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The Castle of Batavia
Painting ID::  62884
  Seen from Kali Besar West 1656 Oil on canvas, 108 x 151,5 cm Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Dutch expansion overseas was in both directions, eastward and westwards. In particular, it was the establishment of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1602 and the Dutch West India Company (WIC) in 1621, each with clearly demarcated areas of activity, that caused the number of Dutch overseas territories to increase rapidly. Some of the settlements in the western hemisphere were only briefly under Dutch administration: Northern Brazil (1624-1661) and New Holland, with the city of New Amsterdam ethe future New York eat the mouth of the Hudson river (1628-1664). On the other hand, the islands of Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Martin are still Dutch, while Surinam became independent in 1975. The Far Eastern territories were the most important, including settlements in India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Malacca (now part of Malaysia), Formosa (now Taiwan), the Japanese island of Deshima and the Indonesian archipelago. It was here, in Batavia on the island of Java, that the VOC established its administrative headquarters, with a governor-general in charge from 1610 onwards. Trading contracts were signed and alliances concluded with local princes. In 1652, a staging post for VOC ships was established at the southern tip of Africa, known as the Cape of Good Hope. The arrival of settlers was to transform this into a fully-fledged Dutch colony. In the background of the paianting is the castle of Batavia, the bastion of Dutch rule in Asia. This was where the VOC's administrators lived. The governor-general is just arriving in town with his retinue. In the foreground is a market by the Kali Besar, or Great River. The Dutch built Batavia in 1619 on the site of Jakarta, which they had destroyed. Beeckman was commissioned by the voc to paint this peaceful scene on the spot. Artist: BEECKMAN, Andries Title: The Castle of Batavia, Seen from Kali Besar West , painting Date: 1651-1700 Dutch : landscape

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