Portrait of Willem Bilderdijk, Charles Howard Hodges, 1810
The poet and scholar Willem Bilderdijk was a committed monarchist, so in 1795 he refused to submit to French Republican rule in the Netherlands. He was exiled, but allowed to return under King Louis Napoleon. On the table is Bilderdijk’s uncompleted epic poem, The Destruction of the First World, written for Louis Napoleon. Sixth months later, the King abdicated, and Bilderdijk was once again deprived of a protector.