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German History in Documents and Images
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Frederick William ("the Great Elector") as Scipio (c. 1660)
Fredrick William (the “Great Elector”) commissioned numerous portraits of himself during the forty-eight years he ruled Brandenburg (r. 1640-88). The portrait below was executed roughly halfway through his reign. Frederick William’s once youthful figure has assumed the swollen proportions of middle age. He appears as Scipio, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal in the Second Punic War. Oil painting attributed to Albert van der Eeckhout (1610-66), c. 1660.