François Schillemans: The Ship of State (1620)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving by the Dutch artist François Schillemans (1575-1610/30). This print is an allegory regarding 'The happy state of the Netherlands after the Synod of Dordrecht in 1618'. The Netherlands is represented as a ship with the stadtholder Prince Maurice of Orange and Justice at the helm. On board of the ship are personifications of the virtues (chasity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility) and the 7 provinces of the Netherlands (Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel, Frisia, Groningen and Guelders). In the sea are the personifications of the sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) and catholics, including the pope, who try in vain to get on board of the ship. The Holy Light of the naked Truth in sky shines upon the ship but blinds the Africans, Muslims and Indians in the sky. Engraving from 1620.