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Manhood, Marriage, and MischiefRembrandt's 'Night Watch' and Other Dutch Group Portraits$
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Harry Berger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225569

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.001.0001

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Between Stad and Stadholder: Captain Cocq's Dilemma

Between Stad and Stadholder: Captain Cocq's Dilemma

(p.203) 17 Between Stad and Stadholder: Captain Cocq's Dilemma
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Harry Berger Jr.

Fordham University Press

It is easy to imagine that, after the patrons were bowled over by its size and scale, its unparalleled technique, and its generic novelty, they would begin to examine whether it did justice to both their individual likenesses and their collective project. The familiar story centers on the diminishing support given the Stadholder's “military projects” by previously sympathetic Remonstrant regents, who demanded that he reduce their military and “financial contributions to the army” because they “were better served by peace” than by his campaigns in the southern provinces. The parodic elements in The Night Watch can be kept in play as effects for which there is a plausible rationale. In providing this rationale, Carroll obviates the need for allegorization and encourages viewers to enjoy the way Rembrandt renders his portrayal of ineffectual guardsmanship gorgeously and ironically visible.

Keywords:   Stadholder, military projects, parodic elements, Rembrandt, The Night Watch

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