Spanish policy broken by the taking of Ghent

Charles Le Brun

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles
Versailles, France

This scene shows the effects of the Taking of Ghent. It only includes allegorical figures, with the Council, Policy and Provision of Spain taken by surprise by the storming victory of Louis XIV. Council is blinded by the bolts of lightning coming from the scene opposite, while Policy and Provision are terrified by the trumpets of Renown flying above them and announcing the taking of Ghent. The books depicted in front of Policy are works by Machiavelli and Philip II to show that Spanish policy had been dishonest throughout the prince’s reign. The painting even includes an accusation against Philip II’s father, Charles I. The emperor’s ambitions are symbolised by his motto, “PLUS OUTRE”, which is written on a banner, and the trembling pillars of Hercules which are on the point of collapsing.


  • Title: Spanish policy broken by the taking of Ghent
  • Creator: Charles Le Brun
  • Physical Location: Palace of Versailles
  • Provenance: Palace of Versailles
  • Type: Painting
  • Copyright: © RMN (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot / Hervé Lewandowski

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