The Drawing Gallery of the Felix Meritis Society, Adriaan de Lelie, 1801
Founded in 1777, the Amsterdam society called Felix Meritis (‘Happy through Merit’) grew into the cultural centre for the upper middle class. It had five depart-ments: commerce, natural science, music, literature and drawing. The drawing gallery could accommodate about sixty artists for life drawing classes in both daylight and lamplight. De Lelie, seated on the podium, looks out at us.