Van der Stoffe was one of the main Dutch battle scene painters in the last decade of the Eighty Years’ War, which ended in 1648 with the final recognition by Spain of an independant Dutch Republic.
Our painting, dating from 1638, is an early work, showing the influence of Palamedes Palamedesz..
About Jan Jacobsz. van der Stoffe
Leiden circa 1610/11 – 1682 Leiden
Van der Stoffe is documented in Leiden between 1644, when he became member of the Painters’ Guild, and his death. In 1669 he was dean of that Guild.
His earliest painting dates from 1635.
Stylistically he stood very close to Abraham van der Hoef (Haarlem 1611/12 – 1666 Haarlem). Van der Stoffe and van der Hoef are considered as the most important Dutch battle scene painters of the last decade of the Eighty Years War, which ended in 1648, with the Peace of Westphalia. It sealed the recognition by Spain of an independent Dutch Republic.
About our painting
Most of van der Stoffe’s battle scenes are not signed and just a few of them are dated. Our painting is both signed and dated. It dates from 1638. The earliest known dated painting by van der Stoffe is from 1635.
In these early years our painter was influenced by Palamedes Palamedesz. (1607 – 1638), who was active in Delft. The “z.” in his last name is an abbreviation for “zoon”, therefore his last name should be read as Palamedeszoon, meaning “son of Palamedes”. In the same manner our painter’s second first name, Jacobsz. should be pronounced “Jacobszoon”.
Circa 1635 Palamedesz. had reduced the size of the heads of his horses, and he painted these onto broad necks. Van der Stoffe has followed this example.
Military uniforms only appeared towards the end of the 17th century. Sixteenth and seventeenth century soldiers recognized each other by colours: orange (sometimes also blue or black) for the Dutch, red for the Spanish. During the Eighty Years’ War foreign troops joined the Spanish or the Dutch side for religious or for political reasons, but finally also just for the money, as mercenaries :
- the Spaniards used Flemish, Walloon, German and even Croatian soldiers;
- the Dutch were helped by French, Irish, Scottish, English and Swedish troops.
The colours appeared in sashes, worn round the middle, and in plumes, attached to the hats and helmets. It is not always easy to identify the troops in these battle scenes. Here, the cavalrymen, wearing orange and blue, are probably Dutch, the infantrymen, wearing red, should then belong to a Spanish tercio, with their typical long pikes up front.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because this early battle scene by van der Stoffe is fully signed and dated.