Plein 1813, Den Haag
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During the realisation of Monument 1813, the largest 19th century monument in the Netherlands, the contrast between Catholics and Protestants became sharply apparent for the first time in sculpture. The classicist design by painter/sculptor Johan Koelman and architect Willem van der Waayen Pieterszen won the competition held in 1863. Many, however, preferred the neo-Gothic design by the architect Cuypers. The organising committee opposed this. It was of the opinion that the 'Roman' neo-Gothic did not fit in with the predominantly Protestant Netherlands, while Classicism did. A fierce polemic ensued.
Nevertheless, Koelman and Van der Waayen went to work together with the sculptors Theo Simons and the Belgian brothers Joseph and Jacques Jaquet. They completed the national memorial on Plein 1813 in 1869. The monument, an initiative of the Vereeniging van en voor Nederlandse Industrieelen, incorporates the events surrounding the end of French rule (1795-1813). Characters who played a prominent role in the independence are also included. For example, the reliefs on the back show the landing of hereditary prince Willem I from England in Scheveningen and the raising of the Orange flag. The founders of the new kingdom, Van der Duyn van Maasdam, Van Hogendorp and Van Limburg Stirum, are also depicted. The Triumvirate prepared the prince's return. Prince William I assumed the title of king after the battle of Waterloo (1815), where Napoleon was finally defeated. He is therefore depicted as King William I at the front, his right hand raised to take the oath to the new constitution. Personifications of religion and history flank the king. On top of the structure is the Dutch Virgin, in her hand the Dutch flag with pennant, behind her the Dutch Lion and below her the coats of arms of the nine provinces and of the House of Orange.