This chapter focuses on early portraits of American revolutionary leaders that circulated in Europe. The portraits are discussed in the wider context of eighteenth-century visualizations of power and compared with aristocratic portraiture of the time. While depictions of monarchs and princes often reflected Enlightenment ideals, portraits of revolutionaries also drew on existing elite iconography. The chapter argues that, in the course of a transcontinental media exchange, visual concepts of leadership approximated each other and were shared beyond political frontlines. The rise of national identities and active citizenship, for instance, shaped the political iconography of monarchical and republican government systems alike.
In the early 1570s, Frans Hogenberg published his first series of broadsheets covering events of what would come to be known as the Dutch Revolt. Because Hogenberg’s images were widely disseminated when produced, they have been used to account for the nature of the conflict, becoming, in our own times, a part of the collective memory of the revolt. This chapter focuses on how Hogenberg’s first print series represented the beginning of the revolt and raises questions about how his visual reports explained the conflict. It explores the political message the prints conveyed and asks what was being addressed in the eyes of the contemporary audience of these compositions.
The peasant war of 1626 in Upper Austria was one of the three peaks of popular resistance against the Habsburg Counter-Reformation. This chapter focuses on the iconography of the revolt. Practically all printed accounts, both visual and textual, were published beyond the Habsburg territories. Nevertheless, these prints largely shaped the image of a “peasant war.” The chapter also highlights the commemorative iconography that emerged after the violent repression of the uprising, an iconography that countered the government’s policy of damnatio memoriae.