Her finger is on the globe...
May 24, 2014 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm translating a bit about colonial-era Amsterdam from Chinese to English in a non-fiction book. They mention a painting in the text, titled in Chinese "Goddess of Amsterdam". The content of the painting is described as "the goddess of Amsterdam with her finger on the globe, signifying that the tiny nation of Holland held the world in its breast, that it could play with the globe like a toy in the palm of its hand". I recall reading about a similar painting in the Dutch legislative halls in Mason & Dixon, but that's all I got. What is this painting called?!?!?!

Here's the source text, if necessary: “小国创大业”的荷兰人有一幅画:《阿姆斯特丹女神》。在这幅画中,阿姆斯特丹女神的手放在地球仪的上面。它预示着小国荷兰把世界装在自己的心中,玩地球于自己的股掌之中。荷兰作为大国崛起的时候,全国人口只有大约170万,却在17世纪的世界舞台独领风骚,创造了一个黄金时代。

I doubt it's very useful though.
posted by saysthis to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A helpful search term: allegory. Here's one of Amsterdam.
posted by zamboni at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2014

If you Google-Image《阿姆斯特丹女神》 you get a Chinese blog of historical European views of the world which includes a CCTV screen capture of Elizabeth I; The Armada Portrait. But the blogger seems to be referring to some other image when he says 请看这幅图,这幅《阿姆斯特丹女神》because that reference is in his paragraph on Holland whereas the Elizabeth portrait is in his section on England.
posted by mono blanco at 7:58 PM on May 24, 2014

The blogger goes on to talk about the Amsterdam Town Hall/Royal Palace. There's apparently a Jan Goeree Allegory of the city of Amsterdam on the ceiling of the Royal Palace's Citizens Hall, but I can't find a picture of it.
posted by zamboni at 8:38 PM on May 24, 2014

I found this (also via Google Image Search). The relevant sentence is "建筑的外墙上,饰有精美绝伦的雕刻,描绘了世界各地的人们向阿姆斯特丹女神献礼的场景。"

Sadly, the images on the page aren't high enough resolution to make much out, but maybe there's a clue there. (zamboni's link has better pictures of the same building.)

Other searches with "阿姆斯特丹女神" seem to get results involving more statues.
posted by aroweofshale at 9:05 PM on May 24, 2014

I think there's a good chance it's Gérard de Lairesse's Allegory on the Prosperity of Amsterdam. Here's another reference. The painting is in the Amsterdam Historical Museum and this chapter from a Chinese book quote a certain 洛德韦克.瓦赫纳尔给 as saying, "这就是为什么阿姆斯特丹女神的手放在了地球的上面。我们的世界,我们的地球,这个世界是我们的" ("That is why the Amsterdam goddess's hand is placed on the globe. Our world. Our globe. This world belongs to us.") And that certain 洛德韦克.瓦赫纳尔给 must be Dr. Lodewijk J. Wagenaar, senior curator of the Amsterdam Historical Museum. So it all fits.
posted by mono blanco at 9:25 PM on May 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Perfect! Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. I feel slightly embarrassed for not checking Google Books.
posted by saysthis at 6:41 AM on May 25, 2014

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