Anonymous: Group portrait of squad F of the Caliver Guild (1557)

(Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting by an unknown Dutch artist. This painting is another example of 16th century portraits of Dutch civic guard units, then known as crossbow-, longbow- and caliver guilds (the name depending on which weapon the guild used) . During the 16th century Amsterdam had a crossbow-, longbow- and a caliver guild - each guild had about 200 men divided into 12 squads, each each consisting of 17 men. This unit, squad F, was a part of the caliver guild. The guild can be identified by some members who have a musket with them and the insignia on the jacket of several members (a claw with a musket - the claw is a reference to Dutch word for the unit, kloveniers). The sitting man in the center in the bottom row is probably the captain of the squad. He is holding a wheellock pistol, a very modern and expensive weapon of this period. The man to the left of the captain with the orange sash is the lieutenant of the squad, the man on the right with the pencil the secretary. The meaning of the several objects some of the members are holding are not entirely clear: a skull (a memento mori), a silver plate, a glass with a white sphere (an egg?). One man on the upper row is holding a letter with the words "Domino Cornelis/Van Dellef/ in/ Amstredam" - this man is most likely the estate agent Cornelis van Delft from Amsterdam. Painting from 1557.