The Corpses of the De Witt Brothers, attributed to Jan de Baen, c. 1672 - c. 1675
The ultimate humiliation: the nude, flayed corpses of Johan and Cornelis de Witt on public display in the Groene Zoodje, the execution ground on the Vijverberg in the middle of The Hague. On 20 August 1672 they were assassinated by their political opponents. Johan had been the most powerful man in the Republic for close to twenty years, steadfastly supported by his brother Cornelis. But they were held responsible for everything that went wrong in the year 1672, known as the ‘Year of Disaster’.