Amalia van Solms and the Formation of the Stadhouder's Art Collection, 1625-1675

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This dissertation examines the role of Amalia van Solms (1602-1675), wife of Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange and Stadhouder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1584-1647), in the formation of the couple's art collection. Amalia and Frederik Hendrik's collection of fine and decorative arts was modeled after foreign, royal courts and they cultivated it to rival those of other great European treasure houses. While some scholars have recognized isolated instances of Amalia's involvement with artistic projects at the Stadhouder's court, this dissertation presents a more comprehensive account of these activities by highlighing specific examples of Amalia's patronage and collecting practices.

Through an examination of gifts of art, portraits of Amalia and her porcelain collection, this study considers the ways in which Amalia contributed to the formation of the Stadhouder's art collection. This dissertation seeks to provide a greater knowledge not only of Amalia's activities as a patron and collector, but also a more throrough understanding of the genesis and function of the collection as a whole, which reflected the power and glory of the House of Orange during the Dutch Golden Age.