Anonymous: The ship of rats (1500 - 1600)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A curious print by an anonymous artist. The print shows rats and cats fighting eachother. The text at the top reads "Kinders wie heeft dit oyt meer verzonnen / Dat ratten den kryg met katten begonnen" whch translates as "children, who would have thought of this/ that rats start a war with cats". The print was bought by the publisher S. & W. Koene in 1781 but in february 1797 the publisher had to appaer before the 'Vigilance Committee' (Dutch 'Comité voor Waakzaamheid') because of this print. The committee saw this print as a "revolutionary and peace disrupting print which was directed against the emperor or patriots..." Orginal print is from 1500-1600.