Three canvasses of the famous painter Gérard de Lairesse (1640-1711) adorn the ceiling in the Bolroom of the Peace Palace. The paintings, forming a Triptych, were originally painted for a room in a stately mayors-house on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.
In 1903 the paintings appeared on an auction and were bought by the Carnegie-Foundation for the to-be-built Peace Palace. At the time it was assumed that the paintings symbolised a 'Triumph of Peace' and referred to the Peace of Münster. Although this theme fits beautifully in a building for Peace, it is incorrect. The ceiling can be read as an image of the political thought of the client, the Mayor of the City of Amsterdam. The ensemble shows the city of Amsterdam as the advocate of the Republic.
In the three paintings Unity, Freedom and Safety are depicted. In the painting here Freedom is shown together with the coat of arms of the City of Amsterdam.
Gérard de Lairesse was one of the most popular painters in the second half of the seventeenth century. In his early years he was inspired by Rembrandt but later he painted in a more “refined” style which is used in these three works.
'Triumpf of Peace', by Gérard de Lairesse. Photo collection Carnegie Foundation.
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A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Peace Palace: Residence for Justice, Domicile of Learning, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 1988.
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Trusteeship of an Ideal: The Carnegie Foundation, Vignettes of a Century, Amsterdam, Enschedé, 2004.
- Hebly, A. and C. Boekraad, A New Home for the Study of International Law, The Hague, ABRI Publishers, 2008.
- Joor, J. and H.M., Verrijn Stuart, The Building of Peace: A Hundred Years of Work on Peace through Law: the Peace Palace, 1913-2013, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 2013.
- Kerkvliet, G.C.H., The Peace Palace: A Living Institution of International Law, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 2005.
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., Het Vredespaleis, Amsterdam, Sijthoff, 1988.
- Joor, J. en H.M. Verrijn Stuart, Bouwen aan vrede: honderd jaar werken aan vrede door recht: het Vredespaleis, 1913-2013, ‘s-Gravenhage, Carnegie-Stichting, 2013.
- Kerkvliet, G.C.H., Het Vredespaleis: levend instituut van het internationale recht, Den Haag, Carnegie-Stichting, 2004.
- Joor, J. et H.M. Verrijn Stuart, La construction de la paix: une action séculaire au service de la paix par le droit: le Palais de la Paix, 1913-2013, La Haye, Fondation Carnegie, 2013.
- Kervliet, G.C.H., Le Palais de la Paix: une institution vivante du droit international, La Haye, Fondation Carnegie, 2004.