"[T]he most celebrated of all pseudo-military ensembles, the schutterstukken militia scenes (whether in the sober and formal manner of sixteenth-century prototypes, or the flamboyant grandeur of Hals and Rembrandt), are emphatically group portraits of civilians in martial fancy dress. Their ranks are determined by their respective places in the patrician pecking order, and their regimental insignia and emblems and colors are closer to those of the civic corporations and guilds rather than to battle dress (which had no uniforms at all). The gorgeousness of their array was an urban parade, and the doelen, even amidst the banner waving and the shouted Sunday drill, stood not as an extension of the military life into the civic, but as its opposite and alternative. The militiaman, the armed civilian, was as intrinsically benign as the professional soldier was malign. He was of the community and not a marauding invader or an unwelcome billet. He could be relied on to bear arms in the Fatherland's hour of need without abusing them to threaten its liberties. That, at least, was the received wisdom ...."