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The Last Honors to Counts Egmont and Hoorne, reduction (Les derniers honneurs rendus aux Comtes d'Egmont et d'Hornes, réduction)

Louis Gallait

European Art

As Belgium reveled in its newfound independence, won in 1830, painters such as Louis Gallait recalled historical events that characterized the long struggle for selfrule, including the martyrdom of Counts Egmont and Hoorne. These sixteenth-century Flemish noblemen dutifully served their king, Philip II of Spain, as soldiers and diplomats. Though devout Catholics, Egmont and Hoorne urged Philip to recognize the religious freedoms of Protestants, a position that branded the two as rebels and led to their arrest and beheading. Their murders galvanized resistance to Spanish rule in the Low Countries (present-day Belgium and the Netherlands).

In this grisly image, the bodies and severed heads of Egmont and Hoorne—green with decomposition—are displayed on pillows at a convent, while members of their shooting society pay their respects. The large, Salonscale version of this work met with great acclaim in 1851, prompting Gallait to paint smaller works such as this one for private collectors.
MEDIUM Oil on panel
  • Place Made: Belgium
  • DATES 1859
    DIMENSIONS 13 3/4 x 20 in. (34.9 x 50.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "Louis Gallait/1859"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.62
    CREDIT LINE Gift of A. Augustus Healy and Frank Healy in memory of Aaron Healy
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Louis Gallait (Belgian, 1810-1887). The Last Honors to Counts Egmont and Hoorne, reduction (Les derniers honneurs rendus aux Comtes d'Egmont et d'Hornes, réduction), 1859. Oil on panel, 13 3/4 x 20 in. (34.9 x 50.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of A. Augustus Healy and Frank Healy in memory of Aaron Healy, 00.62
    IMAGE overall, 00.62_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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