The Castle of Batavia, Andries Beeckman, c. 1661
The ‘Castle’ of Batavia, in the right background, was the VOC’s power base in Asia. A variety of figures populate the foreground: Chinese and Javanese merchants, a European man with his Asian wife, and freed slaves (mardijkers), recognizable by their striped clothing. Andries Beeckman was one of the few Dutch painters to have been to Asia. He made this painting on the basis of sketches, after he returned to Amsterdam in 1658.