Adriaen Thomasz. Key: Portrait of William I 'the Silent', Prince of Orange (1579)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

This is a portrait of 1 of my heroes. William of Orange is the founding father of The Netherlands. He was a wealthy nobleman who served the Habsburgs as a member of the court. Unhappy with the politics of the Habsburgs regarding the centralization of political power and the persecution of Dutch Protestants he eventually joined the group people who tried to resist the Spanish King. When all the rest of the rebel leaders were executed or died he alone remained as the leader of the Dutch rebels. His support of the rebellion bankrupted him, his eldest son was kidnapped by the Spanish King (he never saw him again), 3 of his brothers were killed in battle and was the target of several assassination attempts. William of Orange strove for greater independence and advocated freedom of religion and thought for everyone in the Netherlands. In 1580 he was declared an outlaw by the Spanish king Phillip II and he was assassinated four years later. His legacy still lives on in the Netherlands: our flag, the coat of arms of the Netherlands, national color (Orange) and national anthem (the Wilhelmus, a propaganda song from 1574 for William) are all related to him. He is the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the current monarchy of the Netherlands. Painting from 1579


  1. Een portret dat je zó vaak hebt gezien dat je niet meer ziet hoe mooi het eigenlijk is.


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