The Dutch colonial world during Queen Wilhelmina’s reign,
‘pillarisation’ ( verzuiling ), with different political and confessional groups nurturing their own institutions to cultivate strong communal identities. From the 1870s liberals and conservatives were united in anxiety over the apparent lack of will towards national unity in the Netherlands.
For many, the monarchy seemed a politically neutral solution. Princesjedag (Princess's Day) was the initiative of municipal elites who cast the young Wilhelmina as a remedy for the tensions of the day, a common focus of loyalty for
Photographic encounters between Dutch and Indonesian royals
In 1800 the Dutch East India Company was dissolved. Meanwhile, the Napoleonic Wars in Europe left the stewardship of Dutch possessions in the Indies contested between France, the Netherlands and Britain. In 1816 Dutch authority on Java resumed, this time as a crown colony, for in 1814 the House of Orange had been installed as a monarchy, following the ‘restoration’ – or in the Dutch case, creation – of royal heads of state all over Europe in the wake of Napoleon's defeat. From then onwards, the fortunes of the Dutch monarchy in Asia ascended relative to Indonesian
of Willem II's commemorative volume informed Dutch readers of ‘a magnificent Illumination in the houses [of Banjarmasin], among which those of the Resident and the Chief Ministers especially stood out’,
he was signalling the long reach of the House of Orange into what were then the most remote and contested corners of the Dutch imperium.
Although photographic processes were brought to the Indies in the early 1840s, written descriptions remained the primary conduit of information about royal
We first encountered the photograph album of E. P. L. de Hoog, a Dutch engineer who worked in New Guinea in the late 1930s, in Chapter 3 . De Hoog's images revealed how, even in communities far from the centres of Dutch colonial power, Queen Wilhelmina's fortieth jubilee in 1938 prompted a major public festival, with crowds of participants drawn from the large Javanese and Papuan workforce at Babo. During the day, men congregated at the town's airfield to watch and participate in contests of speed, strength and endurance that were simple to
practice as a painter of
genre and costume scenes to finance his battle pictures. There is no
documentary evidence about the sale of the latter, but there are no
examples in public collections in Britain, suggesting that they were not greatly
valued. His entry in the BI contest was based on the battle of Vittoria,
a subject that he had probably executed or researched earlier, since he
had been in Brussels