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The Art of JAMA
January 27, 2015

Man in Armour Holding a Pike: Jan van Bijlert

JAMA. 2015;313(4):336-337. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11541

The paintings of many of the cast of characters created by Jan van Bijlert (1597/98-1671) occurred in a milieu of sociopolitical theater involving the Dutch struggle against Spanish sovereignty during the Eighty Years’ War. With the dénouement of the war in 1648, the Dutch achieved their independence. It was against this backdrop of drama that van Bijlert seemed to use a bit of stagecraft to confer a star quality on subjects not unlike the glam shots seen in the present-day popular press.