Peace Palace

Gérard de Lairesse: Triumph of Peace

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 at 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 symbolized 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 of the Republic. In the three pieces Unity, Freedom and Safety are represented, the opposites of the virtues in the Arms of the City of Amsterdam, Courage, Resolution and Mercy.