The threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn
On the world famous painting The Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn a swan is depicted protecting her eggs against a dog in the left lower corner. ‘Raad Pensionaris’ is painted beneath the swan, referring to Johan de Witt statesman at that time. On one of the eggs the word ‘Holland’ is painted, referring to the county of Holland, and above the dog we can read ‘Enemy of the state’. These inscriptions were added to The threatened swan later and they give an allegoric meaning of Johan de Witt, protecting Holland against the state enemies. Enemies would be Willem III van Oranje who was deposed by De Witt as Governor of the Union. In all likelyhood somebody added these texts in later years, as Johan de Witt became statesman only after the death of Jan Assellijn in 1653.
At the same time, the swan was the family symbol of the De Witt family.
Whether this interpretation of this masterpiece of Jan Asselijn is true or not, it surely gives the painting a beautiful and interesting story.
A masterpiece of Jan Asselijn
Would you like a beautiful and impressive piece of art of Jan Asselijn on your wall? Have a look at his paintings and choose your favourite painting in your own desired size
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