Master of Rhenen: The siege of Rhenen (1499-1525)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This painting shows an episode during the conflict between the episcopal principality of Utrecht (called 'Sticht Utrecht') and the Duchy of Cleves in 1499. Both countries had fought eachother in 1481-1483 and the conflict of 1499 is somewhat related to that war. The army of Cleves attacked the episcopal principality of Utrecht and laid siege to the city of Rhenen which was the property of Utrecht. The city quickly fell and the it was plundered on a large scale. After the siege the army of Cleves wanted to attack the city of Utrecht itself but the attack never came and after an intervention of Burgundy, peace was quickly settled (the war only laster 3-4 months). This painting was made to commemmorate the siege and conquest of Rhenen. soldiers of Clever can be seen attacking and plundering the city while citizens of Rhenen have taken refuge in the church of Saint Cunera and are praying to the saint. Painting from 1499-1525.