Cornelis de Man
Dutch, 1621 ‑ 1706
New Church in Delft with the Tomb of William the Silent, 1660s
Oil on canvas
49 × 42 1/16 in. (124.5 × 106.8 cm.)
Gift of the Charter Collectors  1985.8

How Was This Used?
The New Church in Delft, with its imposing tomb of William the Silent (1533 – 1584), was a fitting and potent symbol of Dutch liberty and independence. William was the leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish and was known as the “Father of the Dutch Nation.” His shrine became a national monument and a major tourist attraction from the moment it was completed in 1621. Protestant churches in the northern Netherlands were often former Catholic churches. They were repurposed for Protestant use, meaning that all overt religious imagery or decorations were removed. This painting would have been displayed in a private residence as both an expression of personal piety and patriotism.