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William the Taciturn
|Artist:||Louis Royer (1793-1868), cast by Gebroeders Lurasco|
|Place of origin:||The Netherlands|
|Period:||Mid 19th Century|
Article no: 63
5688 ZK Oirschot
Dutch Bronze Sculpture Representing William the Taciturn
Cast by Gebroeders Lurasco, Amsterdam
Designed by Louis Royer (1793-1868)
The most productive, most versatile and influential sculptor of the nineteenth century in the Netherlands was the sculptor Louis Royer. He was born in Mechelen, nowadays in Belgium. During his life he gained fame with his monuments of famous patriots such as Rembrandt and Vondel in Amsterdam, Laurens Jansz. Coster in Harlem, Michiel de Ruyter in Flushing and William the Silent in The Hague.
The idea to create a William the Silent monument was already presented to King William I in 1828 by the Hague pastor CW Pape (1788-1873). The plan was forgotten due to The Belgian Revolution and slow procedures. Nine years later Pape asked the Ministry of the Interior to reconsider the proposal.
Even now it seemed as if it would not be accepted because the plan was postponed for various reasons. It was expected that the necessary funds could not be brought together and the Minister first wanted to see how the casting of the imageof Michiel de Ruyter would expire.
But in 1841, King William II appeared to want to realize the plans. The first draft was criticized because William the Silent looked too much like a warrior, relying on his sword. After long debates this final design came forward: William the Silent as an elderly statesman.
The Amsterdam firm Lurasco ordered at the foundry L.I. Enthoven in The Hague several copies of the monuments of Royer. They were shown at the 1851 World Exhibition in London. The circulation is not known. But differences in the casting point to more than one series. Sometimes three heroes of the fatherland were combined together with a clock. William the Silent then stood as father of the nation at the clock flanked by example Vondel and Rembrandt.
The terracotta design for the statue is located in The Hague Historical Museum. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has the same scaled-down version of William the Silent.
R. Baarsen e.a., De Lelijke tijd pronkstukken van de Nederlandse interieurkunst 1835-1895, tent.cat. Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, 1995.
G. van den Hout e.a., Louis Royer 1793-1868: een Vlaamse beeldhouwer in Amsterdam, tent.cat. Museum Amstelkring Amsterdam 1994.
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5688 ZK Oirschot