Jan Asselijn (c.1610 – October 1, 1652), was one of the first Dutch painters who introduced a fresh and clear manner of painting landscapes in the style of Claude Lorraine, and his example was speedily followed by other artists. Asselijn's pictures were in high estimation at Amsterdam, and several of them are in the museums of that city. Twenty-four, painted in Italy, were engraved. One of his paintings, The Threatened Swan, which portrays a swan aggressively defending its nest, became a symbol of Dutch national resistance, although it is unknown if Asselijn intended it to be so. In particular, it was interpreted as a depiction of Johan de Witt. Several inscriptions were added by later owners of the painting, including "Holland" on one of the eggs, and "Enemy of the state" next to the dog that is threatening the nest. Some parts of the painting are less realistic than the swan, such as the low-hanging clouds, the dog and the flat-looking eggs. The painting has been dated to the 1640s. It is considered to be Asselijn's most famous work and was the Rijksmuseum’s first acquisition.
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