Monumental Oil Painting "Entry of Margaret of Parma Into Antwerp, 1567"
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Pierre-Jean Van Der Ouderaa (1841 -1915)
"The Entry of Margaret of Parma into Antwerp, 1567"
Oil on canvas
This magnificent painting portrays the entry of Margaret of Parma into Antwerp on the eve of her resignation as Regent of the Netherlands, after a reign of eight years, from 1559 to 1567. Margaret of Parma, in white gown, mounted upon a white charger, is escorted by citizens carrying a canopy over her head and followed by her retinue. On both sides of the narrow street throng townspeople and guards; at the right are women and a child strewing flowers in her path, at the left supplicating prisoners reaching through barred windows. She was the daughter of Charles V of Spain and her two aunts were also former Regents of the Netherlands.
Signed lower left P. Van Der Ouderaa Antwerpen 1886
Height: 85.5" (217 cm)
Width: 130" (330 cm)
Height: 96.5" (245 cm)
Width: 141" (358 cm)
Pierre-Jean Van der Ouderaa was a pupil of the Antwerp Academy under Nicaise de Keyser, Jacob Jacobs and Van Lerius.In 1865 he came second in the Grand Prix De Rome, which enabled him to travel for three years at the expense of the Belgian government and study the works of Raphael in Italy. He lived in Italy from 1866 to 1869. He produced romantic fantasies in the manner of Henri Leys and De Keyser and gradually turned to the large dramatic compositions, usually connected with the history of his native Antwerp. He made his debut in the romantic genre, later on he devoted himself to the history painting. In 1893 he visited Palestine, where he painted biblical scenes. He was a teacher at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Margaret of Parma (1522-1586), duchess of Parma and regent of the Netherlands from 1559-1567 was the illegitimate daughter of Charles V. Her mother, Johanna Maria van der Gheynst, a servant of Charles de Lalaing, Seigneur de Montigny, was a Fleming.
Margaret was brought up by the Douwrin family, and later by her great aunt, Margaret of Austria and her aunt, Maria of Austria, who were successively regents of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530, respectively.In 1533 she was acklowledged by her father and allowed to assume the name Margaret of Austria
In 1527, at the age of seven, she became engaged tot he Popes nephew, Alexander de Medici, Duke of Florence. On February 29 1536 she married her betrothed but he was assassinated in 1537. On November 4 1538 she became the wife of Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, the grandson of Pope Paul III. He was thirteen years old, she sixteen. The union, which proved an unhappy one, produced twin sons, one of whom died in infancy.
Like her aunts, who trained her, Margaret was a women of masculine abilities, Philip II acted wisely in appointing her regent when he left the Netherlands in 1559 for Spain. In ordinary times she would probably have proved as successful a ruler as her two predecessors in the rising storm of discontent against Inquisition and Spanish despotism, and Philip left her but nominal authority. He was determined to pursue his own arbitrary course, and the issue was the revolt of the Netherlands. In 1567, Margaret resigned her post into the hands of Duke of Alva and retired to Italy. She had the satisfaction of seeing her son Alander Farnese appointed to the office she had laid down, and to watch his successful career as governor-general of the Netherlands. She died in Ortona in 1586.