Exhibition | The Sun King and the Prince of Orange

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 14, 2023

Adam Frans van der Meulen, Landscape with King Louis XIV at the Capture of Maastricht on 30 June 1673, 1673–1690, oil on canvas, 72 × 92 cm
(Venlo: Limburgs Museum, L24496)

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Opening this summer at the Limburg Museum in Venlo (65 km northeast of Maastricht). 2023 marks the 350th anniversary of the fall of Maastricht—which itself followed in the wake of the ‘Rampjaar’ (Disaster Year) of 1672. The museum was recently recognized with a 2022 International Design Award in graphic design for its campaign, “Limburgs Museum: Van ós / For Everybody,” by Total Design.

The Sun King and the Prince of Orange: Battle for the Meuse Valley
De Zonnekoning en Oranje: Slaags aan de Maas
Der Sonnenkönig und Oranien: Kämpfe an der Maas
Limburgs Museum, Venlo, 10 June 2023 — 7 January 2024

“I believe a spectacular event is going to unfold in front of our eyes.”
–King Louis XIV, shortly before the Siege of Maastricht

June 2023 will mark the 350th anniversary of the conquest of Maastricht by Louis XIV, the French Sun King. The city’s reputation as one of the best-fortified cities on the continent caused all of Europe to stand in disbelief at the end of the thirteen-day long military campaign. The victory was proudly showcased in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles as well as on the Porte Saint-Denis in Paris. In 1676, the Prince of Orange’s attempt to reconquer the city for the Dutch Republic failed. As a result, French soldiers and administrators remained in Maastricht until 1679. What motives drove the actions of the two sovereigns? What did this region signify to them? And how did their actions affect the people? These questions lie at the heart of the grand exhibition The Sun King and the Prince of Orange: Battle for the Meuse Valley.

In collaboration with Service Historique de la Défense, Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Rijksmuseum and Paleis het Loo.


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