Claes Jacobsz. van der Heck: Officers of the old Civic guard of Alkmaar in a landscape (1613)

(Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, Alkmaar, the Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch artist Claes Jacobsz. van der Heck (1575/1581-1652). A civic guard piece but in a very unusual setting. Usually a civic guard portrait would be the men either in action or at a meal. This painting shows 17 men in an informal setting: the men are on a trip at the Dutch town of Bergen, close to Alkmaar. According to a 17th century note this painting depicts the captains Pieter Jacobsz van Dijk and Boudewijn Willems. van Rietwijck, two lieutenants, two standard-bearers, the provost and his lieutenant, the petty officers and the innkeeper (the person who runs the official clubhouse of the civic guard). The couple in the background could be a portrait of the artist and his wife. Painting from 1613.