Portraits of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms

Portraits of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms

Portraits of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms

She in an elegant dress, he in glittering armour: this is how Stadtholder Frederik Hendrik and his wife Amalia van Solms were immortalized in 1634. The portraits were intended for the city hall of The Hague and were paid for by the Hague magistrate. He commissioned the Delft painter Michiel van Mierevelt to make these two paintings.

Van Mierevelt painted Frederik Hendrik, who had succeeded his brother Prince Maurits as stadtholder in 1625, in one of his most important positions: as commander-in-chief of the Dutch army. Various attributes in the painting refer to this, such as the sword and the command staff, but also the golden yellow paintings of the war god Mars on his equipment. In the portrait of his wife Amalia van Solms, the many pearls that she wears around her neck, arms and décolleté and that are set in her ear and hairdo immediately stand out. Together with the rosettes on her black dress and the large compound lace collar, they subtly draw attention to Amalia's face.

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Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms never posed for these portraits. Although Van Mierevelt was a celebrated painter in his day and regularly received commissions from the court of The Hague, his work went out of fashion in the early 1630s. Van Mierevelt therefore had to base these portraits on designs from 1629 and 1632, when the couple last visited his studio.

Frederik Hendrik.jpg  Amalia van Solms.jpg

Michael Jansz. van Mierevelt [studio], Portraits of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms, ca. 1634


  • Manufacturer: Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt [studio]
  • Date: approx. 1634
  • Object numbers: 0000-0027-SCH and 0000-0063-SCH
  • Materials: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 115.0 x 95.0 cm and 114.5 x 89.0 cm

Literature (Dutch)

  • Anita Jansen (red.), De portretfabriek van Michiel van Mierevelt (1566-1641) (Delft 2011) cat. no. 6.
  • Marieke Tiethoff-Spliethoff, ‘Representatie en rollenspel. De portretkunst aan het hof van Frederik Hendrik en Amalia’, in: Marika Keblusek en Jori Zijlmans (red.), Vorstelijk Vertoon. Aan het hof van Frederik Hendrik en Amalia (Den Haag/Zwolle 1997) 161-199, aldaar 163-164.