Jan van Speijk Debating whether to Set Fire to the Gunpowder, Jacobus Schoemaker Doyer, 1834

Jan van Speijk Debating whether to Set Fire to the Gunpowder, Jacobus Schoemaker Doyer, 1834

oil on canvas, h 89cm × w 75cm More details

During the Belgian Revolution, Jan van Speijk was in command of a Dutch gunboat. When on 5 February 1831 the ship was in danger of falling into rebel Belgian hands, he decided to set fire to a keg of gunpowder. That moment is depicted here: Van Speijk has made up his mind, and his crew take to their heels. Van Speijk’s act of courage made him a national hero in the Netherlands.

On display in room 1.14 Visit via the Highlights 1800-1900 tour

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