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Allegory on the Defeat of the Duke of Alva at Brielle

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.




Artist unknown
Northern or Southern Netherlands, late 16th century

About this artwork

Political broadsheets invoked news and religious polemics. This satirical engraving represents the April 1, 1572, dispatching of the ferocious Duke of Alva and his troops from Brielle, a small Dutch village—a major turning point in the Netherlands’s conflict with Spain. The Dutch and German word for glasses (Brille) is phonetically close to the town’s name. The bespectacled geese represent its saviors, a group of Calvinist Dutch nobles who used guerrilla tactics. They burn a monstrance, chalice, and crucifix on the left, and rout the foxes—often associated with the evils of the Catholic Church during the Reformation—in the background.


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Prints and Drawings


Unknown artist


Allegory on the Defeat of the Duke of Alva at Brielle


Flanders (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Plate: 18 × 27.7 cm (7 1/8 × 10 15/16 in.); Sheet: 19.6 × 29.3 cm (7 3/4 × 11 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number


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