Representations of the horror and misery of war are relatively rare in the 17th century, measured by the number of glorifying portraits of rulers and generals and battle scenes. In the southern Netherlands, however, a variant of the military genre image was established, which primarily showed the plundering of peasant villages by mercenaries and addressed violence directly. An example of this genre is this picture, which drastically illustrates the brutality with which the Soldateska (band of soldiers) took action against the simple rural population: an unarmed man is pushed to the ground by a soldier who is just about to sting with his sword, surrounded by two desperate women. A man escapes, but a musketeer has already fired a shot at him. In the middle of the room lies a slain man, further behind a soldier threatens a woman. A sutler plunders the crockery rack, a boy hits a goose - and a toddler stands helplessly screaming in the tumult.


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