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The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis
  • The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis

    TitleThe Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis
  • Technique/ MaterialOil on canvas
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 196 x 309 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 253 x 366 x 19 cm
  • DatingMade c. 1661 - 1662
  • Artist/Maker Artist: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch, born 1606, dead 1669
  • CategoryPaintings, Paintings
  • Inventory No.NM 578
  • AcquisitionLong-term loan from the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts
  • Description
    Literature
    Artist/Maker
    Images and media

    This fragment of a monumental history painting from Rembrandt’s last period was commissioned for the new town hall in Amsterdam. For some unknown reason it was removed, cut down in size, probably by Rembrandt himself, and replaced with a painting by another artist. The Dutch Republic wanted to manifest its independence from Spain, hence the choice of subject. The Batavians were a Germanic tribe on the fringes of the Roman Empire who rebelled against Rome in AD 69–70. In a dramatically lit night scene, Rembrandt shows their leader, the one-eyed Claudius Civilis, urging his soldiers to swear allegiance to him in the struggle against Roman supremacy. Using impasto and chiaroscuro, Rembrandt has created a highly concentrated interpretation of this patriotic subject. The ownership history of the painting is unclear. Anna Johanna Peill inherited it from her father, Claes Grill, in 1767, and bequeathed it “in perpetuity” to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.