Mattheus Ignatius van Bree: The Arrival of Napoleon at Amsterdam (1811-1813)


(Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Belgian artist Mattheus Ignatius van Bree (1773-1839). Between 1795 and 1813 the Netherlands were under the influence of France: first as a client state (between 1795 and 1806), then a puppet kingdom (between 1806 and 1810) and finally as a French province (between 1810 and 1813). The French emperor Napoleon I visited the Netherlands in 1811 and from October 6 to 24 he stayed in Amsterdam. Napoleon entered the city at Oetewalerweg (now Linnaeusstraat) and was greeted by the mayor Willem Joseph van Brienen van de Groote Lindt (1760-1839) and a large delegation of high ranking officials from the city. This painting was commissioned by the city council to commemorate the visit of the French emperor. The painting was revealed on August 15, 1813 in the city hall but when the fortunes of Napoleon turned and the Netherlands broke off from the French empire in 21 november 1813, the painting was quickly (and quietly) removed and stored. After put away in a large container for decades, the painting was restored between 2011 and 2013 to its former glory. Painting from 1811-1813.

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