Three other versions of the present lot are recorded: one, signed and dated 1618, in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, inv. no. 2551 (Inventariscatalogus van de Oude Schilderkunst, 1984, p. 92, with ill.); one, signed and dated 1622, in the Centraal Museum, Utrecht (photograph in the RKD); the third, signed and dated 1625, was sold in these rooms, 29 November 1988, lot 29, with ill.
The scene depicted marked the climax of the conflict between the Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants which threatened the unity of the newly independent Dutch Republic. Utrecht had joined the Remonstrant States of Holland, led by the veteran statesman Johan van Oldebarnevelt, in establishing a force of waardgelders to keep the peace.
The States-General, where a Contra-Remonstrant majority prevailed, sent the Stadtholder, Prince Maurits, to surpress this challenge to its authority. Utrecht and Holland submitted: Oldebarnevelt was arrested, then tried and beheaded the following year.
See colour illustration