The lion rampant!
By VISSCHER, Nicolas , 1648

Comitatus Hollandiae Deuno Formâ Leonis Curiosè Editus a Nicolao Johannis Visscher Anno 1648.

Europe Low Countries
  • Author: VISSCHER, Nicolas
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publisher: Nicolao Johannis Visscher
  • Publication date: 1648.
  • Physical description: Hand-coloured engraved map.
  • Dimensions: 470 by 580mm (18.5 by 22.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1994


What the ‘Truce map’ made implicit – the break-up of the XVII Provinces – the Leo Hollandicus made terrifyingly explicit.

At the end of the 12 Year Truce, Claes Janzsoon Visscher published his ‘Leo Hollandicus’. In stark contrast to his ‘Truce Map’, the Hollandicus depicts a lion rampant facing east and brandishing a cutlass, with the patriotic motto ‘Patriae Defensio’ (Defender of the Country), engraved upon the blade. Above the lion are depictions of Dutch citizens, with iceboats and wind carts, to the borders are vignettes of Dutch towns, with the coats-of-arms of the towns in the province of Holland, below.

Whereas Visscher’s ‘Truce Map’ celebrated the fruits of peace that came with the cessation of hostilities; the ‘Hollandicus’ highlighted the Dutch Republic’s determination to defend its new-found independence. The map also emphasises the breaking apart of the XVII Provinces, between the Republican north and the Spanish-controlled south.

Van der Heijden records only one example one institutional example of the third state, that in the Montreal State Library.


  1. Van der Heijden 23.3