien Speleers