Illustrated introduction to Michelangelo, £9.99
Length: 147.000 mm
Width: 76.000 mm
Lent by De Nederlandsche Bank
Coins and Medals
50 gulden note
Netherlands, AD 1982
From portraits to patterns
In most countries, designs on banknotes are chosen to represent national or cultural identity. A portrait of the head of state or a national figure may be shown, combined with views of a typical landscape, architecture, economic activity, indigenous wildlife or other aspects of national heritage.
However, since the 1970s, the Netherlands has deliberately moved away from patriotic themes, focusing rather on dramatic and colourful designs that can easily be recognized, such as this glowing design of a bee on a sunflower. More recent Dutch notes are dominated by geometric patterns, with naturalistic images of birds or animals hidden in security features such as the watermark.
J.J. Grolle, 'From Robin redbreasts to Robin Redbreast: development of Dutch Banknotes since 1814' in Proceedings of the XIth. Inter, Vol. IV (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1993)
J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)