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This is one of a series of paintings produced to document the marriage of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, to Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, in 1613. After elaborate celebrations, the bride and groom travelled to Margate to sail for Heidelburg and Prague. Frederick, later King of Bohemia, was seen as one of the champions of Protestantism in Germany but after only one year as king he lost Bohemia and the Palatine, at the start of the Thirty Years War, 1618–1648, and went into exile. He and his wife have subsequently been known as the ill-fated 'Winter King and Queen’ and Frederick's expulsion destroyed the political aims of the marriage, which were to gain James I's support for the South German protestant alliance. On the failure of the direct Stuart protestant line through Mary II and her sister Queen Anne, it was Elizabeth's grandson, the Elector of Hanover, who succeeded to the English throne as George I in 1714.
The theme of arrival and departure was a popular one in the Dutch Republic and the artist was frequently concerned with those of dynastic significance. They made strong political statements and the series of paintings of which this is one were used by the United Provinces to proclaim loyalty to the protestant cause.
oil on canvas
H 94 x W 155.5 cm