Willem V, Assen. Defacement 1795 (2005). In 1794 the French army came to the aid of the Patriots in the Netherlands, shortly after their own king had been dethroned and beheaded. This prompted Stadtholder Willem V to flee to England and from 1795 the Batavian Republic was a fact. During this period, also known as the French Era, the archipelago of the East Indies (present-day Indonesia) officially became a Dutch colony. The French Era ended when Emperor Napoleon was forced to abdicate in 1813. Willem Vís eldest son, Willem Frederik of Orange-Nassau, returned on 30 November 1813 and, following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, was officially pronounced Willem I, King of the United Netherlands, which at that time extended to present-day Belgium and Luxembourg. In 1958, having laid at rest in Braunschweig for more than 150 years, the remains of Willem V, his entrails excepted, were re-interred in the family vault of the House of Orange at the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Delft. Dowager Princess Wilhelmina, the former Queen of the Netherlands, refused to attend. She pronounced that she had no desire to pay her last respects to a sovereign who had fled his own country, though she had herself fled to England when the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. This painting of Stadtholder Willem V was damaged in 1795 by Patriots in Assen.
55 x 72 cm
GERT JAN KOCKEN
THE PAST IN THE PRESENT

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