The Eighty Years’ War and the Birth of the Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is inaugurating a major new exhibition on the Dutch Revolt (or the Eighty Years’ War) next week.

The curators explain that “This year is the 450th anniversary of the outbreak of the Eighty Years’ War, and to mark the event the Rijksmuseum is holding an exhibition entitled ’80 Years’ War. The Birth of the Netherlands’. From 12 October 2018 to 20 January 2019, satirical cartoons, items of clothing, weapons and paintings by Bruegel, Rubens and Ter Borch will be our ‘eyewitnesses’, telling the story of how the Dutch nation was born.”

Just in time for Northern Illinois University students to discuss the Dutch Revolt in my course on the European Wars of Religion, the Rijksmuseum has launched a website associated with the exhibition.

The overview reads: “In a contemporary exhibition created by the Flemish stage designer Roel van Berckelaer, the Rijksmuseum will show how the 80 Years’ War changed and shaped the Netherlands, and how this conflict gave the southern Netherlands, now Belgium, a distinct character. 80 Years’ War is the first major exhibition to encompass the entire conflict and place it in its international context. It raises many issues – such as religious freedom, self-determination, terror and persecution – that remain highly topical today.”

The 80 Years’ War website at the Rijksmuseum provides information on the exhibition and links to supporting materials.

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This entry was posted in Art History, Civil Conflict, Civilians and Refugees in War, Cultural History, Digital Humanities, Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, Empires and Imperialism, European History, European Wars of Religion, History in the Media, History of Violence, Museums and Historical Memory, Reformation History, Religious History, Religious Politics, Religious Violence, Renaissance Art and History, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World. Bookmark the permalink.

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