CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Talking peace: 1604: the Somerset House conference paintings

Exhibition: 20 May - 25 July 2004

To commemorate the fourth centenary of the Treaty of London between England and Spain negotiated and signed at Somerset House in 1604, King’s College London and the Somerset House Trust have organised ‘Talking Peace 1604’, a programme of events of which Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London, is Patron.

‘This peace treaty, between Spain and England, ended the hostilities which had existed between the two countries during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, and marked the beginning of a new phase of political and cultural contact,’ explained Acting Principal Professor Barry Ife, one of the driving forces behind the series.

The 1604 conference was commemorated in two group portraits of the two negotiating teams. The focal point of these celebrations is a special exhibition entitled ‘Talking Peace 1604: The Somerset House Conference Paintings’ which will be staged at the Gilbert Collection, Somerset House, from 20 May to 25 July 2004. The two versions of the painting – one by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz – of the English and Spanish diplomats and statesmen who negotiated the Treaty, will be brought together for the first time in centuries.