The Eighty Years’ War and the Birth of the Netherlands

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

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…

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