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Abstract

In 1808, the Dutch King Lodewijk Napoleon decided upon a major dismantling of the former quarters of the stadtholders at the Binnenhof in The Hague, which he had used as a royal residential palace since 1806. That dismantling resulted in a total clearance of the original 18th-century interiors in Rococo and Neo-classical styles, inclusive of all painted decorations. The records of this operation proved vital for the reconstruction of the interiors of these quarters as they had existed during second half of the 18th century, when stadtholders Willem IV and v had their residence there. Not only did it turn out to be possible to reconstruct the former situation on paper, but also the majority of the then removed paintings could be retraced. Among the refound works are paintings by Dirk van der Aa (1731-1809), Jean Humbert (1734-1794.), Johann Heinrich Keller (1692-1765), Willem Ket (1756-1795), Jean Teissier (1750-1821), Aert Schouman (1710-1792.) and Hendrik Willem Schweickhardt (1746-1799). Also, two chimney-pieces, by Adriaen Hanneman (1601-1671) and Jan Lievens (1607-1674), had been taken down. These are now located in the assembly room of the First Chamber of the States General. For each individual room of the complex, this article provides an insight in the history of its decoration during the period 1747 to 1808, while at the same time the reader is informed about the stadtholders' and their families' lives and tastes in the course of their residence in the apartments at the Binnenhof.

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