Amalia - Ambition with Allure
An exciting and compelling life story. In Amalia. Ambition with Allure Amalia van Solms (1602-1675) steps out of her husband's shadow and Museum Prinsenhof Delft places her in the spotlight for the first time.
The young Amalia, countess of the German Solms-Braunfels, ends up in The Hague in 1621 by a twist of fate. Her marriage to Stadtholder Frederik Hendrik van Oranje instantly made her the most important woman in the Republic. Amalia's role and political influence is clearly visible in the exhibition, as is the unique position she fulfilled as a woman at the time. The focus is on the dynastic and political strategy that Amalia outlines, the visual culture she uses for this and the origin of the Oranjezaal. Various unique and personal objects tell Amalia's life story, from her arrival in the Republic until her burial in 1675 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. Imagine yourself in her life and discover the unknown story of one of the most influential women of the 17th century: a stateswoman with allure!
Amalia's story is told in an accessible and contemporary way through seven A's, which illustrate Amalia's personality, ambition and strategy: Adventurous, Present, Prestige, Authoritarian, Assertive, Atypical, Persistent. These A's form the framework of the exhibition as universal values. As the namesake of our current Princess Amalia, she still has a strong connection to the present. Personal objects such as her silver-decorated bible from the collection of the Royal Collections and everyday utensils depicting the stadtholder's couple are on display. Various special portraits, paintings and other objects by Amalia and Frederik Hendrik come together in the exhibition, including pieces that have never been shown to the public in this context before.
The power woman Amalia
Amalia together with Frederik Hendrik form the power couple of the seventeenth century; they are influential in Europe and wildly popular with all walks of life. With a sense of diplomacy, Amalia plays with politics in Europe and at the same time raises court life in The Hague to great heights. Amalia permanently influences the course of the history of the Republic and House of Orange-Nassau in a very strategic way, among other things by concluding extremely favorable marriage alliances for her children. After the death of Frederik Hendrik, Amalia turned out to be a true stateswoman, who sees the prestige of her court as crucial to strengthen the position and power of the House of Orange-Nassau.
Visual culture as a powerful means
Amalia uses certain roles and characteristics that are seen as 'typically' feminine in her time to her advantage. And above all, Amalia knows how to use the power of images well. Image in the form of portraits, palaces with luxury goods and regal allure. Image in the form of self-presentation and a leading art collection. Amalia is a great admirer and collector of Asian art and is therefore a real trendsetter in Europe. Amalia's visual culture reaches a climax in her last phase of life with her widow cult and the creation of the Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch.
Activities at the exhibition
On the occasion of the exhibition, Museum Prinsenhof Delft is organizing three interactive and inspiring museum evenings on Friday, guided tours on Sunday afternoon and a lecture about Amalia van Solms by curator Julia van Marissing. During the autumn holidays, families can combine a visit to the exhibition with the theater performance 'Wie you dAn are not' by theater group de ZAAk A.