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The Concord of the State

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  • isabelle Limousin, curator asked

    Dear Madam/Sir, dear Colleague,
    Would it be possible to get information about the topic of this sketch by Rembrandt?
    What is its topic?
    Why is it called The Concord of the State?
    Thank you very much in advance.
    With my best regards,
    isabelle Limousin

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear mrs. Limousin,

    The topic of this sketch is the concord of the state, as it says in the title. It is an allegory of accordance between the Dutch cities that are fighting against Spain. On the left side of the painting in the ‘Dutch Garden’ the coats of arms of the cities of Amsterdam, Leiden and Haarlem are shown. Rembrandt made an allegory of all the Dutch powers that are united against the Spanish enemy. Rembrandt made it in the time that the concord of the state was unstable and thus of important interest. By making this sketch, Rembrandt perhaps wanted to show the importance of keeping the concord of the state. However, the exact meaning and use of the sketch are unknown and highly debated. The title of the painting comes from the inventory of Rembrandt, which was made up in 1656, when he went bankrupt. In this inventory a painting is called de ‘eendragt van ‘t lant’ (which can be translated as The Concord of State) , which generally is accepted to be referring to the Rotterdam painting.

    Kind regards,


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More information

This oil sketch of an unidentified military allegory was probably a study for a large history painting. The swifty sketched composition is executed not in colour but in muted tones of brown and grey. Thus Rembrandt gives us a demonstration of his dramatic use of light and shade.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title The Concord of the State
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Dimensions Height 74.6 cm
Width 101 cm
Artists Schilder: Rembrandt van Rijn
Accession number 1717 (OK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1865
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1865
Age artist Between 31 and 39 years old
Internal exhibitions Schilderkunst uit de eerste hand, Olieverfschetsen van Tintoretto tot Goya (1983)
The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
External exhibitions Boijmans bij de Buren - Meesterlijk! (2019)
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe
Place of manufacture Amsterdam > North Holland > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Rembrandt van Rijn

Leiden 1606 - Amsterdam 1669

Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden. After his apprenticeship, during which he studied with various painters including Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, he started...

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