National Gallery of Art: Art for the Nation Johannes Verspronck's signature  
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Andries Stilte as a Standard Bearer Johannes Verspronck  
Andries Stilte as a Standard Bearer detail
Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck, Andries Stilte as a Standard Bearer (detail), 1640, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund 1998.13.1

Membership in a civic militia company was prestigious and indicates that Stilte was likely from a wealthy, well-connected family.

Volunteer militia companies first formed in the fifteenth century to patrol and defend their cities. By the seventeenth century, hired soldiers fought the wars, and civic militia companies functioned more like gentlemen’s clubs where members met to drink, negotiate business deals, practice shooting, and march in parades. Nevertheless, the militia companies embodied the city’s strength and its will to defend itself, and were crucial in promoting the civic pride so clearly expressed in Andries Stilte’s image.


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