30 May, 2006

Bonaparte Prints - Rotterdam

Louis Bonaparte and the Leiden gunpowder disaster: prints and drawings from the Atlas van Stolk

From 9th June 2006 the Atlas Van Stolk exhibits exquisite prints and drawings of a quite important interlude in Dutch history: Louis Bonaparte, first king of the Netherlands (1806-1810).

The exhibition is on display from 9th June till 24th September 2006.

Exquisite prints and drawings of a quite important interlude in Dutch history. From 1806 to 1810 Louis Bonaparte, the brother of the emperor Napoleon, was king of the Netherlands, the first one to hold that title. His appointment took place in June 1806. To commemorate the event, Atlas van Stolk is showing a choice of prints on Lodewijk Napoleon, as he is called by the Dutch. Some are serious and others satirical. The main event featured is the explosion of a gunpowder magazine in Leiden in January 1807, when the king took an active part in rescue and restoration work. One initiative associated with fundraising for the survivors was the publication and sale of prints illustrating the disaster and its aftermath.

The Atlas Van Stolk is a collection of over 150,000 prints and drawings. Laid out in chronological order, they would make, as it were, a documentary showing the history of the Netherlands.

Every-day life as well as the many wars that were fought through the ages, and trade missions to exotic empires have been recorded meticulously. There are images of every spot on earth that Dutchmen set foot on. And of course there is an abundance of Dutch royalty.

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