De stroom en de zee - De iconografie van Scaldis en Neptunus in de Antwerpse kunst | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 123, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


As one of the main ports of Europe, Antwerp had during its Golden Age (the sixteenth century) adopted a rich repertoire of mythological and allegorical figures that represented the River Scheldt (Scaldis) and the seas (Neptune acompanied by tritons and nereids, etc.), as well as commerce (Mercury). These were presented in works of art as well as in pageantry and public festivities, and emphasized the city’s commercial importance. After the closing of the Scheldt (1585) these figures were exploited more urgently. They raised their voices to plead with those in power to reopen the river. Pictures of the times when Scaldis was stil unfettered and when Neptune ruled the seas may have given new hope to the Antwerp public. Paintings by Abraham Janssens, Peter Paul Rubens, Frans II Francken, Jacob Jordaens, and others are interpreted in this light.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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