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Grebber, Pieter de (1600-1652/53)
The Conferring of the Sword on the Coat-of-Arms of HaarlemDate: 1630
Technique: Oil on canvas
Museum: Frans Halsmuseum
Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
168 x 198 cm
According to historical sources, in 1182 on the third crusade during the siege of the heavily fortified city of Damiate in Egypt, the attackers were reinforced by a fleet supplied by William I of Holland, who came to the aid of his father with the help Haarlemmers. The father built a ship which broke through the iron chain that the defenders had stretched across the Nile. For their assistance, the German king Frederick I Barbarossa conferred a silver sword on the Haarlemmers for their existing coat-of-arms, which consisted of four stars on a red field. In addition, the patriarch of Jerusalem gave the Haarlemmers the right to adopt the Holy Cross.
In De Grebber's painting, the German king gives the sword to a kneeling soldier whose shield carries the old coat-of-arms. The patriarch is seated on the left, holding the silver cross, and solemnly awaiting his turn in the ceremony.
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