"La fin du poème"-Art Column-

 The print for the dress 'La fin du poème' used a still life painting by Francesco Noletti and a portrait of the 17th century Dutch politician Cornelis de Wit.

1.Francesco Noletti and The oriental carpet

 The painter Francesco Noletti was born in Malta and worked mainly in Rome, Italy, from 1640 to 1654. Noletti often signed his work 'Il Maltese',which means Maltese.

 A typical motif in Noletti's work is the opulent and exotic Ushak carpet. Carpets of Middle Eastern origin from Persia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and North Africa were used as decorative elements in paintings in Western Europe from the 14th century onwards. Because of the role of carpets in drawing attention to visually important figures, there were many paintings during the Renaissance in which Christian saints were placed on carpets. Later on, carpets from the Middle East began to take on secular meanings and gradually included Oriental, luxury, wealth or status connotations, appearing in portraits of royalty and nobility as well as wealthy merchants.

2. The prestigious De Wit brothers.

The painting on the left side of the dress is by Cornelis Bisschop, a Dutch painter. The man in the centre , surrounded by angels and swans, is Cornelis de Wit, brother of Johan de Wit, leader of the 17th century Dutch Republic. Cornelis was born into the prestigious De Wit family and rose to the position of mayor of Dordrecht and deputy governor of Holland before becoming his brother's assistant.

 But at the time the Netherlands was under attack from Britain and France, and the De Wit brothers lost the war because of their misjudgments. This led to a terrible animosity towards them, both within their political party and among the people. Later Cornelis was falsely accused of assassinating the Dutch Governor and was cruelly tortured in prison and sent into exile. Johann, the gentler brother, immediately went to fetch his brother after receiving the news.

3.The slaughtered de Wit brothers

 The people took all the failures, humiliations and frustrations the Dutch had suffered in the war against the De Wit brothers. The crowd stormed into the prison and slaughtered the two unarmed brothers . But they were not satisfied . They slit and gutted the two brothers' bodies and ate their entrails. How horrified and terrible. The philosopher Baruch de Spinoza was highly critical of this atrocity, calling them "barbarians of the worst kind".

 The Dutch painter Jan de Baen left a painting, The Bodies of the DeWitt Brothers, in response to this incident, and the French novelist Alexandre Dumas Pere was also mentioned in his novel The Black Tulip, written in 1850.

 To commemorate the De Wit brothers, a statue of the two was erected in the city centre of Dordrecht, Netherlands. In the statue, the elder brother Cornelis stands quietly beside his brother with his right hand on the chair, staring ahead with a sad expression on his face. Next to him, his brother Johann's face looks downwards, as if he is thinking about something. This is the land where they were born and loved, but also the land where they are buried. They are now the watchmen of this land, and we can no longer know what the De Wit brothers would really think of such a sad place.

 

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