The Dutch Prince Mauritius of Orange lifts up Belgica, a female allegorical figure symbolizing the Flemish people, who turns hopefully toward him. The prince also directs her attention to the barge in the background, the "turf ship of Breda." This barge had secretly carried the prince's troops into Breda's harbor to capture the town from the Spanish in 1590, an important incident from the Eighty Years' War for Dutch independence
A pair of shadowy trees and bushes sharply divides the foreground figures from the background harbor scene. Joachim Anthonisz. Wtewael used dark gray wash on the foliage as an effective contrast to the brilliant white on the people and the buildings. White hatching creates texture on Belgica's dress and gleams from Prince Mauritius's armor, and white highlights illuminate the towers and steeples of Breda in the distance.